Problems We Solve: Relationship to Crisis Management Firms
TPC works with a variety of individuals, teams, companies, and agencies to reach consensus on countless issues. If there seem to be differing opinions on what should be done or how to get it done, we work to bridge those divides and facilitate understanding and agreements between and among all parties in order to create a situation where all involved are more willing to participate in the process needed to accomplish their goals. As crisis management firms go, TPC offers training so that individuals can proactively learn how to deal with complicated situations or people and consults with leadership at any project stage so that they can better understand all stakeholder interests and how to approach, manage, and resolve conflict effectively.
Our consulting work combines the skills of crisis management firms, third-party facilitators, mediators, public relations and community engagement firms, and stakeholder and issue researchers. As a result, TPC doesn’t fit neatly in a box.
We focus on the problems we solve as the real truth about who we are. And in everything we do, integrity is paramount. Our core principles are at the heart of our practice in the global public participation movement. We help shift major social and infrastructure paradigms within organizations as open-process advocates through a variety of techniques. That is not a goal that crisis management firms traditionally focus on. TPC has wide-ranging experience that far exceeds crisis management firms’ or other specialty consulting firms’.
Our work and experience includes both the natural and built environment for the public as well as private sectors. Where there are people interested in – or even angry about – what’s going on, we can help them to understand each other and participate in community dialogue. Where there are agencies and companies that need to understand and work with the community and proactively avoid conflict, we guide them through the process.
Generally, we help our clients to:
- Size up issues, stakeholders, and challenging situations and respond appropriately.
- Craft planning processes to address prospective and current problems.
- Embrace diversity and diverse opinions via facilitation.
- Integrate public values into decisions for true collaboration.
- Deal with chaos, as crisis management firms do.
Clients turn to us to build consensus, design public participation programs, understand stakeholders and facilitate meaningful dialogue among them, assist with the planning and management of the National Environmental Policy Act, and manage risk and public opinion. There are many ways we approach and accomplish these goals, but defining the terms, as well as our methods, helps clients better understand the process and be more prepared to trust that solutions are obtainable.
Consensus means a decision that everyone is willing to live with. Consensus becomes possible when each participant feels heard, respected, and understood. We create safe places for people to contribute their knowledge and perspectives and then support dialogue building upon what is shared.
Design Public Participation Programs
Democracy promises citizen engagement in governance, and laws mandate public participation in government decisions. Careful design of public participation programs ensures that public input is focused and helpful to the sponsoring agencies and organizations. We design effective and legally defensible public participation programs to meet the specific needs of decision makers through effective stakeholder involvement.
Facilitate Meaningful Dialogue Among Stakeholders
We provide independent and thorough assessments of issues, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to projects and proposals, as well as a complete analysis of the current and potential stakeholders and influencers.
Facilitate Common Solutions
Simply bringing groups together doesn’t guarantee success; individual issues, concerns, and communication strategies can thwart even well intended groups. Our professional facilitators have decades of experience in large and small group dynamics to design meeting structures and processes to accomplish your objectives. We create respectful and safe spaces for exploring unique perspectives and provide neutral group process guidance to support meaningful dialogue. Meeting efficiency and effectiveness are enhanced through careful meeting design and dynamic process facilitation.
NEPA Planning and Management
We’re specialists in the processes, requirements, and nuances of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and have a deep understanding of how to integrate public values into this complex planning process from the earliest stages to final decision.
Manage Risk and Public Anger and Opposition
Government and business proposals and projects suggest changes to people’s lives. Frequently these changes sound scary, risky, and result in public concern, anger, outrage, and opposition. We understand why it happens and to what extent it will happen to you. We’ll help you deal with it to get your project done.
To complement our consulting services, The Participation Company offers team training in crisis prevention, preparation, response, recovery, communication, and facilitation for both public and private sector organizations.