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Smart Engagement

Why, What, Who and How

Businesses that thrive in the 21st century will be those that are smart about "engagement". These businesses are the best at adapting to changing societal concerns, expectations, risks and opportunities and they know how to generate sustainable outcomes.

However, while many companies talk a lot about stakeholder engagement, very few do it in a way that genuinely contributes to business success. In many cases companies engage the wrong people on the wrong issues at the wrong time; they plan too much and do too little; they slide into PR-mode or they undermine relationships by creating expectations that can't be met.

Smart Engagement can help you plan an engagement programme that is integrated into your core business. John Aston and Alan Knight draw on nearly 50 years of practical expertise in the field of natural resources, energy and infrastructure, chemicals, aeronautics, the financial sector, environmental management, social responsibility and capacity building. They distil the best from current research and offer a robust guide to best practice. This is not abstract process guidelines; it is a straightforward, no-nonsense and practical approach to engagement, focused on results and value creation.

1. Introduction

2. The Smart Engagement Framework

3. Why engage

4. What to engage on

5. Who’s involved

6. How to engage

Key Terms

Further Reading

JOHN ASTON has 20 years’ experience in strategy, and project design, management and communication.

ALAN KNIGHT has over 25 years of experience advising corporations, governments and civil society on sustainability issues, specializing in corporate responsibility.

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