Indifference is NOT Malevolence

I’m pretty harsh about various stakeholders you’ll encounter on this blog and my podcast.

Suppose you re-read or re-listen to my commentary, though. In that case, you’ll notice that all I do is point out patterns of behavior that work against an undercapitalized CPG business and may work against your strategy as a consumer brand. I constantly advocate that you accept that industry stakeholders have different incentives than you and are NEVER perfectly aligned. 

But I want to clear something up. I’m not advocating that you become cynical and treat stakeholders as demonic entities. They are necessary partners.

And yet, you won’t last long with a naive, ‘indeed, they’ll look out for me’ attitude. 

Stakeholders work against your business because they have their interests and start indifferent to yours. Some of this indifference is human nature, and some is bureaucratic tone deafness (and lack of appropriate federal oversight).

You have to make stakeholders care about your strategy, mission, etc. 

You have to end their indifference through negotiation and killer performance. 

The antidote to indifference is making yourself memorable, not aggression. 

Didn’t we all learn this when we started dating people? Maybe not. 

So stop believing that stakeholders have your best interest at heart without believing they are deliberately trying to screw you. They’re not. They just don’t care yet. So, make them care.

Dr. James Richardson

[email protected]