To address complex challenges, we need strong strategies, and strategies are stronger when we engage a diverse set of people (or stakeholders) in shaping solutions. When engaging stakeholders is done well, it can lead to new ideas, stronger and more viable strategies, shared ownership of the vision, greater insight into stakeholder needs, and stronger relationships with stakeholders. But when done poorly and viewed as a checkbox exercise, it can damage trust with stakeholders, fail to add value, and harm the communities you seek to help.
We just released our new field guide on engaging stakeholders in developing strategies, where we share thoughts and questions to reflect on at the beginning of a strategy development process. Our goal is to help you start the process with a clear understanding of which stakeholders you want to engage, why their input matters, and how you will engage them. Though we focus on the strategy process, the information in this field guide might also support stakeholder engagement in other contexts, and we encourage stakeholder engagement as a regular practice outside of the strategy process.
We’re also hosting a conversation this Wednesday, June 24th, at 2pm Eastern. Representatives from Miriam’s Kitchen and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation will join us to talk about what it looks like to engage stakeholders in meaningful ways and ways to engage stakeholders right now when people are facing so many pressures. Register here.