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It’s the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management’s (I&W) responsibility to ensure the Netherlands is and remains an accessible and clean country, which keeps moving forward in terms of sustainability. Their main focus is three pronged: policy development, execution (including Rijkswaterstaat) and inspection (including the Inspection of the Living Environment and Transport). Under the banner of ‘Together in Transition,’ they work to accelerate sustainable mobility, the circular economy and climate adaptation together with partners.
Over the last years collaboration between the people in policy-making, execution and inspection has become increasingly important One of the initiatives to strengthen the collaboration is ‘casus labs’: short-cycle programs of pressure cooker sessions where experts from various organizational levels in the three areas work together on innovative ideas to accelerate major transitions such as sustainable mobility, the circular economy and climate adaptation.
Setting up casus labs in complex organizations such as the Ministry of I&W presents its own challenges, but it also generates valuable insights, both in terms of content and collaboration. Their request to Involve was: how can we ensure that we capitalize on the learnings of the casus labs within our organization?
As a first step, we analyzed the communication landscape within the organization. Identifying informal leaders, existing meetings and communication channels allowed us to leverage these resources to disseminate the learnings from the casus labs across various organizational units.
Bringing informal leaders and internal communication consultants from different organizational units together in a co-creation session, we devised a concrete approach with seven communication routes. These routes included aspects such as hierarchical lines, providing a platform for casus labs participants, channels, corporate influencers and networks. Finally, we developed tools to enable the casus labs facilitators to use these communication routes effectively.
By equipping casus labs facilitators with a clear communication strategy, we not only improved the process of engaging new participants but also empowered them with tools to disseminate the lessons on collaboration between policymaking, execution and inspection within the organization. This resulted in the casus labs making a bigger impact.
The analysis and strategy helped the casus labs project leader to highlight and strengthen the importance of communication in collaborative transitions. Ultimately, the project team rounded off their casus labs journey with a transition festival and research into transition thinking and acting within I&W.