Stakeholder Management

Usual Suspects

There are always more stakeholders involved with your project. Some you already know, and others that define themselves. Don’t focus too much on the usual suspects.

In stakeholder strategies there are two things that pop up regularly:

1. too much focus on ‘usual suspects’ and

2. stakeholders define themselves.

In a session with a lobby group we listed their stakeholders. They came up with their usual suspects. I asked them to squeeze out others. They listed the exact same number they did the first time. They doubled the number of potential supporters. Even if only a few would be supporters, the group would gain advantage.

This is a consistent outcome: there are always more stakeholders than you think, so you need to move beyond your usual suspects.

It also works the other way: stakeholders define themselves. Don’t be surprised when they suddenly pop up.

Your job is to figure out how to engage with them. But since that’s what you’re supposed to figure out with each stakeholder anyway, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

In a next post, I’d like to talk about stakeholder classification. Because one aspect is consistently overlooked. So, I hope you join me next time.