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Co-Creation Through Engaging

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To be successful in today’s world, where diverse stakeholder boundaries expand daily – and exponentially – it is imperative for leaders to build and strengthen relationships even among those who may initially mistrust each other, or who simply have never worked together in the past.

This actually has always been true, but with the explosion of social media everything now is far more interconnected at much faster speeds.  You can have stakeholders you may not even want, but if you don’t have a plan for how to engage with them you will be captive to how they choose to engage with you.


Whether it’s just within a business unit or between several lines, or even among different entities, find those who are willing to try to engage despite the difficulties.  They’re absolutely out there!  There’s an enormous body of research about how much most people really yearn to connect.  So, look for those who have some capacity to engage and make it as easy as possible for them.

But remember that engagement is not a one-shot deal: it doesn’t happen overnight; you must offer ongoing nurturing.   It’s truly interesting to me that beyond all the logic-based benefits, of which there are many, what absolutely makes this actually work is our basic shared humanity.   This is where the fundamental insights of leaders like King and Mandela play out in our everyday lives.  Even former arch-enemies had to experience that they had more in common than they thought.  They always do.  You can be an engagement leader by helping this happen.

With an appreciation of connectedness, an engagement leader has a distinct advantage in sustaining business success in the interconnected 21st century.  His/her ability to foster relationships improves business productivity, profitability and sustainability.  While simultaneously satisfying stakeholders, this leads to greater satisfaction of shareholders.

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