(ID:368) Close gap between project & community. Involve community.

Heartbeat Strategy
Research and consultancy in the fields of strategy, sustainability and Shared Value Creation. We help organizations create value by combining responsiblitiy (Heart) with profitability (Beat). We stimulate small change or radical innovation in three steps: Discovery, Strategy and Creation.

AddressR.J.H. Fortuynstraat 75, 1019WJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
URLwww.heartbeatstrategy.nl
ContactTim Mazajchik, co-owner, tim@heartbeatstrategy.nl
Line of industryConsulting and Design services; Research; Welfare
Area of expertiseSustainability, Market Research, Consumer Insights, Innovation
Size1-10 employees

Role of company/organisation

In a project like this, with high exposure to the outer world of residents, customers and consumers, it is important to INVOLVE the community. In the integral plan for the renovation, we would take up the role of involving the community, and translate their inputs to actionable advice to help the consortium to communicate, innovate and build with the greatest desired effects. Involving the community is not only smart and responsible, but it also facilitates the process of changing behavior of the community and attracts SME’s and smart companies to settle in Eindhoven. At the exploration days, there were nearly no other (market) researchers present. Striking, since for most ambitions of the municipality it is crucial to gather feedback from residents/consumers about the project.

Opportunities for collaboration

Apart from our idea, we can be of value in facilitating and enhancing the collaboration process. Our philosophy is to always involve different stakeholders and work with different companies, because we know that it is no longer feasible to pretend to have all expertise in house. This gives us a natural expertise in multi-stakeholder situations. With our research partner MarketResponse we are also able to monitor feedback among the members of the consortium, in a 360 degree feedback loop system. This could reinforce the mutual goal that all parties (should) have and enhance cooperation.

Description of idea

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Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand! The turnout at the last municipal elections (gemeenteraadsverkiezingen) has shown that Eindhoven citizens are not involved with the municipal government (lowest turnout in The Netherlands, 43, 5%). Together with our research partner MarketResponse we will help the municipality to close the gap between the project and the community. Involving residents offers lots of opportunities: • Creates support among residents for the plans; • Gathers insights on how to make innovation visible • Generates input for the plans of the building consortia; • Mitigates risks of bad publicity; • Creates ambassadors who share positive information about the municipality; • Creates followers: people who turn to more sustainable solutions themselves; • Creates positive publicity and works as a pr tool; • Makes communication about the project towards residents more effective; • Is cost-efficient (municipality can make use of address data and own locations). A crucial condition is that the municipality is committed to take action based on the residents’ input. We see three ‘levels of involvement’, depending on the commitment the municipality wishes to make: • Qualitative group sessions (inspired by G1000 method): get a representative group of residents together with the municipality and all companies in the consortia, to discuss the project, following the appreciative inquiry method. This group of residents is followed throughout the implementation of the project and asked for feedback. This method requires the most commitment from the Eindhoven municipality but it has been proven in practice in Rotterdam and most recently Amersfoort (www.G1000.org). • Online community: potential to reach equally many residents and requires a little less commitment from the municipality. It gives the community a voice and allows them to be in touch with the project 24/7. It also allows the project to provide tangible information when required and address important issues; • Thermometer: a quantitative base measure of residents’ attitudes and several inquiries in time to measure the progress of KPI’s. This requires the least commitment from the municipality, but is also the least ‘involving’, and more focused on feedback and sentiment development. These inquiries can also be contact based: evaluations of consumer experiences when they make use of municipality services or when they are physically near the Stadhuisplein. Involving residents will contribute greatly to realizing most if not all the sustainability ambitions of the city of Eindhoven: • Do residents perceive the project to contribute to a healthy and pleasant living environment? (Ambition: Eindhoven as a sustainable city) • Do residents know how to reach the government to communicate their wishes? (Ambition: support for a changing government) • Do residents perceive the Stadhuisplein as more attractive? (Ambition: creating value for the Stadhuisplein) • Do the changes encourage residents to live more sustainable? (Ambition: make innovation visible) To obtain a valid estimation of the effect of the project, we strongly recommend to start involving residents before the start of the project (i.e. Q3 2014). This gives a base measure and the possibility to really measure the effect of the project on KPI's.

Illustrating fileBureaupresentatie Heartbeat Strategy.pdf
Type of ideaservice
Category of ideadesign; work flow
Enabling conditionsWe need commitment from the municipality to take resident input seriously and take actions based on resident input. If we organize a large group session the municipality has to provide a location and a representative list of addresses. Next to that, we need cooperation of employees in the municipality buildings. Additionally, the other parties involved in the consortia have to understand the value of involving residents and be willing to interact with them and act upon their suggestions and concerns.

Stage of development

Proven innovation: it has been used in practice on a small scale.

Substantiation stage of development

The G1000 method is a new trend that shows promising results in Brussels, Rotterdam and most recently Amersfoort. MarketResponse has experience with all the aforementioned types of research and has also worked for different municipalities (e.g. Eindhoven, Amsterdam). They have the scale and efficiency to execute the data gathering in a cost-effective and with consistent and high quality. Heartbeat Strategy has as a cornerstone of our services the involvement of stakeholders in business. Our expertise is to translate the data and help the multi-stakeholder consortium to make use of the feedback instead of feeling evaluated all the time. Our starting point is always Creating Shared Value. We can start up and execute a base measure for a project like this within one month.

Provability contribution to sustainability

Proven contribution to sustainability; this has been shown in practice.

Step in the right direction

Social sustainability is an important part of a sustainable future In a sustainable future, it takes little effort for stakeholders in projects to be heard. It is the responsibility of the initiators of any project to in a way related to our (sustainable) political system of parliamentary democracy. Our idea can help to bridge the gap between the current situation and the desired sustainable future. The concept of involving residents might not only be relevant to this renovation project but might give the municipality an expertise that can be used in many different types of projects in the future. Furthermore, this idea motivates residents to act more sustainably themselves and can therefore be a catalyst of positive change.

Flexible idea

The idea is very flexible. It can be applied to the current project of renovating municipality buildings in different ways (for instance, the three different 'levels of engagement' as described in our idea). Next to that, it can be applied to future projects without a lot of adaptation and with equally beneficial outcomes. The impact on the environment will be small due to the nature of our service.

Good investment

Financially Our idea diminishes the risk for negative publicity around the project. It will even create positive publicity, as the examples in Brussels and Rotterdam show us. The municipality also gets experience with a tool that can be used for many different projects in the future. Hence, the idea saves the municipality money and increases the impact of municipal policy. These amounts will easily outweigh the investment. Societally The idea helps the government to achieve one of their key goals: make innovation visible. Residents will be incentivized to think about sustainability and act upon it. Socially An important stakeholder, the Resident, some may say the actual owner of the project, gets the chance to be involved and the dialogue between municipality and residents is reinforced.

Comments

MarketResponse and Heartbeat Strategy are more than happy to explain our ideas in detail in a meeting or presentation.

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