I want to talk about something not so warm and fuzzy.
Bribery and back channels.
Huh?? Yes, you read that right.
As an award-winning leader and planning consultant, I frequently field questions from land owners who are desperate to find ways to get their projects across the line a little faster.
Many are perplexed by government relations. They have no idea how municipal processes work, and they wind up intensely frustrated by the approvals and permitting process.
I’ve been asked by developers unfamiliar with our permitting systems in Canada: “Is it possible to bribe government officials into processing our application faster? Are there back channels we could work through in order to move things along?”
YIKES. While I certainly understand the feelings of urgency that come with leading a project where multiple stakeholders are looking to you at the applicant for answers, I feel the need to say… Working in the shadows is never the answer.
The approvals process in Canada can feel convoluted and overwhelming, it’s true. But it’s rooted in integrity.
In this “go-go-go”, “get-it-done” mode that we need to be in, the best way to get your project approved is still transparency.
Project leaders need to not only do the work to understand the rules and the processes as best they can—but be open for feedback.
You need to:
>> Do your own homework on regulations (particularly the new ones!)
>> Hire the right consultants – planning, design, engineering, traffic, environmental, etc.
>> Listen to municipal staff and connect with them over your shared interests and ideas for bettering the community
>> Work with the truth of what’s really possible for your project
Then and only then can you create real partnerships—which is the ONLY way to “shortcut” your permitting process.
As you spend time this holiday break thinking about your project strategy and how to carve out the best path to approval, ask yourself: Who do I need to connect with? How can I generate new ideas and solutions to move things forward? And, how can I leverage genuine relationships to streamline the process?
I’m here for you if you have any questions. I’m happy that you’re part of the Channel Consulting community.
PS – Want a more in-depth breakdown on how exactly to forge these sorts of powerful partnerships? I’ve created a resource called, “5 Tips to Engage Government as Partners On Your Project”. Get access right here. (And yes—feel free to forward this email to a colleague who would benefit from this information as well!)
PPS – Want to work with a strategic advisor who can help you soar to the next level in your leadership of project approvals in 2024? Take a look at the 2024 Approvals Accelerator program which is a 1:1 personal advisory opportunity beginning on January 8. APPLY NOW or book a clarity call to chat about this.