Susan Gleckner There's no information strategy without stakeholder engagement
Jinfo Blog

Wednesday, 1st December 2021

By Susan Gleckner

Abstract

Running an information service is, it’s been said, primarily a sales job – a constant drive to sell the value that information strategy provides to your organisation. Stakeholder engagement is vital: you need to understand what stakeholders need, and implement a strategy to make it happen. Let Jinfo help you master the approach you need to move the relationship in the right direction.


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At Jinfo, we’re concentrating on helping clients with information strategy (as announced here), which means daily conversations to gauge current needs, priorities and capacity for 2022, not to mention budgets and timing.

During one of these conversations, the client made this comment:

"Running an information service is primarily a sales job."

We couldn't agree more. 

We often refer to information services as "captive consultancies", in which your senior-level stakeholders are your customers and prospects. To design and deliver services they value, you need to do two things:

  • Understand what they want and need
  • Implement a strategy of regular two-way communication.

Stakeholder engagement is always part of our work with clients, and it always includes these elements:

  • Map your stakeholders: Do you know who they are, their relative importance to the health of your captive consultancy, and how well they understand your value?

  • Research their interests: What business outcomes are they looking for? More bluntly, what does their annual performance review depend on?

  • Learn their vocabulary: What terms do they use to describe their business strategy? What key performance indicators are they using to measure success? You need to use the same terms and relate your work to their KPIs.

  • Manage the relationships: Decide what you want the relationship with a given stakeholder to look like in 6 months or 12 months. Then create your strategy to move the relationship in that direction.

How you do these things depends on your specific environment, resources and priorities.

Let Jinfo help you select and master the approaches that best suit your goals and capacity:

  • Contact me at susan.gleckner@jinfo.com (or reach out to our Director of Research via this form) and I will help you select and master the approaches that best suit your goals and capacity.

  • Join our February 2022 Community session, "Stakeholder engagement strategy – tips and tools". You'll get a short demo of the simple CRM one Jinfo client created for managing these key relationships, as well as a host of other practical ideas.

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