Resilience in Action Video – Janellis and 100 Resilient Cities Global Partnership

This video highlights the importance of city-wide resilience, the role of business in building resilience and the value of a global partnership with 100 Resilient Cities.

Featuring Michael Berkowitz, CEO of 100 Resilient Cities and Natalie Botha, Managing Director of Janellis.

Watch now…

For more information on Janellis resilience capabilities:

For more information on 100 Resilient cities:


Stakeholder Accelerator Workshops

In a recent article we addressed the 4 Simple steps to engage key stakeholders.

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and one of the most effective ways to engage a diverse group of stakeholders quickly is through Accelerator Workshops.

These workshops are designed as targeted, interactive and engaging activities that will rapidly align a diverse group or multi-level stakeholders.  They can be used to facilitate alignment, creativity and decision making and; to generate key outputs.

Sessions can be held with smaller semi-aligned teams or larger groups that include stakeholders from across or outside of the organisation.  Accelerator Workshops are very effective at the start of a major project or as a tool to engage stakeholders at any stage of a key initiative or strategy.

Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

Our four step process includes: analysis; design; facilitation and the development of visual tools to capture and embed the shared thinking that takes place during steps one to three. The analysis and design stages are used to carefully craft activities for specific engagement outcomes and can be run in a variety of different ways.


During the analysis stage the main focus is on the stakeholder’s current levels of engagement, awareness and alignment. Tools at this stage of the process will delve into the current behaviours, issues or concerns and in establishing the desired outcomes.   Questions we ask during this phase are:

  1. Who are the key stakeholders and how engaged are they?
  2. What are they currently saying, thinking, feeling or doing?
  3. What do we want them to be feeling, thinking, saying or doing?
  4. What strategies have already been used to engage them?

This stage highlights the tension areas, acceleration opportunities and creative gaps.  The more traditional considerations are also documented such as the drivers for this initiative, challenges, outcomes, what needs to be agreed upon and what needs to be validated or created.


At the design stage there are a range of potential approaches that can be taken, recognising that interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage.

The design phase usually includes the development of multi-media and other visually appealing tools. We use a combination of technology and the more tactile ways to engage using traditional approaches.


Our facilitators are experienced at creating a trusted environment within which the teams can find ways to connect and to establish shared areas of interest, expertise or concerns.

Effective facilitation pivots off a high-trust and safe environment and our facilitators are able to maintain rapport with a range of stakeholders, whilst managing the pace of the activity and achieving the outcomes set.

Strong participation and effective listening fosters critical thinking, removes blockages and stimulates creative thinking, to create solutions and to consider possible futures.

Visual tools

The use of visual tools during the facilitated session is one of the critical success factors in achieving alignment and engagement.

Having highly skilled individuals come together in this format creates unique opportunities to develop new ideas through shared thinking. Providing the visual tools to the teams after the facilitated event is essential to maintaining alignment and clarity on issues, objectives and outcomes.

Effective stakeholder engagement is an on-going challenge and opportunity for all organisations and doing it well ensures teams perform well.  

New ways to do this quickly and effectively can help organisations accelerate their strategic objectives.

If you would like more information on our Acceleration Workshops please email Harrison Orr at

4 Simple Steps to Engage Key Stakeholders

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and most successful leaders have mastered this skill.

For some, this mastery is intuitive and for others it is consciously developed through a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement.

There are a number of different stakeholder engagement frameworks and our simple and holistic approach includes the following 4 steps:

  1. Who are my key stakeholders (and who are they not)?
  2. What are they currently thinking, saying, feeling or doing?
  3. What do I want them to be saying, feeling, thinking or doing?
  4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

1. Who are my key stakeholders?

If you ask someone who their key stakeholders are; they will usually be able to mention a few names of people who immediately come to mind. Most of us can manage some stakeholders very well, some of the time, but the art and science is effectively engaging with all of them, even the difficult ones.

Having a view of all of your key stakeholders is an important starting point for effective stakeholder engagement. In some instances there is merit to being open and inclusive when considering stakeholders, other times it is important to target who you need to engage with. The most demanding and vocal stakeholders may not be the most important ones and so it’s important to be clear on what priority they are in the context of your broader objectives.

2. How engaged are they? What are they currently thinking, saying or doing?

The positive aspect of difficult stakeholders is that by the time you’ve classified them as ‘difficult’ you have at least understood where they stand. Stakeholders who don’t let you know their levels of engagement can be harder to identify and influence.

Stakeholders will give you clues about how interested, engaged, supportive, active, motivated, indifferent or hostile they are by their behaviours, or lack of them. Having insight into what they are thinking, saying or doing will give you important information to work with.

Key ways to establish their level of engagement is to observe their behaviours or ask them how they are feeling or what they are thinking. Once you know their level of ‘engagement’ you can start to consider how big the gap may be.

3. What do I want them to be thinking, feeling, saying or doing?

Stakeholder engagement focuses on the human element of change and getting people to adopt new behaviours and to think and feel differently.

If we want stakeholders to be involved or to complete a certain task a new way, we need to be explicit on what those behaviours are.  If we want them to feel assured, empowered or confident, we need to know that it is the intent.

For example we may want a key member of our executive leadership team to:

Do: Promote a positive message about the program (at a certain time, place or way).
Feel: Confident in the capability of the team and assured that risks have been identified and managed.

4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

Stakeholder engagement is often thought of as a single step from ‘not engaged’ to ‘engaged’ but usually the process is more gradual.

Stakeholders have key questions in their mind when you are asking them to engage. Questions may be: “What are you offering or asking of me; What is the benefit if I do or risk if I don’t; Why should I believe you; How will my personal experience be different as a result?”.

Stakeholders need to have a reason and a framework to do things differently and there are a number of ways to change behaviour:

  • Engage in progressive dialogue
  • Develop a communications strategy and formulate strong messaging using visual tools and story-telling techniques
  • Communicate persuasively

There are many tools and techniques that can be used to facilitate progressive dialogue and engagement and they may be a combination of: visual aids; multi-media; one-on-one meetings; workshops; forums; social media; surveys; newsletters; web tools; reference groups; scenario based activities; hypotheticals and experiential learning sessions.

Effective stakeholder engagement will create alignment, provide clarity and enables teams to perform well.  

Interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage. Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

If you are not yet managing your key stakeholders strategically four simple steps are:

  1. Create a document to capture the key stakeholder groups, people within those groups.
  2. Develop a structured set of questions to gather the key information on what they are doing or how they are feeling, what they may be concerned about and what their expectations are.
  3. Analyse the information gained against what you want levels of engagement you require and what you want them to be saying, thinking, feeling or doing. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Develop a persuasive stakeholder engagement strategy that uses visual tools and story-telling capability to involve, interest, motivate, inspire and retain them.

This content is drawn from our 1-Day Stakeholder Engagement and Influencing Workshop. If you would like to register for a workshop visit our Events page or for a copy of our more detailed Stakeholder Engagement Guide email