Stakeholders don’t expect us to be holier than Mother Teresa. They know we are in the business of making money; but they want us to do it in a responsible way.
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community (BITC)
When a senior civil servant was recently asked how they would define success, it was in terms of the number of policy documents issued, green and white papers published, parliamentary questions answered and press releases issued.
On the surface, it might look as if this manager was performing well. What’s missing, however, is any reference to many of the stakeholders in the organisation and what they would regard as a job well done.
It’s a trap that many managers fall into and the reason behind many project and policy failures. They put their heads down and focus on the key tasks at the expense of thinking about how their job role fits into the bigger picture of the organisation and the people it’s there to serve.
Managing stakeholders is more of an art than a science, and the ability to do it well has never been more important.
• The pace of globalisation and technological change means that organisations increasingly have to work in partnership with others to deliver what customers need.
• As the ‘Berlin Wall’ between the public, private and voluntary sectors comes down, we can expect to see more interaction and more examples of organisations joining forces to provide front-line services.
• Forward-looking organisations have ...

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