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Stakeholders and story-telling - Sarah Walker


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Sarah Walker, head of communications and engagement at Highways England's Complex Infrastructure Programme, presented at the APM Project Management Conference on Wednesday 25 April at Central Hall Westminster, London.

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Stakeholders and story-telling - Sarah Walker

  1. 1. Sarah Walker Stakeholders and Story-telling
  2. 2. Chapters  Story-telling  Stakeholder engagement  What happens when you put them together
  3. 3. Once upon a time ‘Are you sitting comfortably….then I shall begin’
  4. 4. Why we love a great tale People think stories are shaped by people….in fact it’s the other way round: Terry Pratchett
  5. 5. Why might it matter in PM
  6. 6. What’s a great story – the story arc Beginning Dilemma Journey Moral of the story Resolution
  7. 7. So what makes a story for your project? Sell the sizzle……
  8. 8. Storyboarding Why are we doing this? Good progress updates – case studies Look what this could do for you Smell that sizzle How good will it taste when it’s done
  9. 9. Social attitudes study  Develop a positive narrative  Connect – we cannot rely on a transactional relationships……build long term, meaningful relationships with society (stakeholders) to maximise opportunities to shape projects Source: Independent survey of attitudes to infrastructure by Copper Consultancy
  10. 10. The Stonehenge story
  11. 11. The story of the ‘disappearing road’
  12. 12. High High InfluenceoverDCOdecision Alignment with principle of schemeLow Wiltshire Council National Trust Historic England English Heritage UNESCO/ICOMOS (2017) Stonehenge Alliance KEY Stakeholder sentiment
  13. 13. Working closely with opponents
  14. 14. Working closely with opponents
  15. 15. Working closely with opponents
  16. 16. The John Lewis story  Customer centric narrative  Works on emotions  Creates a conversation  What’s their project? …………..Even when the news is bad
  17. 17. Stakeholder management or engagement  Quality of the engagement will help you through  Be genuine  Creative ways of communicating – there is always room for sizzle  Keep listening – respond, stop telling  Never stop asking what they want
  18. 18. Stakeholders – their role in your project The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme
  19. 19. Can you get your stakeholders to tell your story? Opposition Resignation Acceptance Advocacy
  20. 20. Roads ancient and modern
  21. 21. Roads ancient and modern
  22. 22. Future-proofing?  A well told story will get you buy-in  Stakeholders – can you make them ambassadors for your project?  Ensure successful delivery  Make the most of your Communications Teams
  23. 23. Advice Craft your story, know who you’re telling it to, work with your characters to make it thrilling and engaging, then get others to tell it too.
  24. 24. The end