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Why stakeholders matter in strategy implementation

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STAKEHOLDERS can make or break the implementation of your strategy. It’s therefore imperative in strategy formulation that, at the outset, you perform a stakeholder analysis to identify the key influencers, supporters or blockers of your strategy.
Stakeholder analysis and management are crucial if an organisation is to succeed.
You need to engage the right people in the right way.

Engaging the right stakeholders can make a difference to your strategy.
A “stakeholder” is anyone who has an interest in the value that the organisation creates.
In a commercial setup this could be shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, government and its agencies and the community or society at large.

The actions that the organisation take and the strategic decisions that it makes will invariably affect a lot of people, albeit in different ways and varying degrees depending on their level of interest in the institution.
The organisation’s actions and decisions will likely impact people who have power and influence over its strategy. These people can act as positive levers to the implementation of the strategy or can block it if it will affect them negatively.

As a leader in your organisation you need to know who exactly your stakeholders are and what power they have and how much interest they have in the organisation. Can they exercise their power and under what conditions will they do so?
The process in stakeholder management starts with stakeholder analysis-which is the identification of the key stakeholders who are interested in your organisation that need to be won over.

The next step is to work out how much power and influence they wield and how much interest they have in your organisation.
Once the key stakeholders have been identified, their power, influence and interest having been assessed, you then have to work out how to build the support you need from these key stakeholders that will ensure the successful implementation of your intended strategy.
There are benefits that will accrue to the organisation by engaging its key stakeholders. Your organisation can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape its strategy and ensure you get their support.

When you engage early with your stakeholders and communicate regularly with them they will appreciate what you are doing and how this will impact on them. They will be amenable to release resources that you need for the strategy to succeed.
Stakeholder engagement helps you anticipate their reaction to your strategy and therefore you can come up with an appropriate plan to address their concerns early before these concerns become an issue that can stall the strategy implementation.

The process of stakeholder identification requires that you think of all the people or organisations that are affected by your actions or decisions. Those who have influence or power over the organisation, or have an interest in the successful or unsuccessful implementation of its strategy should be identified. The stakeholders for each organisation vary but will likely include the following: shareholders, government, suppliers, customers, management, employees, analysts, trade unions, business associations, the public and the community. If you are dealing with organisations, as one of the stakeholders, make sure that you identify the right individuals in that organization to communicate with.

The stakeholder list that you come up with after the brainstorming will have varying levels of power, influence or interest in the organisation. Others may be interested in what you are doing, but others may not care. Some may have the power to either block or advance your strategy. You need therefore to prioritise the key stakeholders that you need to pay very close attention to. This part of the analysis can be done using a framework that will classify stakeholders by their power over your organisation and by their interest in that particular strategy.
If a stakeholder has high power and is very interested in your organisation, you need to fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy such stakeholders. They can stifle implementation of your strategy. An example would be management, employees or key customers.

If on the other hand the stakeholders have high power but are less interested, then just put enough work in these stakeholders to keep them satisfied but not as much as the above stakeholders. These could be the institutional shareholders like pension funds.
The other stakeholders are those with low power but are very interested. You would need to keep these people adequately informed, and communicate to them to ensure that no major issues arise. If these stakeholders are on your side, they can assist you very well in ensuring that they speak well of the strategy. Such people or organisations could be pressure groups.
The last group is those who have low power and minimal interest in the organisation. You need to monitor these stakeholders but give minimal attention.

The first three groups of stakeholders are your key stakeholders. You need to know how they feel and will react to your strategy and how best to engage them and how best to communicate with them.
In dealing with the key stakeholders you need to know first their likely response to your strategy. Identify what really motivates them. You should establish whether they would behave differently if they have the relevant information about the strategy. You also need to know the decision makers so that you can engage them. You need to talk with the key stakeholders because this will show that you respect their opinions and by so doing you establish a good and successful relationship with them and they will obviously support your strategy if it incorporates their opinions and addresses their concerns.

Timely, frequent and informative communication involving all key stakeholders will ensure support from key stakeholders and ensure successful implementation of your strategies.

 

Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy (ACCA P3), advanced performance management (P5) and entrepreneurship. He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans, tender documents and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations. For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062 .

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Short courses for ex-mineworkers

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THE Lesotho Diamond Academy has introduced mining short courses, particularly to ex-mineworkers, to help them re-enter the mining sector.
The Essential Introductory Courses, which will run for two weeks, will start from June this year. The courses are meant particularly for people who worked in mines in South Africa.

The Academy’s CEO, Relebohile Molefe, unveiled the new courses during the graduation of 18 students last week, four of whom are now armed with Cutting and Polishing certificates while 14 graduated with Rough Diamond Evaluation certificates.

The new courses include the Essential Certificate in Diamond Grading and the Essential Certificate in Diamond Evaluation.

“The decision to offer these courses aligns with the Academy’s dedication to bridge the gap and ensure that individuals with valuable experience can seamlessly reintegrate into the diamond and jewelry industry,” Molefe said.

“By providing short courses, the academy does not only impart essential skills but also contributes to the sector’s growth by reactivating experienced individuals who had lost access to the industry due to no formal documents showing their experience in the industry,’’ she said.

During the graduation celebration, Molefe also unveiled a new sponsorship programme for various courses.

One outstanding student previously sponsored, who demonstrated exceptional proficiency in Rough Diamond Evaluation, was granted a fully funded bursary to further his studies into Advanced Certificate in Round Diamond Brilliantering.

In pursuit of its multifaceted objectives, one of which is to serve as a catalyst for employers in the diamond and jewelry sector to devise skills development strategies, the Academy is set to sponsor four additional students in the upcoming intake starting from February 15.

