Technical project teams arrive at the most amazing client solutions. However, no matter how brilliant the solution proposed, there is stakeholder pushback from the other side of the organizational table.
Which leaves many a project team incredulous that key internal stakeholders just do not “get it.” And also, leaves project team members feeling defeated and unappreciated. Talk about negative employee experience.
Well, it just could be that the folks sitting on the other side of the business table really do not get the gist of what is being proposed. Talk about negative stakeholder experience. Here’s why.
Technical project teams propose solutions with outcomes that stop, just at the point they should continue for organizational relevance.
This post reflects a snippet from discussion from a recent workshop I gave on the power of storytelling for stakeholder buy-in.
As an engineering or technology professional, our projects focus on reacting to and fixing issues after they have occurred. Or, eliminating waste, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency, moving forward.
That scope describes the business case for project support by both technical, as well as non-technical, stakeholders. However, these factors are yesterday’s table stakes, not today’s key drivers of differentiation. Rather than telling a story, proposing projects conforms to narrating a business case for project support: justification of an investment in anticipation of the benefit of our tools, products and services.
Stakeholder pushback, especially from non-technical stakeholders on our cross-functional and cross-educational teams, reflects a huge disconnect.
First, project teams assume that non-technical stakeholders understand the terminology they use. Not only that. Also, project teams assume that non-technical stakeholders also use the same logic system when arriving at conclusions. Especially conclusions impacting whether they will support projects, or not.
When project teams marginalize stakeholders, stakeholders have only one decision to make.
They push back and are resistant to moving forward with the proposed project. Because these stakeholders and decision makers feel marginalized from technical and engineering conversations.
When internal stakeholders, as well as our customers, do not understand what we are saying, they cannot understand what we can do with them and for them. Then, everyone is impacted, including our customers. Talk about negative customer experiences because of less-than amazing client-focused project outcomes.
It does not have to be that way, anymore.
Instead of perpetuating cross-cultural team dynamics which result in a stakeholder impasse, instead of buy-in, learn how to tell stories. Instead of relying on use cases or business cases to connect stakeholder dots.
Consider the enduring value of looking forward to creating a culture of stakeholder buy-in, instead of perpetuating the status quo. How does storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers fit into not only your professional trajectory, but also your organization’s human capital strategy?
Storytelling is the key to productive and profitable convergence and collaboration.
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Babette Ten Haken‘s One Millimeter Mindset™ Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs are created for organizations and associations who want to catalyze stakeholder success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, paygrades and levels of education. Her programs are forged from her background as a STEM professional in clinical research, new product development, market research and sales. Find out more right here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
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