Stakeholder Anatomy: a Medical Illustration
Medicine offers the most dramatic example of the stakeholder role. Take the mission of the American Heart Association expressed through the content of its website, heart.org, an early guide to the stricken, their loved ones, the wary, and the practical. The fact is that everyone feels at risk for a heart attack, so everyone is a potential stakeholder in advances that prevent or treat heart disease.
Should the unfortunate event occur, the patient is an instant stakeholder, as are his or her dependents and other loved ones. The wary might be anyone with a family history. The practical might be those concerned about pursuing a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to see how the intersection of all of these audiences creates one or several communities receptive to news about solutions and ongoing discussion of needs. Building the community or entering the discussion at existing communities by sharing valuable information in a free and open manner creates trust. The communities themselves create powerful internet buzz. When innovative solutions come about there’s a natural place to introduce them. Information about an investor opportunity in a valuable advance becomes one more piece of information to share.
There are hundreds of thousands of specific medical conditions with active communities or ripe for them. All of the members of these communities are stakeholders, plus there are countless unconscious stakeholders who will fall into these categories in the future. Because we all may need medical help at some point, we are all stakeholders in medical advances.
Beyond medicine, we are stakeholders in any kind of solution that may benefit us, whether we know it or not. Global reach and rapid exchange of information capable in today’s internet-driven world, makes for deep and varied communities, laying the ground work for news of the solutions they seek.