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
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
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
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.
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
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.
You probably know those typical meeting situations: People arrive one by one, some don´t take their eyes of their laptops to write last-minute mails and at some point the meeting is opened and starts by jumping right to the first agenda point.
At the CLI we try and do it differently. Meetings – no matter how small – start with a check-in and end with a check-out. We are not big fans of airports, but we like to think of our meetings as little journeys. And to leave our “mental luggage” outside for the while. The check-in is a great tool to frame your meetings in a different atmosphere, get people into a conversation and focus on the topics to be discussed. Weiterlesen