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EEA Marks 15 Years of Pioneering Focus on Stakeholder Management Implementation

In September 2008, just as the world was entering the Great Recession, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance was conceived to promote a formal process for engagement across the enterprise. Its formation was based on eight years of research demonstrating the benefits of a strategic and systematic approach to engaging all stakeholders in the purpose, goals, and objectives of the enterprise and the need for a practical roadmap for implementation. We did not expect that the issue of stakeholder management could become a political issue or that the European Union would pass a disclosure law largely based on its principles. Here is a comprehensive update on the EEA's progress and resources.
By Bruce Bolger
How the EEA Creates Value
The Stakeholder Management Marketplace: Despite Challenges, Market Forces Power Progress
EEA Services
Personal Acknowledgements
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is the how-to organization for stakeholder management. Conceived of in September 2008, the EEA was formally incorporated in January 2009 to help organizations implement a strategic and systematic approach to enhancing performance and stakeholder experiences by fostering the proactive involvement of all the customers, employees, supply chain and distribution partners, and communities critical to organizational success—principles now associated with stakeholder management or stakeholder capitalism.
Here’s an overview of our purpose, goals, and objectives; update on our organization, and overview of services we now provide.
History. The EEA was founded based on the research results of the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement at the Medill School of Journal and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, which was co-founded by Bruce Bolger, Hall-Erickson, and about a dozen other companies, prior to creating the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. The forum’s research consistently found a link between employee engagement, customer loyalty, and financial results. It became clear that the focus moving forward had to be further proving the economics benefits and on providing organizations a practical roadmap for implementation.
EEXADVISORSThe immediate plan included: 1) Create an Engaged Company Stock Index to demonstrate empirically the potential impact of having highly engaged customers, employees, and communities on stock price performance, and 2) Develop a formal curriculum consisting of books and education for both practitioners and CEOs based on the extensive research conducted by the Northwestern University forum and many others and input from dozens of experts in all areas of engagement.
1. Engaged Company Stock Index study. Managed by McBassi & Co. based on its Good Company Index using 13 metrics to track public companies based on employee, customer, and community engagement, the mock ETF created in the Engaged Company Stock Index study outperformed the S&P 500 by 37% over six years. The same year that the EEA study ended, Goldman Sachs created the JUST US Equity Large Capital Fund, using almost the same criteria of employee, customer, and community engaged but from other sources. Also in 2018, and the business publication Barron’s created with Calvert a fund based on the 100 Most Sustainable Companies, which tracks both environmental and stakeholder issues. Both have generally outperformed the indices against which they gauge their performance.
2. Books to guide implementation. To help organizations implement a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder management, the EEA first produced Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap 5th Edition implementation guidea comprehensive textbook for practitioners, academics, and students now in its fifth edition. It later published Enterprise Engagement for CEOsThe Little Blue Book for People-Centric Capitalistsa quick implementation guide for CEOs.
Despite being by any measure “bleeding edge,” the EEA has survived the challenges involved with trying to educate a marketplace to now offer a full range of curriculum, learning, media, marketplace, and advisory services to help management professionals at all sizes and types of organizations profit from the same principles that helped transform quality in manufacturing back in the 1990s. As detailed below, the EEA offers a full range of services to help organizations get started, including: free information through its media, libraries, and EEA YouTube channel; advisory, facilitation, and public speaking on corporate sustainability management, reporting and support services; research and managed outsourcing services; state-of-the-art permission-based business development to help create a marketplace of stakeholder management solution providers, and mergers and acquisition services.

Read on if you wish to learn more about the EEA. Or contact Bruce Bolger, EEA Founder at 914-591-7600, ext. 230; 

How the EEA Creates Value

Today, the EEA remains the only organization we know of in the world specifically focused on an open-source approach to the implementation of a systematic approach to stakeholder management across the enterprise, drawing from many of the same principles as total quality management. Unlike invaluable resources such as B-Lab and Conscious Capitalism, and others the EEA recommends, the EEA essentially gives away its practical roadmap similar to total quality management that supports these and any formal “systems." The goal is to encourage an alternative to the ad hoc approaches to stakeholder management and reporting that remain common today.
Our mission is to help organizations of all sizes enhance performance and create better experiences for all stakeholders through a strategic and systematic approach that fosters alignment of all stakeholders and engagement tactics across the enterprise. We have had to add to our mission the need to counter attempts by the extreme right and left to claim that this decades-old business field is the equivalent of “woke” capitalism, "creeping communism," "fig-leaf" greenwashing with the compelling fact that stakeholder management is simply a better business operating system, not an ideology. 

Our purpose is to create a marketplace of experts and solutions to help organizations enhance returns for investors and owners by creating value for customers, employees, supply chain and distribution partners, and communities, as well as for donors, volunteers, and constituents, etc. in the realm of government and not-for-profits. 

