Idea 1: Treat stakeholders as internal customers
Stakeholders are essential for new-business building, and they should be treated like customers. Just like external customers, stakeholders also seek solutions to their burning problems. And guess what? They are willing to pay for having these problems solved. They pay through funding and support.
We out-of-the-box innovators understand that by providing a superior value proposition, we can engage them. We harness the power of thinking tools like Design Thinking, MVP, validation, and Scaling-Up to ensure their problem is solved.
Idea 2: Build the missing link that connects Strategy and New-business building
We discovered that connecting the dots between strategy and out-of-the-box thinking is a winning strategy. The real magic happens at strategy levels 2 and 3 when the strategy makers dig deeper into “how do we make the strategy happen?”
It’s a win-win situation that benefits both stakeholders and the strategy makers – and the stakeholders.
Idea 3: Aligning NOW and NEW with a North Star and Roadmapping
Most stakeholders have built their careers in the NOW (Exploit) system, where measurability and risk reduction are paramount. To keep their support, we must cater to these factors.
We took the Lean Scaleup framework and identified 5 solution pieces. One of them is selecting a North Star metric that bridges the NOW and scaleup objectives, such as expanding the customer base and reducing Customer Acquisition Cost. Again, we are solving a problem for the stakeholders.
Additionally, we found that Roadmapping, i.e., breaking long-term ambitions into digestible 12-18-month slices, helps tremendously in aligning.
“Stakeholders sometimes don’t see themselves as stakeholders. They see themselves as gatekeepers or the ones the new-business builders report to.”
“Stakeholders ask themselves why they should take a personal risk in new-business building. When the new-business builders fail, I have a dark spot. When they win, the company benefits.”
What’s your approach to ensure sustained stakeholder support for your ventures? Share your thoughts in the comments below and join the conversation.