Stakeholder engagement services

Stakeholder engagement services

(pdf version here)

For your business to prosper you need effective engagement with your stakeholders. This includes your customers, employees, suppliers, business owners and the community. But the engagement deficit that many companies experience, compromises not just prosperity, but survival.

Consider one set of stakeholders – your employees. If your company is like most others, your employees aren’t fully engaged. And if they are not engaged they won’t be investing the discretionary energy that distinguishes your company from your competitors. Imagine that they are working at 60% of their capability – this means that you are paying them for five days and getting three days work. And that’s just your employees. There are costs accrued from engagement deficits with other stakeholders.

Establishing engagement skills as a core competency for your organisation will reduce the engagement deficit and lay foundations for greater productivity and prosperity.

The benefits of stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement pays!
Recent research from Wharton Business School reveals how effective stakeholder engagement in the mining industry significantly enhances the profitability of mining projects by reducing lead-time for production. Over time better engagement with internal and external stakeholders will generate efficiencies in your internal processes, your value chain and enhanced communication with customers.

Stakeholder engagement builds capacity
Effective stakeholder engagement requires capacity building in leadership, organisational learning, communication and change (adaptive capacity). Building capacity for stakeholder engagement supports your organisation’s development generally. For example, improving communication and learning processes opens opportunities for innovation.  As your staff better understand their engagement roles, opportunities for informal leadership emerge.

Stakeholder engagement enhances reputation
Organisations sometimes take for granted their license to operate. By becoming more relevant and more engaged with local communities, those communities, and your suppliers are more likely to support you in tough times. Enlightened organisations seek to enhance their reputation through enduring engagement rather than shorter-term public relations campaigns. Relevant organisations are more sustainable.

Stakeholder engagement is the leading edge of sustainability
You will want your organisation to prosper. Enlightened organisations also want to contribute to sustaining our communities and the planet. Whether your motives are to contribute, or to discover the competitive advantage that sustainability offers, stakeholder engagement is at the leading edge of sustainability. By engaging, you will find out more about the aspirations of your stakeholders and how you can work with them to create a better world.

Stakeholder engagement services

You already engage with stakeholders in the normal course of business. Systematising your engagement processes will position your company to better understand your stakeholders and learn from them. You can expect multiple benefits, including better project execution, enhanced reputation and greater internal capacity for learning, leadership, communication and change.

The process outlined below is designed as a pilot to test and embed enhanced stakeholder engagement processes.

Phone or email now for a no-obligation discussion about how we can work together to tackle your engagement deficit.

phone: 064 9 21 683 145

Recent Posts

The anatomy of health changes

We are on the verge of a major change in the health system both here in New Zealand and in the wider world. We face to sad paradox – while an estimated 870 million people are under nourished, over 1.4 billion are over weight. Both phenomena create consequent health problems, causing human misery and depleting our resources. Fortunately an increasing number of us are gaining more nuanced appreciation of this problem. It is clear that the problem of excessive weight is as much about the quality of food eaten, as its quantity.

The industrialisation of the globe has generated huge benefits for us and supported the development of modern health services. But consequent changes in our diet and lifestyle are eroding and even negating these benefits. We eat too much energy dense and nutrient poor, over-processed food.

A paradigm shift

It is helpful to understand the forces at work through the concept of the paradigm shift. Thomas Kuhn coined the term in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962. He argued that rather than evolving steadily, science progresses through periods of revolution and orthodoxy. After the revolution, a new scientific orthodoxy is established, but over time becomes resistant to change and new influences. The next revolution will only happen when the sheer quantity of new information and thinking displaces the old.

paradigm shift nutritional food

The dynamics of a paradigm change

We are approaching this point now. Industrialisation has provided us with convenience foods that are highly processed and nutrient poor – much of the nutrition in food simply doesn’t survive through processing and distribution systems. The health system has largely accommodated this situation and accepted it as “normal”. In Western economies, the majority of health resources go into dealing with the consequences of poor nutrition (this is still contentious, but it is not the focus of this article to argue this point). And incidentally, many health professionals and health service and supply industries benefit financially while the situation persists. Another force that supports this paradigm is the food industry that produces this “fake food”. Based on ineffectual public policy, it also appears that the majority of policy makers are embedded in this paradigm.

The new paradigm is based on the understanding that eating nutrient rich food that is minimally processed supports our health. One of the main forces supporting this change is the Internet. The exchange of scientific and clinical information about nutrition is intensifying exponentially and is available to an ever-increasing group of health literate users. These people can find supportive health professionals in their communities and online. Some cafés and restaurants are following the trend and providing nutritious and tasty food.

The broader sustainability movement supports this new paradigm. Approximately 26% of the New Zealand population fits the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) market demographic. The Living LOHAS report describes the demographic:

LOHAS aligned consumers look behind products and services to an Hippocratic oath assessing whether they should buy a given product or service. They probe for alignment of organisational intent. Authenticity of the offer is mandatory and the company is mandatory. LOHAS consumers want to know “where does it come?”, “how is it made?”, “what is it packaged in?” and “what will happen when I dispose of it?”.

Imagine the health we will enjoy when we embed this new thinking in health systems adding to the known benefits of industrial age healthcare – hygiene, infection control, appropriate surgery and physical trauma treatments for example.

The ethical challenge

The story of the two stonecutters illustrates the ethical paradox many health professionals face.

A man once encountered two stonecutters and asked the first “What are you doing?” He replied, “cutting a stone”. When the second stonecutter was asked, he replied “I’m building a cathedral”.

We have plenty of very competent and dedicated health professionals who are skilfully and diligently cutting their own stones. Its not so easy to find those who can find cognitive space for both their specialist skills and an overview of the system’s effectiveness. While practising ethically in their own professional space, they participate in a system that inflicts damage on society and an increasing burden on taxpayers. Where are the cathedral builders?

Engaging to change

For those of us who wish to promote a health revolution, engagement is a key to change. In the discursive battle that accompanies any significant paradigm change, it is easy for the antagonists to dichotomise, but this often leads to entrenched and reactionary views. Niki Harré’s excellent book Psychology for a Better World, suggests that people need to be engaged emotionally to further any worthwhile cause. She also emphasises the need for the need for positive example – leading by example.

I changed my diet for the better on being diagnosed as pre-diabetic. These changes helped me to lose 13 kgs in four months. The health benefits for me have been so dramatic that I need little motivation to stay on this path. In my journey I have found good friends with good advice, a rich resource on the Internet and supportive health professionals.

My work provides opportunities to work with health professionals and community health activists creating a rich matrix of people wanting change. We need to seek out those health professionals who can see the bigger picture and work together for change. Thus two avenues of change are created, a grass roots led change and , sooner or later, policy change.

What do you think?

Useful links

Here are some of the materials that I have found useful. Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist who puts his massive intellect to work on various social issues. His book Appetite for Destruction elaborates on the dangers of “fake food”. He also provides an economist’s perspective on how a government might profit from a radical overhaul of health funding, including taxing “fake food”.

Several competent physicians provide mountains of information on health and nutrition:

The Green Med Info website includes a huge resource of research papers on health and nutrition.

 

 

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