Just like people, families or communities, organizations have a distinctive personality. This is the label or stereotype that people use to manage their relationships with the many organizations with whom they interface: schools, churches, their governments, corporations, etc. The more complex the relationship (or the more it impacts us) the more detailed understanding of that organization we build.
I argue here that, the an organization’s willingness to be open and engaging (i.e. share decision making), the more people will judge, early in their relationship, the degree of openness an organization holds, or framed differently – their culture of consultation. This initial assessment guides their subsequent decisions on if and how they will invest their time and emotional energies to become engaged.
What this means to organizations for attracting people to our awareness sessions, education programs, online engagements, or other initiatives for shared decision making, is that we need to be mindful of the authenticity of our previous engagement efforts. This legacy can either hinder or help us going forward, but don’t be mistaken that our record on authentic engagement is benign when people consider an invitation to get engaged.
This may mean that to build or re-build relationships we may have to over-scope our engagement to draw people in and demonstrate a true culture of consultation. This can get further complicated when trying to obtain internal buy-in, in the absence of an organizational culture of consultation.
It may sound like I am blaming the victim here, but my experience tells me that a stakeholder group’s past experience with an organization can be a disadvantage moving forward and needs to be addressed if building social capital will bring a positive return on investment.
I had a profound personal event recently. Although my business commitments have drawn me back to the day-to-day, my thoughts drift back to a different place. Now I realize I was able to witness, through our professional lens of facilitation and public participation, an insight that I am moved to share with you. Apologies up front if it is painfully personal for some.
There is huge business in selling P2 consulting services, so it makes sense these same firms might not be interested in helping their clients build competencies and capability. The new trend in leading edge consulting firms is to partner with clients in order to co-create new knowledge and products.Read More »
Delaney and Associates Inc. awarded Standing Offer by the Government of British Columbia, Shared Services BC, Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government in area of facilitation and engagement strategy development services.
This year, Delaney and Associates Inc. has introduced a new IAP2 session: Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation. The new course will be offered on several dates and in multiple locations across the country. For more details, please consult the full brochure [pdf].