Strategic issue selling: is the process of winning the attention and support of top mgt and other important stakeholders for strategic issues. Since senior managers rarely have time to deal with all issues, strategic issues compete for top management attention. What gets to the top is not necessarily the most important issue though. Four aspects need to be considered in seeking attention:
- Issue packaging: strategic importance of the issues needs to be underlined, particularly by linking it to critical strategic goals or performance metrics for the organisation. Presentation of issue should be consistent with the cultural norms and clear and packaged with a potential solution.
- Formal or informal channels: formal channels such as annual business reviews that CEO carious out with divisional heads, annual strategy workshops of top teams, line interaction with operational mangers. They are not enough to sell strategic issues; informal are crucial and include ad hoc conversations with influential managers in corridors, journeys over meals..etc
- Sell alone or in coalitions: a coalition of influential supporters adds credibility, validity and weight to the issues. If other managers are un-persuaded then the CEO is unlikely to be persuaded either.
- Timing: managers should time their issue selling carefully, i.e if the organisation is facing a short term performance crisis then it is clearly not a good time.
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