In a world of viral digital media, external stakeholders can dramatically influence corporate reputations, dramatically impacting shareholder value. In his informative new book, Corporate Diplomacy, author Witold Henisz — Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — outlines the competitive need for a strategic integration of stakeholder-facing functions, to create value for society as well as shareholders.

In the book, Henisz highlights six elements of corporate diplomacy. He uses a series of case studies to illustrate the challenges facing corporate stakeholder-engagement practitioners, whose value is often underappreciated, and offers helpful tools and guidance for how practitioners can bolster their influence and better communicate their value in bottom-line numbers.

The world needs corporate diplomats now, more than ever, to build the bridges needed to harness market forces that can drive systemic, positive change. Relationships do matter. Companies that excel in prioritizing the right strategic relationships and nurturing them well, will more likely win in a competitive marketplace

At Future 500 — where we practice stakeholder engagement between corporations and NGOs and the right and the left — Henisz’s book captures immense wisdom, balancing a scientific, analytical approach with an understanding of the importance of behavioral dynamics.

See full review here