Facing rejection from stakeholders can be disheartening. It is particularly frustrating when you put forward a strong proposal. But,
mastering Human-Centered Strategies is the key to get past the rejection.


An executive I know was worried she’d lose her job.  Here’s what happened:

  • Her major recommendation was ignored
  • The CEO was losing confidence in her
  • Her projects were stuck

She and her team had prepared a logical business case.  It should have been approved as there was strong upside for the whole business in comparison with the relatively low investment required.

Here are some factors that may have impacted their decision:

  • Their margins down
  • Budgetary pressure on spend
  • Concerns about customer confidence

But when I spoke with her, we both realized that it was not external factors that drove the decision.

Her recommendations were unpopular.

She was convinced they were right for the business, but her peers, CEO and the Board were not listening. In our discussions, we realized that no matter how technically sound the business case was, her stakeholders were not interested in recommendations made by HER.

So instead, I guided her to take a more holistic, influential approach, using Human-Centered Strategy.  Now they are paying attention to her. And her recommendations are getting a 2nd look.

Want to learn the approach that is making people sit up and listen to her?

Want to learn how to navigate your culture to get traction and momentum on projects?

I cover this and other topics that will accelerate your projects in the Turbocharge membership, or in 1on1 mentoring. My live masterclasses are one hour express on Zoom each month, designed for busy people. Or catch the recordings in the membership hub.

For now, here are the top 3 tips that I shared with her….

3 tips to Handle Unpopular Recommendations

  1. Navigate the culture – does your style and project/change approach work in your culture?
  2. Read the room – does your style and project/change approach work with your stakeholders?
  3. Create a pull effect, so you don’t need to push so hard – how are you encouraging them to say “YES”?


Recent podcast on Business Transformation

In a recent podcast, host Erica D’Eramo from Two Piers in Boston MA, has a discussion with me to unravel the intricacies of successful business transformation. The discussion spans topics from change management to the pitfalls organizations often encounter and strategies for overcoming them. Listen here to the episode on Spotify or watch brief clips on my new YouTube channel.


Quote of the week

“We must identify culture to navigate it, not just to change it.” Lisa Carlin


Please forward this article to others who will benefit.

Keep turbocharging with human-centred strategy 😊🌱📈

PSS Not sure how to get your strategy unstuck, projects powering, and transformation turbocharged? I can help you.

  1. 🌱 For more ideas, playbooks, and to learn from others with similar challenges, join our Turbocharge community at the price of a coffee a day. Money back in 14 days if you’re not satisfied.
  2. 🌱🌱 Email me to book your 1on1 mentoring session to fast track your strategy execution.

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About Lisa Carlin

As a strategy execution specialist and scaleup mentor, Lisa works with ambitious digital leaders to turbocharge their transformation and business planning. Lisa’s clients have an independent sounding board and expert advice so they have absolute confidence they WILL ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. Lisa is Co-Founder and Director of FutureBuilders Group of organisational development specialists, and volunteers as Chair of the University of Cape Town Australia Trust. Her early career was with Accenture (South Africa) and McKinsey (USA).

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