"The Servant's Heart"
Understanding the Mindset and Process of Collaborative Informed Consent (R)
LEAD, ACHIEVE, SUCCEED!
Welcome to our world of facilitation, conflict prevention, strategic planning, and public engagement. In this world, we help you define your problems, research the origins and issues, discuss and deliberate solutions, and develop actionable strategic and tactical plans to adapt, improvise, and overcome.
I'm Darryl Armstrong.
As a behavioral psychologist, communicator, and facilitator, 50-years ago, I began building a resilient conflict prevention, resolution, and public engagement model of communications we call Collaborative Informed Consent ® (CIC).
CIC is a uniquely constructed and refined model of communications and engagement, which incorporates the principles of 360-research, risk and crisis assessment, stakeholder dialogue and engagement, message development, and the determination of appropriate message delivery.
When committed to as a team and implemented appropriately, the process has kept our clients out of the "court of law" and helped them win in the "court of public opinion." The facilitated process helps our clients work collaboratively (co-laboring) with their internal and external stakeholders to strategically and tactically plan their work and work their plan to meet clearly defined metrics.
We have used this process at ARMSTRONG and Associates for the past 28-years as a way to help our clients develop practical and measurable plans, achieve success, and continually improve. Throughout the consultation, our clients always assess their risks, prepare for crises, and learn to communicate effectively with their community and workforces. be they employees, contractors, or volunteers
CIC engages stakeholders within and outside organizations to ensure input and feedback are heard and acted upon appropriately. And when the information is not practical or feasible, "buy-in" is still achievable through dialogue and discussion.
ADAPT, IMPROVISE, OVERCOME!
We have helped our clients culturally change their organizations, improve their performance, and meet and exceed their stakeholders' expectations. We stand ready to help you adapt, improvise, and overcome your issues during these difficult times.
Vision, Mission, and Values
Our vision is clear; we will be the "Source of Excellence" for teaching the Collaborative Informed Consent ® model of communication and public engagement.
Our mission is to teach people how to prevent, manage, and resolve conflict within the context of the Collaborative Informed Consent ® model of communication and public engagement.
We value honesty, kindness, compassion, respect, collaboration, and personal responsibility and working with organizations that understand and engage with a "Servant's Heart" approach to all that they do..
"Servant leadership is the only leadership that ultimately works in the end."
- Dave Ramsey
A Better Way … Collaborative Informed Consent ®
Requires Time, Patience, and Commitment
In 1973, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), at the time the responsible federal agency at Land Between The Lakes (LBL), had a contentious and unremarkable relationship with many of the people forcibly removed from the 170,000-acre national demonstration area.
The project established in 1963 by Executive Order of President John F. Kennedy was a decade old, and simmering resentment and apathy amongst the surrounding communities and the businesses was palpable.
After all, TVA had told those forced out of their homelands and businesses that economic stimulus and national acclaim were inevitable. The unique concept in recreation, environmental education, and wildlife and forestry management should have generated measurable positive public and media interest and noticeably boosted the perimeter economic development and project visitation.
Following a tense encounter with a local business owner, Darryl Armstrong, the Deputy Director of Information in 1973, realized that there would be no measurable and demonstrable benefits for either party without workable and sustainable relationships established with the media and stakeholders impacted by the TVA and LBL project. There had to be a better than the DAD approach --- deciding, announcing, and defending the government's decisions.
From 1973 until 1979, Dr. Armstrong began the development of a public engagement and communications model that would become known as Collaborative Informed Consent® (CIC).
By 1979, the surrounding region's businesses and tourism organizations commended TVA and its management for successful outreach, stakeholder collaboration, and the government's efforts to build working relationships. TVA and LBL had hosted national, regional, and state media associations and garnered significant and documented national media. Businesses in Aurora and Grand Rivers, Cadiz, and around Kentucky Lake and the Commonwealth tourism officials were complimenting management on their efforts to "work together" to improve regional visibility nationally.
However, as is always the case, relationships require nurturing, negotiating, and collaboration to enrich and sustain them.
TVA management changed in the 1980s, as did the mindset of collaboration. The new management abandoned the nurturing and collaborative concept a decade later.
The return to the traditional government decide, announce, and defend (DAD) approach eventually led to federal legislation removing control of the project from TVA. The very stakeholders who had initially agreed to collaborate with LBL management were the ones who led the charge to remove TVA control. The controversy and ill will resumed.
Dr. Armstrong continued to refine the innovative process throughout his 21-year professional career while serving at TVA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In 1994, he formed L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates Behavioral Public Relations LLC, where he and his wife and partner Kay have taught clients nationwide how to use the process and model for the past 28-years. They mold consulting, facilitation, and training into an informative and educational experience for their clients.
Understanding and accepting the model approach from the top of the executive-management chain through the working ranks is critical to the team's success when using CIC.
The CIC model's three-stage process is tailored to each client's needs. That can be a single facilitation or a series to reach a decision on a complex problem, focused on helping the client build a strategic long-range plan or developing a crisis and emergency response plan.
The facilitator works with the client to secure data and information and build presentations to inform and educate the impacted stakeholders about issues and concerns related to the situation.
Sharing and openly discussing that information is critical before engaging stakeholders collaboratively to reach proposed solutions with measurable outcomes.
The process requires time, patience, and commitment.
The approach uses a neutral, trained facilitator who coaches and guides the stakeholders through open and transparent conversations about their issues and concerns and who has no stake in the outcome.
The process employs the concepts of operating principles, learning contracts, parking lots, setting and explaining expectations, objective questioning, understanding personality, and management styles, and exploring different perspectives as the team works toward building consensus. Most importantly, it requires stakeholder commitment and collaboration even when the going gets tough.
During the facilitation, the team agrees to focus on discussing the issues and concerns, expressing opinions openly and transparently, answering tough questions, and ensuring clarity about the subjects.
When the stakeholders agree the information and education phase is complete, the facilitator leads the team to propose and discuss measurable and accountable solutions before the team addresses consensus.
The model for the past 50-years has been refined and tested against numerous challenging situations. It has kept clients winning in the court of public opinion while staying out of the court of law when there is sustained commitment.
Use of the model won national awards for our client Lockheed Martin in Burlington, Mass., Great Neck, NY, and Akron, OH. and for TRC in Wells, ME.
The model's facilitation process is currently used with the Calvert City Community Advisory Team and Feeding America Kentucky's Heartland, Elizabethtown, Ky. Dr. Armstrong also is collaborating with FAKH to assist them in developing a strategic plan of action.
ARMSTRONG and Associates have successfully used the facilitation techniques and the model across multiple state and federal agency meetings and projects, for-profit, nonprofit associations, and dozens of environmental and community projects. Client List.
The model's approach has received numerous local, state, and national awards and recognitions. A complete citation of recognitions is available here: Recognitions.
If the model and concept are of interest to your organization, please contact me at 270.619.3803. We are accepting a minimal number of clients for consultation.
Behavioral Public Relations LLC.
Eddyville, KY – Tybee Island, GA