Theme 5 and theme 6 and is, again, about

Theme
5 and 6 community design
The
relation and interaction between the business with its stakeholders

Introduction
This
two pager is a combination of theme 5 and theme 6 and is, again,
about stakeholders. Theme 3 was about stakeholder mapping and theme 4
about gaining a more in-depth overview of all stakeholders in
comparison to each other. The combination of theme 5 and 6 is about
the relation and interaction between the business with its
stakeholders. Some topics of theme 3 and 4 will be repeated;
identifying and mapping the stakeholders and their power and
interests. Together with some new topics, they will complete the
understanding about the collaboration of a business with its
stakeholders.

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Summary
Organizations
have to understand the efficiency of designing participatory systems
when cooperating with stakeholders.
Designing participatory systems means involving stakeholders
proactively and significantly in decision-making processes. Democracy
already cares for this involvement, but organizations can apply these
systems more efficiently. Organizations regularly need to update
information together with stakeholders to have a clear view on their
potential and adapt that to their share in a specific change process.
Hereby, communication is crucial, including helping stakeholders
assert their interests and rights. After all, speaking for or about
stakeholders isn’t possible when not knowing them. Though it sounds
easy to just involve and interact with each other regularly, change
processes to achieve common goals are experienced to be difficult;
there will always be resistance.

First,
I will explain about key stakeholders and how to keep their
information up to date.
After identifying stakeholders (theme 3), they need to be delimited
by determining the key stakeholders out of the whole network. Hereby,
a ‘Venn diagram’ will be of help. Its indicators are power,
legitimacy and urgency, but others can be added as well. Some
organizations may want to add ‘network’ as an indicator, whereas
others prefer making a separate network map / analysis (theme 3 and
4). What also can be made is an apart power-interest matrix including
the organization’s relevant indicators (theme 4). Afterwards, an
organization has a clear view on its key stakeholders; which
stakeholders can influence the process and which ones are veto
players. Other regular stakeholders will be mostly left out of the
analysis. The outcomes of this decision need to be established
together with a point in time, to assess its validity. After all,
stakeholders aren’t stable, since they are in a change process;
especially power will always shift. Likewise, interest is never
coherent with the change process and so, will stagger. Because of all
this instability, transparency and openness are important factors to
keep the analysis up to date.

Second,
I will explain how to involve stakeholders in the change process.
In line with this, the previous paragraph already explained how to
assess indicators which are important for involvement, such as its
influence (or power) and its attitude (or interest) in relation to
the change process. Afterwards, an organization is able to see where
the different stakeholders can be connected and grouped with each
other. Such stakeholder groups are more easy to involve then all
independent stakeholders; it cares for less sub strategic options.
However, all stakeholder (groups) exist of human beings who have each
there own frame of reference to dig in to. Most attention need to be
paid to the stakeholder (groups) who show resistance, have lack of
access to resources or lack in basic competencies. These stakeholder
(groups) need to be focused on; inclusion and empowerment. Still,
this attention and groups can shift, since influence and attitude can
change in the change process.

The
essence of the subject based on my opinion and examples
I
want to return to the theory of Habermass about the life world and
the system world.
We are more and more living in a life world, which makes working with
stakeholders harder. Stakeholders’ contexts change continuously,
because innovation is accelerating. They have to adjust to survive.
Organizations who have to deal with stakeholders have to get insight
into these changes to keep their change process up to date.

In
my opinion, being aware of the changes within stakeholders is crucial
for succeeding in communicating transparent and open.
However, this almost isn’t possible when dealing with them at the
old-fashioned way; one by one. It’s needed to group the
stakeholders based on, among other aspects, their foundation,
influence and attitude. Not only to communicate faster, but also to
share perspectives and to let innovation happen. Next to the
communication between organization and stakeholder (groups), a
stakeholder group can together support and motivate each other and
strive for the established strategic option.

What
needs to be taken into account, is that some stakeholders will leave
the process and some will join.
Especially long existing companies have to be aware of this fact to
consider the completeness of its network analysis regularly.
Otherwise, the change process of the business will be very difficult.
Just like a puzzle who can’t be complete without some pieces. As
businesses can exclude stakeholders, stakeholders can exclude
themselves as well. For both cases, they have to be included and
listened to. Sometimes, they may not be able to show who they are and
therefore, these stakeholders also need to be empowered.

I
want to clarify the topic exclusion and empowerment with an example
about Nexus (theme introduction).
Nexus want to get subsidized to improve their work. However, they
each time feel ignored when trying to reach ContourdeTwern (the
organization who divides the subsidy for social work). ContourdeTwern
thinks that everyone in need of help is offered help and so their
stakeholder network is complete. They don’t want to reconsider
their network to discover possible gaps. Because of this exclusion,
we (as stakeholders of Nexus) wanted to empower them in a stakeholder
meeting. What we discovered is that Nexus actually isn’t ignored
and excluded, but they just have to show their business plan
including facts. Nexus doesn’t want to make one and with this, they
exclude themselves. This abrupt clarification to us, and therefore
delay in the change process towards improving their work, hadn’t
need to happen if communicated transparent and open.