Archives for Engaging stakeholders authentically

A pattern of human competences in interaction

Over my years of working in complex collaboration projects and institutional change management, I took notice of what shifted actors into a more collaborative space. Shifts tended to occur around personal competences. People brought these competences in or they developed them jointly with their collaborators. Although, nothing I noticed was radically new – what was new was the uniquely unfolding combinations of these competences, forming a constantly changing pattern of mutually supportive ingredients . And it was the aliveness of this  presence that made a difference. In a stuffy room in Salvador de Bahia all the ingredients were there. Each participant had a very valid reason for
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Business leaders as catalysts for change

Wanting to make a difference for a better world is probably the most widely suppressed desire in organizations and among senior leaders. Beneath the surface of many high performing top executives is a vague disappointment with the competitiveness of the corporate world, and an unexpressed deep desire to create more meaning, more connectedness, and more relatedness. A senior manager from a multinational company told me “What I feel is that every person actually has a core that wants to serve … and it is more about uncovering it, because this gets silenced, cut off, nobody is asking for it, nobody
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Taking Collaboration Seriously – where to start?

Let us examine a typical sustainability challenge: An agricultural commodity is produced in Africa – in a limited amount of countries. As is often the case, small-scale producing farmers are organized in cooperatives, but these cooperatives have competence gaps within their management.  Moreover, there are also discrepencies in the trading and production aspects of this commodity. Many traders bring the commodity to each national commodity board. In one country all commodities needed to be auctioned, in another country they could be auctioned or could be traded directly to the buyers. And at the level of individual farms, practices may not be
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Creating a paradigm shift

Donella Meadows’ article: Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System is  an inspiring reminder, a timeless contribution that makes one think – and hopefully act. Reading it you might recognize how many aspects of sustainability initiatives are still stuck in regulatory approaches that – according to Donella – are lowdown on the list of effective leverage points. The second highest effective leverage point, she suggests, is the power to create a paradigm shift. This is what she says about how to create a paradigm shift: “You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures of the old paradigm, you keep speaking louder and
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Collective action

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore Collective action. “There is a power that can be created out of pent-up indignation, courage, and the inspiration of a common cause, and that if enough people put their minds and bodies into that cause, they can win. It is a phenomenon recorded again and against in the history of popular movements against injustice all over the world.”  ― Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times Collective action is a coordinated – or self-organized
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Connectivity

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore Connectivity. “People don’t need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don’t need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its non-material human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, would require much lower material and energy through-puts
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Process quality

The COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP COMPASS distinguishes three roads to ENGAGEMENT. These are Process quality, Connectivity and Collective action. This post will explore  Process quality. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead How do we start engaging for change? When we want to bring about change we start small. We start small whether we are trying to change ourselves, our teams, our organizations, our collaborations (across institutions and nations) or our expertise within different sustainability initiatives. We start by building a container, consisting of a small number of
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Engaging for sustainability

“Can we move nations and people in the direction of sustainability? Such a move would be a modification of society comparable in scale to only two other changes: the Agricultural Revolution of the late Neolithic and the Industrial Revolution of the past two centuries. Those revolutions were gradual, spontaneous, and largely unconscious. This one will have to be a fully conscious operation, guided by the best foresight that science can provide … If we actually do it, the undertaking will be absolutely unique in humanity’s stay on the Earth.”William D. Ruckelshaus (1989) as cited by Meadows 2006 Even the greatest visions
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A POWERFUL TOOL TO MAKE STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION WORK

Sometimes life is contradictory. One could suggest that in stakeholder collaboration people work together, because they are not strong enough to achieve their goal alone. This surely is true. And yet, without suggesting that everyone in a collaboration has to compete in order to be the stronger, my experience is that the stronger the collaboration partners, the better the collaboration quality. What does this mean in practice? (c) Collective Leadership Institute www.collectiveleadership.de If weak parties work together the likelihood of a successful outcome is low If parties with severe power differences work together and one party dominates, the likelihood of
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Biodiversity, Complexity and Collaboration

You may have sensed that the challenges of sustainability are complex. Take biodiversity loss as an example. This problem has so many multi-level causes that we are often unsure where to even start. A good place to start is to gather a variety of stakeholders in order to combine our expertise and make better decisions. Yet, these collaborations in turn create whole new systems of complexity. No wonder we get confused. Complexity, however, is the future normality so we might as well learn to enjoy it, rather than struggle in order to reduce it. Just as maintaining the complexity of biodiversity could
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