Ten fundamentalthings to remember in
stakeholder engagement in emerging markets
Tobias Webb, Founder, Innovation Forum Vienna, December 1 2014
There are no secrets.Resist the urge to compartmentalize information.!Treat all communications as if they were going!to be posted on the internet for all to see!(because, that may just happen). Act authentically but remember everything can and often will, end!up on the record.!
Interest alignment. Constantly search for alignment between!company/project interests and stakeholder!interests. Be creative sometimes real!opportunities lie outside the box. Interest!intersections, where your interests and!stakeholder interests align are valuable gems.!Think inside and outside the box to find them.!
Realistic timeframes and budgets for stakeholder engagement are vital. Make sure your CFO understands and approves a!realistic budget. Help them to understand the cost!of your failure.!
Share credit it will multiplyCredit shared is goodwill created. Acknowledge,!recognize, praise and promote partners and!collaborators (government, NGOs, communities,!organizations, etc). Do it every chance you can.!You gain much and lose nothing.!
Smile. Let your humility and humanity show. Credit shared is goodwill created. Acknowledge,!recognize, praise and promote partners and!collaborators (government, NGOs, communities,!organizations, etc). Do it every chance you can.!You gain much and lose nothing.!
Understand before understood. Communication is critical. Listening is key. Seek to!understand before you try to be understood. Think!about how you say things: Use soft language, not hard,!emotion generating terms. !
Everyone is the face of the company.They should be trained in stakeholder engagement.!Right person to right position: If you delegate, train and!build capacity. Make sure your people know how do it!right, never assume. This means your bosses, your!reports and others across the company. !
Simplicity is good.Complexity will cost you. !Simple guidelines beat complex prescriptive!procedures every day of the week. Be realistic. If your stakeholder engagement plan, process, procedure!is too complex who is going to follow it. Don't turn!stakeholder engagement into box ticking! Train and! trust your people. Give them room to be creative and responsive but let them now where the boundaries are.!
All is not the same. The importance of taking note of culture cannot!be underestimated. Things change from country!to country and project to project. Rigidity will often!crack and break. Allow room for adaptation to culture!and use it when necessary.!
Stay in touch. Ongoing communications even when there is no!obvious demand Be open and transparent, it builds!trust. Think about being counter intuitive with regular!communications about the good and bad. Get the!balance right. Communicate frequently enough that!you are not forgotten but not so frequently that you!are ignored. Dont always wait for a big win, or failure. !
17 further lessons can be found at:http://tobiaswebb.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/!27-expert-tips-on-engaging-stakeholders.html!
A couple of examples:SAB Miller in Ghana !! Developed new beer brand brewed using cassava
roots sourced from small holder farmers in S Ghana! Considerable engagement with farmers, farming
communities, agricultural organisations & regional Ministry of Agriculture personnel to understand the cassava industry and develop a local supply chain!
Addressed supply security concerns and built trust! Beer brand then sold back into these rural communities!!
A couple of examples:Anglo American nickel mine in Venezuela!! Created significant community housing programme ! Provided healthcare, medical supplies for local
hospitals, which lacked capacity and supply ! Matched and exceeded local expectations! Flood and practical disaster assistance for communities! Resulted in Chavistas protesting FOR the company!