Consultation & engagement: Creating producers of change


The key to successful change is sustained, visible and meaningful consultation and engagement. The goal is that you want employees and stakeholders to be producers, not just passive consumers of change.

The Building a Consultation Plan Worksheet from the Change Agent’s Toolkit is a resource to help you plan out consultations at the front-end of your change initiative, setting the stage for an ongoing consultative and participatory approach to your change process.

Getting Started

To establish a change project’s credibility and legitimacy, it’s important to start as you mean to go on in focusing on consultation. Thinking about your change project, who are the key informants who should be consulted to provide input? Consider two key objectives for the consultative process:

  1. Gaining insights to help inform the change
  2. Helping to contribute to internal alignment and engagement for the change

Choosing Your Type of Consultation 

Here are a few ideas when considering various forms of consultations:

  1. Individual key informant interviews: This one-on-one approach is best suited for senior executives or functional experts. It allows for more in-depth input in a shorter period of time.
  2. Workshop consultation: Workshops are very helpful in creating shared meaning and exposing differences in interpretation or priority. You may wish to combine individual interviews with a workshop.
  3. Online/Email survey: In some cases, it’s impractical to consult a broad group efficiently through interviews or workshops. Online/email surveys can complement your consultation design. They provide access to input from a large community quickly; however, that ease of access comes at the expense of depth of input and an experience of true consultation and exchange.

For more practical tools with a scalable step-by-step framework for executing change, here’s the Table of Contents to the Change Agent’s Toolkit.

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