Bearing these principles explored in Considering Your Stakeholder Strategy, let’s start to get you thinking about what your strategy needs to be – at least initially. Remember to stay focused on your chosen Influencing Goal.
See if you can answer all of the questions below. If you can get a friend to challenge you with these questions, it will help you greatly – even if they know nothing about your situation.
Questions to explore the bigger picture…
- What is the balance like between the power of your Advocates and the other boxes?
- Who are the most important people in the grey areas? Why are they there?
- What are the main themes around agreement and disagreement among your stakeholders?
- Are there other organisational influences holding them back?
- What attitudes (among your stakeholders) are really getting in the way?
- How are the people on your map connected (or disconnected)?
- Are there any formal/informal groups involved?
- What don’t you know which, if you did know, could help you?
- Who can help you to fill these gaps?
- Who is missing from your map that could really help (either directly or indirectly)?
- What are the main changes you need to focus on?
Hopefully, if you’ve taken your time answering these questions, you will have been able to begin to piece together a strategy. It is important to focus on the stepping-stones which will be the biggest help to you. So take a short break, get some fresh air and then come back for the final lap.
Try to pull together the thread of your thinking into a few key things which you need to accomplish to maximise your progress on the Influencing Goal in question. This then becomes your headline strategy – you can write it down opposite.
Questions to finalise your strategy…
- What are the key things you need to change on your map?
- What priority would you give them in terms of both the impact and the change on your progress?
- Which is the easiest to achieve?
- Okay, what one thing could you change which would have a dramatic positive impact on your success?
Of course, you may need to consult with others when you are working out what direction to take, but don’t take too long about it – you can always adjust your trajectory later as you learn more. To reiterate, the most critical part of the process is getting moving and taking action.
If it will help, take a look at a few examples here.