By Erin Weber
As many of us know from experience, involving various stakeholders during the development process improves the quality of solutions and leads to long-term buy-in and implementation. Multi-stakeholder engagement is especially important when solving complex challenges that stretch across various sectors such as government, business and not-for-profit. Such is the case with many of the social and environmental sustainability issues highlighted by Catalyst SDR. For that reason, we have decided to include a unique stakeholder engagement process called “The Pyramid,” which was developed by Alan AtKisson and is now available as a YouTube short course.
The Pyramid can be used as a guiding framework by which groups of people who represent different perspectives and areas of expertise analyze a challenge, brainstorm solutions and ultimately come to consensus regarding a plan of action. The Pyramid process begins with an analysis of indicators, various elements and signals that measure the health of the system. Moving up the pyramid, stakeholders then collaborate on their understanding of the systems, which interact as part of the challenge being dissected. Next, the team of participants brainstorms a breadth of innovations and possible changes to the system. Finally, the group is able to develop a holistic strategy for the implementation of change. Each step of this collective process refines the initial foundation of the pyramid until the pinnacle is reached and a consensus defines the plan of action.
The chapter about AtKisson’s Pyramid process can be viewed above, the remainder of the course is available online at: http://alanatkisson.wordpress.com/youtube-short-course/