Posted Mar. 27 2014, 04:05:03 pm

Julie Steininger

Senior Vice President, Partner

Do you really know what’s important to your key stakeholders? Many organizations think they do. But then they have an issue, or a crisis, and problems and unmet expectations are unearthed. They quickly realize their assumptions may have been wrong.

This does not have to be a normal course of action. Organizations can practice preparedness. Through stakeholder engagement, organizations can seek to understand, by listening and having ongoing, open dialogue, the expectations of those impacted by the decisions and actions of that organization.

The first step in stakeholder engagement is to identify these key stakeholders. Then meet them where they are – whether they are supportive of the organization, are in the “moveable middle,” are neutral toward you, or in some cases, even if they are clearly not supportive of you. We can learn something from everyone – even if we are not able to immediately or even over time change their position. By taking a collaborative approach, organizations can create relevant dialogue with stakeholders and ensure all parties have a voice in the conversation.

And stakeholder engagement is a critical exercise for any organization – whether corporate or non-profit, large or small, privately held or publicly traded – and no matter what industry in which it operates.

We are introducing a new e-book, Why Stakeholder Engagement Should be a Top Priority for Agriculture. Our hope is that no matter where you work or what industry you are in, you will begin to understand the stakeholder engagement process and the value of successful stakeholder engagement.

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