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Solving Problems: Getting Stakeholder Input

People like to be valued. Surveying stakeholders is a great way to increase participation and get buy-in — especially when a big change is coming. When you ask for their input, you acknowledge the importance of their work, you acknowledge their ideas, and their opinions. You’ll see the big picture — the whole problem — not just what you can see from your own perspective.

Get an insight

As the saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” It’s no different in business. But getting stakeholder buy-in is especially important when things are changing.

When people have long tenure or there’s great pride in the company’s history, asking their opinion can give you insight into how to solve a problem.

Find what is and is not wrong

Here are some best practices for communication to get stakeholders to provide input into a problem. First, ask questions about what is — and what isn’t — working. For example, “what’s going wrong?” “What’s your biggest headache?” “If you were to start over, what would you change?”

You also want to get an idea of what stakeholders see as the ideal state. Ask them, “What would things look like in a perfect world?”