At the end of every financial year, our clients start to focus on professional development as part of their budgeting process.
In community engagement, we often talk about involving the community in decision making, from providing feedback on options, to deliberating in forums or on citizens juries, or even voting.
In one month I had conversations with law firm, accountancy, IT and architecture partners complaining that their staff had nothing they could talk about. They wanted to blog.
In a world where technology introduces a new communications or engagement tool, app or software daily, it’s important to remember … you can always rely on good conversations, genuine connections and creative strategies.
Most large organisations do employee opinion surveys, and many worry about their results.
When you're trying to communicate or engage, you're never starting with a blank page. Every page is etched with a history.
When the door to your problem is locked, don't just stand out in the cold. Find another way in. If your decision maker doesn't understand the value of engagement, explain it in a different way. If your board won't invest in a creative campaign, then ask for a pilot. If you can't get approval the first time from the first executive, then ask again or ask someone else.
Over the past 12 months, we have workshopped with hundreds of engagement professionals across every state and territory and throughout New Zealand, and this is what we’ve learned about the emerging trends in community engagement.
We get it. Sometimes it's hard to have the energy to be creative. Get out of the office, grab a coffee. It's been proven to sharpen the mind and just changing location can unlock the creativity you need.
It's tough to find the right balance between different futures. And great conversations make it possible to find consensus.
This is exactly what a company said when they called in desperation. They had a huge team, were spending lots on materials and they didn't feel they were getting traction. And they are not alone.
On complex projects, it's really tempting to create a door stopper of an engagement strategy. The kind that's so thick it probably rivals the length of the technical studies for the project you're engaging on.
Funny thing about creativity and innovation, it doesn't usually happen unless you change the way you've been working.
Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
It's Saturday, and you've had a long week already but you've got to manage a community drop in session. The local community is angry. There’s an action group, and a particularly angry man.
Understanding people and their needs, is about seeing the colour and complexity of their lives and piecing it back together to make sense.
I remember the first time I met the Spectrum. I was at a pub one night (truthfully – ok it was an IAP2 networking event when there were less than 100 members in Australasia). And it was love at first sight.
Sit long enough in a boardroom and the inevitable discussion emerges as out how to create greater competitive advantage.