To influence, be affected or be subject to change

Organisations and businesses are all subject to constant changes. “Change is the only constant” it is called wisely. do-be consulting work with support in change. To support organisations and companies in creating the best possible conditions to undergo and be equipped for change.

Change is an extremely complex area and one could write at length about the importance of leaders that stand in the forefront, communication as a key tool or the importance of clear processes, but my intention is to here focus on a “detail” in a journey of change, namely, stakeholder analysis. Or in other words, the tool for a structured approach to work with who influences, is affected by or subject to change.

With a clear picture of who influences, is affected and subject to a change, the project can with the help of stakeholder analysis get a handrail to hold when making decisions and implementing change.

A powerful tool

Stakeholder analysis is a powerful tool to in a structured way be able to plan and create the best possible conditions to undergo change. By identifying stakeholders a plan for how to manage them can be created.

The Stakeholder analysis

A stakeholder analysis normally consists of a description of, among other things:

  • The stakeholders in question, a single person or a group of people
  • Organisational belonging and level of the stakeholder
  • If the stakeholder is internal or external
  • How the change is assumed to influence the stakeholder and how the stakeholder impact the change
  • The stage of change of the stakeholder – everything from awareness to genuine commitment to change
  • What vision the project / initiative has for the role of the stakeholder in this change
  • What is the message that best suits the stakeholder to reach the vision – filling the gap between the starting position and the vision
  • Through what or which channels the message is best communicated
  • Who or what is communicating and with what frequency, and
  • Who in the project / initiative is responsible for the stakeholder

Stakeholder analysis is a fundamental stage in a process of change as it connects what should be communicated to whom, when and why. Taking the time to think along these lines increases the possibilities to realise the anticipated effects of a decided change.

Some short advice

Here are some practical advice when you develop a stakeholder analysis:

  • Set measurable and reasonable targets – think in terms of ”SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, Timebound)
  • No change is stronger than its’ owners – the stakeholder analysis focuses from the start on the leaders and ensures that they support the change. It is difficult to move employees on the change curve if management is not convinced.
  • When formulating strategies – put yourself in the position of the stakeholder – what would I like to know to understand and accept the change
  • Use channels that are percieved as credible by the stakeholders
  • To meet management in person is usually unbeatable in strength and effectiveness
  • Use the positive energy of the ones that are positive to the change rather than putting to much focus on the ones that are not
  • Work actively with the stakeholder analysis – consider it work in progress – and monitor your progress against set targets.