consensus building

Finding a common way forward on an issue involving multiple stakeholders is a tricky and potentially volatile endeavor. Faced with such a challenge, many may think that compromise is the best option.

consensus building

Meta‑Culture offers a different experience: the design and facilitation of a Consensus Building process.

What do we do that makes the difference?

First, we don't fix anyone's problems for them. We bring all stakeholders to the table to engage with the problem jointly, as counterparts. With our assistance, they move from confrontation and distrust, to understanding and collaboration.

But collaboration is not intuitive. It is a deliberate process, requiring stakeholders to work against established prejudices and be open to learning and creativity.

Meta‑Culture facilitators ensure that conversations with competing voices remain focused and productive.

Trained to understand group dynamics, we identify hidden concerns and misgivings, and address them in a timely fashion. When erstwhile opponents truly understand each other's interests, they reevaluate their assumptions and consider new outcomes. Groups then become creative and breakthroughs happen.

With Consensus Building, stakeholders create sustainable options for meeting mutual interests. Solutions arrived at through consensus are more legitimate, more likely to achieve widespread endorsement, and more likely to be implemented

than the unilaterally imposed solutions of any one stakeholder.

Meta‑Culture consultants have been involved in the successful facilitation of Consensus Building around contentious issues related to nuclear power, public health access, natural resource extraction, garment manufacturing, religion, race, ethnicity, gay marriage, community-police relations, and more. Our clients appreciate that, with a deliberate process, they didn't have to settle for less.

Why compromise when you can do better?

  • FAQs
    What precisely can stakeholder collaboration accomplish?
    Collaboration (as opposed to competition) presents the real possibility of yielding several tangible benefits:
    • Improved relationships and trust between stakeholders.
    • With increased trust, differences are easier to address when they arise. Conflict resolution is less adversarial or costly.
    • Together, multiple stakeholders generate creative ideas and initiatives to make real and sustainable improvements.
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It takes more than simply good will and motivation to create trust between polarized groups and to build consensus between competing interests. It takes knowledge of conflict resolution, professional skill, and much experience doing this work in varied sectors.