This week while delivering a course on Stakeholder Management, EuroMaTech’s Senior Consultant, Ms. Jacqui Aird-Paterson is helping participants to realise that keeping your stakeholders “engaged” is not the only function of Stakeholder Management.
Working with diverse delegates, from different countries and backgrounds, it is becoming clear that we need to get better at understanding the actual context of the project; that we need to understand the environment that we sit within in order to be able to identify our stakeholders, not only to avoid missing some out, but to ensure that we identify them and analyse them appropriately.
Two Tiers of Stakeholder Engagement
It stands to reason that any organization, no matter how big or small, will have to deal with vendors, distributors, customers and employees –the stakeholders they engage with on a daily basis – otherwise known as the first tier and most important (in the vast majority of cases, dependent upon the type of organisation). Then we have the second tier - the wider community comprising of NGOs, governmental institutions, industry organisations, labour organisations and financial bodies. The distinction here is important as it is this distinction that allows us to define our strategies for our communication plans which will be the basis upon which we engage with our stakeholders.
“During one of our exercises, it was made clear that the delegates had omitted to consider that stakeholders can communicate with one another independent, adding an additional burden of risk to your plans. In this age of social media this burden is even greater. Yes, we can use social media to communicate ourselves, and it’s truly exciting what is available to us to deliver far more quickly and cost-effectively than ever before, but we need to beware and arm ourselves with as much information as possible”, said Ms. Jacqui Aird-Paterson, Senior Consultant, EuroMaTech.
The course this week also saw the delivery of an exercise which went down very well with the delegates which was about recognising the level of involvement, interest and influence that the stakeholders have, as well as outlining the lines of communication between each. The size of the circle depicts influence and the thickness of the lines depicts the strength of the communication channel between stakeholders.
Participants were clearly delighted that this extremely powerful discovery could be made and would make a huge impact on their future stakeholder management efforts.
What is Engagement
It’s good to remember that stakeholder engagement isn’t all about smooth delivery on your project or in encouraging and facilitating CSR activities. Indeed, engaging with your stakeholder is extremely important as the basis for good corporate governance, but if we consider the word “engagement”, it means to have discussion or communication with one another and we also need to recognise that we are not in control of all engagements in, around or about our projects –that many stakeholders engage with one another, resulting in unmanaged channels of communication.
Stakeholder engagement is seen as a web of connections between all the various components. It helps to get a definite mind-map of the situation and mark out all the important connections between the various stakeholders both upstream and downstream to visualise the context.
As for the workshop, once the theory and competence based exercises are complete, participants will move onto improving communication and leadership skills as well as looking at delegation and negotiation – all key components of anyone in projects or business that need to consider and communicate with their stakeholders.
Schedule this training course for your team elsewhere? Contact our team and we are happy to assist you in our 24/7 hotline: +971 4 457 1800
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