This case describes how a global medical device company developed and implemented a state-of-the-art stakeholder engagement approach to tackle one of its important risks while expanding: its communication.

Rapid Expansion Requires State-of-the-Art Stakeholder Engagement

MedDevCo was embarking on an aggressive regional growth plan expanding number of markets served from 8 to 16, and growing number of employees six times within only 4 years. Senior Leadership knew it was facing one internal organizational risk that needed to be addressed upfront if the growth was to be successful – its communications.

Communications had not worked well for a while and people across the organization had expressed concerns and dissatisfaction with the level of information received and the formats used. The current malfunctions could result the growth journey in a messy nightmare if not fixed in time.

This is where they contacted Innovisor for help on building state-of-the-art stakeholder engagement while expanding rapidly.

Challenge: Rapid Expansion Require State-of-the-Art Stakeholder Engagement

It was due time for a different communications approach. Designed according to people’s preferences for human connection and communication. Once designed, the new communication approach had to be rolled out as fast and smoothly as possible across MedDevCo. Immediate traction was of essence.

Office spaces were already scouted for in the new markets. Senior Leadership had no time to waste! The question was what to do?

Engage 4 Crucial Stakeholder Groups for Success

Together with MedDevCo Innovisor established four crucial stakeholder groups to engage in the design and roll-out, if the new communication approach was to be successful across the growing organization.

Group 1: Engage Allies in Design of New Communications Approach

Innovisor identified Allies for the new Communications Approach. Employees from across the MedDevCo, who supported the requirement for a new communications approach, who possessed the right skills and had time to invest.

The allies proved to the perfect participants in focus groups and workshops aimed at designing more human organizational communication channels, understanding desired content and timings. This was done by country as each market had unique preferences of communications due to its market maturity. This already secured the initial traction.

Group 2: Engage the 3% of Employees that Shape the Commitment of MedDevCo

Innovisor identified the 3% of employees that shaped 84% of the total workforce. These employees were the trusted and sympathetic colleagues that others sought out to make sense of what was going in the rapidly growing organization. (NB! 84% is a bit less than the Innovisor benchmark. Hence, less network spillover effects could be expected and MedDevCo needed more time & resources to get traction).

The 3% was engaged as the ‘voice of the people’. A forum was built for them, where their input was shared and listened to. The ‘voice of the people’ acted as the company’s sounding-board and provided invaluable feedback on the current climate and concerns on the ground as the expansion gained speed. Over time their commitment was tracked frequently with the Innovisor Change Tracker© and corrective actions taken where needed. This had a great impact every single time resistance started to build up.

One example of this was that employees in one market felt increasingly negative about the lack of two-way communication. Corrective and targeted actions were taken immediately. The ‘voice of the people’ was not only listened to; the company also integrated their input in their new communications and showed visibly that their input mattered. This build trust fast!

Group 3: Sense Makers to Accelerate Integration of New Employees

Finally, Innovisor identified the Sense Makers in the informal organization of MedDevCo. These were the go-to-people, when employees wanted to make sense of what was going on in the organization. As the company accelerated its incredible growth it became more and more important to connect newcomers into the informal networks to keep time-to-value add as low as possible.

The sense makers were paired with newcomers in a mentoring relationship, and quickly proved to be the ideal people for fast integration.

Group 4: Senior Leadership Gets Personally Involved

Together with its employees MedDevCo now had created an excellent foundation for its growth.

The final group to engage was Senior Leadership. The employees had expressed a desire for more social gatherings, where they could interact and connect to Senior Leadership as humans on a more informal level. Not via the classic digital enterprise social network tools and personalized apps.
Consequently, Senior Leadership decided not to outsource the interactions with the three stakeholder groups. They got personally involved and spent time in 1-on-1s and small sounding board sessions to listen to and discuss the current issues and what could be done. They also prioritized being present at most social gatherings in and outside work.

The employees felt engaged, listened to, and trusted that Senior Leadership wanted to make a real effort to improve.

This is how a state-of-the-art stakeholder engagement helps this MedDevCo company through a rapid expansion

Author: Sanne Qvarfordh

Case written by

Sanne Qvarfordh

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