For the Good of the Group: Be Nice, Respond in Kind, Be Forgiving

When working to change complex systems it can be difficult for individual stakeholders to engage in authentic collaboration. This is neuroscience. We are all motivated to move away from perceived threats and toward perceived reward. Bringing multiple actors together to work toward a common goal can create conflict between doing what is best for the…

Why you shouldn’t do this on your own: Making Your Stakeholder Engagement Process Successful

 Learning from the Coordinated Chronic Disease Project During my time in the public sector, I observed many stakeholder engagement processes that went really well and led to meaningful change. Unfortunately, I also process observed like this: Participants arrive. They have been told it’s an opportunity to provide input to an important planning process. After listening…

How Groups become Change Agents

When we think of change agents, we think “individual.” That one person who takes the lead, rejects the status quo, embraces innovation, pushes the boundaries, takes chances, even breaks the rules. Public policy groups, especially the legislatively-mandated Council, Task Force, Blue Ribbon Commission, have hefty mandates and short timeframes – something a change agent would…