- Integrity of every action
Engagement with the community requires that not only the process, but also every action involved, be done with integrity. This includes the initial discussions, the development of a process, and its execution.
- Involvement of the community in the process
The objective is to have a successful process, not just a process that goes through the motions. This means that the process must almost always be co-developed with the community. As a result, the process may feel slow-moving, but in the end, will demonstrate the axiom, “Go slow to go fast.”
Once the decision is made to proceed with a community engagement process (slowly, thoughtfully, and inclusively), the community is more likely to develop a process that can move straightforwardly and quickly through the phases of community engagement and negotiation.
- Long-term relationships
Any process should be built on the foundation of a larger, longer-term relationship between the sponsoring company and the community. The current engagement is only one part of that long-term relationship. Any decisions made and/or actions taken should contribute to the health of that relationship over time.
- Health of the community
The overall health of a community should be a goal of all leadership, in line with the adage: “Leave places better than you find them.” In addition, as a pragmatic matter, an organization’s ability to have a long-term relationship with a community is greatly enhanced if that community is healthy.
- Health of the corporate body
All corporations benefit from a strong and healthy character. Acting on behalf of the community’s health is also acting on behalf of the company’s internal well-being. The community recognizes this attitude in a corporation, and will give it various types of support that they won’t give to other corporations. As it is said, “What goes around comes around.”