Who are the stakeholders of your change initiative? How are you going to communicate your change plans to them? This section includes tools and techniques to identify who will be affected by the changes and how to communicate effectively with them.
The importance of stakeholders when considering change
All too often, one or two individuals will have a great idea for change, think it through and detail the plan. It's not until the implementation stage that they realise that others don't welcome their plans with quite the same level of enthusiasm.
Stakeholders are the groups and individuals who will be influential in the success of your change plans. It is often the skill with which you communicate, consult and involve these people which will determine the success of your change initiative.
Identifying stakeholders when considering change
How to identify who has an interest in the change you are making.
For a successful change you need to understand who your stakeholders are. Draw up a list of all the groups of people who will be affected by the change and for each group consider:
- How will they measure the success of this change? What is it that they want to see?
- How much influence do they have?
- Could they stop or seriously undermine the change if they wanted to?
- How important are they?
Think about what kind of power/influence they have. For example, do they have power because of their authority or because they are experts in what they do?
Communicating change to stakeholders
Key considerations in planning communication about the change.
Once you have identified your stakeholders, you will need to think about communicating to them.
And of course what matters here is not just what you say, it's the how you say it and when you say it.
- How are you going to communicate - by email or do it face-to-face?
- Which aspects of the message are you going to emphasise?
- Which parts of the message have particular importance for the person you are communicating to?
- Is nine o'clock on Monday morning really the best time or just before they go home on Friday?
Look at the checklist for effective communication for more guidance on this. Use the stakeholder communication framework below as a template for planning your communication.