Stakeholders represent the interests and politics of key parties having a vested interest in the change initiative. The stakeholder lens examines power, conflict, and coalitions among those who have vested interests to protect and advance.
The Stakeholder perspective becomes important when a change involves integrating the efforts of many different groups, some of whom do not know each other or are not used to working together. The focus on stakeholders is particularly important when a group has worked on its own, has a strong sense of independence, or is in a company where internal politics keep groups apart or in competition for resources.
Keeping a close eye on stakeholders during change particularly benefits people going through a reorganization where different groups are being integrated or asked to work more closely together.
Successful change leaders who operate from the stakeholder lens:
- Evaluate and understand the distribution of power
- Assess stakeholders’ explicit and implicit interests
- Build important linkages and coalitions
- Play well to critical internal and external audiences