Managing Stakeholders with Our Ears

In the late 19th Century, artist Francis Barraud captured the iconic image of Nipper, the dog who became integral to RCA’s logo and identity.  In an interview, Barraud shared “It is difficult to say how the idea came to me beyond that fact that it suddenly occurred to me that to have my dog listening to the Phonograph, with an intelligent and rather puzzled expression, and call it “His Master’s Voice” would make an excellent subject. We had a phonograph and I often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from.”

This raises an interesting question for the Commercial Manager who is frustrated in their efforts in managing their stakeholders.  Many have extensive stakeholder maps, complete with segmentation matrices and lists of relevant tactics.  But perhaps the most effective tool to be used in supporting commercial management stakeholders is a pair of ears.

If we listen to our “Stakeholder’s Voice” with a certain level of attentiveness and focus, would that be a more effective means of engaging our stakeholders than the prevalent tools such as stakeholder maps.  Too often our stakeholder maps focus on what we want to tell our stakeholders and how we want them to behave.  Instead, should our stakeholder maps be a tool used to capture and address their commercial objectives.

Your thoughts?

 

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