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Positive Participation:

As you can see, initially developing your agency’s stakeholder map is a complex process. Additionally, keeping the map updated at least monthly is quite challenging. Were the above not enough, there are two more steps. The first is to identify positive participation for each key stakeholder: those people on the map whose names are underlined or who have wavy lines under their names.

Each key stakeholder on the map is there because you have determined that he has the potential for high influence in relation to one or more of the agency’s primary outcomes. Your task now is to articulate exactly what the individual can do to influence the specific outcome for the agency.

This is a point to never forget. Anyone who can actually influence one of the outcomes has the “power” to influence that outcome in either a positive or negative direction. An individual who can help the agency can also hurt it, to exactly the same degree he can help. Keep in mind the Chinese symbol for crisis: opportunity and danger. If you ever overlook or discount the potential danger, you run the risk of foreclosing the opportunity. If the individual stakeholder wants to help, he will help today. If he wants to “hurt,” he will do that when the time is right for him, probably when you least expect it.

•    You cannot afford to offend or alienate any stakeholder, ever, for any reason.

With this caveat in mind, exactly what can each key stakeholder do to positively influence the related outcome in a way that benefits the agency? Yes, stopping behavior that works to the agency’s disadvantage may be an appropriate strategic communication goal for a specific stakeholder now and then. The question here is simply: What can the specific stakeholder do to increase the agency’s ability to reach the specific outcome?

Stakeholders can either increase resources or authorization or both. More specifically, a stakeholder can increase financial resources or other types of resources that are potentially useful in furthering the pursuit of one of the primary outcomes. For example, a stakeholder may be able to increase the agency’s access to particular expertise, access to facilities or opportunities, or other non-financial resources. Additionally, a stakeholder may be able to directly authorize the agency to do something it needs to do or provide permission to become involved in an activity such as directly providing alcohol and drug services to agency clients.

Using only one sentence, answer this positive participation question. What can the stakeholder do to help the agency (PP)? How can he increase resources or authorization? For the stakeholder, PP = ?

Under the name of each key stakeholder on your map, write, in one sentence, the answer to the positive participation question in the form PP =….

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