Mark Kennedy introduced the concept of “Shapeholders” to business strategy.
Shapeholders are the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape, constrain or expand a firm’s opportunities and risks.
Treating Shapeholders as Stakeholders when they have little or no stake in your success leads to sub-optimal results.
Based on his experiences in both the private sector and public life, Kennedy developed a framework of shapeholder engagement that takes a long-term view of the most beneficial path – Seven Steps for Shapeholder Success.
The first set of “A’s” – Align, Anticipate, and Assess – define how to be well positioned with respect to shapeholder actions.
The second set of “A’s” – Advance, Avert, Acquiesce and Assemble – explain how to act in response to an attack or opportunity posed by shapeholders as illustrated by the Shapeholder Decision Matrix >>
If you either must or believe you can prevail in achieving the position you advance on an issue, it is essential to optimize the right mix of What (Message), Where (Arena), Who (Coalition) and How (Channel).