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By on July 25, 2017 - CSR Blog

Let’s talk about change for a moment. Most of us would probably agree that change a good thing, right?

Until it happens to us, of course.

Then we tend to fall back on the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra. This attitude may be all well and fine for things like home appliances, but when it comes to surviving in the dog-eat-dog business world, there’s a golden rule that reigns supreme:

If you’re not constantly improving, you’re not moving forward.

And you can be darn sure your competitors are.

Which leaves us with the obvious: Any organization that wants to move forward has to accept change.

And that includes changing software and processes. Even from a purely bottom-line perspective, it’s too risky to wait until something is actually broken to fix it. Because that’s when the damage meter on the clock really starts ticking.

So how does this relate specifically to stakeholder engagement software? Our team is constantly surprised by the number of organizations with incredibly high-stakes projects that are still desperately trying to make CRM work for their stakeholder engagement efforts, simply because that’s what they started out with years ago. They recognize that their current system isn’t fully meeting their needs – and never will – they but reject the idea of change because “it’ll be too complicated” without any real understanding of what other alternatives are out there.

All that being said, if you have carefully analyzed your current and anticipated future needs and have explored all the options out there, and have come to the conclusion that a heavily modified CRM is best for your organization, despite all the compromises that entails, then all the best to you.

But if you haven’t and are still clinging to your “it ain’t great but it mostly gets the job done” solution, then it may be time to take a step back and assess whether your fear of change could possibly be holding your results (and organization) back.

Because let’s face it: At the end of the day, change creates fear and discomfort.

Fear that the change won’t be successful

Fear that it will take too long

Fear that it will be too complicated

Fear that it will be too expensive

Fear that it won’t deliver the promised results

But all this fear that’s tied in with change is usually due to a lack of understanding.

For example, if I told you that there was extremely powerful stakeholder engagement software out there that could meet over 80% of your needs right out of the box and that implementation and training would be fast and easy, and that it would make your day-to-day much easier, wouldn’t that alleviate many of your fears surrounding change?

When it comes to stakeholder management, it’s always better to take a proactive approach and bring in change on your own terms, rather than to be forced into a rushed decision that will have lasting repercussions on your organization. Your stakeholder management software is no exception.

If your organization could do a better job of managing stakeholders (and let’s be honest, most organizations could), then don’t let fear or complacency prevent you from at least understanding what other options are out there. And don’t be afraid to critically evaluate just how much value you are getting from your current approach.

Is your stakeholder management software doing everything you need it to? For example, does it:

  • Offer management dashboards and maps for actionable outputs with analytics?
  • Allow configuration at the corporate and site levels within the same application?
  • Provide automatic and flexible reporting templates configured at various levels (department, site management, corporate management, executive)?
  • Include time-saving features such as email integration within the application to create stakeholders, engagements, issues and grievances?
  • Constantly improve with new functionalities to minimize your effort in data inputs, data quality and processing, such as full integration with your existing CRM, automated processing of emails to identify key stakeholders and prompting of emerging issues?
  • Take your evolving needs into account in its development roadmap?
  • Offer a support service dedicated to the stakeholder engagement challenges you are facing?

Knowledge is powerful and empowering. Base your decisions on knowledge, rather than fear or complacency. That way you’ll be sure you’ve make the right choice.

About Patrick Grégoire
While working on a major pipeline in 1998 Patrick had the creative epiphany which led to the establishment of Boréalis. Companies were just starting to consider community and social risk as part of the execution of their projects - and the implementation of international social impact programs was still in its nascent stage. Six years later, Boréalis was born and rapidly grew into a leader in the Social Performance marketplace. Implementation of the Boréalis solution with global players in the natural resources arena validated Patrick's vision for success. For the past two decades, he has continued his leadership role in major infrastructure initiatives around the world - including pipelines, transmission lines, hydro-power, mines, oil fields, wind power, roads, port, and railway projects.

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