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The Stay on Course Playbook, Accelerating the Future of Leadership Series (Part 4): Enterprise Mindset: Navigating the Landscape of Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Management

Julie Riga
CEO of Stay on Course
Executive Business & Leadership Coach, and MBA
New Jersey

Introduction to “The Stay on Course Playbook” Series Recap

“The Stay on Course Playbook” series is a transformative exploration of leadership excellence. In our initial phase, we delved into the significance of purpose, aligning personal and organizational goals, and translating vision into actionable objectives. Moving forward, we explored collaborative team strategies, emphasizing the creation of a shared vision, strategic planning, and leveraging diverse skills within the team. We then moved onto the operations playbook, where we focused on building effective processes, identifying team strengths, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Each phase has been a stepping stone. 

The enterprise mindset is our next steppingstone to organizational and professional success. It’s not just a mindset; it’s a blueprint for excellence, an approach that transcends narrow focus and embraces a panoramic, interconnected view. At the heart of this mindset lies the trinity of collaboration, innovation, and alignment with the overarching mission and strategy. In order to identify how we can take action on having an enterprise mindset we need to first get clear on who our stakeholders are and create plans as to how we will reach out to them individually and collectively. We will first review the importance of and practical steps to Stakeholder Management and Internal and External Communications. 

Stakeholder Management

Precision, Collaboration, and Strategic Alignment 

Navigating the landscape of professional relationships involves a vital tool known as stakeholder management. Stakeholder management is the deliberate approach of organizing, monitoring, and improving relationships by identifying stakeholders, understanding their needs, and planning engaging interactions. Now, armed with this definition, let’s explore the different facets of how to craft a stakeholder management plan.

How do you Zoom?

Zooming In (People Below You): Delve into the details of individual stakeholders, such as team members, subordinates, or suppliers. Understand their specific needs, goals, and challenges.

Zooming Out (People Around You): Shift focus to a broader perspective, considering stakeholders at the same hierarchical level, such as colleagues, peers, and departments. Identify common objectives and areas of collaboration.

Zooming Up (People Above You): Elevate your view to higher-level stakeholders, like superiors, executives, or shareholders. Comprehend their strategic goals and align your efforts with the overall organizational vision.

Eye on External Stakeholders: Extend your scope beyond internal stakeholders. Include external parties, such as customers, regulators, or community members. Their impact on your project or organization is significant.

In essence, this comprehensive stakeholder management plan is a dynamic playbook evolving with the organization, recognizing stakeholders as active participants in the pursuit of success. As we zoom in, out, and up, we’re not merely managing; we’re fostering relationships, cultivating collaboration, and aligning with a vision that transcends individual interests for the collective triumph of the organization.

Stakeholder Management Plan

The Stakeholder Management Plan for your team should be a shared responsibility. The amount of touch points you need with each stakeholder can be divided or one person can manage it. It is time worth spent building these strategic relationships and as you go into higher levels of leadership it becomes more and more important. 

Add the components of the stakeholder plan – how you reach out and ensure there is a feedback loop with follow-up for the actions. 

A robust Stakeholder Management Plan includes key components to ensure effective engagement. This entails capturing stakeholder details, including their name and photo if available, outlining clear objectives for interactions, specifying the outreach method (e.g., scheduled meetings, townhall sessions), establishing a frequency for catch-ups, and defining a structured follow-up process for action items identified during meetings.

Once this plan is in place it should be shared with your team to see if there are other people that your team members are meeting with. It is good to review this plan on a regular basis and keep it updated in a shared location so that if there are any actions to review every team member knows what is going on. 

Internal and External Communications

Internal communication involves the exchange of information within an organization, fostering unity, trust, and conveying the company’s culture. This includes tools like team sharing platforms, internal websites, messaging tools and events, creating a shared narrative among team members. External communication, on the other hand, is focused on external stakeholders, shaping the company’s public image through various channels like video, email, and podcasting.

These communication aspects play a pivotal role in the stakeholder management plan. Internally, they ensure that team members are well-informed, aligned with the company’s goals, and actively contribute to the organizational culture. Externally, effective communication helps manage stakeholder expectations, build trust, and shape a positive public perception. A well-crafted stakeholder management plan involves not only understanding the needs and expectations of internal and external stakeholders but also actively engaging with them through strategic communications.

This synergy between communication, stakeholder management, and the enterprise mindset is crucial. An enterprise mindset encourages a broad, interconnected view, emphasizing the importance of aligning internal and external communications to achieve overarching organizational goals. By fostering transparent and cohesive communication, individuals contribute to a culture where everyone understands their role, feels engaged, and actively participates in steering the company towards shared success.

Internal Communications

Cultivating Unity, Trust, and Vibrant Culture

Internal communication is the strategic process of sharing relevant information within an organization to facilitate optimal job performance and keep all members well-informed. It aims to ensure an effective flow of information among different departments and colleagues, fostering a shared understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives. The primary purpose is to enhance collaboration, align team members with the company’s mission, and contribute to a cohesive work environment. Internal communication serves as the lifeblood that sustains organizational unity and efficiency by keeping everyone in the loop and engaged.

This crucial practice involves a set of thoughtfully crafted processes to facilitate smooth information flow among team members. It’s not just about sharing facts and figures; it’s about building a common understanding, aligning everyone with the organization’s mission, and fostering genuine connections.

Internal communication plans are more than directives; they’re narratives that reflect the soul of the company. Imagine regular features highlighting your team’s successes, employee spotlights, and glimpses into the small victories that contribute to the larger story. 

External Communications

Crafting Trustworthiness in the Ecosystem

 External Communications takes the reins when it comes to engaging with the broader audience – think media, board members, affiliates, customers, and partners.

Creating a tailored communication plan for this external audience involves strategic decisions on message content, delivery methods, and channels of communication. Video, Email, Podcasting, Social Media and Events become the vehicles for sharing authentic narratives that transcend the corporate image.

Crafting a positive public persona isn’t just about broadcasting achievements; it’s about weaving a story of trustworthiness. A comprehensive external communication plan may encompass regular updates on corporate social responsibility initiatives, success stories aligned with organizational values, and a touch of humanity to humanize the corporate identity.

In essence, both internal and external communication plans go beyond mere strategies; they evolve into living documents that breathe life into our organizational identity. 

Embrace the Enterprise Mindset

In the real world of getting things done, the key is making sure everyone is on the same page. It’s about having a mindset that looks at the bigger picture, connecting the dots between what is said and how relationships are handled. 

Individuals who embrace an enterprise mindset go beyond just “doing their jobs” but are intentional about tier roles and thinking both broadly and innovatively, making a long-lasting impact in the ever-changing workplace.

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Julie Riga
Leadership Coach and Trainer at
Julie Riga is a certified ICF coach, trainer, speaker, and author with over 20 years of experience in the Pharma Industry. With a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master's Degree in Business, Julie's expertise lies in leadership, team dynamics, and organizational development. She excels in working with matrix organizations in highly regulated industries, forging authentic connections and orchestrating diverse resources into high-functioning teams that consistently deliver breakthrough results on time and under budget.

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