Gaining Consensus is Something to Celebrate

Posted: June 28, 2011

Recently, VisionPoint Marketing celebrated our ten year anniversary by thanking clients who helped us carve our niche in higher education web marketing. Equally important however, is the need to thank ourselves.

As Chairman of a committee tasked with planning our internal shindig, I see how difficult gaining consensus in a large committee can be. The diversity of our group resulted in loads of ideas… but when it came to reaching agreement? We were bamboozled.

Not long into the process I recognized the parallel with our work in higher education.  A multi-layered environment is common at a college or university, and most of our clients have several committees of stakeholders representing multiple interests. Before we make any recommendations on information architecture, design, content or functionality, all of these committee members need to have their ideas listened to, internalized and appreciated.

Gaining consensus among stakeholders is the first step in building a higher ed web strategy. Stakeholder interviews, focus groups and surveys are certainly among the VisionPoint arsenal, but the real breakthroughs occur during real conversations and only when each stakeholder feels truly valued and respected.

So we did for ourselves what we do for our clients. We listened. And by golly, we made a plan…

Come Thursday we’re off to Falls Lake – catchin’ some rays, throwin’ some Bocce and tearin’ up the no-wake zones. We’ve also lined up a kayak or two, a watermelon, a couple of canines and Ashlee Little’s banana puddin’. After the sun sets, we’ll head to 18 Seaboard for dinner, casually raising a glass (or two) to ourselves, our work and our eternal optimism for the next ten years.