The Appleton Greene Corporate Training Program (CTP) for Stakeholder Optimization is provided by Ms. Penterman MBA BA Certified Learning Provider (CLP). Program Specifications: Monthly cost USD$2,500.00; Monthly Workshops 6 hours; Monthly Support 4 hours; Program Duration 12 months; Program orders subject to ongoing availability.
Ms Penterman is a nonprofit leader and entrepreneur. She has experience in engagement strategies, organizational leadership, and business structure. She has achieved a Master in Business and Bachelors in Performance. She has industry experience in the following sectors: Healthcare; Entertainment; Construction; Hospitality; Non-Profit; Music. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, and Great Britain, specifically in the following cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Naples, Florida. Her personal achievements include: growing $400k business to over $12M; implementing financial management control and processes; founder and CEO of 3 businesses, developing 3 distinct lines of service; development and implementation of board restructuring and development training programs; facilitated and managed strategic planning with 2 national organizations; restructuring of organizational departments and staffing that improved communication and workflow; secured millions in grant funding for non-profit and for profit organizations. Her service skills incorporate organizational strategy; stakeholder engagement; team building; board development; collaborative evaluation and project management.
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Stakeholder Optimization is a process by which those who have a particular stake or interest in the outcome of a project or strategy are engaged. A company does not exist in isolation. It exists within a “political” environment populated by all those who have a particular stake or interest in that company. Key leadership and management can build support and avoid negative consequences by utilizing Stakeholder Optimization to establish a systematic process for stakeholder involvement, projecting the right questions to the right people, at the right time. The Stakeholder Optimization plan establishes a ranking system to calibrate interests on a sliding scale in order to optimize the value of feedback from all involved. It strikes the right balance between stakeholder involvement and isolation of the project from external influences in order to achieve delivery on cost and time, while maximizing the benefit for the company and stakeholders. Whether in market research, exploratory panels, employee engagement, or stakeholder consultation – new dimensions of insight and creativity are revealed when people collaborate in generating ideas and making decisions, resulting in long term sustainability, productivity and alignment.
The term Stakeholder is generally defined as individuals or organizations who are involved in or whose interests are positively or negatively affected by the result of a task, initiative, or project.
Stakeholders can represent significant risk to a company. They have the majority of the power to influence the outcome of any decision made in a company and are essential to a company’s success or failure. Most projects fail because the interests and needs of stakeholders were not solicited or given adequate consideration. Knowing that stakeholders have the power to negatively affect a project, makes it imperative for a company to have a Stakeholder Optimization plan in place to identify their needs and engage with them in a systematic and sustainable way. Pressure from stakeholders generates change and change increases the complexity of the management task, therefore it is essential to establish a culture of Stakeholder Optimization throughout the company. Bespoke Stakeholder Optimization will accelerate business improvements, mitigate risk, and create a shared vision amongst key influencers.
However, developing a Stakeholder Optimization plan takes effort, planning, organization and a clear communications plan. The first step is stakeholder analysis. This will likely vary frequently over time depending on the project or initiative. A systematic process to continually identify and engage stakeholders is important to ensure you are evolving your plan to warrant continuing success and sustainability. Case studies have shown there are key success factors which must be addressed in order to ensure effective management of stakeholders. During our project process, we will address each to these to establish a business process which has the ability to collaborate, integrate and coordinate within all levels of the company.
There are broadly two groups to stakeholders, those internal and those external to the organization. Those most recognized are the external stakeholders, however the management of internal stakeholders is equally, if not more important. An internal stakeholder may be responsible for juggling a range of different expectations within the organization and as a result may be subject to multiple influences which could positively or negatively affect the outcome. External stakeholders are likely to be impacted by any changes. They could benefit, therefore would be supportive and positive about the change; conversely the change may damage their interests, or they may perceive it to be a negative outcome for them so may seek to stop it or project it in a bad light. One of the key challenges with stakeholder management is the vast number of people involved and understanding their level of power or interest and how it may impact the company. The Stakeholder Optimization plan will help you develop consistent, comprehensive principles for stakeholder lifecycle management, creating and supporting an ongoing, trusted relationship with stakeholders.
Not all stakeholders in a particular group will necessarily share the same concerns or have unified opinions or priorities. Therefore, the first step in the process is identification, determining who your stakeholders are, and establishing their key group or sub-group.
In this section we will do a more in-depth analysis to review stakeholder group interests, how they potentially could affect and to what degree. We will also determine what influence they might have on the project. By categorizing stakeholders, you can determine which to spend the most time and least effort on.
This systematic approach will start to delineate the geographic sphere of influence. The mapping analysis will establish and articulate the area of influence and determine who might be affected and in what way. For larger projects with different phases to their development, mapping both the near term and the future phases may assist the company to identify the potential cumulative impact on stakeholder groups that might not have been evident by just looking at the immediate project.
