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Change Made Easy With Stakeholder Involvement

In the world of channels, changes to strategies, programs, pricing, promotions, products, services, sales people, and operations are a normal course of business. Keeping a few things in mind will help you minimize the time, dollars and resources expended to “right” a decision later.

  • FEW GREAT THINGS HAPPEN IN A VACUUM. Take a step back to identify your various stakeholder organizations, then the key people within those groups whose opinions you trust as measured and representative of that audience. Don’t be lured into thinking that querying your top five partners is enough. While critical, those partners are only one stakeholder audience. What’s more, input sought from the various functional groups within your partner’s organizations, like sales, operations, technical support, and service, will draw out various perspectives and minimize surprises.
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  • THE END CUSTOMER AND YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE OFTEN A GOOD PLACE TO START.  Without customers and employees, you don’t have a sustainable business model for long.  It’s impossible to make a profit without someone to do the work required to develop and launch your products and services to the customer, and selling stuff to no one doesn’t result in a dime.
  •  

  • SHOW THEM THE WAY.  Institute a best practice process for making critical decisions and changes (especially any that affect the pocketbook of your shareholders).  This usually means installing a project lead for the decision at-hand to keep stakeholders accountable for their contribution. Alignment across stakeholders about the following questions will go a long way to ensuring the process runs smoothly:
    1. How will we make decisions? 
    2. What will we do if we hit an impasse in the decision? 
    3. How long will we wait to make the decision?

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  • WHAT’S YOUR PLAN B, PLAN C, AND MAYBE, D?  Even when you’ve solicited valuable input and convinced yourself that you’ve crossed all the t’s, you can miss a critical element. When you’ve missed a stakeholder member or misinterpreted their input, or just made a bad decision, have Plan B (C and D) at the ready.  Of course, if you’ve completed steps one through three, the need for Plan B will be minimal, but everyone should understand what you will do if Plan A falls flat.
  • Investing time upfront to solicit and understand the consequences of change with your stakeholders, and having a back-up plan, is time well spent. 

    How do you guarantee success with the changes you undergo with your channels?

     

    October 7, 2014  ·  

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