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.

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.