I really enjoyed this article. It made me reflect on my own personal journey as a change agent.  When I first started working in service improvement many years ago, I was taught that one of the first steps you should always take when undertaking a project was stakeholder analysis. The findings of stakeholder analysis would allocate persons into groups depending on their willingness and influence. This consequently lead to labelling people ‘for’ or ‘against’ change. Never did we question the use of our language and if it was right for that group. I felt myself squirm in my seat as I related to some of the comments in the article.

This paper takes you through the importance of language and how it can impact on people’s understanding of what you do in your change work. It specifically highlights the need to change our language in order to be relational,  allowing us to understand our stakeholder stories as well as telling the project story.

In reflection I asked myself, “Should we rip up the traditional methodologies?”, “Should we redefine tools such as ‘stakeholder analysis?” Thus deflecting negative focus’ to positive within teams. “Should our stakeholders be defined in a bridging networking descriptive way, which compliments ‘working out loud’ in a relational connective way?

Any thoughts? Please comment below…


Kate Pound

This contextual piece was written by Kate Pound, Transformation Fellow, Horizons Group, NHS Improving Quality @KateSlater2

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