I had the great opportunity to attend a Change Acceleration Process (CAP) training workshop a couple of months ago. Now I have the even better opportunity to put it into practice. That happens sometimes. You attend a workshop and then actually use what you learned at the workshop as part of your real job.
The situation. I am part of a four person team with an idea. Each of the four of us is passionate about the idea. No executive sponsor anywhere in sight. Even our line managers are not fully updated and certainly not on board. A classic ground up idea in a culture that prefers top down ideas. There is a lot of work to do, no budget, and we are not ready to pitch anything to anyone.
The CAP tool that I like the most right now is called a stakeholder analysis. We have a long list of stakeholders and a scale that indicates our impression of their reaction to our idea, if they knew about it. The other part of the scale is where we think they need to be, to support our idea so that it can be turned into an official program. I hope this does not sound too manipulative, but the stakeholder analysis is helping us to formulate tailored selling strategies for each of the stakeholders. Who prefers logic and who prefers emotion, who will get it immediately and who will need time to think it over. If another team had me on their stakeholder analysis, they would put me down as someone who wants a customer perspective and will listen carefully to give the idea a fair chance. I will formulate an opinion quickly. I will need some evidence to support the idea, but not too many details. Why do I like the stakeholder analysis tool so much? Because in the past that I have assumed that everyone is like me and that they will love my ideas. Whoops. What dumb mistakes! I know better now. Marketers have to sell and to sell you have to know who you are selling to and be willing to flex to their preferences.