Recently I was interviewed about the creative process of starting www.StakeholderDialogues.net for the new edition of our newsletter. Looking back to the beginnings and reflecting on how we went about things I realized how many lessons learned on leading an innovation process I took away from this exciting time – and am happy to share them with you:
DEAR LEA, YOU WERE PART OF THE TEAM THAT “GAVE BIRTH” TO STAKEHOLDERDIALOGUES.NET – HOW DID IT ALL START?
The rough idea for a practitioner network around the topic of Stakeholder Dialogues grew a long time ago. The Collective Leadership Institute´s vision is to empower as many people as possible to use Stakeholder Dialogues as a means to bring about positive change and to contribute to a sustainable world. This is why we envisioned an online platform that would make our specific knowledge and methodology accessible to everyone. So we knocked on many doors trying to raise funds for the development of this platform, and, finally, received a seed funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2012. The development phase was a very exciting time. None of us had ever done something like this before. But in April 2013, less than a year after initiating the development, we launched the website officially. I am proud that StakeholderDialogues.net turned out to be a fantastic website.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL ADVICE FOR TRIGGERING INNOVATION PROCESSES?
For me, innovation starts with problem solving. It is important that a project or product is not designed as an end in itself, but it has to Weiterlesen
When managing Stakeholder Dialogues, never forget that the core of every cooperation process is made out of people and the way they interact. Seen like this, a Stakeholder Dialogue can only be as fruitful as are the relationships between the people that participate in them. In my eyes the most powerful and yet quite simple tool for raising the quality of relationships in a cooperation process is: Listening.
Why? Because the way people voice their ideas, concerns or doubts is often dependent on the way people listen. Weiterlesen
In Stakeholder engagement processes collective intelligence and the ability of a group of people to generate ideas together is crucial. Last week we held our training course „Working with Stakeholder Dialogues“ here in Potsdam. The participants brought with them really exciting project cases, so me and my co-facilitator decided to introduce to them a little tool that would leverage their potential for generating wild ideas and positive dynamics in their change processes – the “Yes, and…” exercise.
© Jan Lamprecht – Jupiter Union
Here is how the exercise works:
Inform the group that they get to spend 500.000 € and can go on a holiday trip. The only condition is that everyone that contributes an idea on how to spend the money has to start his or her sentence with the words “Yes, and…”. 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