Stakeholder-Driven Change Management Strategy

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Change and Communication Strategy

In the modern dynamic organizational environment, change management is very important because it defines the ability of such an organization to remain relevant. It must ensure that it is capable of dealing with change in policy, law, or any other external environmental force that may require change (Buck 2013). It is important to come up with an appropriate change management strategy that can enable an organization to be flexible to the forces in the environment. The researcher proposes the use of a stakeholder-driven change management strategy. Instead of the top managers dictating what changes need to be embraced, an organization should allow its stakeholders to be involved in change management. Whenever a new policy or law is enacted, stakeholders should be invited- especially those who are directly affected by the new law- so there can be a negotiated approach of handling the change. As Ketchledge (2015) notes, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy cannot work in the modern dynamic and highly unpredictable environment. This strategy makes it possible for an organization to take an approach to manage the change that is unique to the forces in the market. Once the stakeholders agree on the needed approach of change management, the information should be communicated to all the relevant stakeholders through various platforms. First, there should be a memo sent electronically to all the relevant stakeholders because of its official nature. The management can then engage the stakeholders in social media platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp platforms.

Justification for the Communication Strategy Chosen

The information about the adopted change strategy will be communicated to the relevant stakeholders before its implementation using traditional forms of communication and the emerging social media platforms. The choice of using a memo was arrived at because of its official nature and the fact that it targets individuals. People will treat that form of communication with a sense of responsibility. The social media (Facebook and Whatsapp) are meant to facilitate debate among the stakeholders. The stakeholders can easily engage in constructive debate on social media to ensure that everyone understands and appreciates the need for change and that they know the approach that will be taken. Different views can easily be gathered and a unified approach agreed upon that takes into consideration view. The approach was chosen because it is all-inclusive and gives priority stakeholder engagement when implementing a change management strategy.

Potential Impact and Consequences of the Strategy

It is important to appreciate that the strategy has its benefits and consequences worth noting. The benefit of the strategy is that it reduces resistance to change that may be witnessed during the implementation process. Given that everyone will be actively involved in the process, they will find it easy to support the process. It is also developing a positive reputation for the management given that it actively consults all the stakeholders when embracing change (Cummings & Angwin 2015). External stakeholders, partners, and customers will easily understand and appreciate the need for change. The stakeholders will feel empowered and more committed to finding a solution to other new issues that may require the firm to embrace change. On the other hand, the biggest consequence of this communication strategy (the use of social media) is that it may be time-consuming. Having to wait for the stakeholders to engage in consultative discussions may sometimes require a lot of time. The strategy may also be inappropriate if the information shared is sensitive. Using social media means that the information might be accessed by non-members of the organization, a fact that may expose the firm to various risks based on the nature of information shared.

Supporting a Mind Map

Decision-making Mind Map, Stakeholders, and Potential Risks

A mind map is very critical in the decision-making processes in policy and law. It creates a clear pattern of the path that should be followed when making decisions. The map ensures that important stakeholders and issues are not ignored in the decision-making process. The mind map developed was in line to come up with an appropriate change management strategy and then finding the best way of communicating it to the relevant stakeholders. The figure below shows the mind map that will be used.

Mind map
Figure 1: Mind map. Source (Developed by author)

As shown in the figure above, it all starts with the need to manage change. The management must take into consideration both the internal and external factors when planning a change management strategy. Also important is the need to understand how to manage potential risks, especially the risk of facing resistance to change among the stakeholders. This is common when handling complex public issues that may raise controversies and debates (Strausbaugh 2014). Issues such as transparency and accountability must also be taken into consideration at this stage to avoid possible resistance. After developing collaborative relationships and partnerships to help in managing change, the next important step is to communicate the strategy to the stakeholders.

As shown in the above mind map, the communication strategy will take two approaches. The first approach will be to use an internal communication system. The stakeholders within the firm will need to receive information about the new strategy as soon as possible. The chosen approach is the use of a memo that shall be electronically sent to individual stakeholders within the organization. The memo is an official document and it will emphasize the need for the stakeholders to address the issue with seriousness. The communication strategy will also involve the use of social media. Social networks help in creating a culture of working as teams (Bossche & Zdouc 2013). It offers a platform for dialogue where stakeholders can discuss the intended strategy and issues that raise controversy to be addressed through proper communication among the stakeholders. Two social media platforms were chosen, which are Facebook and Whatsapp. These platforms make it possible for stakeholders to engage in dialogue. A platform such as Whatsapp ensures that information can only be shared among the relevant stakeholders. It limits the possibility of vital information leaking into the public.

