Strong relationships are vital to successful business outcomes, however they are often undervalued or overlooked when commencing a project, or worse, existing relationships are either non-existent or not strategically relevant.
This happens a lot because we start off projects with very much an internal focus using existing processes, rather than seeking out alternatives which can potentially produce more effective and more successful ways of doing things.
What I’m asking is for you to stand back and look at how you’ve been doing things. Can you ask yourself was this the most effective way to conduct that piece of work, or could you have approached it from another perspective? Can you identify and connect with relevant people in your market and build relationships with them? Do you think it might make you more effective?
For example, you are working on a big project that will have a big impact on your business or in the public domain. You have a process that you’ve followed for years and it works OK, but it tends to be risky and dependent on one or two decision makers. You often find these decisions makers have their own ideas about what you should do and they try to influence that to the detriment of your project. This process takes a lot of time, budget and very patient negotiations.
The alternative is to work out who the key influencers are in this project space, the people who work in complementary sectors, community and industry stakeholders, thought leaders, members of Parliament and other relevant influential people. Seek them out, build relationships with them and ask them lots of questions before you do anything.
It sounds fluffy I know, but it works. It’s actually the proven methodology of the corporate affairs industry.
The aim is to be connected, visible and influential for the benefit of your business.
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