© 2011 – Routledge
Much has been written about leadership and team building, but there are still major gaps in thinking and research about how to engage senior stakeholders in support of an organisation's projects. The central role of stakeholders in the successful delivery of organisational strategy is becoming increasingly recognised, as is the importance of developing a sponsor culture to support more collaborative practices within the organisation. Building, and managing, relationships with senior (upwards) stakeholders is essential for success. Advising Upwards brings together the ideas of experts in fields related to engaging senior stakeholders, such as risk management, decision-making, understanding cultural considerations, effective communication and other disciplines that may enhance the sustainable engagement of senior stakeholders. The starting point is an examination of the difficulties that senior managers face as they move through the ranks of an organisation from middle management to executive levels. Senior managers usually move up through the organisation on the basis of command and control management. Once in the executive ranks they must develop a more collaborative approach and adopt the principles of emotional intelligence (EQ) to succeed. Awareness of difficulties that senior stakeholders may face drives effective approaches for communication between the team and sponsors. Case studies and stories from experts illustrate practical, structured approaches that enable the teams to develop robust relationships with senior stakeholders will result in teams 'being heard', and support their 'being extraordinary' through innovative approaches to advising upwards.
'This is a well-crafted book that will be of great interest to practitioners, students and researchers. It is particularly salient for PM practitioners because they are the front-line people who have to deal with stakeholders including their sponsors. Students, at all levels, will gain a lot from this book, particularly those that are at the junior or middle level because the content of the book is so crucial to all kinds of post graduate degrees. It is intelligently written, well referenced in theoretical as well as practical terms, with a coherent theme of managing the sponsor and project owner. The choice of sections, 'Advancing the Fundamentals', 'The Effects of Culture' and 'Being Extraordinary' is a clever and valuable way to structure the book. Researchers will also find this a very good reference. I certainly will be recommending this as a high quality book for my Masters and Doctoral students and all of these are also practicing project managers and I feel that there is great value for them from that perspective. The authors of contributing chapters provide impressive and coherent content. I feel it strikes the right balance between being a book for practitioners as well as sound advancement of an important area. It should be broadly appealing to project managers, general management practitioners and technical specialists.' Derek H.T. Walker, RMIT University, and editor of The International Journal of Managing Projects in Business 'This book offers a wide range of thoughtful insights into the much under-rated skill of managing up. All too often, supply side problems are caused on the stakeholders' side and not necessarily by the suppliers. Understanding true stakeholder needs is the key to unlocking real business value.' Jonathan Dutton, FCIPS, Managing Director ,The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Australasia (CIPSA)
Contents: Preface; Introduction, Lynda Bourne; Part I Advancing the Fundamentals: Why is stakeholder relationship management so difficult?, Lynda Bourne; Enterprise risk management: managing uncertainty and minimising surprise, David Hillson; Conversations that engage: the challenge of advising senior managers, JÃ¼rgen Oschadleus; From commander to sponsor: building executive support for project success, Randall L. Englund and Alfonso Bucero. Part II The Effects of Culture: How groups shape information and decisions, Ruth Murray-Webster; East meets West: working with a Chinese boss, Soon Kheng Khor; The new new Confucian communications game: communicating with the NintendoÂ® generation, Robert Higgins; How to train your manager: a Darwinian perspective, S. Jonathan Whitty. Part III Being Extraordinary: Creative metaphor as a tool for stakeholder influence, Arthur Shelley; Intelligent disobedience: the art of saying 'no' to managers, Bob McGannon; Index.