How do you identify and map the people important for your business?
One of the questions that has been coming up in conversations I’ve been having is around stakeholder management as a way to improve connection.
Conceptually people understand the need to engage their ‘stakeholders’ but often don’t know where to start or how to define who their stakeholders are.
No, ‘everyone’ isn’t a good enough answer.
Defining who your stakeholders are will depend on your goal and objectives. Clarity on that will help you to get super focussed on the different people who might be impacted or have an interest in what you are doing.
For every person or small group you identify, ask yourself:
- what is their relationship to me / my business?
- what is their interest in me /my business?
- how might I impact on them?
- do they have any power or control over what I do?
I then use a simple power/interest matrix with my clients to map each stakeholder against:
Using this grid, you can better understand the power and interest a stakeholder has, which in turn can influence the actions you take with them.
Mapping your stakeholders isn’t a do once and park it exercise. It’s something that will change depending on a number factors and — in fact — a low power/interest stakeholder for one issue could become high power/interest for something else entirely.
It’s not uncommon for leaders to have more than one map — often they’ll have a general one to help them in their overall relationship building and then more specific ones for different projects or issues.
So make sure you review regularly and with different ‘hats’ on. Also, get your teams or trusted advisors involved in the process — test your own perceptions and thinking.
If you have any questions about identifying and mapping your stakeholders or you want some help to get you started then please get in touch.