Involving External Stakeholders in the Creation of Strategy and Business Plans
Stakeholders can include customers, suppliers, investors, or other parties who have an interest in the company’s success. Involving external stakeholders in the creation of strategy and business plans can be very beneficial. This involves bringing in individuals or groups from outside the company to provide input and feedback on the company’s strategic goals and business plans.
It can be helpful to involve customers in strategy creation and business planning to gather their input and feedback. This helps inform the development of a company’s strategic goals and operational goals. By involving customers, companies can gain valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points. This can help inform the development of products and services that better meet their needs. Additionally, involving customers in strategy and business plan creation can help to identify potential areas of improvement in a business’s operations or customer service.
Involving customers can also help to build stronger relationships with them, as they feel more invested in the company’s success. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy. The reason for this is because customers feel that their input is valued and that the company is truly listening to them.
By involving suppliers in the strategy creation process, companies can gain valuable insights into their capabilities, strengths, and areas for improvement. This can inform the development of a company’s strategic goals and plans. Additionally, involving suppliers in strategy creation can help build stronger relationships with them. This is because suppliers feel that the company is truly working with them
It also helps in understanding the supplier’s overall business strategy and how it aligns with the company’s. This can lead to more effective collaboration, better communication, and more efficient supply chain processes. It also helps to identify potential risks and opportunities related to the supply chain, thus providing a more holistic and robust strategy.
Involving investors in the creation of strategy and business plans can be beneficial for a business in several ways. It can help to gain access to additional capital. This is because investors may be more willing to invest in a business that they feel has a solid strategy and vision. Involving investors can also provide a business with valuable insights and perspectives. The reason for this is that investors often have experience and knowledge in a variety of industries and markets. Additionally, involving investors in strategy creation can help to align the interests of the business and its investors. This can lead to a more stable and successful business.
However, involving investors in strategy and business plan creation also has some potential drawbacks, as it may limit a business’s flexibility and autonomy. It can also lead to conflicts and disagreements. This can happen if the investors have different ideas or goals than the business’s management. To mitigate these risks, it’s important to have clear communication, expectations, and governance in place. This helps ensure that all parties are on the same page and working towards the same goals.
How to involve Suppliers and Stakeholders
There are several ways to involve stakeholders in the creation of strategy and business plans. The method used will depend on a number of factors. These include the type of information required, the access to stakeholders and the resources the business has available. Possible methods include the following:
- Surveys: Conducting surveys can provide valuable feedback from stakeholders on their needs, preferences and pain points. This can be done through online or paper surveys and can be distributed to customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
- Focus groups: Holding focus groups with stakeholders can provide in-depth insights into specific topics or issues. The two ways to hold them are in person or through virtual meetings.
- One-to-one interviews: Conducting one-to-one interviews with stakeholders can provide detailed feedback. Tailoring them to specific stakeholders helps obtain detailed and relevant information.
- Town hall meetings: Holding town hall meetings, webinars or other public forums can provide a platform for stakeholders to provide input and feedback on the company’s strategy.
- Social media: Utilising social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, to engage with stakeholders and gather input and feedback.
- Customer advisory board: Establishing a customer advisory board made up of key customers to provide input and feedback on the company’s strategy.
It’s important to keep in mind that involving stakeholders in the creation of strategy and business plans requires effective communication and engagement. The process should be transparent, consistent and inclusive, providing clear communication about the purpose, process, and outcome of the strategy creation. Additionally, regular updates and feedback loops should be established to keep stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the process.