Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stakeholder Engagement

Six Tips for Effective Dialogue
By Deborah Fleischer, featured on Triple Pundit

Stakeholder engagement is a process of reaching out to a range of constituents who are interested in or impacted by your business or project, including employees, investors, suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), consumers, neighbors, governmental agencies, and thought-leaders.

Alex McIntosh, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Nestle Waters, considers the lack of a stakeholder engagement strategy “is like launching a new product without doing any market research...Stakeholder engagement is an important, essential element in good citizenship and good business strategy. You need to know what issues are most important to the people that are most relevant to your business.”

This is true of environmental project and program management as well.

The six tips for effective dialogue are:
1. Be strategic about whom to talk to (ideal stakeholders have decision-making power, influence, and a willingness to engage)
2. Connect to the larger world (sometimes those you don’t see eye-to-eye with can be great allies when there are large issues that you can’t fix alone)
3. Focus on solutions (design the process to lead to action and solutions)
4. Build an internal culture (educate your internal team and build expectations internally on how stakeholder engagement can help)
5. Don’t make commitments you cannot keep (be sure to look at the big picture and consider realistic timeframes before making commitments)
6. Look both upstream and downstream (include a broad range of voices in your outreach)

Read the complete article here: http://www.triplepundit.com/pages/stakeholder-engagement-six-tips-for-effe.php

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