By Heyden Enochson
Great Strategy Doesn’t Omit Feedback

Successful organizational leaders have vision for the future and a roadmap to achieve it. It’s important to guide your organization as a leader, but what happens if your stakeholder feedback conflicts with your personal insight and beliefs?

While in the face of stakeholder views that contradict your own, it’s important to take a step back to objectively assess the situation. You both have skin in the game, so the input you both provide needs to be considered in the strategic decisions you make. Ultimately, those decisions affect the performance of your organization.

Stakeholder feedback, especially when it feels critical, can be challenging – but collecting, analyzing, and acting on it is the key to success. Here are three simple ways to make sure stakeholder feedback is reflected in your strategic decisions:

  1. Actually Listen – Depending on the forum in which you collect your stakeholder feedback, take the time to actually tune into what is being said. Partially listening or half-attention can cause you to miss the point or not understand its context.
  2. Avoid Back Room Deals and Decisions – It goes without saying, but do your best to avoid making decisions or judgments until you’ve truly collected and analyzed feedback. Back room management meetings and predetermined decisions are detrimental to your strategy.
  3. Find the Balance – There’s a difference between leading with conviction and forcing your viewpoint. When developing strategy, find a balance between your views as a leader and the views of your other stakeholders. The best strategies are the ones designed to address the issues and feedback from people at all levels of your organization.

As tempting as it may be to discredit or simply omit the stakeholder feedback you receive, it will cause your organization to implode. A strategic direction based on a narrow field of vision is one that won’t hold up once in play. Give your organization’s strategy the best chance of success by including stakeholder feedback; but more importantly, solidify yourself as a respected leader by doing so.