Doing Better than a Really Good Stakeholder Analysis
Here at REaction we strive to be better than the standard. So when we do a stakeholder analysis, we don’t go for just good or really good; no, we go for REALLY REALLY GOOD. That’s right, TWO reallys, because we have learned firsthand just how important a good stakeholder analysis is to a successful project. A solid stakeholder analysis will tell you two important things: where the group is, and where they want to be. A really really good stakeholder analysis does that and more including: making a personal connection with the stakeholder, understanding not only where a group is but their background as well, and coming up with solutions for problems they didn’t even know they had.
When it came to Pathways Volunteer Hospice’s stakeholder analysis, we took the same approach to go above and beyond. We knew we were on the right track when we were able to get different, sometimes conflicting views on a certain topic, revealing an underlying fracture of beliefs. While not obvious, we knew that we would have to address that issue before we could move on to the real goal. Along the way, we also soon realized that most of our interviews were with people that had some personal tie to the organization, often being very connected, and we realized that it limited the perspectives we were getting.
To solve that problem, we took the initiative to call in a few favors and interview some people we knew personally but had no clue about Pathways to get their honest opinion about hospices. This way, we could get an idea of the target donor’s mindset and try to figure out where the next logical market to expand into would be.
Another big lesson in making a good stakeholders analysis is that you should come in with different groups of people in mind and an appropriate question set for each group. When we did that with Pathways, it made the limited amount of time we could spend with each person much more effective and allowed the stakeholder to give us information that they felt very knowledgeable and comfortable sharing. It also allowed us to sound like we knew what we were talking about and gave the stakeholder more confidence that we were the right people to talk to. (Ed. Note: Major kudos to Nate Barker, our chief analyst, on this. He’s been working with us from South America and is a beast.)
Because we realized the need to have a really really good stakeholder’s analysis and were able to accomplish that, we now feel a lot more confident being able to come up with a very effective strategy blueprint that will actually cater to Pathways’ (or any other clients’) specific needs.