Successful innovation projects always start with deep stakeholder insight

The Stakeholder insight is central in our Innovation Pathway. It will provide you the necessary clarity on your projects purpose and stakeholders from start of your project.

Whatever Innovation task you are given or are defining, then always start stating to which business area or theme it belongs to, and try to express the Mission for that business area. To help you express the Mission, seek the answer to the question: “What would the world be missing if this business area/project/initiative did not exist?”

Having the Business Area and the Mission, you are ready to start the very important search for, who are the Stakeholders of this Mission and which are their deep positive and negative interests in the Mission. It is in this early stage, you are creating the fundament for your success as Innovation Executive and/or Innovation Practitioner.

Identify your Customers and End-users as Stakeholders by use of the question: “Who will you do something special for?” But in our regulated companies and societies there will always be additional Stakeholders. Most of these Stakeholders will have a positive interest and are potential resources for adding valuable information and later on good support during the implementation.

As Innovation Executive or Practitioner you are proposing changes by your innovation projects. Changes create opponents. It is very important that you are aware of your opponents and include them in your Stakeholder overview. By proactively involving them, talking to them, taking their negative comments seriously in your project, you can move an opponent to become a supporter. This can in general sharpen your solution and documentation. It is my experience from a long life with innovation, that you will need as many supporters and as few opponents as possible, when you create a disruptive innovation.

Be aware, there will be opponents both inside and outside your company. They will work against you, when you have created an opportunity for change. Take in consideration that many wonderful innovations have been stopped or killed just before implementation, because a Negative Stakeholder has not been taken seriously at the right time.

The Stakeholder insight is created in respect for the importance of this early stage in all Innovation Projects. The Innovation Pathway includes Office templates to ease your way to a complete Stakeholder Overview. In this way the Stakeholder Overview easily can be updated during all phases of your Innovation Project.

The attached video is a SkillBuilder element of our courses in Learn From Innovators. In the video Troels Keldmann gives you our e-learning for Why? and How? to create an effective Stakeholder Overview.

Erik Keldmann

May 7, 2016
© Keldmann Innovation A/S