Perry Keenan, Kimberly Powell, Huib Kurstjens, Michael Shanahan, Mike Lewis, Massimo Busetti

The process of identifying and prioritizing stakeholders by their level of support for the change effort and their degree of influence in the organization promotes targeted engagement. We find that in many cases, influential supporters are underleveraged and skeptics underengaged. Effective stakeholder engagement sees business leaders arming influential supporters as change agents, giving them the information and messages they need to influence the organization. At the same time, it requires real backbone to deliberately engage the skeptics. The upside is enormous though. At the very least, you win their respect by hearing them out and potentially learn a thing or two about real-world obstacles to change. At best, you win them over, and they become passionate advocates for change. In many cases, the influential supporters are uniquely positioned to play key roles in converting skeptics.

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