Commitments, leadership and management systems as key elements for managing stakeholder relations

Propósito, Alineamiento & Marca Corporativa

Commitments, leadership and management systems as key elements for managing stakeholder relations

One of the most important changes that companies are facing at the moment is acknowledging the fact that the control of power shifted to stakeholders. This is how the situation is understood by around 50 experts with academic and business profiles who took part in the meeting titled An Organisation Focused on Stakeholders held by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership in Madrid.

According to Carlos Rey, Professor of Strategic Management at the Universidad Internacional de Catalunya, organisations have to incorporate stakeholder management into overall corporate culture. The academic emphasised that although a lot of attention is currently paid to this topic, on many occasions the results are partial and unsustainable. Rey believes that in order to step up the processes of stakeholder engagement it is necessary to undertake clear, concrete and concise commitments and communicate them to the stakeholders, which would allow the company to involve them in the organisation. Secondly, companies should develop systems of managing indicators and set objectives that are consistent and coherent with the company’s mission and vision. Finally, a leadership model has to be developed which would ensure that the commitments are supported by the top management of the company.

But how to develop this leadership model? According to Carlos Rey, we are witnessing a transition from the individualistic leadership model (leader – follower framework) to the shared leadership model (leader – leaders framework). Because organisations are governed by systems, the shared model ensures that the vision, the values and the commitments are shared at all levels and permeate the whole organisation.

In his turn, Carlos Vicente Alberto, Monsanto’s Director for Sustainability and International Relations in Europe explained how the company is managing its relations with the stakeholders and the focus on the role of employees in the organisation. Both speakers agree that it is necessary to break the barriers between different departments of the organisation in order to achieve firm-wide commitment, to promote the mission within the company and to project it outwards.

One of the most important conclusions of the meeting was that it is necessary to align an organisation’s strategy with the stakeholders, based on the long-term vision and starting with internal stakeholders, most importantly, with the employees.