It is not practical, and usually not necessary, to engage with all stakeholder groups with the same level of intensity. We will develop a strategy regarding who we are engaging with and why, determining the most appropriate way to engage. Our analysis will inform this prioritization by assessing the significance to each stakeholder group. It is important to keep in mind that the system is dynamic and that stakeholders and their interest might change over time.
Client communication is complex. The bigger the project, the more layers of decision-making you have to wade through. The plan must specify not only what, when and how each stakeholder will be engaged, but also determine what information is shared with each, as well as what information you are seeking. The communications plan will have three separate levels: Organization-wide, Project-specific and Stakeholder-specific. The goal is to go from broad to highly concentrated.
Communication is the foundation of a successful project. Clear and concise messaging is imperative. Stakeholders have a vested interest in the company’s performance. The increase in social media makes it easy for misinformation and dissatisfaction to quickly damage a company’s reputation. Messaging must be consistent and must be as up to date as possible to create a positive experience for all stakeholders, both internal and external.
Identifying stakeholder managers and consulting with and through them is an efficient way to disseminate and receive pertinent information. When determining representatives there are a number of factors to consider. The act of establishing certain people as the “representative” between stakeholders and the company confers upon them a certain degree of power and influence. Initially, the company will need to ensure that these individuals are true advocates of the views of the company and can knowledgeably communicate about the project. We will develop training materials for managers, data collection representatives and analysts.
One of our first steps is to define the purpose of the analysis and identify users of the results to devise a plan for using the information. This will serve several purposes: to provide input from other analysts, to inform the development of action plans, to increase support for the project, or to inform strategic planning and institutional assessments. Policymakers and managers may use the results of the analysis to develop their individualized action plans.
Monitoring and Identifying Issues
The effectiveness of the communication plan and its internal structure should be tracked at regular intervals. The process is likely to identify issues that will need monitoring and managing. Issues will be recorded as they are identified during the process. Issues are then categorized and weighted so they can be addressed quickly and effectively.
Reports play several roles in the Stakeholder Optimization lifecycle. All reports must give a clear and concise picture of the information that is being reported, as well as structured to meet the needs of the intended recipient. The different types of reports include status report, progress report, trend report, forecasting report and lessons learned report.
Replicating and Institutionalizing
Maintaining an institutionalized structured initiative to formalize stakeholder dialogue is not an easy process. It is common for stakeholder communications to wind down after the initial phases. However, some stakeholder communications must be set-up as “sustainable structures” to ensure a continuing stakeholder communication system.
Effective, ongoing stakeholder participation translates stakeholder needs into organizational goals and creates the basis for effective strategic development. It ensures that an organization has greater clarity and a shared vision amongst its key influencers. Vigorous engagement adds insight into the operating environment, the marketplace, trends and growth opportunities. It enables a company to leverage the dialogue experience, using it to inform other processes and projects.
Stakeholder Optimization – Part 1- Year 1
- Part 1 Month 1 Goals, purpose, objectives
- Part 1 Month 2 Structure and Process
- Part 1 Month 3 Data Collection Methodologies
- Part 1 Month 4 Internal Stakeholder Analysis
- Part 1 Month 5 Communication Plan – Internal
- Part 1 Month 6 External Stakeholder Analysis
- Part 1 Month 7 Communication Plan – External
- Part 1 Month 8 Documentation and Reporting
- Part 1 Month 9 Implementation and Evaluating
- Part 1 Month 10 Presentation
- Part 1 Month 11 Building and Formalizing
- Part 1 Month 12 Institutionalizing and Replicating
The following list represents the Key Program Objectives (KPO) for the Appleton Greene Stakeholder Optimization corporate training program.
Stakeholder Optimization – Part 1- Year 1
Part 1 – Month 1: Goals, purpose, objectives
The objective in the first workshop is to establish a thorough understanding of current company processes, initiatives, team member roles and responsibilities as it relates to internal and external communication with stakeholders. This includes, but is not limited to human resources, customer service, information technology, management, marketing, e-business, sales and production. The goal is to reach a clear understanding of the company’s perception of its internal and external stakeholders and established processes communication models.
Once understanding has been established, we will determine the ultimate goal, purpose and objectives for the information that will be ascertained. There are many ways to utilized stakeholder engagement. Certain decisions made by the organization will affect who is to be engaged and the methodology for engagement. Setting the communications objectives in one of the most important first steps.
Information generated from stakeholders may serve several purposes:
• Provide input for other analyses
• Inform the development of action plans
• Create support for the program
• Guide a consensus-building process
• Inform strategic planning or institutional assessment
Part 1 – Month 2: Structure and Process
The objective of this module is to determine the structure and personnel of the management team. establish their roles and an understanding of the purpose of the management team and how the team members will work together. The management team should represent distinct interests and departments to provide appropriate points of view and analysis. They should be able to quantify and qualify the impact on on-going operations and inform effective and efficient methodologies. The group should also include a “neutral” person who can provide an organizational perspective. This way all working group members should be able to review and synthesize procedures within the process.
