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A company well known and involved in its communities and with its other stakeholders can
increase their brand strength and also invites honest evaluation and feedback on programs and
processes specifically meant to address those groups and individuals. A inclusive approach
insures that these programs and processes are in response to their self-identiﬁed needs and issues
important to both the company and its stakeholders. Effective and strategically aligned
stakeholder engagement can:
• Assess efforts as perceived by the stakeholders/beneﬁciaries;
• Contribute towards a sense of shared ownership, trust, and responsibility among
• Stakeholders can identify their own needs, instead of using guesswork;
• Lead to more equitable and sustainable social development by giving those who have a
right to be heard the opportunity to be considered in decision-making processes;
• Enable better management of risk and reputation;
• Allow for the pooling of resources (knowledge, people, money and technology) to solve
problems and reach objectives that cannot be reached by single organizations;
• Enable understanding of the complex business environment, including market
developments and identiﬁcation of new strategic opportunities;
• Enable corporations to learn from stakeholders, resulting in product and process
• Inform, educate and inﬂuence stakeholders and the business environment to improve their
decision-making and actions that impact on the company and on society.
Like the measurable metrics of environmental and other sustainable policies and procedures,
thinking about it as a strategic process adds a necessary feedback loop of continuous
improvement to social endeavors. Information then becomes readily available to identify and
report on relationships with common organizational strategic initiatives including ﬁnancial,
customer, internal, learning and growth, and non-market perspectives.
How do you monitor the whole world?
This starts to sound pretty open ended. Given the focus on inclusivity in stakeholder engagement
it is easy to continue adding indeﬁnitely to any list. Engaging with all stakeholders on all issues
is neither possible nor desirable. Deﬁning the scope of the project is just as important as the
reasons of why to begin it in the ﬁrst place. Take a look at Nature’s Path’s organizational goals
and begin here. Nature’s Path states its goal as, “Our Goal is to be a trusted name for quality
organic foods in every home - socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and ﬁnancially
viable.” This is the beginning of a framework organized by impact and inﬂuence. Then it is the
stakeholders themselves that shape the remaining scope through management of their
expectations and agreed objectives. Look at the stakeholders identiﬁed that no longer ﬁt within
the scope provided by these two perspectives, internal and external.