Identifying who and how to approach people and organizations to engage them throughout the process of tackling a complex problem.
Goal of Engaging Stakeholders
When tackling a complex problem, a key part of what we are doing is working with people throughout the entire process. Without these people, and the trust and actions of these people, it would be virtually impossible to effectively tackle the problem. The goal of engaging stakeholders in your process is to:
Develop trust among different stakeholders that need to work together
Develop better (collective) understanding of how & why the system behaves the way it does
Develop ideas & get agreement on (collective) actions. Decide on what to do, what to scale
Learn together (and from each other)
Your lab team needs to identify who those key stakeholders are, and how to work with them effectively, at different stages of process. Of course, you will encounter skeptics along the way. But the people who are interested, willing and in a position to help make a difference exist, and are often knowingly or unknowingly waiting for an opportunity to apply their skills and position to bring about change at the system level. You need to keep searching until you can identify and recruit a suitable number of individuals to work with you, specifically individuals who are OPEN.
Open to innovation
Have Power to influence
Have track record of Executing difficult and ambiguous projects
Are natural Networkers and collaborators
The people you will work with on your complex challenge will change over time. At each stage of the lab, you will need to work with different people, as the actions required to bring about system change necessitate different stakeholders based on their skills, roles and responsibilities, and position to bring about change.