Book Sneak Peak: Identify All Stakeholders

Over the next few weeks, we will be providing you some sneak peaks of our book, “wHolistic Change: Delivering Corporate Change That Lasts.” Links to buy are coming soon…

Chapter 5, Identify All Stakeholders 

Why Is This Step Important? What Happens if You Skip It?

When you identify impacted stakeholders, the ideal scenario is to have each stakeholder identify a named person to represent her area as the operational owner. The owner will be responsible for implementing the change and for ongoing business operations.

Figure 15. Without stakeholder analysis, a small group decides in a silo what changes need to be made.

Figure 15. Without stakeholder analysis, a small group decides in a silo what changes need to be made.

The owner of each stakeholder will be included in the formulation and planning of the change. This person should have valuable information at her fingertips about how to implement new processes or technology within her department.

Owners need to weigh in on whether or not the current staff members have the needed skills or if they’ll need training to be ready for their new responsibilities. Owners can identify whether or not current staffing levels will support what they are being asked to do, if additional people will be needed, or if current staffing levels can be decreased as a result of the change.

One caveat: We recommend engaging your Human Resources (HR) department when performing the stakeholder analysis. HR is tasked with understanding the makeup of your organization’s workforce and determining the skills and qualifications of that workforce. While the owners may have a gut feel for what will be needed in terms of their staff, Human Resources will be able to make the official determination of staffing levels, training, and development.

If you do not perform stakeholder analysis, a small group may decide in a silo on the change needed. This team will act without a broader understanding of the impact of the change on the people who will be affected. This could cause at best cross-departmental friction and delays, while impacted stakeholders struggle to figure out what they need to do to deliver their component of the change. At worst, it could lead to executive escalation and killing of the change effort…

About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.
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