During this module, we will determine the team structure, operations, personnel requirements, messaging protocols and stakeholder identification criteria. We will apply a systematic approach to identifying affected stakeholders based on the determinations from workshop #1. We will ascertain the project’s area of influence both internally and externally. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies. Key questions must be answered in the process of identification.
These include, but are not limited to:
• Who will be affected by an endeavour and can influence it who are directly involved or indirectly in the work?
• In the private sector, who are affected by any action taken by an organization?
• Who has an interest in an organization’s success or failure?
Key questions must be determined in order to establish the criteria for stakeholder identification.
Part 1 – Month 3: Data Collection Methodologies
Data collection is defined as the procedure of collecting, measuring and analyzing accurate insight for research using standard validated techniques. A hypothesis can be best evaluated based on collected data. The role of data collection is necessary for practically any project, however the approach to data collection is different for different groups of study. Different data collections methods need to be identified and adapted based on the ultimate goal for each stakeholder group. The most critical objective of data collection is to ensure the information is collected in such a way as to ensure the rich and reliable information enables data-driven decisions. A wide range of methods and approaches to engage internal stakeholder exists and the choice significantly depends on the participants context and desired results. There are positives and negatives for each collection method, therefore a clear understanding of the methodology, impact, quality of results and issues must be established in order to determine the most effective to meet criteria and objectives. Collection methods can include:
• One-on-one interviews
• Focus groups
• Online, phone, mail surveys
• Passive observation
Once the categorization and quantification has been completed, the team will need to establish its engagement strategy methodologies. It is not practical, and usually not necessary, to engage with all stakeholder groups with the same level of intensity. We will develop a strategy regarding who we are engaging with and why, determining the most appropriate way to engage. The power grid will inform this prioritization by assessing the significance to each stakeholder group. It is important to keep in mind that the system is dynamic and that stakeholders and their interest might change over time.
Part 1 – Month 4: Internal Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis is extremely important to the success of optimization, whether internal or external. Internal stakeholders, like employees, know the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and have a first-hand knowledge of what it will take to deliver, as well as wielding significant power over the success or failure of the endeavour. Each internal stakeholder has a different influence and role within the company; therefore, each will have unique interactions with each other and external stakeholders. This module will help to define and categorize internal stakeholders. We will investigate perspectives, motivations and expectations. Each category will have challenges and purposes for engagement which must be addressed in order to move forward. Internal stakeholders will include investors, board of directors, managers and employees. Many issues are due to lack of communication. Appropriate engagement must be based on the unique needs and expectations. Stakeholder analysis needs to include the impact or power of each to define the extent to which they are able to persuade, induce or coerce others into following a certain course of action. The power can be based on multiple sources, therefore multiple indicators need to be investigated. Authentic and effective engagement of key internal stakeholders must be based on understanding with an empathetic methodology.
Part 1 – Month 5: Communication Plan – Internal
Communication is the foundation of successful projects. In order to have effective stakeholder engagement you need to factor in the habits of multiple stakeholders and outline all their requirements. Stakeholder communication is complex. The key objective for this module is to develop a dialogue architecture, outlining the scopes, objectives and approach of the communication plan for internal stakeholders. Communication pathways need to be opened, creating dialogue channels. Participation mechanisms need to be created in order to involve stakeholders in different types of dialogue processes. Communicating the scope of the stakeholder engagement will clarify the project, the players affected by the project and the purpose and plan for the potential users of the information.
Who the stakeholders are, what their positions are related to the program, how important they are, and so forth, largely depends on building consensus around the informational analysis of the purpose and usage of resulting information. All communication objectives must clearly support the organization in achieving its stated goals. It is important to clearly understand what it needs to achieve with stakeholder engagement. Goals, purpose and objectives will determine the criteria for identifying stakeholders and the guidelines for creating the internal and external stakeholder lists.
There are three primary objectives in stakeholder communication strategy; ensure all people or entities affected by the project are aware of and clearly understand the project, establish a culture of trust by soliciting input and acknowledging concerns or issues, and ensure alignment throughout the organization relating to the stakeholder engagement initiatives. All communication objectives must clearly support your organization in achieving its stated goals. Clear objectives about where your organization is going and what it needs to achieve through the SOI, will assist in determine the needs of internal communication activities.
Part 1 – Month 6: External Stakeholder Analysis
External stakeholders will have a different perspective as to how its operations impact them. Resources, time and finances for the process will be limited, therefore the stakeholders to be interviewed must be prioritized. The working team may want to involve “experts” who have ex