What is it?
Saint Exupéry once said: “man is a knot of relations”. He is thus immersed, voluntarily or involuntarily, in a multitude of environments where each member has, directly and indirectly, an influence over him. The same goes for a company, an association, an industry association, etc. In order to gain efficiency and reach its objectives, each stakeholder has to know, not to say control, its environment: who?, what are they doing?, what are their thoughts and projects?, what are their influences?, what are the relations between each other? In public affairs and institutional relations, the deep knowledge of the relevant environment is key : it is the ground for optimal action.
A company selling military aeronautical equipments was confronted with a draft European directive modifying the procurement rules. According to the company, the new conditions imposed on tenders would favor the very large countries and would in fact harm medium and small ones. In order to be able to clearly and unambiguously identify potential allies and opponents, as well as possible neutral third parties they could sway, the company carried out a fairly broad stakeholder mapping of its sector (defense) but has also included other sectors associated with or indirectly concerned by military tenders. Instead of acting alone, the mapping enabled the company to know exactly whom and against whom to work, and what could be the political weight of each of the actors. Thanks to this, it has for example sought to form a political alliance of circumstances with… a refrigerator manufacturer.