4. Complex

decision-making with multiple stakeholders

How to get the different stakeholders’ buy-in

In her first assignment as Procurement Director at C-suite level, Elisabeth faced a complex decision-making dilemma: she needed to comply to different requirements requested by multiple stakeholders, which were not aligned, nor going into the same direction. Her first-year objective was to define a more consistent purchasing procedure covering the whole organization.

As it happens in many organizations, Purchase Office is an internal service provider for multiple stakeholders, which have different needs. Moreover, since the company entered in a budget restriction phase there were limited resources to accomplish this objective on a tight timeline. Elisabeth was facing a typical complex decision-making dilemma: how could she create a new purchasing process which complied with her multiple stakeholders’ requirements?

First of all, Elizabeth and her team drafted the existing purchasing process to assess what was working and what needed to be improved. With the support of her coach and her boss, Elizabeth come up with some ideas in order to make the process more efficient and cost effective.

During the coaching sessions, Elisabeth and the coach also prepared a plan with the advantages and disadvantages of the new process from each stakeholder’s point of view, to understand their possible reluctance. Finally, they worked on «communicating with influence» in order to «sell» internally Elizabeth’s new purchasing process. After only six months, Elizabeth could implement her plan with some adjustments and  successfully obtain her stakeholders’ buy-in.