We have spent the past few weeks discussing how to best manage inventory in order to improve the return on your investment. After all, inventory is an asset to your company despite its relative size and cost as compared to those which are deemed true assets of the organization (i.e. property, equipment).
What is difficult for many, however, is in how to engage stakeholders in support of the types of initiatives and improvements we have been discussing. Whether you are a business owner, Vice President, Manager, or an employee, engagement skills are a necessity if you are going to be successful.
Engagement is built on the premise of understanding and communicating how the change or improvement will benefit the other party, or in essence “what’s in it for them.” You likely remember Rodney Dangerfield’s famous saying,, “I get no respect.” Well, that is exactly what others feel if change is thrust upon them without first considering their needs (think about the last time you were dealt a change in which you had no voice or choice). So taking the time to understand what the positive outcomes might be for those you are engaging in your initiative or improvement is the first step in building engagement.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to determine what might be in the best interests of the other party:
1. What are some of the challenges the other individual is dealing with, and how might this change resolve these challenges?
2. How will the other individual be better off either personally and/or professionally as a result of supporting this change or initiative?
3. How might this initiative or change improve their existing workflow or overall efficiency, or effectiveness?
4. Will this improvement actually reduce their investment of time or energy? If so, how?
5. How might this change or improvement shift a greater degree of power to the other individual relative to controlling their own work and priorities?
Take some time this week to think about the changes and improvements that you are implementing as a result of our discussions (you are making improvements aren’t you?). Decide who you need to engage to be successful (employees, peers, suppliers), and answer the five questions above in order to determine, “What’s in it for them.” Next week we will discuss how to turn this knowledge into engaged and motivated stakeholders; stay tuned!