Stakeholders – the key to your business and to Brexit.

I didn’t mention stakeholders in a previous post about negotiation

You might still benefit from reflecting on what I did say in that post. You might also like to have another look at something I wrote about consulting, which sometimes is similar to negotiation, and should involve stakeholders. I referred to the Brexit process as an example. I am doing so again: an example of how not to do it.

Mrs May has ignored key stakeholders.

The PM has treated the exercise as a negotiation only with the EU, although she was aware there were many views on Brexit within the UK. We have certainly heard a lot about divisions, but the media have concentrated on divisions within the Conservative Party. However, it is not just the Conservatives who will be leaving the EU. (Now there’s a thought!)

The PM should have especially considered the Scots, Welsh and Ulstermen – not just the DUP, as the province voted Remain, whilst the party is for Leave.

St Andrew's Cross. Scotland is one of the UK's key stakeholders.
St Andrew’s Cross. Scotland is one of the UK’s key stakeholders.
How could other stakeholders have been involved?

The PM should have convened a group consisting of members of all the other political parties, before triggering Article 50 and established as much consensus as possible. Even where they disagreed, the others would at least have felt she had listened to them. Mrs May could have consulted the group at various stages of the negotiations. The EU would then have been aware that they were negotiating with the UK, not just with the present minority government.

What difference would involving other stakeholders have made?
  1. It might have strengthened the PM’s hand in her dealings with the EU .
  2. Other stakeholders might have accepted the necessity for waiving some of their red lines.
  3. The PM might not have found herself so isolated in Parliament and beyond.

OK these are three ‘mights’ but seeing how things are now, wouldn’t it have been worth trying?

What about YOUR stakeholders?

Do you negotiate only with clients? What about others with a stake in your business?

  • Funding bodies
  • Employees
  • Suppliers
  • The local community

Do they come into consideration only when there is a row, or do you let them in at stage 1?

Don’t find yourself in a Brexit without a paddle – ask your stakeholders!