Blueprint Thinking Toolkit for Collaborative Action

Many of the complex challenges we face today, like eliminating plastic waste, combatting climate change, and enabling sustainable, reliable water supplies cannot be done by single entities. The best solutions and the necessary buy-in for these solutions require new kinds of collaborations for Dow, industry and other stakeholders that we may not have previously considered.

Dow’s third set of sustainability goals, entitled the Blueprint Goals, centers on the cultivation of a societal mindset shift on the value and necessity of incorporating diverse perspectives and collaborations to address global challenges.

In order to equip Dow employees to confidently navigate the world of external engagement and collaborations in an organized, value-added way, Dow partnered with the Keystone Policy Center to create the Collaborative Action Toolkit. The toolkit provides a roadmap for anyone to develop a more collaborative mindset and organize their stakeholders and collaborations.


The History of the Toolkit

The Dow and Keystone teams worked closely together for a year to utilize Keystone’s expertise in broad collaborative stakeholder management and Dow’s real-world examples to create the Blueprint Thinking Toolkit. Dow tapped Keystone to identify key players, conduct an initial consultation about how and where stakeholder coordination would be helpful, identify barriers, and make recommendations for next steps.

Originally, this “Blueprint Thinking Toolkit” was tailored to Dow’s processes and designed to equip Dow’s employees with collaborative skills, but Dow and Keystone believe that the framework and lessons on developing a collaborative mindset could and should be available to everyone. The more generic Collaborative Action Toolkit was the final product of that process. Dow’s Blueprint Thinking work, prominently including the collaboration with Keystone to produce the Blueprint Thinking and Collaborative Action Toolkits, was shortlisted in the 2020 Think Global Forum’s Award for the manufacturing sector to recognize companies that significantly contributed to global thought leadership activities.



What is the Collaborative Action Toolkit?

The Collaborative Action Toolkit is an Excel workbook that provides a framework to navigate the internal and external planning, collaborations, and communications required in considering external engagement for a complex issue or project.

The toolkit is organized into three sections—project alignment, stakeholder mapping, external engagement—and provides numerous tools for each stage. Since collaboration is not always a linear process, and different partnerships require different starting points, the toolkit is built to be easily-adaptable so no matter what stage a collaborative initiative may be in, it can serve to reinforce what you have built and achieve your goals.

Graphic showing Project Alignment Stakeholder Mapping and External Engagement sections of the Toolkit

Get the Collaborative Action Toolkit

You can download this companion presentation to provide an overview of the toolkit and examples of how it was used in Dow.

The Dow teams that tested the toolkit found it most helpful to have someone walk them through the process with some additional, tailored discussion on how it might best be used in each situation.

With that in mind, you can download the toolkit directly from the experts that helped us put it together at Keystone by going here.

What’s next?

Our Blueprint Thinking toolkit and blueprints are meant to evolve over time as we learn more from others and incorporate these learnings into our culture and work processes.

The seeds of blueprint thinking have been planted and seedlings have begun to grow on Dow’s journey to collaborate on blueprints that unlock valuable sustainable change for Dow and for society in our ambition to be the most sustainable materials science company in the world.