Our goals are to promote greater focus on stakeholder thinking in management; help organizations elevate their corporate sustainability strategies to meet the vigorous reporting requirements of the European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directivehelp any type of organization enhance performance and stakeholder experiences through development and implementation of effective corporate sustainability practices; conduct independent research on effective process design and outcomes; and foster the creation of a marketplace of solution providers capable of supporting a stakeholder approach to management.

Our business model. Given the decades required to help effect such a simple yet significant change in business--the application of total quality management processes to people--the EEA remains a micro-enterprise built to persevere for years. We give away substantial information to educate a largely unaware market. We generate revenues not through fund raising but by: providing advisory services for practitioners and solution providers, including support for corporate sustainability reporting, speaking and facilitation services for organizations exploring or implementing stakeholder management; media and business development services for engagement solution providers; research for organizations interested in effective program design and measurement, fees for professionals and companies seeking to become informed advocates for stakeholder management through the EEA's curriculum program, and mergers and acquisition advisory fees.

The Stakeholder Management Marketplace: Despite Challenges, Market Forces Power Progress

The major challenge to growth of stakeholder management: highly entrenched siloes; lack of education and awareness. Despite the simplicity of its concepts, enterprise engagement principles face the same challenge as quality management in that it requires organizations to break down siloes between departments to align the interests of all stakeholders toward a common purpose, goals, and objectives with a commitment to continuous improvement.
Significant challenges remain. There is no greater obstacle to the enhanced efficiencies and experiences that come from a stakeholder approach to management than the traditional organizational siloes dating back to medieval times. These obstacles and a fundamental lack of understanding of stakeholder management principles have made progress frustratingly slow for proponents. Add to that the improbable spotlight shown on stakeholder management by well-intentioned companies that turned stakeholder capitalism into a synonym for greenwashing, grandstanding, and woke activities, with predicably unfortunate results.
The shift from a shareholder- to stakeholder-focused path to sustainable success is no less or more significant than the shift to total quality management in business, which easily took two decades to become established, and which still has much progress to make in actual implementation. Were we more optimistic in 2009 that the application of these principles to people management would take less time than total quality management in business? Yes. Remember, that was the period of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the US seemed ready to make a move toward a more mutually beneficial form of capitalism. Thankfully, the EEA’s business model of creating value for its customers rather than trying to raise money to fund a cause was prescient given that the movement was far more ahead of its time than we thought at the time and that donors would support. 
Nonetheless, stakeholder management is gaining momentum because of:
1. Better outcomes and experiences for organizations. The increasing ability for organizations to measure through human capital analytics, customer relationship management, and enterprise engagement technologies the cost of high levels of customer, employee, and distribution partner turnover and poor word of mouth is compelling more management to address sunk costs they have traditionally buried in their bottom-lines.
2. Total quality management provides a proven roadmap. Sooner or later, organizations will discover that the process of stakeholder management has already stood the test of time in tens of thousands of factories around the world that have discovered through total quality management the power of empowering, engaging, and aligning all stakeholders toward the accomplishment of a clear purpose, goals, and objectives, with a continuous improvement process powered by voice.
3. Pressure from shareholders and stakeholders. Heightened pressures from investors, customers, and employees are pushing companies to run themselves more sustainably, not simply in terms of the environment, but in terms of their customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
4. A powerful new disclosure law. The European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will for the first time force up to 3,000 of the largest US companies or more and potentially 60,000 around the world to publish highly detailed corporate sustainability reports audited for their accuracy.
5. A growing chorus of voices. At least a dozen organizations with significant influence now regularly promote the principles of stakeholder capitalism, and Google Alerts indicate that the subject is mentioned at least once a day or more someone in the world in business or other media.

EEA Services

Nearly 15 years have yielded a comprehensive offering of information and services covering almost every aspect of the implementation of stakeholder engagement principles.
EEA Books
Enterprise Engagement for CEOsThe Little Blue Book for Stakeholder Capitalistsa quick implementation guide for CEOs.
Enterprise Engagement: The Roadmap 5th Edition implementation guidea comprehensive textbook for practitioners, academics, and students, plus four books on theory and implementation from leaders in stakeholder management, finance, human capital management, and culture.
EEA Media
ESM (Engagement Strategies Media) at is the web version of a print magazine first published in 2009 under the name of is the latest version of an online marketplace focusing on solutions in the market dating to the 1990s. ESM publishes a comprehensive library of information on all aspects of stakeholder management and a growing library of YouTube shows consisting of interviews with experts on evergreen how-to topics about research, theory, and implementation of all aspects of engagement across the enterprise. Click here for a generic media proposal.

RRN at; marketplace, RRN e-newsletters, and librarythe leading media platform focusing on incentives, rewards and recognition. Originally published in print starting in 1996 under the name of Motivation Strategies, RRN has become the media platform of record for the incentive, rewards, and recognition field by virtue of the fact that it is published weekly and is committed to publishing all news, research, surveys, new products, and services, and association business. Click here for a generic media proposal.

