Archives for Engaging stakeholders authentically

Multi Stakeholder Collaborations Functioning As EcoSystems

What is an eco-system? An ecosystem is a dynamically alive collection of, what appears to be, loosely interconnected components and processes. An ecosystem can be a purely biological system within the natural environment, a group of companies united in finding sustainable solutions or even culturally replicating information patterns commonly referred to as memes. What all ecosystems have in common is that all parts are dependent upon each other to survive as well as mutually evolve. Furthermore, an eco-system thrives when the individual species within it thrive – albeit in a dynamic balance. In a similar way, each part of the
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Creating a collaborative field

The world has changed. Collaboration is high on the agenda for global change. In September 2015, the UN has announced the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. One aspect is clear: multi-stakeholder collaboration between business, NGOs, government, the UN and communities will be essential to achieve the goals and they will be needed at a scale and quality that dwarfs current levels of collaboration. This is a heavy demand to place. The process of collaboration is often slow, with different levels of understanding around what it means to enter into a multi-stakeholder collaboration process. This leads to high transaction costs, meager results and
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Moving from events to high quality process architecture

I know many people who are determined to make the world a better place, by analysing the status quo, recommending and reminding of what needs to be done, or by pushing new agendas. But what startles me is how many of them tend to be locked in a strange paradigm – our habit of believing that it is events that change the world. Packed with key note speeches, panel discussions and so-called break-out sessions (breaking-out from what?) these publically noticeable events are built on the assumption that if the audience listens to new or convincing thoughts they get inspired and
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What is at the core of life enhancing leadership?

Leading has many faces. The history of humankind is witness to this. It is easy to determine what kind of leadership was not sustainable in the long run – though it might have been effective in the short term. It is much more difficult to identify the examples for leadership that centred on sustainability. But this does not mean we should stop thinking about it. Leading for sustainability is not something we really know how to do yet. Not every admired leader has created sustainability. Not every person doing good in the world has been a good leader. There are
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10 Ingredients for successful collective action

When we want to bring forth sustainability, we need to engage people. Be it in the area of sustainable production and consumption, environmental management, resource protection, responsible supply chain management, energy efficiency, climate adaptation, social cohesion, demographic change or sustainable business. My experience is that people engage when they resonate with the content and goal of an endeavor, an initiative, or a change process. The questions: what can we do to make this happen?
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Stakeholder engagement – a practical guide

Where collaboration initiatives for sustainability have been successful they built a step-by-step engagement of actors, as representatives of institutions and as people who opened up to making a difference. Plans were important, rigidity not. The role of a caretaker  is crucial – a person or core group who takes the change process further,  attends to engagement regularly and keeps the communication flowing. Combining flexibility and openness to adjustments with commitment and reliability is the key to success. Common Code for the Coffee Community Initiative No engagement can be maintained without a larger and emotionally charged vision for change that all actors
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A powerful tool to make stakeholder collaboration work

Sometimes life suggests contradictions. On could suggest that in stakeholder collaboration people work together, because they can’t achieve the goal alone. This is surely right. And yet, without suggesting that competition in collaboration is helpful, my experience is that the stronger the collaboration partners, the better the quality of collaboration. What does this mean in practice?
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Collective leadership at work

I believe the capacity for initiating, leading, facilitating and sustaining the construction of meaningful futures is within all of us. If you find collective leadership at work, you most probably experience the following situation: A group of people has in front of them a big challenge. They come from different background, they may have different expertise, and they may have different opinions on how to solve the issue. They get into a conversation about the way forward and what to do to solve the issue. The issue is so urgent that they can’t waste their time with blocking each other.
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Creating a sense of collective impact

Can a group of people tune into a spirit of collective impact? In my experience, yes! It can even happen among a group of not only diverse stakeholders, but those with controversial interests. In May 2003, 35 stakeholders—coffee producers, European coffee roasting industry players, and representatives of development organisations and major international NGOs—gathered in London for a meeting. On the agenda was a proposal to develop a baseline standard for sustainable green coffee production that would improve ecological and social practices and could lift coffee production to a more sustainable level by creating the first mainstream standards. The extremely ambitious
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The Quality of Communication

People engage when they see the bigger picture and understand how they can contribute to positive change. In this context, clearly defined goals and a well-designed process create a successful Stakeholder Dialogue. This does not necessarily mean that the goal is understood or agreed upon between all invited actors. Mostly the goal remains vague. Developing an agreed-upon goal and pushing the Stakeholder Dialogue towards outcomes requires a solid process architecture. It is an enormous asset for the success of a project if the core group (the small group of initiating Stakeholder Dialogue facilitators) becomes more than an official committee or
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