…his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
As we get started this week, I want to share a quote with you from American author Upton Sinclair that got me thinking about the importance of understanding who the key stakeholders are (and their objectives) when embarking on any enterprise.
I’ve talked about the compensable value of complexity versus scale before, and just as back then I want to emphasize that in smartly run organizations the people tasked with being final decision makers are not the only stakeholders that need to be influenced to obtain a desired result: While decision making authority may flow up through only one person on an org chart, there is often an informal network of decision makers that must be traversed to ultimately obtain one’s goals.
To this point, in HR we are often faced with the challenge of meeting the diverse needs of numerous stakeholders; the identities of all these stakeholders are not always immediately clear, nor are their goals.
Moreso than in most functions, good HR is about identifying the objectives of all relevant stakeholders – those with both formal and informal power – and generating their buy-in before preceding with any new initiatives.
If you can’t align the goals of all key stakeholders before advancing a cause you may be dooming it from the start.
…Or maybe I have this wrong?
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.