Two of these bursaries will afford a 30 percent discount on overall fees for two students progressing from Cutting and Polishing to advanced studies in Rough Diamond Evaluation.

Two will be fully funded bursaries to study for a Certificate in Diamond Cutting and Polishing.

Additionally, the institution will extend two fully funded bursaries to the public, fostering inclusivity and expanding opportunities.

The Academy says it plans to announce the search for two deserving Basotho individuals on its social media pages and website.

“Importantly, the bursary programme bears no age restrictions, reflecting a commitment to fairness and inclusiveness, ensuring that opportunities are accessible to all, irrespective of age,” it says in a statement.

The Academy says it seeks “to be a dynamic force in shaping the industry, not just within national borders, but also on regional and international platforms”.

“The emphasis on competitiveness within these markets underscores the institution’s commitment to producing graduates who are not only proficient but also globally competitive,” the statement reads.

“The recent graduation ceremony symbolises a milestone in the Academy’s journey. The success of its students is a testament to the quality of education and the foresight embedded in the curriculum.”

The Academy says its decision to sponsor further education for outstanding performers reflects a belief in nurturing talent and contributing to the continuous improvement of the diamond industry.

The Lesotho Diamond Academy was founded by the late Mpalipali Molefe, a prominent educator, diamond trader and an MP, who recognised the imperative to elevate professionalism in the diamond industry.

Staff Reporter

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Bank hands over uniforms to students

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THE Lesotho Post Bank donated uniforms to students at Leqele High School worth a staggering M60 000 as part of its Back-To-School campaign.
The bank said it did this “to keep needy children in school and to promote their education”.

A teacher at the school, Tšepo Semethe, said the uniforms will likely motivate the students to work harder in their studies.

Semethe insisted on giving the bank the names of the students so that it could check their performance at the end of the year.

“At Leqele High School, we work very hard because what we want is excellence above all. To us, hard work pays,” he said.

The bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Molefi Khama, said they are getting old, they will soon retire and Lesotho Post Bank will be in the hands of these children.

He pleaded with the students to work harder.

“This is why we decided to come here to support the students in their education so that when coming to school, they should be confident,” Khama said.

“We are watching you and waiting on you,” he said.

The school’s head prefect, Tholoana Monatsi, said from now on, “no student will be identified by what they wear”.

“(Lesotho) Post Bank made us one and we thank them for that because what we wear cannot stand before our education. We indeed thank you and forever you will hold special places in our hearts,” she said.

A parent, ’Marorisang Latela, said they were very grateful for the gift from Lesotho Post Bank adding that they must also donate to other schools.

Minister of Trade, Mokethi Shelile, promised to go back to the school to discuss how the children could learn in comfortable surroundings.

Relebohile Tšepe

 

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Mamello School of Special Needs wins prize

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MAMELLO School of Special Needs is the first-place winner of Standard Lesotho Bank’s Scaled-Up Pitching Den held at Maseru Avani on Tuesday.
The school has secured a grand prize for an all-expenses-paid trip to Kenya to participate as a finalist representing Lesotho at the Standard Bank Africa Awards.

The school, pioneered in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic through Zoom classes, deals with children who live with conditions such as autism, attachment disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) dyslexia, Down syndrome and slow learners.


STKTM Solutions claimed the second-place spot, receiving a commendable M10 000, while Masia Farms secured third place and a M5 000 prize.


Pheello Masia of Masia Farms, thanked Standard Lesotho Bank for backing their vision and that of other Basotho entrepreneurs.


He acknowledged that the bank’s faith in their endeavours serves as a source of inspiration, propelling them to work harder and foster growth within the community.


The event, aimed at fortifying support and fostering regional integration for Basotho entrepreneurs across the African continent, showcased the bank’s commitment to driving the growth of Lesotho.


Malatola Phothane, Head of Enterprise Banking at Standard Lesotho Bank, set the tone in his welcoming remarks.


“As Standard Lesotho Bank, through business and commercial banking, we strive to turn possibilities into opportunities,” Phothane said.


“Lesotho is our home, and we drive her growth,” he said.


His words resonated with the bank’s dedication to nurturing local talent and fostering economic development.


Phothane acknowledged the eight finalists, commending them for their resilience and passion for their businesses.


He emphasised how each entrepreneur had stood their ground, displaying knowledge and unwavering commitment.


The recognition not only highlighted the achievements of the finalists but also underscored the bank’s role in recognising and uplifting the entrepreneurial spirit within the community.


Aliciah Motšoane, founder of Prestige Furnitures and Sentebale Gap Funeral Services, played a significant role at the event as a motivational speaker, sharing her entrepreneurial journey filled with challenges and triumphs.


She recounted her humble beginnings when she was selling bread in high school, leading to the establishment of Prestige Furnitures in 1998.


Despite facing a significant setback after her shop was burnt down during the riots and incurring a loss of M5 million, Motšoane never gave up.


She said business is always a demanding endeavour adding that it needs hard work and a unique mindset.


She urged entrepreneurs to embrace their roots, seek inspiration, and persevere through challenges.


The keynote speaker, the bank’s Head of Business and Commercial Clients, Keketso Makara, said the bank is committed to foster a thriving business environment, highlighting the pivotal role of youth collaboration across diverse economic sectors.


Makara said their mandate aims to empower youths in steering the private sector towards growth, contributing to economic diversification.


Makara urged the eight finalists to actively involve bankers in refining their proposals for maximum impact on economic stimulation and sustainable development.


The bank said the Scaled-Up Pitching Den not only served as a stage for entrepreneurs to present their ventures but also acted as a driving force for networking, collaboration, and collective empowerment.

Staff Reporter

 

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