How to manage many stakeholders

Thomas Campbell at the MET.scapA note on style: I wrote this in a hotel room somewhere. I used Scapple from Literature and Latte to do it.  It was really just a note to myself. But then I thought, “maybe this is a better, more visual, way to present the post.” Tell me what you think about the form as well as the content, please.

4 thoughts on “How to manage many stakeholders”

  1. Two things

    Could the 2-dimensional diagram be more realistic and possibly more of a working model by becoming a cone? The stakeholders could then be seen in a circle dynamic at the base, interacting with one another — left, right, across, singly or in any grouping — observable simultaneously by them and the CEO/director. The most direct access to the director (the shortest path at the center of the circle where a not-so-imaginary elevator lives) would be controlled – or not – by being open or closed in varying degrees. Ditto for the other direction … the CEO can take the elevator down. Anyone – stakeholders and CEO – can keep the elevator in top repair or meddle with it or neglect it, all in varying degrees.

    In his list of advisors, I wish Mr. Campbell had included the Court Jester.
    (Assuming the court astrologer is already listed as one of the priests)

    Many and special thanks as always, Grant

  2. I think the comparison of the Museum Director to the corporate CEO makes perfect sense of what should be but arguably isn’t. There are thousands of books written for, about and by CEOs. There are memes. At some level we hold these people to be veritable celebrities and we look to them for guidance and wisdom. Their behavior in turn some might argue has an affect on the greater society in that people will emulate their behavior either bad or good. While economics may not trickle down, behavior some would say does.

    The thing is that CEOs largely have significant blinders on and are probably only managing to 2-3 stakeholders out of many and often one might make the case that 2 out of 3 of those stakeholders are the wrong ones.

    I would also suggest that Museum Directors are working in an environment where almost everyone is a “specialist” not only as a result of training but as a result of a specific passion. Museums are filled with people who aren’t simply chasing a paycheck.

    When I got out of college I wanted to write for a car magazine. I was introduced to the then editor of the now defunct, “Racer” magazine. He asked me a very blunt question. Would you rather make some money and own some very nice cars in your lifetime or make nothing and have a chance to drive some very nice cars in your lifetime. I said I would prefer the former. He said, “Don’t write for a car magazine.”

    The corporate CEO should operate more as a Museum Director or at least surround themselves with people who curate and distill but that would of course assume that most CEOs are generally culturally aware and you know that they say about making assumptions…

  3. Grant — Both CEOs and Museum Directors have boards to which they have to report, so I would think a better visual representation would be two cones, placed point to point, the point being the CEO or Director. Or better, in this time of anti-deference and non-hierarchy, would be a spider’s web, with the CEO/Director in the middle. The stakeholders themselves will have their own connections across this web.

    One power that both Directors and CEOs have, a power often overlooked, is the power to convene, to bring people together in the same room who would not otherwise be together, to make connections between disparate people. Advice on using this power for constructive purposes and on managing the resulting interactions is also an area where an anthropologist could help.

Comments are closed.