Sometimes, from the very beginning of a workshop, it is evident that the delegates have a common problem with a big powerful stakeholder. As we start to delve into their influencing objectives, “his” name keeps being mentioned. Round the table with the power cards ― there he is again. Who is this guy to be such a problem for everyone around the table? Why is he being so difficult and making everyone’s life a misery? On a recent occasion when this happened, one thing I noticed was that his name was being used as a code for “don’t even try to influence”. It was also apparent that there was a great deal of bad feeling in the room towards this character ― even the mere mention of his name. Well actually, for a long time, they wouldn’t even mention his name, somewhat akin to the fear held by elves mentioning the name of the dark lord in Middle-Earth. Something needed to be done. Troublesome, battle-hardened people exist in most organisations. These high-ranking individuals wield great power and usually do not have the time, or the patience, to let others know where they are coming from or why they are making the decisions they are making. They represent an extremely tough road-block or obstacle. Unfortunately, they are also usually misunderstood and it is this which makes them particularly difficult to handle. If you (or your team) are plagued by one of these characters, here is a simple Read More
Having a list of stakeholders is a good start; but to get a sense of the priorities, you need to understand their position relative to your Influencing Goal and to each other. That way you can begin to see the bigger picture and develop a clear strategy to accelerate towards your goal. Using the Stakeholder Influence Map (below), the general idea is that you plot the name of each (impactful) stakeholder based on where you think they are in terms of Read More
A stakeholder is any individual, team or organisation which has an interest or stake in what you are doing. Thinking about the work you are involved in, who benefits from what you do? These are stakeholders who have a positive interest in what you are doing. The term stakeholder management refers to taking a proactive and strategic approach to making sure that these stakeholders are "bought in" to the benefit you can bring to them, and support you in achieving your objective. As part of the process, you also need to recognise that not everyone will benefit from what you are doing. These people are also stakeholders even though they hold a negative interest in what you Read More
On the stakeholder map you need to consider each individual and their position on the map relative to two axis… Relationship…
- Trust. To what extent do they trust you and do you trust them?
- Openness. How much are they willing to disclose sensitive information?
- Frequency. How often do you engage with them?
- Benefit. How much will they gain (or lose) when you succeed?
- Agreement. The extent to which they agree or disagree with what you aim to achieve.
- Activity. How much are they doing Read More
If you wish to be an influential leader, you need to start thinking seriously about how you influence stakeholders. These are the people who have something to gain, or to lose, from your work as a leader. When you think about influencing stakeholders, what thoughts come to mind? Do you think about it as an unwelcome extra task — on top of everything else you need to do? Perhaps you consider it to be something you shouldn’t need to do. After all, you Read More