How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Mapping of stakeholders in change can be a useful tool to understand the support and opposition you will get for a planned change.
Build the map by first analyzing your stakeholders and then plotting them in the map below, writing their names in the relevant box. A way of doing this in a team is to write the names down of the stakeholders on Post-It Notes and sticking them up on a big chart on the wall.
Stakeholders all have power, whether it is the formal power invested in a position of authority or it is social power of being able to persuade others to support or oppose the change.
Those with higher power are likely to be your most useful supporters or most dangerous opponents -- thus power analysis helps you prioritize your focus on stakeholders.
Active and passive support and resistance
Some people will actively support the change, putting their necks on the line and working long hours to help it succeed. Others will work the other way, vociferously seeking to scupper your efforts.
These active people are where much focus often happens. However, there is often a silent majority who are more difficult to classify. These may be in gatekeeper positions, where rather than taking positive action, they can subtly support or oppose the change by allowing things to happen or quietly blocking and hindering progress.
Fence-sitters in the middle
In the middle are the fence-sitters who neither support nor oppose the change. They are often playing a waiting game, looking out for who is going to win the game. Once they have made this decision, then they will act.
Other fence-sitters are simply undecided. Some people decide quickly whilst others need more reflection or persuasion.
Either way, one of the most important things about fence-sitters are their numbers, which can be very significant. Work hard to convert them and you may well win the game.
The question after you have identified the current positions of people is how to use and move them. Usually this means moving them on the chart. However, this movement usually has a cost, at least in terms of your time and effort. You thus need to seek what movement you can create at what cost and hence find the best alternatives for action.