Individual Reflection: Stakeholder Support for Innovative Ideas
Truly innovative ideas are often met with resistance. Consider the large number of record labels and musicians who were initially opposed to the idea of selling digital music rather than physical CDs. Many record labels feared copyright violations or thought that no effective and reliable distribution method could be established, while many artists worried that the low price of digital music files would hurt their income. Ultimately, this resistance was overruled as the digital music revolution proved profitable and pushed musicians, labels, and consumers to adapt to the new ways music could be accessed, distributed, and purchased. How do you think the early years of digital music distribution might have gone differently if all the stakeholders in the music industry supported the innovation? This week’s Individual Reflection will help you examine the influence of stakeholder support on innovative ideas.
For this Individual Reflection, identify a plan that you would like to implement within the next few months. Perhaps you are working on a plan toward achieving a goal in your personal or professional life, or maybe there is another, more short-term goal that you need a bit of extra help to achieve. Whether it is within the workplace or a personal area, consider how an innovation might span more than one department, function, or group. Consider your stakeholders as an Innovative Team. There will be stakeholders who seem willing to support your plan, are neutral to your plan, and a few who might be resistant to or against your plan.
Note: Consider the rubric and the expectations for exemplary work for this and all of your course assignments. Often, an exemplary level of work is considered innovative in the workplace. Using this mindset, complete the aspects of this Individual Reflection as if you are preparing a stakeholder report for a leader at your company (or a company with which you are familiar), a mentor, or a community leader.
In the solution development stage of the creative process, you will be taking your time to analyze and test several alternative solutions. You will be adjusting and analyzing potential solutions, all the while moving your team toward convergence. Using the text, consider Chapters 20 and 21 that includes the POINt tool and the Stakeholder Analysis tool (Applegate) which provide ideas and techniques to devise creative solutions. Also consider Long (2010) who emphasizes the importance of engaging stakeholders in meaningful ways to achieve project goals.
By Day 7, submit your Individual Reflection in which you describe the plan that you would like to implement, including:
- Your list of the stakeholders whose approval/support will be necessary for your success. Take the time to ensure your list of stakeholders is as complete as possible.
- Considering the various stakeholder perspectives, identify what is important to each of the stakeholders on your list.
- Your assessment of the risks to your plan and impact of stakeholders with different goals and interests. Explain how you might manage the impact and address any risks that emerge.
- The specific details of the strategy, or strategies, you will use to align stakeholder interests in your plan, with your rationale as to why you think these will be successful based on your analysis of stakeholder perceptions and interests. (Hint: Strategies can include team-building exercises, conflict resolution methods, partnering, change management, best practices, etc. You will need to provide details to support your selected strategy or strategies.)
Guidance on Assignment Length: Your Week 4 Individual Reflection assignment should be 23 pages (11.5 pages if single spaced), excluding a title page and references.