Being Empathetic Beyond the Users
Users – whether Customers or Employees – are but one set of your Stakeholders.
For example, meeting the needs of the Users – while bankrupting the owners/ shareholders would be a problem, no? Something to be avoided, right?
The Stakeholder Context – Is About Taking a Systems View
Myopic Views are too narrow. Expand your vision and thinking – especially your Design Thinking. Take a Systems View while thinking about Users and being empathetic.
Society – as a Stakeholder – is at the forefront of those who take Social Responsibility seriously.
However – most don’t. Even those who promote this. Be careful out there.
If Social Responsibility isn’t your backstop – the Governments in the lands where you operate and sell are. Most of the time, anyway. We know that this isn’t always true by the number of fines – and more rarely the number of leaders thrown into jail – that we read about or see on TV/our smart devices.
Sometimes it’s the Shareholders/Owners interests that dominate – despite the Laws and Social Reputation. In any event – they are near the top – as it’s their money – their equity – that’s being plowed into business operations for product/service delivery – for a return.
Boards of Directors oversee management to see that their fiduciary responsibilities are being carried out – and that investments of owner/shareholder equity are not gambled away – except on sure bets, of course.
Executives formulate and carry out the business strategies as approved/modified by the Board of Directors – or Owners.
Managers oversee the carrying out of the Tactics of the Executive’s Strategies.
Customers receive the benefits of these Strategies and Tactics – if the value is perceived as better than their alternatives.
Employees carry out those Tactics at the Process level.
Suppliers have needs (and wants) too. At some point meeting your needs may make them unprofitable – or be otherwise unacceptable – and they may wish you upon their biggest competitors.
The Communities that you operate in – have needs and wants to. Jobs. Clean environments, etc. are some of their concerns/ needs/ and wants.
Empathy – leads to better definitions of Products/Services.
Empathy – leads to better definitions of the Products/Services required.
Empathy – leads to better definitions of Products/Services which should lead to crisper ideas on how to meet those Defined Requirements.
Empathy – leads to better Prototypes for Testing.
Empathy – leads to better Testing of those Prototypes.
Empathy of all of the Stakeholders’ Requirements – needs and wants – should lead to better success – depending on what the competition is doing of course.
May The Stakeholders Be With You – By Design
Including the Users.
Past Writings Of Mine On This
The graphic of Stakeholders – for illustrative purposes – comes from my 1993 writings on this perspective of Stakeholders …
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). Balancing Conflicting Stakeholder Requirements – Wallace – March 1995 AQP
And the version in ISPI’s November 2011 Performance Express: performancexpress.org-Stakeholders Beyond the Customers The Customer Is King Not
Take a broader, Systems View, of Needs and Wants.
Users are but one constituency.
# # #