Turning inward – and losing relevance?

 

Just read through an interesting research report and thought I’d share the essence – regarding companies engaging in real dialogue and exchange with stakeholders in the community:
Key content:
The authors’ research shows that just when companies need to turn outward toward their communities, they turn inward toward their organisations. 
The dominant focus becomes their own programs, strategic planning, internal board matters, etc. It is in this realm that leaders believe they can exert the most control and where they feel most confident in their abilities. The research clearly shows that the more leaders and organisations try to turn outward and focus on the communities in which they work the more they reach for inward practices for guidance about what to do. The result is a cycle that binds them ever closer to a posture of inwardness.
And yet, it is within our communities where people live, and where the aspirations and challenges to address reside. The fundamental issue raised in this report: What does it take to turn outward to create real change? The authors position stakeholder dialogue and engagement as a *core competency* to be learned and acquired, and they point out how necessary it is for organisations to lose the *fear* of engaging in deliberation with stakeholders – daring to embrace citizen-based values, or losing relevance.
Thought this perspective could be interesting? 
Just read through an interesting research report and thought I’d share the essence – regarding companies engaging in real dialogue and exchange with stakeholders in the community. Key content:
 
The authors’ research shows that just when companies need to turn outward toward their communities, they turn inward toward their organisations. The dominant focus becomes their own programs, strategic planning, internal board matters, etc. It is in this realm that leaders believe they can exert the most control and where they feel most confident in their abilities. The research clearly shows that the more leaders and organisations try to turn outward and focus on the communities in which they work the more they reach for inward practices for guidance about what to do. The result is a cycle that binds them ever closer to a posture of inwardness.
 
And yet, it is within our communities where people live, and where the aspirations and challenges to address reside. The fundamental issue raised in this report: What does it take to turn outward to create real change? The authors position stakeholder dialogue and engagement as a *core competency* to be learned and acquired, and they point out how necessary it is for organisations to lose the *fear* of engaging in deliberation with stakeholders – daring to embrace citizen-based values, or losing relevance.
 
Thought this perspective could provoke reflection on current state and needed change? 
 
(The report: ‘The Organization-First Approach – How Programs Crowd out Community’ by Richard C. Harwood and John A. Creighton; prepared by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation with the support of the Kettering Foundation; published 2009)
 
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