Analysing stakeholders

While reading a piece of required reading to accompany Book 1 of B120, I came across an interesting model called the Stakeholder Power and Interest Matrix. I can’t reproduce the diagram here (but a Google Search reveals several versions), but I felt it was pretty useful in categorising stakeholders, of which (according to the model) there are four types.

Category A stakeholders are those that are low power and have a low level of interest, and therefore require minimal effort.

Category B stakeholders are those with a high level of interest and low power, and therefore have to be kept informed in order to avoid them repositioning themselves on the matrix by escalating any lack of involvement with Category B or Category A stakeholders.

Category C stakeholders are those with high power but a relatively low level of interest. These stakeholders need to be kept satisfied in order to avoid them escalating any dissatisfaction with Category D stakeholders.

Category D stakeholders are the ‘key players’ who have to be kept informed and satisfied. They have a high level of power and a high level of interest. If they are not given serious consideration, they have the power to block plans and implement their own agenda.

It’s been even longer – and BU130

Well, it’s now been over a year since my last update on this blog – making that two years since I posted a proper update.

I have been busy continuing with my studies (doing BU130 Working and learning: developing effective performance at work), but I haven’t felt the need to publish any of my notes for this course. There haven’t been many concepts or theories to remember, and so the learning journal I have been keeping has been really related just to my own personal thoughts and activities.

I will try to do some writing about Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle, which is one of the most useful reflective frameworks I came across.

I recently registered for B120 An introduction to business studies, and am looking forward to starting that course in October. It seems a bit strange working backwards to level 1 having started off my studies with level 3 courses like the Professional Certificate in Management (B628 and B629), but these are compulsory courses for the BA (Hons) Leadership & Management, which is my goal to complete in the next two years.

Hopefully there will be some material in B120 that I can publish. 🙂

It’s been a long time – and B322

I haven’t updated this blog in almost a year. I’m surprised how quickly the time has passed.

The reason is, I’ve been busy completing B322 (Investigating Entrepreneurial Opportunities), which was my most recent course with the Open University.

It was a great course, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The tutor was great too. However, this was kind of an all-consuming experience for me, as I suspected it might be. I’ve always been interested in business and entrepreneurship, so while it was logically a good choice of course for me, I feared it would end up taking over every waking minute of my life for a while.

I finished B322 back in April when I submitted my EMA, and have been taking a well-earned breather for a few months. I recently received confirmation that I passed the course, and that reminding me I need to pick my next course and think about registering.

It also reminded me I need to update this blog and try to keep it going!

So why didn’t B322 feature here?

The main reason B322 was due to the central premise being about investigating a real business opportunity. While my own idea wasn’t particularly innovative, I was always a little nervous about publishing too many details about it – even on the Tutor Group Forum.

I do regret not writing about some things though. I loved learning about cluster theory, and network effects, and I may decide to come back and write about them retrospectively one day.

Anyway, onwards we go. I think I’ve chosen my next course, but I don’t have to register until September so I’m taking a little more time off!

B325 workload

It’s not often that I have negative things to say about an OU course, but I suppose it was bound to happen soon, as I progress with my studies.

Now that I’m nearing the end of B325, I can look back and recognise that I’ve really enjoyed most of the course, but for the last couple of months, the workload has been incredibly gruelling, at times involving some 20+ hours per week in order for me to complete all the readings, module activities and TMAs.

I personally believe this course should be extended into a longer one, instead of trying to cram everything into just five months. There really isn’t time to fully investigate the theories and take everything in over such a short period.

At the beginning of the course, I started a Facebook group to discuss the course with other students outside of the official OU Tutor Group and Student Cafe forums. Many in the Facebook group have said the same thing: that the workload is far too heavy. The fact that lots of students dropped out of my tutor group half way through is also an interesting point to note.

If you are considering taking this course, make sure you know exactly what you are getting into, and ensure you have enough time to dedicate to it. It’s a very good course, but it is tough.

Professional Certificate in Management

I forgot to announce my completion of the Professional Certificate in Management.

In July this year I was awarded the Certificate, after completing B628, B629 and B690.

I loved the content of this course, especially management theory and marketing, both of which are highly relevant to me.

In terms of the finance content, I was already familiar with most of it, but it served as a useful refresher, and I was surprised to learn a few new things I had never heard of.

All in all, I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a formal management qualification that is recognised around the world.