Voting in 2016 shows just how much stakeholders matter

Voting in 2016 shows just how much stakeholders matter

12th man, also known as key stakeholders

If there is anything 2016 has taught us so far – and we still have seven weeks of it left! – it’s how understanding our stakeholders can make or break our ambitions. In the wake of the latest political upset, the US presidential elections, another camp is engaged in head scratching and soul searching. How could it possibly have gone so wrong, and how could so many signals have been missed?

Some are engaged in the blame game, while others are taking stock to make some shocking discoveries. When push came to shove and the red pencils finally hovered over the ballot papers it became clear that they did not understand their key stakeholders well enough to win the ballot – or even understood their real concerns at all.

Hyper-connected stakeholders

Understanding your stakeholders properly without kidding yourself in the process turns out to be more important than ever. It’s a hyper-connected world we live in – we have known that for a while now. People who would have been virtually voiceless just a few years ago are major influencers today with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers on social media, etcetera, etcetera.

But something more sophisticated is happening at the same time. Where people can choose to follow a YouTube vlog or Twitter influencer, social media themselves are starting to take on a life of their own, choosing what to put in front of users based on their browsing habits.