Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsPAM LINDSAY-DUNN: I think any business, whatever you do, whatever industry your stakeholders are important, to me, they're key because actually without them I couldn't actually do my job. They are crucial to everything that I do.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsSOPHIE JEWETT: There's a wide range of stakeholders for us. Of course, our customers. But we also have our consumers. And they are the people that receive our chocolate gifts when they've been bought by a loved one. We also play an important role within our city and contribute to our city. And being part of our city is a very important role for us.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 secondsNATALIE SYKES: So with the charity which I'm involved with, our stakeholders are the communities that we work within, as well as the Charities Commission. So there are a number of different stakeholders. There are those that we employ. There is the board. And there's also the pockets of deprivation that we go into.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsPAM LINDSAY-DUNN: I've got a number of clients that I deal with. I've got a number of candidates that work in our marketplace. And I've also got our consultants that actually run the business for me. So I've probably got three very distinct stakeholders, all of which probably want different things at different times. And all of which are very, very important to the process.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsDELROY BEVERLEY: In the private sector setting, your stakeholders will traditionally be the shareholder. So I used to work in the banking environment. Your shareholders are the biggest voice, particularly at an AGM. They are the ones that can make or break a leader's career.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 secondsPAM LINDSAY-DUNN: A good manager will, at their optimum, have everyone on side. And that's your absolute ultimate goal. But in any business, that isn't going to happen every time. And in that case, you have to be prepared to take the voice of the majority and also do make sure you drive things forward. You can't let one person or two people derail what you're going to do because, actually, the focus is right, the strategy is right. You have to carry on.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 secondsPAUL MYLREA: And there will be people who will oppose you. Simple as that. And you have to understand that. But one of the biggest lessons from some of my jobs has been that actually listening to the people who oppose you and trying to find in what they're saying that kernel of truth is probably, in some cases, more vital than listening to the people who support you.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsDELROY BEVERLEY: One of the things I would say that I spend a lot of my time on as a leader is managing those relationships. Nurturing those relationships, making sure that you are servicing that relationship, is real important so you can understand where that stakeholder is coming from and they can understand what your challenges are.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsSOPHIE JEWETT: Understanding what motivates them, what success looks like to them, what their key concerns and considerations are and understanding that, understanding how you can meet that, how you can support that, but also being very honest and authentic about sometimes when your vision and their vision and needs and requirements don't match. And if you can have that as an open and honest conversation, then actually you can grow and negotiate from that point. It's not about pleasing people and it's not about confronting people. It's about trying to work amicably and in partnership together.

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 secondsPAUL MYLREA: Managing and understanding stakeholders is something which is probably at the heart of all management. I've spent a lot of time-- and indeed money-- managing stakeholders, understanding what they want, understanding their perceptions. If I have to promote the reputation of an institution, I need to understand what stakeholders think about that institution and why they think that and how might I get them to change that view. And if I want them then to do something as a result, what is the thing that's going to get them to do that thing. So understanding stakeholders is key, is part of that political nous. And I think people sometimes see political astuteness as something that's in the world of party politics. It's not.

Skip to 4 minutes and 12 secondsEvery institution has its politics.

So who are stakeholders and why are they important?

Over the next four weeks, you will be exploring some of the core elements of being an effective leader and a good manager.

In this first week you’ll start with stakeholders: people who have an interest in an organisation. Then in Week 2, it’s all about planning and how that underpins an organisation’s growth and success. In Week 3 and Week 4 you will be focusing on building and maintaining a team: making sure you’ve got the right people in place with the right skills and experience to deliver for your organisation.

We will be asking you to bring and share your own experiences of leading and managing. You might already be managing other people. Or you may want to be in that position some day. Or perhaps you just want to know a bit more about how organisations work.

You’ll also begin – if you haven’t already – to plan your personal development with your own PDP diary, and keep a learning log of the knowledge you acquire during this course. These can be something as simple as Word documents which you keep on your computer and update as you continue your studies.

In this step you will be studying stakeholders – who they are, why they are important, what they want and how to meet their needs. You will be exploring how you can map the levels of interest in your organisation which are particular to each stakeholder group, and how best to focus your own stakeholder management efforts.

You will be drawing on your own experience as a stakeholder, as well as reflecting on how your own organisation manages its stakeholders and learning about others’ approaches. You will be hearing from some experienced leaders and managers and their take on stakeholders. Also, you will be contributing your own ideas and comments on a case study organisation as it tries to get to grips with meeting its stakeholder needs.

Much of leadership and management is about people. People who have an interest in an organisation are referred to as ‘stakeholders’.

To set the scene, here are some very experienced leaders and managers sharing their views on stakeholders and why they matter. The speakers come from different types of organisation, so in the conversation you will hear about many kinds of stakeholder. Some of them you might not have thought about before.

Is there anything in the video that surprises you? What new insights do you get from this conversation? Does it make you think about your own organisation’s stakeholders in a new light?

When you have watched the video, don’t forget to share your thoughts in comments below, and mark this step as complete before selecting ‘Next’.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Management and Leadership: Leading a Team

The Open University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: