Stakeholder Engagement – A Nice Definition
This great little video from the great guys over at The Future 500 applies to any organisation or project that needs to engage the key people that are either involved or impacted by the change you are managing. I love the way they give a nice formal definition of Stakeholder Engagement – “the systematic and proactive integration of feedback from those impacted by your organisation’s operations” before driving home that it’s all about “shared humanity“, people talking to people.
Stakeholder Engagement Is All About Relationships
In essence, Stakeholder Engagement is all about relationships, the better and deeper the relationships between all parties, the more effective, and easier, the outcomes. Likewise, when our clients are struggling to deliver their change programmes, the number 1 issue is their lack of engagement of key stakeholders, effectively, the weakness of relationships around the project. Remember, Stakeholders are people that are either directly involved in the change you are driving or indirectly impacted and you should have a strategy for engaging all of them.
The Different Levels Of Stakeholder Engagement
There are, of course, different levels of stakeholder engagement, from regular communication through to full involvement in the whole project. However, the complexity doesn’t end there; due to differing levels of understanding, support and even personal commitment of those affected, you will almost certainly need to adopt an individualised strategy to manage your stakeholders brilliantly.
Questions To Ask Yourself To Get Stakeholder Engagement Right
Here are a great set of questions to ask yourself as you put your Change Plan together are:
- What benefits does this change deliver for the stakeholders?
- Who’s status/job/reputation is threatened most by this change project?
- Who are the key influencers amongst the stakeholders that can help the change team?
- What else is happening that could influence the stakeholders to think negatively about the change project?
- Who cares about this project?
Take your time, involve as many people as possible in your thinking and keep building your professional networks!
For more on how to build effective networks at work, check out The Complete Guide to Professional Networking (2014 Kogan Page).
Alternatively, if Stakeholder Engagement is an issue for you or people in your organisation and you’d like to schedule a quick 30 minute consultation, click here to Talk to The Change Makers.
P.S. Feel free to share this video with your colleagues. If you have any comments or questions, post them below and The Change Man or one of our expert Change Makers will get back to you.