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How should we reconsider our approach to stakeholders?

C21st Orgs are like networked communities with a higher sense of dependency upon - and conscious responsibility for - wider humanity and the planet in general. When we choose this perspective we accept the reality that stakeholders include everyone and everything, and not just the life of today but that of future generations as well. So the question is less ‘who is a stakeholder?’ and more to what degree and how do we prioritise and balance this perspective with the energy and resources available to us.

How can we serve such a broad and shifting responsibility? The challenge is, to be honest with ourselves about our personal example; are we honouring the people and world around us? Are we creating an environment where others can do the same?

Here are some questions to consider.

  • Are we true to our values, even when we must sacrifice personal gain?
  • Are we constantly trying to grow and improve?
  • Do we admit it to our failings and seek to right our wrongs?
  • Are we known for being an organisation of love, empathy and generosity?
  • Do our employees show up with their authentic selves and follow their instincts?
  • Have we built a culture that allows for healthy conflict and challenge?
  • Do we honour our suppliers and service providers?
  • Do the families of the organisations and communities we deal with benefit from our presence in their lives?
  • Are we constantly considering the enduring vitality - and our duty to bear the responsibility - of the places we draw resources from, such as the environment?
  • How do we handle people’s frustration and disappointment when we fail or mistreat them? 
  • How do we treat those least able to complain about, or pursue us - such as the poor and disempowered?

Without its stakeholders an organisation is worthless. If we have a genuine commitment to them,  we will reap the joy and the rewards of the prosperity and abundance that such an exchange can create.

“Community doesn’t just create abundance―community is abundance. If we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human world might be transformed.”

Parker Palmer

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  1. John Featherby

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