20181205 Aptitude Health Blog

Rising to Industry Challenges: Prove Yourself as a Vital Partner in Maintaining Stakeholder Relationships

Creative leadership is crucial for helping your company make moves toward innovation in an industry full of challenges, including healthcare reform, changes in technology, and consumer expectations. Aligning your organization’s goals with key stakeholders is more important than ever.

In nurturing stakeholder relationships that will help promote and introduce innovative practices, position yourself as creative—this will attract valuable stakeholders who can help navigate the changing pharma landscape.

Learn how to prove yourself as a vital partner to engage with leaders who are revolutionizing the pharma industry. This includes building and maintaining stakeholder relationships by catering to a specific set of competencies and facilitating industry leaders with resources that support innovation.

Critical Competencies for Success
A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership used a questionnaire to assess the core competencies vital to leadership success. These include

  • Strategic perspective – the ability to identify long-term aims and overall interests and how to achieve them is critical to approaching complex problems
  • Decisiveness – the capacity to assess actions and their consequences quickly
  • Change management – flexibility in choosing the right strategy, as well as the ability to facilitate changes that can benefit your organization
  • Collaboration – synergistic working relationships between stakeholders and industry professionals are key to building strong partnerships
  • Taking initiative – the ability to identify and capitalize on professional opportunities
  • Participative management – involves others, for example, by committing to mentorship positions and professional relationships that provide appropriate feedback channels
  • Self-awareness –the ability to view strengths and weaknesses accurately, and a willingness to improve and quickly master new knowledge or techniques

Continuous Collaboration Is Key for Lasting Stakeholder Relationships
The most important competency identified in the questionnaire was the ability to build collaborative relationships. Your company will pursue and engage stakeholders who are not necessarily beholden to you professionally, but who choose to get involved with your company. To sustain success effectively in a changing pharma environment, establish deep and true relationships with stakeholders who are valuable to your vision.

Collaboration depends on certain characteristics, including relatability, trust, and the capacity to solve problems internally or externally. A collaborative relationship does not come without nurturing, and ways to improve skills needed for effective collaboration center on developing performance standards and feedback processes, team-building exercises, and fostering a culture that embraces change and the notion of learning from experience.

Supply Stakeholders With Resources to Create Innovation
Along with the collaboration of competent stakeholders, the ability of a healthcare organization to furnish industry leaders with professional resources is crucial to its success. The primary ingredients in maintaining a fruitful stakeholder relationship are understanding what the stakeholder hopes to get out of the relationship, and providing them the support to create and innovate.

More often than not, stakeholders want certain experiences: to access specific clinical data, the opportunity to be involved with a trial design, or to contribute their perspective in developing a marketing campaign. To meet the expectations of high-quality stakeholders—and to position your company as a lucrative choice in partners—offer up exciting career opportunities and access to valuable resources.

Avoid Putting Stakeholders in a Functional Silo
Factors that can potentially derail a stakeholder relationship have also been identified. For high-quality stakeholders, this includes having too narrow a function. Stakeholders who find themselves in a functional silo struggle to achieve a more innovative perspective needed to keep up with industry challenges. While there is often pressure for key experts to focus on their areas—and while there are some professionals who like to stay within their comfort zones—the opportunity to live up to their broader potential is an experience most stakeholders crave.

Health organizations should recognize the potential pitfall of limiting a stakeholder’s function. When these health organizations offer—even encourage—a “zigzag” career path, it allows stakeholders to build different relationships and gain broader perspectives outside their own areas of expertise. Adaptability is not only a solution against derailment but also a requirement of collaboration, a competency critical to innovation.