Chris Corrigan

Consulting in organizational and community development

 

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Chris Corrigan
RR#1 E-3
Bowen Island, BC, Canada
604-947-9236
chris@chriscorrigan.com

 

 

Consultation Services

Over the past few decades, consultation has become an important part of public policy development. Governments have struggled with creating effective processes to incorporate the advice of citizens on important issues and policy initiatives. The private and non-profit sectors have also seen huge increases in public participation requirements as citizens demand more and more accountability for the large scale changes taking place in their communities.

In any sector, consultation has a clear goal: to gather quality information about an initiative to facilitate good decisions. Consultation is about including the best thinking to help make things better, whether those things are policies, developments, ideas or products. Involving users, stakeholders, and emerging leaders will always result in better initiatives as long as the consultation process is effective. An effective process is accountable, inclusive, honest and respectful to the people who choose to participate.

I have specialized in engaging people in processes that affect their futures throughout my career. In my roles with Aboriginal organizations making policy and responding to the forces around us, I have set up processes to bring individual and community perspectives to bear on issues of regional or national importance.

Working with the Federal Treaty Negotiation Office further refined my thinking and practice of consultation as I sought to create inclusive processes for third parties who could potentially be affected by the outcomes of the British Columbia Treaty Process, but who had no formal voice at the negotiating table.

Since 1999, I have worked to develop effective consultation processes to work with groups such as First Nations, inner city families and urban Aboriginal organizations.

I have had experience working with a huge variety of sectors including:

  • Aboriginal organizations and First Nations communities
  • All levels of government, including federal, provincial, regional and local
  • Resource sectors including forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas, and aggregates
  • Non-governmental organizations including environmental organizations, labour, anti-poverty groups and grassroots and representative political organizations
  • Local citizens groups, including ratepayers associations, chambers of commerce, service organizations and single issue local lobby groups
  • Individuals and families, including those marginalized by social, cultural, or economic factors

My consultation practice has dealt with communities, stakeholders, individuals and agencies and has engaged people in efforts that have included some of the most controversial and contentious issues in public policy today.

Principles of consultation

I have a very basic set of principles for consulting with stakeholders or communities.

  1. No surprises
  2. Use advice that is given and show how it was used
  3. If you cannot use advice, provide a reason why not.

It sounds basic, but holding a consultation process to these standards is incredibly challenging. It involves creating accountable processes, developing relationships to increase stakeholder trust and investment, effectively managing information and maintaining strong relations between the participants in the process. For those clients willing to truly engage in meaningful consultation, I can offer a variety of services including:

  • Open Space Technology to gather wide ranging views and perspectives
  • Designing and managing long term multi-stakeholder advisory processes
  • Creative process facilitation to maximize the quality of information gathered in consultations
  • Engaging effectively with diverse groups and individuals around issues of high emotion and controversy
  • Relationship building between diverse sectors of communities and society
  • Facilitating consensus where appropriate
  • Conflict resolution
  • Rolling up advice and providing effective and usable tools for clients in managing the advisory relationship
  • Supporting good ideas and providing outlets for emergent leadership to increase community and individual investment in processes.

Training in consultation processes

I am available to provide training to groups, organizations, teams and individuals in consultation practice. Please contact me for further details.