The stakeholder analysis is a technique that provides an overview of potential groups and individuals in the immediate vicinity who could support their own work, pursue similar goals or are against their own company. It is a very methodical way to find supporters.
The International Transition Network has provided a worksheet to conduct a stakeholder analysis. In the following we refer to this worksheet.
- step: First of all, as a group, you think about which people, organisations, decision-makers or initiatives like your own idea or who has something against the implementation of the goals of your own initiative. Additional consideration should be given to who has general influence in the church – this can also mean that they know many people.
- step: All these groups, persons and organisations are written on a piece of paper.
- step: The slips are then divided into five categories:
- Sensitized and active: The people/groups are not only sensitized to the goals of their own group, but are already pursuing similar intentions through concrete activities.
- Sensitised, but not yet active: The people/groups are sensitised to the goals of their own group, but do not yet pursue any concrete activities.
- Neither sensitised nor active: people/groups who are neither sensitised nor active for their own goals, but who can be won over for their own cause if necessary.
- Non-interested persons: People who cannot be won over to their own cause.
- Opponents of one’s own idea: people who reject one’s own idea.
Below a few suggestions and comments on how to deal with these five categories:
To (1) Natural allies
- Get information on what the goals of other people/groups are; what projects they are implementing; how to help the other group.
- Search for contact(s).
- Informing each other about each other’s activities.
- Since similar goals are pursued, it should not be too time-consuming to establish a relationship with these people/groups.
- These people/groups should be contacted as early as possible so that they do not feel offended or in competition.
- Also, for practical reasons, these should be the first people/groups to be contacted in order to avoid overlapping appointments.
- To exchange ideas with these groups or, if necessary, to start a common project, probably works without big obstacles. This releases energy to find further network partners.
To (2) Possible partners
- Get information about what the goals of other people/groups are, what projects they are doing, how to help the other group, what is the mutual benefit of an acquaintance.
- Do not wait for these people/groups to hear about their own enterprise: actively seek contact; attend meetings, events of other people/groups.
- It is worth spending some time for these contacts.
Take note: When exchanging with people/groups in this category, care should be taken to ensure that they are mutual so that no one feels they are being exploited.
To (3) Non-participants
- Usually most people are indifferent to their own project. They are not yet uninvolved. They have other priorities that they (must) follow: family, their profession, other association activities
- In order to convince these people, it is important to make it clear how your own project could do for them.
- With what – very specifically – can these people help? Can they really provide this help?
Take note: These people should not be overtaxed, otherwise they will get angry and they could hold it against you.
To (4) Disinterested
- These people have clearly signalled their lack of interest. This must be respected.
- You shouldn’t spend any more time trying to convince her.
- Perhaps at another time, a new way to get in touch with them arises.
Take note: The attempt to convince these people could be perceived as intrusive or missionary.
To (5) Opponents
- A first important step is to know who these people or groups are.
- What are their arguments with which they reject their own enterprise? What lies behind these arguments?
- Are there ways to appease these people if they openly oppose their own project?
- What could be possible counter-strategies?
- Thinking ahead about who might be against you takes away the element of surprise from the opposition. You may not be forced to react out of disappointment or frustration.
- One should try not to wear oneself down in discussions with these groups/people. Dialogue may be the wrong strategy at the moment.
- If possible, do not take the dispute personally or let it become personal.
Sometimes, however, the best relationships arise by chance.