The market is tough. Pursuing growth is on everyone’s mind. Identifying new
ways to increase revenue and profit often relies on engaging the
right people. They can provide an enormous amount of helpful
information and guidance. Here’s some guidance for finding these folks.
First, identify your core
constituencies – these are the groups that must be on board in order for you
to succeed. You will have (a) internal
core constituencies, those inside your organization whose dedication
and best effort is required for success, and (b) external core constituencies, those
who reside outside your organization.
Here is a list of fourteen additional categories to consider when you
are looking for the right people:
- Political leaders
more than those who hold office – here is anyone who has power that
influences your outcome.
are being formally adopted that impact your business, you must remain
in the loop. Opportunity often arises simply from understanding the
nuances and exceptions of new rules.
- Resource providers
furnishing time, money, energy, people? These are the fuels that fund
growth. Those that control them are in a position to release or
withdraw necessary assets.
Just as often
these people are outside the chain of command as within it. Look for
those who hold sway over
others regardless of position.
- Thought leaders
people who are looked to for their expertise in a particular field
germane to your program. They are commonly recognized for their deep
knowledge, extensive experience, or both.
- Technical experts
recognized or followed, these are the people who genuinely have the
know-how: they are specialists in the industry, domain, or technical
- Researchers and
conduct and gather findings and those who document relevant knowledge
can bring exceptional contributions. Ignoring them can result in the
ignorance that sabotages success.
- Practical visionaries
These are the
people who make innovation happen. Their heads are in the clouds and
their feet are on the ground. They see far, and they know how to
implement and deliver results regularly.
- Frontline executers
These are the
folks at the coal face. They are in the trenches and carry out
day-to-day work. Their expertise comes directly from experience. They
are firsthand sources.
collaboratively to make business happen. They are usually in a
reciprocal relationship with you, co-designing and even co-executing.
If your work changes, theirs will as well. Without their support your
efforts will encounter additional and sometimes substantial obstacles.
other groups or agencies that have common goals with your group and
have agreed to share resources in order to achieve a common set of
objectives. They often provide additional reach and leverage,
multiplying your results, as you do for them.
overlooked because their relationship is logistical or tactical,
suppliers are part of the nitty-gritty of execution and often must
change or shift business processes to enable your success.
sidestepped except by those who recognize the interdependence of
the marketplace, competitors can bring a lot to the table. In some
instances, they will even collaborate as long as your joint activity
does not directly threaten market share.
Here are three benefits detractors can bring to you:
educate you on your weaknesses. Then you can fortify
and bolster your position by addressing the areas they target.
2. Some will
convert and become staunch or partial supporters.
3. Simply by
associating with them, you will gain respect and build
All of these groups together form the web of relationships that will
yield and sustain your success in the market. As you identify
each of these categories, keep in mind that your list is dynamic.
People will drop off the list and others will join. Day in and day out,
there is turnover. Maintain your list, and make it a priority to
bring newcomers into the fold as they step onto the playing field.
Talking to the right people is not an adjunct to business, it is the
way to growth.