Jane writes: ‘You’ve identified all your stakeholders – all those people, volunteers and organisations that have an interest in your service, product, operations, impact, turnover/profit etc. How do you know what sort of attention to give each of them? Do you spend more time and effort with the ones who show most interest in what you’re doing, or those that provide you with most income? Do you forget about the ones have been quiet for the last six months, or those that you are confident are supportive of your plans?
Tricky decisions, and there’s no right answer. There are some general principles that you can follow though. Don’t ignore any of them. Don’t assume that because they are not showing much interest now that they won’t pop up and exert some influence later. The best laid plans can be scuppered by a stakeholder whose interest wasn’t understood.
Understanding the differing degrees of interest and influence associated with stakeholders will help you to plan how to keep them involved; through keeping them informed, consulting with and involving them, maybe encouraging them to enthuse about what you’re doing to others.
Who do you need to schmooze?
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We were recently talking to a former CEO of some houselhold name brands. He recommends the Balanced Scorecard as an approach to managing stakeholders.