Shakeholder Risk

If you have been reading my last couple of blogs you will know I have been talking about change management (in particular for risk managers).

Of course, change management means identifying and managing stakeholders. This week I facilitated a workshop that presented the perfect example of the risk that stakeholders pose if they are difficult to influence. It involved a state government agency that has become the tail-wagging-the-dog type of powerful stakeholder agency. I’ll call them the “boss” agency. One with all the money and plenty of clout. Shakeholder management is needed when the tail wags the dog.

In the workshop, we worked through a range of scenarios, identified risk (way too many for everyone’s liking) and finished with a plan to engage with the key people in the boss agency. Before I left the workshop I had a side conversation with two of the leaders that would be setting up a meeting with the boss agency to get their views on the risks as we see them. These leaders were great. They easily articulated how this stakeholder needed to be managed – with a bit of shakeholder management :

  • Engage with them early about the meeting we wish to have.
  • Be very clear on the objectives we have for calling the meeting. Theirs and the boss agency’s.
  • Make sure the right people are in the room. From both agencies and other influencing agencies.
  • Make sure we are prepared and can articulate our issues verbally and visually (e.g. process maps).
  • Ensure they know what is at stake from “our” side – the decision my client agency needs to make about supporting the project in the future.

That is pretty good shakeholder change management in my view.

Stay safe and get strong with your implementation.