Aligning ideas and expectations is perhaps one of the most fluid and amorphous elements of managing all stakeholders involved in a business. Everyone has a different perspective; consequently, everyone interprets information differently. The potential for misunderstanding communication is enormous, especially given the increasingly compartmentalized nature of business operations.
Aligning expectations is a difficult task for executives and business leaders, especially when it comes to balancing the diverse and sometimes contradictory expectations of customers, employees, board members, and shareholders. Quite often these expectations can diverge considerably if they are not reviewed and re-calibrated constantly.
The key to setting expectations well is creating clarity. This involves building a culture of accountability to ensure the right information is provided at the right time, and keeping channels of communication open constantly. The former obviously does not occur overnight. It requires focus, leadership, and dedication. However, if executives can manage to build such a culture, they will discover that aligning expectations becomes rather simple because everyone is constantly aware of those around them. Creating constant communication allows individual stakeholders to voice their concerns, ideas, or approval. It helps everyone understand where the company is, where it is going, and why it is this way.
If a company can manage to unify expectations, then all of the stakeholders can unify together and move forward on the business strategy as one unit. Instead of fighting over elephants in the room, they can agree to pursue the same task and the same goals without looking to push their own agendas. Learn more about complete 9Lenses here.