Who to involve when about what?

Change challenge –

Stakeholder management

In today’s organisations people often have different roles and are part of multiple teams. Decisions are being made within the formal hierarchal setup, as well as through informal communication chains. To be able to manage an organisational transformation in this forcefield, it is key to reflect upon who to involve, about what and when?


The 80/20 rule

It is not inconceivable that, even for a relatively simple organisational change, there will be dozens of stakeholders. This number will grow exponentially as the complexity and scale of the transformation increases. The 80/20 rule will help you manage the capacity and time in engaging stakeholders. Becoming aware that if you reach the most important 20% of stakeholders, you can influence 80% of the outcome, leads to smarter choices and interactions.

When thinking about a stakeholder analysis, it helps to understand their needs and perspectives, to detect change resistance and increase commitment, to determine how to increase their engagement and to decide on appropriate messaging.

To facilitate making smart choices as to how the most important stakeholders are, you can map them.  Think about their attitudes regarding the change, what you want to discuss and how.  You can also do a “do, feel, know, say” analysis to determine which conversations to have with whom and on what subject.


Find the informal leaders

An organigram only tends to tell you part of the story about who has the real influence. Can you think of informal social relationships within your organisation to know who the most important information leaders of your organisation are? Think of questions about transactional and emotional relationships, such as:

Who do you go to for work related questions?

Who do you ask to brainstorm about a challenge you are facing?

Who do you go to for advice before taking an important decision?

By integrating this information, you can visualise where informal leaders are located and which people to pull into the transformation as ambassadors.

There are many people whose influence, control and opinion could determine the overall success of your business transformation. Balancing their perspectives with your evolving business needs is critical to ensuring a smooth path forward. These key individuals can be the linchpin in the eventual outcome of your project.



The success of your project depends on the attitude and actions of each individual who is impacted by organisational change. These people will either champion the change, or they will rally against it. They will either readily embrace new processes and technology, or they will perform workarounds.

To be able to manage an organisational transformation, it is key to reflect upon who to involve, about what and when. Make sure your stakeholder management is not about ticking boxes in a matrix with no actual influence or impact but think about who the main stakeholders are to involve and what two-way conversations to have at what time. This ensures everyone responds to change in way that helps you achieve your business goals.

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