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Welcome to my site!James Forson

Hi Folks, I am a management consultant, operating across the broad domain of general management consulting.

I am a fifth generation South African, a proud African in Africa.

I do Corporate Governance, Feasibility Studies, Organisation Development and Design, Regulatory Impact Assessment, Risk Assessment and Strategy.

But most of all, I do Stakeholder Engagement.

Stakeholder engagement has become a critical competency in organisations, starting at the oversight body and trickling all the way down to the front line. It has also become a bit of a buzzword, without much attention to what engagement really is.

In the not too distant past it was possible to assess a company on its annual financial statements, the quality of its management, its offerings and its market share. All these are important. But a new dimension has crept in: how does the organisation engage with its stakeholders?

All too often we see a well-run organisation brought to its knees because of an ill-judged stakeholder event, followed by a social media blitz and a boycott.

At its simplest, a sound Stakeholder Engagement Strategy should cover:

  • The relationship between the corporate strategy and the engagement objectives must be spelled out.
  • A prioritised list of key stakeholders should be collated via a defensible methodology.
  • An description of how these stakeholders relate to each other and the organisation. [Stakeholder Map]
  • An assessment and summary of issues – there are always two sets of issues – the issues that each critical stakeholder has with the organisation; and the issues that the organisation has with the stakeholder. This is more complex than what appears at first glance.
  • An description the relative importance of the issues to stakeholders organisation. [Issues Map]
  • Details of the behavioural actions that will be taken to ensure engagement. This is where the deep content lies. Not easy to do. Not a question of setting up meetings.
  • There should be a clear line of sight: The Corporate Strategy – The Issues – The Engagement Behaviour – The affected Stakeholders. For many this is counter intuitive.
  • The Strategy must contain actions for regulatory stakeholders, the supply chain, customers, community relations, and product and service innovation. The last is usually neglected.
  • All this must be supported by a programme of action with delivery dates, performance goals, measurement, communication and an itemised budget. It sinks or swims by the metrics.
  • MANAGE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS AS AN ASSET.

If your Stakeholder Engagement Strategy ticks all these boxes, you have a darn good one and I congratulate you.

Here is a quick read: From Them to Us.

Recent assignments James has undertaken:

    • Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Review for the Nedbank Group
    • Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for SANEDI
    • Facilitator on the Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Phakisa
    • Stakeholder Engagement Strategies for clients
    • A full-time facilitator on the Mining Phakisa
    • Developed comprehensive Resource Efficient Cleaner Production training material for Basic and Advanced Practitioner courses and an one year Internship
    • Co facilitated the SA Weather Service Corporate, Marine and Commercial Strategies as well as the Technical Indicator submission to National Treasury.
    • Business Case for the Themba Africa Restoration of families in Soweto project
    • Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for LoveLife
    • Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for Eskom SD&L Department
    • Regulatory Impacts Analyses on NEMA and ICM Bills for DEA
    • Business Plans for Handover of SAAQIS/NAAQM from DEA to SAWS
    • TCTA Business Model Benchmarking study
    • Developed and supported the implementation of a Youth  Development and Job Creation Strategy for Eskom.
    • Developed a Strategic Plan for a listed mining company.
    • Undertook a Regulatory Impact Assessment of the National Environmental Management Legislation Amendment Bill for the Department of Environmental Affairs.