Managing Stakeholders: You Can’t Take Sides, but You Aren’t “Neutral” Either

Consent-Building Clinic #73: Recorded October 2015

“Our CP Process can turn into a free-for-all of various stakeholders, each fighting as a special interest, . . . while we try to remain neutral.”

“It’s a jungle out there!” is what comes to mind here. Because, of course, it IS a jungle out there! Let’s face it; there is not fuzzy, warm “public.” Your public – on any given Problem-Solving/Decision/Making case – consist of:

  • Individuals, Groups, Corporations, Institutions, Other agencies and Other officials.

Each and every one of them pursuing THEIR agendas – and ONLY their agendas. All of them have their own priorities, values, concerns, worries, fears, hopes, . . . i.e. agendas that they pursue.

You ARE different . . . though “neutral” is probably not the right word to describe that difference. Here’s the real difference:

  • You’re motivated by a RESPONSIBILITY, the responsibility to accomplish your Mission . . . which – strictly speaking – came from the ‘public’, that cacophony of individuals, groups, corporations, etc.

The question, thus, comes down to: “How can you – in the midst of this free-for-all — make sure you are EFFECTIVE?

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