This webinar focused on challenging traditional thinking and approaches to sustainability stakeholder engagement.
Fuelled by insights gained at our 8th annual ‘Directions Forum’ we explored the new drivers behind engagement, how we can make it deliver for both sides, and what skills and tools are needed to really take engagement from a moment in time to a rolling and mutually beneficial relationship.
** Salterbaxter’s 8th Directions Forum welcomed over 50 sustainability practitioners to explore the concrete steps businesses can take to enhance the return they achieve from stakeholder engagement and collaboration.**
1 ACT WITH INTENT
- Engaging merely for the sake of doing so will no longer cut it in today’s challenging landscape
- Be intentional and have clear objectives or outcomes in mind, but remember engagement is as much about listening and learning than positioning your own POV
- Engagement requires effort, and new thinking to deliver a return - don’t be held back by conventional approaches
2 GO TO UNEXPECTED PLACES
- Sustainable value is increasingly created in the spaces between organisations, unexpected people, places and avenues often offer the greatest rewards
- Map your system in full to identify hotspots where interventions can drive shared value
- Once you’ve found them focus on your core competencies and how they can be applied to societal challenges
3 EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY
- It takes time to tune the company in to stakeholder needs and expectations
- Understand exactly what the business imperatives are where engagement and collaboration are musts
- Define the breakthrough questions – unlock interest and a desire to head into the unknown
4 BUILD SOPHISTICATED SKILLS
There are recognised skill-sets most associated with success in this area
Work out how to build these skills, align incentives and bring leadership along
Unlock wider internal energy via proven transformational approaches
5 TEAM UP
- Identify the right types of action, there are many – customer partnerships, multi-stakeholder collaborations, pre-competitiveness alignments, listening and dialogue sessions, advisory boards etc..
- Create the right conditions to build relationships and find common
- Be upfront about your own objectives but also passionate about shared goals
6 WHERE WILL THIS TAKE YOU
The magic three:
- Collaborative Advantage
- Competitive Agility
- Reputational integrity
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