Archives for Engaging stakeholders authentically

Shifting the way we co-create

When I work with change agents from around the world one question always comes up in evening conversations – how can we shift the way we co-create? How can we more successfully collaborate, become collectively more intelligent, overcome territorial fights, mal- communication and island solution? I admit there is a not an easy answer. Or at least it does not fit into an elevator speech, and by the time answers are emerging it gets very late in the evening. Try this: Ask 10 people when they have experienced really really good collaboration? Let them remember a situation where people supported
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Sustainability moves centre stage

There is a global trend that cannot be ignored any longer – sustainability moves on the agenda of every nation, every organisation and more and more citizens.  Sustainability megaforces will not only impact  businesses over the next 20 years, but also governments and civil society organisations. They range from climate change, ecosystem decline, energy security, water scarcity, and resource management to poverty, economic justice, food security, demographic change, and population growth. Those who are confronted with sustainability challenges in addition to the actual implementation of strategies to tackle these challenges, notice another global trend: solutions cannot be found in isolation.
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Stakeholder engagement – a practical guide for companies

Discovering the needs and benefits of collaboration with stakeholders can be a painful experience for companies. Anticipating the potential in stakeholder dialogues early and following a step-by-step guide can lead to successful shared value creation. The trend towards cross-sector collaboration and stakeholder dialogues is clear. Management strategists around the world are wondering: Are we moving towards a convergence of values? ) Will shared value creation expanding the total pool of social and economic value) become the norm? The underlying idea –  stakeholder cooperation between businesses and other sectors can drive sustainable development. Visionary companies are tapping into these trends and understand that
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The art of engaging stakeholders

What does effective water resource management in the Congo basin have in common with ensuring living wages in Bangladesh? Both can only be achieved when a variety of very different actors get engaged in a collaborative effort: no single set of actors alone can make a difference. Effective water resource management requires not only coordination between different public sector entities, but also productive cooperation between public sector, private sector and civil society actors, and collaboration across borders. The absence of living wages in some Asian countries is not a local phenomenon, but the result of a wide range of global
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Keeping stakeholders engaged

Have you ever noitived the difference between a task force struggling to get to results and a task force buzzing with energy? People engage when they resonate with the content and goal of a sustainability endeavor. But the context of most change initiatives for sustainability is much more complex: there can be contradicting agendas of stakeholders, conflicting interests or actors who are overwhelmed by other commitments. The willingness to engage in a collaborative effort is enhanced by an initiating team, if they take care of the following factors: Keeping the relevance of the endeavor for all actors involved in focus
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Reconciling flatland and wonderland

Working with people and organisations, I often meet leaders who are overworked, rushed, with dwindling personal relationships, haunted by overexposure to new technology and usually exhausted. In this respect, sustainability leaders cannot be greatly distinguished from those who can be observed anywhere in an international business setting: who would dare to admit that they work less than 12 hours a day? How do you even spell weekend or holiday? Recently, we had a guest from a global consulting firm at our German office of the Collective Leadership Institute  who admitted that whenever he integrates soft aspects (such as collective reflection,
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Leaders are nodes in a network

We are interconnected, all of us. First and foremost through our collective consciousness, but if we go beyond consciousness we may realize that what one person does will affect another person in a completely different area. We may be noticing that or not. If we are happy to buy cheap cloths it will have a positive and a negative effect on somebody in Asia we do not know, if we throw away hazardous garbage it may end up in a rural area in Africa damaging people’s health, if we ignore the cutting down of forest in Cambodia or Brazil, we
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Fostering commitment for change

Collective action for sustainability must be guided by a leadership paradigm that is inspirational, fosters commitment by various actors and acknowledges the role of collective contributions to decision-making. Leading, here, can be seen as a co-creative process that often begins with a small group of people and aims at profound collective change. Overcoming the challenges that lie ahead of us requires building teams within our organization or across several institutions. We need to integrate different organizational cultures into joint initiatives and foster collaboration between actors that are often not even used to communicating with each other. “Only dedicated circles can
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We are not travelling alone

One of my most striking realizations in sustainability engagement is when I have a profound experience of not travelling alone. It is the moment when I sense the innumerable fellow travellers with their quests, intentions that live and get lost and are found again, and a deep unanswered desire to serve humanity. And often I experience this in unexpected circumstances like this: an evening meeting before a workshop to plan the follow-on phase of an international partnership on water management. Present are representatives from SABMiller, WWF, Nature Conservancy, The German and the British development cooperation, EDEKA and, yes, Coca Cola
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