Mark Sullivan replied to the topic How-to: Tips on Getting Buy-In from Project Stakeholders? in the forum Leadership, Management, Supervision 7 years, 6 months ago
I’m starting with the assumption that when you characterize the project as ‘very innovative’ that it is also disruptive to the status quo. There is a reason why systems are hard to change; it’s because all systems are self-replicating. At it’s best, we call this sustainability. At it’s worst we call it entrenched culture. Stakeholders who are invested in the status quo don’t have to actively fight change in order to forestall innovation. Often all they need to do is passively withhold support. It isn’t even necessarily malicious. It may be just a fear of losing authority, security, or competence.
The key is in provoking/evoking a sense of common aspiration so that others begin to own the work. Convening a VIP group is a good example of giving ownership to stakeholders. Another option may be reaching out to key stakeholders, and building allies who can influence others. I would also suggest finding the most ardent objectors (who might otherwise try to mobilize others against the project) and find out what concerns they might need to have addressed (e.g., budget, control, training) in order to feel secure enough that they don’t feel compelled to derail efforts.
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