What does the term "stakeholder" really mean?

It's amazing how a word can become so familiar that it is automatic to assume everyone has the same interpretation in regards to its meaning.

I was shocked the other day when a writing coach said: "it would be worth cutting the jargon"... What the?! I was surprised, my go-to response was I don't use "jargon" (I mean seriously who on earth wants to be one of those people?) So, I asked for clarity and her reply was "what does the term stakeholder really mean? does your audience actually know what your interpretation of it is and in turn what you are asking of them?"

After initially thinking ‘of course they do', it dawned on me very quickly that many of my clients hadn't previously known until we started having a conversation. Many had defined "stakeholders" simply by referring to staff and/or customers.

With that revelation came the need to explore the meaning of the term "stakeholder". Defined by trusty Google as "A person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business", other definitions refer to investors or monetary arrangements.

Well in my work it's a little broader and those relationships are where some of the best opportunities sit and wait for businesses to capture them.

When dealing with clients I like them to consider "stakeholders" as absolutely anyone that has a stake in their success or failure…organisations or individuals that can truly make or break their businesses or projects. So, that includes your suppliers, your landlord, your local council and yes, even your competitors.

I challenge you to think outside the box when considering your relationships, the value of them and all those stakeholders that impact the speed at which you can reach your goals and the resources you need to achieve them.

Over the coming weeks check in to see our series of blogs on collaborating with competitors to make the most of the growth opportunities.

Looking to grow your business through collaborations phone The Stakeholder Agency on 021 756 074

Amanda HemaComment