Why would you need a method for stakeholder engagement? First of all because, although many people talk about it, this remains a mysterious topic. Second, because stakeholder engagement is a key element of a corporate sustainability strategy. Thirdly, because it is an activity that must last over time and remain effective: having a method allows you to achieve better results.
Stakeholder Engagement in essence
But what is stakeholder engagement in essence? The involvement of stakeholders is a necessary step in the practice of sustainability. Above all it is in the interest of the company in order to achieve its results. In practice, it is a matter of reconciling often apparent but deeply “felt” conflicts between objectives, needs, priorities, in a context of limited resources. This is why a method born for the transformation of conflicts can be so effective.
Exsulting is the licensee of The CASE® Method, created by our CEO and based on years of international experience in leadership, conflict management and human relations. What is it about?
CASE® is first of all a method based on a deep knowledge of human nature. We humans are social animals and our reactions are deeply influenced by largely unconscious relational mechanisms. The Method allows you to use the right elements in communication without needing to know these mechanisms in detail. At the same time, using CASE® will allow you to progressively acquire communication skills that will become useful in any other context.
Whether it is to transform a conflict, e.g. between priorities and objectives of different parties, or to bring them to a discussion table to find solutions to a common problem, CASE® is the effective tool to do so.
How it works
- The CASE® Method is applied in 4 phases, whose initials are in the order of name: Cognitive, Analytical, Strategic Executive;
- The Cognitive Phase is the phase in which the information is collected. Very often people make positions or decisions based on incomplete or indirect information. CASE® helps you stay focused on real, meaningful and useful data to achieve your goals;
- The Analytical Phase leads to deepen the sense-making of the information collected. Here the elements of knowledge of human nature are used. In particular, the true Needs of the parties are identified, in order to understand how to satisfy them and create satisfactory and effective solutions. The Method offers simple guidelines for this part of the analysis;
- The Strategic Phase is the most engaging, in which satisfactory solutions are sought to reconcile the needs at stake. Thanks to the analysis based on the Basic Needs of J. Galtung reworked by the author, CASE® allows to legitimize all the parties and to found the proposals on the real Needs at the base of the requests. Including the Needs of your company. That’s why CASE® is an effective method for stakeholder engagement;
- The Executive Phase is the phase in which decisions are implemented, measuring their effectiveness with the classic PDCA approach. In this phase it is important that the parties are always in contact, sharing the results of the actions and participating in proposals for improvement.
Why is it so well received
You must remember that each person enters into a conflictual tension because they perceive a threat to one of their Basic Needs. The same thing is for organizations: they are ultimately made by people. CASE® engages people in a constructive dialogue based on the Needs that all human beings share. And their organizations too.
This allows you to conduct relaxed conversations and negotiations while keeping your focus on your goals. And avoid wasting time and energy in contrasts that lead nowhere. We can say that CASE® adds a persuading reason to apply sustainability in business strategies.
Good stakeholder engagement brings new allies and collaborators to the company in its commitment to achieving its goals. These are allies who often possess important information and knowledge for this purpose, and it is important that they are “on board”. Good communication with these stakeholders brings two additional benefits:
- First, it improves the company’s reputation with the communities with which it interacts, be them its customers or the general public. Today we know that reputation is an essential success factor;
- When it comes to internal stakeholders, excellent engagement means greater productivity, attractiveness and retention of the best talent and more innovation.
It is easy to learn and practice
If you want to deepen the theory and the various steps of the CASE® Method, there is a book that explains it extensively, written by our CEO. To practice it in your reality, however, it only takes a few hours of training to learn the basics and the main “tricks”.
Then, of course, it takes a lot of practice and, above all, attention to putting the Method into action whenever you find yourself in a situation of conflict or divergence between objectives, priorities, needs and resources.
Remember: CASE® is based on a deep knowledge of human nature. So you won’t have to learn to be something different from what you are: once you learn the fundamental technique everything will become natural and fluid with time.
The CASE® Method has been taught and applied on three continents and in many completely different cultural environments, giving excellent results.
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