Companies and Vaccines

Navigating Stakeholder Trade-offs

I talk a lot about the importance of “managing stakeholder cares.” It’s important to remember that this isn’t just some abstract, conceptual idea. Managing stakeholder cares means making tough, real-life, decisions, nearly every day that affect real people.

The pandemic has made this even more pronounced.

This came to my mind when reading a recent article in the Economist about “how companies should handle vaccines.” It was a great and relevant example of what it really means to balance stakeholder cares, when apparent trade-offs seem to be everywhere.

You’ve got to register for the Economist to view the full article — in case you haven’t got time for that, here are a few examples of the conundrums raised in the piece:

As in all examples of stakeholder trade-offs, there are (rarely) “right” answers to stakeholder tensions. The “right” course is to deeply acknowledge the cares and values — say, quality, service, integrity — and seek a way of addressing all of those cares, without giving every stakeholder exactly what they want.

Where are you seeing stakeholder trade-offs come up as of late?

I would love to hear from you.

Kari is CEO of an executive leadership firm, supporting leaders to align and elevate performance. See more at

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