Engage Your Stakeholders
Whether you need to develop a stakeholder engagement plan from scratch, or just need a third party facilitator -- you've come to the right place.
Our team is trained in stakeholder engagement standards and best practices. And our practical, pragmatic approach to sustainability means that we can act as an impartial voice when you need it the most.
Below, we've briefly described the common steps in a stakeholder engagement strategy. We can help you with one (or all) of them -- contact us to discuss your situation!
Step 1: Planning for Engagement
Before you do anything else, take some time to explore your goals and intentions for stakeholder engagement. Some questions we'll guide you through include:
- Who is leading the push for more engagement? What kind of support inside your organization can you call upon? Is there real commitment to respond to stakeholder concerns?
- What level of resources can be allocated to engagement? What is the time scale for achieving results? What means and formats for consultation would be most effective? Are there any legal obligations to consider? What are the potential obstacles that we can anticipate facing?
Step 2: Stakeholder Identification
We'll guide you through a stakeholder identification process to categorize and prioritize your most important internal and external stakeholders.
What do they want from you? What do they care about? How much time and effort do you need to spend to keep them happy?
Understanding the current relationship is the place to start. Our tools, templates, and guided facilitation will formalize what you already know about your stakeholders, and will show you what you've missed.
Step 3: Setting Expectations
It's time to create a container for your engagement experience. In this container reside the people, the places, the formats, the rules, and the culture of the engagement. This is a critical step -- don't overlook it!
We'll walk you through setting up your engagement container -- making sure that all parties have adequate information to participate, that the ground rules are set, and that the process is clearly defined. Timelines, budgets, locations -- our team will walk you through each step, pointing out best practices and options you might miss the first time through.
Step 4: Engage!
Whew -- it's finally time to engage with stakeholders. And since you've done all the necessary upfront work, you can rest assured that it will be as efficient and productive as possible.
Depending on the type of engagement you've selected (a stakeholder panel, an in-person workshop, an online discussion forum, etc.), you may find it helpful to have one of our trained consultants act as a third-party facilitator to keep everything on track.
We'll make sure you have the tools and templates to capture and synthesize the learning that flows from the engagement -- take that task on yourself, or delegate it to us.
Step 5: Review and Respond
Since you took great notes (while also being fully present for the engagement itself), it's time to dive deep into the results of your stakeholder initiative.
What did you learn? What was surprising? What can you act on immediately? What needs to be re-evaluated at some point in the future?
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you're done! You need to make sure that you respond to stakeholder feedback -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. (We have some templates that can help guide you through this process.) And of course, you'll want to start thinking about the next engagement...