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To gain a better understanding of your business and to play a key role in its success, it is vital for the legal department to know who its stakeholders are. Once identified, these stakeholders need to be managed, both in terms of understanding their needs and in nurturing your relationships with them.
It is not enough just to know who your stakeholders are though, they should be categorisesd according to their power, influence and interest so that you can identify which ones are your key stakeholders. This exercise is known as stakeholder mapping.
By identifying your key stakeholders and regularly monitoring and reviewing your relationships with them you can ensure your services remain relevant. If you understand your key audience, you can tailor your work and allocate your resources so that the legal department’s work remains aligned to the business and its goals.
Ignore your stakeholders at your peril. If you overlook or neglect them, you run the risk they may work against you, or certainly that they will not actively support what you do.
Stakeholders are the people either within or outside your organisation who have an interest in, or are affected by, the outcome of the service you provide. Stakeholders can consist of individuals, departments or groups. Examples of typical stakeholders include:
external law firms
regulators, eg the Solicitors
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