Always a meddler

Meddler - person with glass to the wall trying to listen in

In an organization where there is more than one person, you are likely to have multiple stakeholders. Whether you’re trying to get a business case approved, a new idea agreed to, or you’re trying to sell a product or service to another organization, you will find that some stakeholders are more visible than others.

The invisible and unknown stakeholders are the ones that can cause angst. Because there are people who have roles and agendas that have impact on your work, it can create unpredictability, delays and uncertainties. Typically, the hidden stakeholders are also furthest from the work and the ideas so there’s a lot of room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

As you develop new work on creating new products, services or software, it’s a good idea to try and identify which groups or specific people might have an impact on your idea down the line. Here are some examples:

  • Commercial teams might get involved in pricing or terms and conditions
  • Legal teams might care about terms and conditions, contracts for products or regulatory compliance
  • Regulation teams will care about how changes will impact corporate compliance
  • Senior Managers or Executives might have other agendas or directions that are hidden from you

Not everything can be predicted. Sometimes there are people or groups who remain completely invisible until the last moment when a contract is signed or your new idea is about to be launched. When this happens it can be incredibly frustrating – the best advice, stay calm and try to figure out how to educate them quickly on the goal, objectives and benefits.


Give some consideration to the different stakeholders who might have an input into your work. What mitigations or communications can you think of to help educate different groups on your work?