Change Leaders – Are You Missing This Crucial Step? Unlocking the Power of Stakeholder Mapping

Change Leaders – Are You Missing This Crucial Step? Unlocking the Power of Stakeholder Mapping

Are you encountering unexpected pushback during your change initiative?

You launched the change with great expectations and high hopes for success. You were responding to a shared pain with a promise to improve things. It felt like everyone with whom you spoke supported the need for change.

So why this resistance? And why is some of it coming from people that you thought would be most supportive of the change?

Welcome to the world of Stakeholder Dynamics! Where not everything goes as planned, and where you have to work much harder than you expected to build support for the change that you had thought would be received with great acclaim.

Yes, it’s true that organizational changes are typically launched for good reasons—responding to changes in the external environment or seeking to improve internal processes. And there’s one constant across the whole range of these changes… The involvement of people!

No matter whether you are making changes to strategy, structures, processes, systems, or procedures, it is vital to remember that there are people standing behind all of these organizational components.

And these people can have unexpected responses to change. Especially if the change is unexpected or if it impacts something that they value!

What should you do? Map your stakeholders.

It is incredibly helpful for you, as a change leader, to map your stakeholders.

This will provide you with awareness of who supports your change and who might oppose it (and why!). And you will gain practical insights on how you might influence these people—to ensure their support is there when you need it or to reduce any negative influence they might have over your project.

In an ideal world, this is best done at the very start of the initiative, informing your overall approach to the change. But this does not always happen in reality. No matter, the steps we describe below can be fruitfully used at any time in the change process. And it can be worth repeating this exercise as conditions change during implementation.

How? Follow these 3 steps!

  1. Identify them and understand their interests, as well as the source of their power and influence.
  2. Map out their likely relationship to the change process by assessing their support and their power or influence over the change.
  3. Using this awareness, assess ways to engage them to be more supportive of your change work.

What’s Next?

We’ve prepared a handy and practical guide that you can use to map your stakeholders. Work through it alone, or use it with your team!

Download the RCA Mapping Stakeholders Guide and use it on your work.

Contact us and learn about the 10 Influencing Tactics that you can use to engage your stakeholders, build support, and reduce pushback to your change initiative.

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