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Diagnose Stakeholder Position

Some stakeholders will support recovery and some will resist the actions that are needed. Diagnose their position to learn what barriers may be ahead or where help might be found. For example, the position of collective bargaining units can have a real impact on the recovery. If a bargaining unit is wholly unwilling to reconsider any form of restructuring of compensation, for example, it will have big impact on how recovery is approached.

Formal feedback is not needed to assess stakeholder position. Rather, careful listening will work. For example, listen to people who come to board meetings, read the editorial section of the local paper, and read local blogs. Learning what people talk about most often will reveal what is most important to them.

When using the informal approach, beware of pitfalls such as:
  • “Confirmation bias” or over-weighting information that confirms one’s existing world-view
  • Over-emphasizing the views of those who are loudest or talked most recently. 
  • Over-estimating your own knowledge of stakeholder positions. Make sure to do the necessary research to reach the most accurate conclusions.

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