For most change initiatives the bigger part of the project is spend on the actual implementation of the planned activities. This phase however is also the one where you will be most likely to face crises and challenges – in working through an activity plan soon it becomes obvious if the project partners are able to work well together, if there are any underlying conflicting interests and if the different stakeholders will be able to meet their planned contributions.
This implementation phase is what the Dialogic Change Model defines as Phase 3. In this phase result orientation is a key factor for success: For Stakeholder Dialogues to deliver, it is crucial that stakeholders perceive visible change during the dialogue process; otherwise they might lose interest in the dialogue and in implementing change. It helps – particularly at the beginning – to concentrate on easily achievable results. The goal of a well-structured Phase 3, one could say, is to show that change is possible.
Not all key actors will engage in Stakeholder Dialogues in the same way. Some stakeholders are more difficult to engage. In many organizations, people continually change positions, send new people to meetings without briefing them or drop out of engagement processes pressured by other commitments. This can compromise the momentum and content of dialogue within and beyond the core group. For some new participants, everything may need to slow down or stop until they have been brought up to speed in their role as core group members, supporters or high-level sponsors. A Stakeholder Dialogue process cannot always be delayed, so it pays off to invest very consciously in container-building when new people are brought on board. In such a situation, relationship-building is the key. Weiterlesen
At the Collective Leadership we continuously highlight the importance of building good relationships as a basis for successful cooperation projects. But just as important as building this first resonance it is to channel this first energy and engagement into more formalized and implementable structures. But how does one find the right timing and the right approach to carry out this transition? The Dialogic Change Model gives guidance:
Phase 2 of the Dialogic Change Model is geared towards consolidating the system of stakeholder collaboration and formalizing stakeholders’ commitment to change. In this phase initial structures are developed, project teams defined and regular meetings planned. Weiterlesen
Recently I introduced you to the Dialogic Change Model that the Collective Leadership Institute developed to help you facilitate a process design that is owned by all stakeholders. Today I want to dive deeper into the first phase.
Phase 1 is essentially about creating the resonance for the envisioned change and exploring the Stakeholder Dialogue’s context, taking other existing initiatives and the people involved into account. Talking to selected but relevant stakeholders and opinion-leaders informally in this phase can help to understand the prospects and potential obstacles for dialogue and change. Weiterlesen
This saying by a circle of African wise women captures an important lesson in Stakeholder Dialogues: engagement requires a team of committed people.
In order to bring a project forward, it is important to have a group of people that are dedicated to the change envisaged and to implementing the intended change jointly. At the CLI we call this a Container – and as methodology it is the core of our work. Many stakeholder involvement processes fail or have little impact because there is no solid Container of people who feel collectively responsible for fostering and holding the process from beginning to end.
Let´s start our learning journey with looking back at the birth of the Dialogic Change Model – the model that lies at the core of our approach to Stakeholder Dialogues. Are you familiar with it yet?
While supporting the 4C project, a cross-sector partnership between coffee traders, producer organizations and international civil society organizations our founder Petra Künkel learned a lot about what factors make a cooperation project successful and how important the quality of dialogue is. Over the years she collected her experiences and developed a model that balances the ancient human knowledge of dialogue and collective intelligence with result-oriented process design and communication architecture. This is how the Dialogic Change Model was born. The model introduces four phases that help you facilitate a process design that is owned by all stakeholders:
Dialogic Change Model