People – not organisations – effect change and are affected by it, and it’s good consultation and active listening that brings out the best in them so that decisions are sustainable and implementable. That involvement translates into getting reliable information, characterised by evidence-led consensus. This approach achieves better results more rapidly and at lower cost.

This principle of participation applies to all stakeholders external and internal. Achieving consensus and progress through consultation is a process. It’s best when interactive, informed and deliberative. It certainly isn’t just about simple questionnaires or spur of the moment responses.

The fact is that the era of one way research is over. Consultation that relies solely on simple “ticking the box” and does not therefore embrace interactive methods, is no longer sufficient to produce the quality of information and insight required to support consensus and evidence-based decision making – both of which are fundamental to implementing sustainable change or programme of action.
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