Many organizations and individuals focus on satisfying the customer, which is of course one of the basic rules of business. After all, no customer equals no business. However the majority of us do not have a comprehensive look at all stakeholders. Stakeholders include not only customers, but suppliers, partners, customers' suppliers, policy makers, our own management, investors and the list goes on.
If you are a non-profit school your students and their parents are your customers, and you ought to make sure the services they are receiving are top notch quality. However your donors are also key stakeholders. They have high interest in what you do, otherwise they would not have donated their hard earned dollars, and they have high power in supporting your mission. Maybe even more than the customer. Does you school stay in continuous touch with the donors? Does it constantly solicit feedback from them? Do they have representation at your various governance bodies?
Another tool is a matrix linking stakeholder groups and their interests to an entity's capabilities allowing the identification of value gap to be addressed. A sample of such a simple stakeholder alignment matrix is on the right. It allows us to align our capabilities to our stakeholder's interest and needs.
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