I recently posted a blog entry entitled "open letter to the CEO" and one of the readers took me to task for posting something with a misspelling because I used the term Stakeholder instead of Shareholder.
While we might be talking semantics here, I thin for every organization there is tremendous potential to change the focus from shareholder to stakeholder.
It encompasses a greater audience for the success of the organization. But assuming we are talking just semantics only let's look at the definitions of the two terms.
According to Dictionary.com, a shareholder refers to one who holds or owns shares of a company. In essence this means that the individual or organization holds a financial interest in the organization and looks at all decisions from a return on investment perspective. Every decision that is made is from the view of the effect on the bottom line.
According to Dictionary.com again, the stakeholder is a person or group that has an investment, share, or interest in the organization.
So here is where I part ways with the comment writer. The global marketplace has changed. Our success as organizations is now dependent on a rapidly growing resource base for our success. The correct term in the new arena is that of stakeholder. The investment does not have to be in the form of shares of stock. Consider these stakeholders and see how they differ from shareholders:
- Your industry
- Your competitors
- Potential talent resources
Stakeholders look at our organizations to determine what is necessary for the organization to make them more competitive in the marketplace. We do this through our policies, our products, our customer service levels, the way we treat employees and how we treat the community in which we function everyday. The stakeholder has a vested interest in the success of our organization. Unlike a shareholder, if we are not meeting their needs they can easily pick up and abandon our efforts for someone who will meet those needs. This global marketplace we are now in demands transparency with all parties to the operations from the floor person to the executive suite to the customer and vendor. It demands a new focus on what makes all better not just one segment of the equation.
So next time you are reviewing the operation of your enterprise, consider broadening your focus to encompass the entire market rather then just those who have put their money where their mouth is in the form of a monetary investment within your organization. Consider that those individuals who help you make, sell and service your product or service are just as important as the shareholders.
Daniel T. Bloom is the founder and Managing Partner of Daniel Bloom & Associates, Inc. Founded in 1980, DBAI is a Largo, Florida based human Capital consulting firm. Serving corporate clients nationwide, we have assisted organizations from small real estate firms to members of the Fortune 1000 with various human capital related issues.
DBAI services three niche markets with services to assist organizations to maximize the human capital assets of the organization.
The first niche is comprised of those organizations with fewer than 100 employees who either do not have or never had a human resources department and now find them selves in need of expert counsel on human capital issues. We in essence become their HR department but on a retained basis where they can call us as the need arises.
The second niche market are those corporations with a small HR staff who have an urgent need for specialized human capital services and we can provide the expertise to complete the application of these services on a timely and cost effective basis.
The third niche is strategic human capital project completion for the large corporations on a divisional basis.
The service package of DBAI includes, but is not limited to, the areas of talent management, training, vendor management, policy design, relocation management, process improvement and EEO.
A resident of Florida since 1980, Mr. Bloom was an executive recruiter with several contingency recruiting firms in the metropolitan New York market, a member of the internal HR staff of the ECI Division of E-Systems (Now Raytheon), a licensed real estate broker providing relocation services to corporate clients, an educator and since 1980 a Human Resource Consultant. He is a national member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Worldwide ERC (the corporate relocation trade association), and the American Society for Quality. In addition he is a member in the Tampa Bay area of American Society for Training and Development, Tampa Bay Metro Business Leadership Network and the Tampa Bay Executive Forum. In addition he serves on the Expert Panel for the Round Table Group in the area of human resource issues.
Mr. Bloom received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Parsons College majoring in Education and Certification in Six Sigma from St Petersburg College. He holds certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Human Resource Certification Institute, a Senior Certified Relocation Professional from Worldwide ERC and a Six Sigma Black Belt from St Petersburg College.
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