Have you ever worked with a company or group of people who have an agenda, ask for your input, and then change their agenda based on the input you gave them? It feels pretty cool and definitely pumps up your feelings of value and importance. The resort industry uses this forum a lot when master planning. Resort officials will gather a group of 20 or so people who may vacation at their particular resort or are clearly stakeholders in the resort’s future. Officials actually share the existing master plan with the group and ask for feedback. They then take that feedback and adjust the plan to address the customer feedback. Have you ever tried this with your partners? How many times do you come up with a master plan of how you want to launch a new product or change a service that you offer and then simply execute that plan without asking for input from those who will actually use and implement it? It’s like throwing a dart while blindfolded. You know you have a target, you just aren’t quite sure where (or even IF) you’re going to hit it. The next time you have a big strategy or plan that you want to embark on, gather some of your key stakeholders, whether they are customers or vendors, and present your plan. Ask for their honest feedback – work from the “outside-in.” You’ll be amazed at what you ultimately come up with together.