3 Example Stakeholder Hierarchies – One Size Does Not Fit All – Which Fits You?

Certainly one view does not fit all situations – or realities – or preferences – or personal politics.

Which fits your Enterprise? Which fits your World View – of the ideal view or of the actual view – or of both?

The following is based on my 1995 article in the Quality & Participation Journal – available at ASQ here – titled:

The Customer is King … Not!: Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements

Only $5 for ASQ members and $10 otherwise. The original submitted version is available for free at the end of this post.

Why a hierarchy? Because in the messy real-world it would help speed decision making if one were cognizant of both the Stakeholder Requirements – and who wins when there are (the inevitable) conflicts. At all levels of management. At least – that’s my belief. Your’s could be different.

Example 1 – this fits the concept of Mega from Roger Kaufman. Working EVERYTHING for the good of a global Society. Others may see it as “their Society” and less of a world-view. Again, “to each her own.” Read about Roger here. And here are two video interviews that I did with him not too long ago – shortlonger. 5 and 29 minutes respectively.

Example 2 – is what I used in that 1995 article – which was prompted by a Client in the early 1990s who oft repeated (too oft for my liking) that the Customer is King. I disliked that – and also disliked simple slogans – because Deming told me to – and because I knew (or felt I knew) that life ain’t so simple. “What if the customer wanted you to do something illegal?” I asked – which was not appreciated and had no bearing on her thoughts afterward as the simple slogan was repeated often.  Thus an article was born – and not a Blog Post – as this “was” back in the day (1995).

Example 3 – in this view the Government has no place – probably an aspiration for some – but certainly only true in some of the rougher places in the world today – say where there is starvation and/or no central government in any real control – where the place is run by self-serving outlaw enterprises.  Where “each to her own” might mean buying your very own salmonella testing kit – ’cause no one’s doing that effectively more efficiently for the greater good baby! Nor should they be – say some.

Of course there are many other examples I could show you – but “to each her own” as the saying could be put.

It’s situational – and even though you may aspire to, or dream about, regarding some different configuration – some different hierarchy – a different ideal state – you’ve got to start with what’s real.

What does your Stakeholder Hierarchy look like?

The Customer Is King – Not! – 15 page PDF – the original version of the article published in the Journal for Quality and Participation in March 1995 – address Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements, and suggests that the Customer is Not the King of Stakeholders (despite the unfortunate slogans from the Quality movement despite Deming’s admonitions about slogans).

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