Stakeholder Management Education, Speaking, and Advisory Services
Education. The Enterprise Engagement Alliance provides the only known practical learning and certification program for the implementation of Stakeholder Management, the theory behind the emerging stakeholder capitalism movement. Click here for details about the faculty and books that come with EEA membership.

Speaking, town hall, and high-level meeting facilitation on stakeholder capitalism and management, enterprise engagement processes, corporate sustainability strategy development and more. The EEA has a world-class team of speakers and town meeting facilitators with extensive expertise in video meetings and live events. Click here for details on our speaking and town meetings facilitation services.

Corporate sustainability reporting. The EEA and its affiliates 4C Group in Germany and HR Metrics Pakistan combined have more experience helping organizations create audited human capital reports than any other firm, including leading management consulting and auditing firms. Click here for more information.
Engagement research. The EEA has assembled a team of experts in engagement research available on demand to provide independent analysis of effective program design, process outcomes, return-on-investment. Services can include turnkey production, distribution, and marketing of research outcomes, if desired. Click here for more information.
Mergers and acquisitions. The EEA’s Engagement Agency advises buyers and sellers of engagement related companies or those with potentially high human capital valuations seeking specialists in this field. 
Business development for engagement solution providers. As the primary media platform and marketing agency in the enterprise engagement field, the implementation process for stakeholder management, the Enterprise Engagement's media and marketing services offer the most complete, efficient, and affordable business development solution for suppliers of engagement and human capital advisory services. Click here for a generic proposal.

Other EEA Services

A referral, ratings, and suggestion widget to promote referrals, ratings, and suggestions.  

Creation of the Brand Engagement 360 information service for the Association of National Advertisers to educate the marketing community on the importance of their role in engaging the people charged with delivering their promises.
A formal education program on the ROI of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, first presented to the fellows of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, representing over 120 of the nation’s largest companies.
Assistance with the development of formal training on stakeholder management, recently shared in part in a series of meetings with Conference Board, whose members consist of executives at some of the largest businesses in the world.
The Brand Media Coalition outreach effort to educate the $176 billion IRR (Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition) marketplace on how to better utilize program design and brand storytelling to improve return on investment and engagement, including promotion of digital award solutions for gifting, incentives, and recognition. 

Personal Acknowledgements

Despite the many challenges, it is gratifying that the EEA has built such a breadth of resources and services and has continued to make progress with relatively minimal initial funding, and none since. In addition, imagine that we had no idea in 2008 of the depth of the Great Recession to come. Nor could we have anticipated the three-year impact of Covid-19, which continues to linger, or that stakeholder capitalism, simply a decades-old systematic approach to people management, would become conflated with “woke” capitalism in national politics.
During that time, the EEA persevered to build a range of services, expertise, and resources unrivalled in the emerging stakeholder management marketplace.
There is little to celebrate, though, because much work remains. The destination appears in sight, but we have not arrived, and this is a journey marketed by false summits. That said, none of our accomplishments to date would be possible without the help of more people than I can possibly name. While at least 100 or more people and clients of the EEA have contributed expertise and content, it is impossible to publish a report on the EEA without providing a special thanks to industry partners Sandi Daniel, CEO of Fire Light Group; Jeffrey Grisamore, President, EGR International; Mike Hadlow, a former incentive company executive and industry leader; Collin Higgins, Owner, Performance Enhancement Incentives, and Michael Mazer, Principal of Mazer Telecom Advisors; all of whom have made invaluable contributions in all domains.
Equally, I thank EEA book co-authors and editors Allan Schweyer and Richard Kern; former social media editor Anne-Sophie Pruvost who endured the earliest tough years of the EEA before moving on last year, and Jeff Severson, whose company JTS Design Inc. has supported the EEA’s web management needs since 1996.
For More Information
Bruce Bolger, Founder
Enterprise Engagement Alliance at
914-591-7600, ext. 230

ESM Is Published by The EEA: Your Source for Effective Stakeholder Management, Engagement, and Reporting

Through education, media, business development, advisory services, and outreach, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance supports professionals, educators, organizations, asset managers, investors, and engagement solution providers seeking a competitive advantage by profiting from a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement across the enterprise. Click here for details on all EEA and ESM media services.

 1. Professional Education on Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards

2. Media

3. Fully Integrated Business Development for Engagement and Total Rewards

Strategic Business Development for Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards solution providers, including Integrated blog, social media, and e-newsletter campaigns managed by content marketing experts.

4. Advisory Services for Organizations

Stakeholder Management Business Plans Human Capital Management, Metrics, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting for organizations, including ISO human capital certifications, and services for solution providers.

5. Outreach in the US and Around the World on Stakeholder Management and Total Rewards

The EEA promotes a strategic approach to people management and total rewards through its e-newsletters, web sites, and social media reaching 20,000 professionals a month and through other activities, such as:
Earn Big $ In EEA Referral Program
Enterprise Engagement Resources
Committed to Stakeholder Capitalism   Refer, Rate, Suggest & Earn
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