How often have you presented a new capability or idea knowing that some stakeholders are not in your corner?

It is rare to have all your stakeholders championing your success so a common challenge to address.

During a coaching session this week, a client shared his clever hack which I thought would be useful to you also.

When showcasing a new product or strategy Fred leverages his winners to persuade his losers so he doesn’t have to. Let me explain the situation and then the solution.

The situation …

Imagine you are ready to showcase a new platform that your team has prioritised developing over the past six months. This platform underpins features for a host of other use cases.

In prioritising this platform, other projects have been necessarily delayed. This was the right decision given the risk of rework on other projects if they were built without leveraging this new foundational platform.

So, in the room you have winners and losers: Those who are excited about the prospect of the new features they can now access and those who have been delayed.

The solution …

Fred said that he deliberately invites both winners and losers to the showcase so long as the losers are not overwhelming in number or volume. This has a number of benefits. It

  • helps the losers have a better sense of perspective. The winners help them see that they or their own priorities have not been ignored, but rather ‘taken one for the greater good’.
  • means the losers are persuaded by their peers, rather than by him. Their peers are likely to have more credibility as Fred is the one who made the decision they didn’t like.
  • reduces the need for him to go one by one to showcase his product or strategy to either group.

I thought that was a clever hack and that it might help you also.

More next week.