Appreciation of the Consequences of Implementing the Policy

Implementing a new policy or law may have varying consequences depending on the approach that was taken. The approach proposed above involves the active engagement of stakeholders and the need to maintain transparency and accountability. As such, it is expected that there will be little or no resistance and that the outcome will be positive. However, when a multi-stakeholder approach is ignored, then a possible resistance from the stakeholders may be experienced. It is also possible that the outcome will be skewed in favor of some stakeholders and against others because of a lack of consultation.

Importance of High-Level Briefing in Policy Making

Methodology to Evaluate the Impact of New Policies

High-level briefing in policymaking is very important (Farwell 2012). It ensures that all the relevant stakeholders are adequately informed about a new policy that is about to be introduced and that they are ready to work under the new systems and structures. To evaluate the impact of the new policies, the appropriate method would be the client feedback approach. The clients will help in determining how positively or negatively the overall performance of the organization has been affected following the introduction of the new policies. Their feedback will help in determining if the new policies are having the desired impact on the organization.

The Guarantee That All Relevant Aspects of the Policy Are Examined

When making a high-level briefing, it is necessary to guarantee that all relevant aspects of the policy will be examined. The guarantee that is given at this stage is that all stakeholders will be engaged. Through this multi-stakeholder approach, it will be easy to identify all important aspects that need to be examined (Pfeffermann, Minshall, & Mortara 2013). Cases, where some aspects are ignored, will be rare because of the multi-stakeholder approach that is used. Stakeholders will be able to raise concerns in case a critical issue in their area is ignored.

The Guarantee that the Findings Are Reported Honestly

High-level briefing in policymaking requires some degree of honesty among the stakeholders (Ministers 2015). Honesty will be guaranteed by promoting transparency. The entire process will be done in an open manner where all the stakeholders will be able to ask questions and get responses instantly. There will be no clandestine activities that may raise controversy or mistrust among the stakeholders. Transparency in all the decision making processes will ensure that nothing is hidden from these high-level stakeholders (Hynes 2015). It is important to note that the consultative approach will be initiated at the earliest stage possible before the decision is made to the last stage so that any concern that may arise would be addressed promptly.

The Guarantee that All Aspects Have Been Reported Within a High-Level Briefing

Finally, it will be important to ensure that all aspects have been reported within a high-level briefing. This can be done by ensuring that there is accountability. The decision making organ must remain accountable not only at the policymaking stage but also during the process of reporting to the high-level stakeholders. These stakeholders must have the right information presented in the right manner. For instance, when the information is to be shared among the departmental heads, it is important to ensure that every head of the department is provided with information relevant to the department (Adolphsen 2014). The Head of finance will need information relevant to his or her department to ensure that decisions can be made based on new knowledge. It is also important to ensure that the departments share relevant information. For instance, the finance department will need to work closely to understand how and when to finance them as a way of ensuring that the resources are used to address the most important issues within the organization.

Reference List

Adolphsen, M 2014, Communication strategies of governments and NGOs: engineering global discourse at high-level international summits, Wiley, Hoboken.

Bossche, P & Zdouc, W 2013, The law and policy of the World Trade Organization: text, cases, and materials, Cengage, New York.

Buck, S 2013, Understanding environmental administration and law, Island Press, New York.

Cummings, S & Angwin, D 2015, Strategy builder: how to make and communicate more effective strategies, Wiley Hoboken.

Farwell, J 2012, Persuasion and power: the art of strategic communication, Georgetown University Press, Washington.

Hynes, G 2015, Managerial communication: strategies and applications, Wiley, Hoboken.

Ketchledge, J 2015, Successful smart grid implementation, Cengage, New York.

Ministers, N 2015, Nordic Council of Ministers communication strategy 2015-2018, Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen.

Pfeffermann, N, Minshall, T & Mortara, L 2013, Strategy and communication for innovation, Cengage, New York.

Strausbaugh, K 2014, Advertising campaign strategy: a guide to marketing communication plans, Wiley, Hoboken.

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