The Spectrum and my home office

By Jessica Delaney, Principal, Engagement + Communications

Recently, I was painting my home office and narrowed it down to five different versions of white. When I looked at the samples on my wall, I saw the IAP2 Spectrum of engagement. Five unique levels on the spectrum which increase or decrease the intensity of the sharing of influence between the decision maker and those impacted by the decision. When working with clients, I often see an interest and desire to be further on the spectrum – more at collaborate where they are co-creating and designing policies, plans and options with their stakeholders. The reality, however, is that clients are usually at the consult and involve stage, where they are getting feedback on options or gathering information about preferences. The bottom line is that we just need to start to engage. It doesn’t need to be at collaborate to start and we may never get to collaborate, but a solid engagement at consult or involve is more meaningful than a collaborate engagement you can’t authentically implement.

The spectrum of engagement is a powerful tool in helping organizations to first get on the same page internally, and then plan to engage externally based on the needs of the decision maker, stakeholders and the decision itself. It shouldn’t be seen as something aspirational which we can never achieve. Said another way: it is better to engage authentically at consult or involve, than to poorly engage at collaborate.

I chose Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White and the office reveal will come soon!

To learn more about the spectrum visit: