Join the online, short course that will set your community engagement up for success.


Are you struggling to resolve a community issue? Did you start a community engagement process but all it seemed to do was cause more problems? Or create a whole new problem…

Perhaps you’re just not sure how to start engaging with stakeholders to achieve the business results you’re after (and not angst).


Join the waitlist to secure your early bird price (AUD $247). 

engagement training and planning will make great community engagement happen

It’s all in the question

Crafting a powerful engagement question to ask your stakeholders before you start engaging will make all the difference in the response and outcome you get from your efforts. A great question will create innovation and strong relationships.

Whereas, a poor question or no question at all will lead to stakeholder withdrawal, anger and poor results.


Don’t start a fight…

Take the parks service who wanted to engage with stakeholders to understand community value and therefore, how much effort they should split between conservation and recreation priorities in parks.

Originally, they planned to ask ‘As a parks service what should we value more, conservation or recreation’?

That’s a great question if you want to start a fight!


The local government authority who started an engagement process with the (unintended) question “Should we value trees or peoples ability to get around?”

They did start a fight.

Unfortunately, it was between a disability action group and the rest of the community.

Not really fair to anyone… and why can’t we have both anyway? I know I’d sign up for a solution where we got to keep the trees AND enable everyone to get around safely and easily.


With a stupid question

So,  you see, in community engagement, there are stupid questions.

A question like the ones above will create problems quickly, divide stakeholders, and pit a community against an organisation.

Against the work you’re trying to achieve – it doesn’t even matter how great the project is or that your heart was in the right place…

But I’ve never asked an engagement question before…

Now, you might be thinking you’ve never asked your stakeholders a question before (unless your engagement has been a survey, of course).

But you absolutely have!

You see, if the planning hasn’t been done then you’ll be asking your stakeholders a default question – it’s the question they perceive you’re asking. They’ll work out the perceived question by the process you put in place, the language you use and how you interact with your stakeholders. In our experience, your default question will most likely be perceived as:

“This is the solution – what do you think?”

“This is the solution – isn’t it great?” Or even,

“This is the solution – suck it up” Ok. Granted. That’s more a statement than a question but it’s also woefully common that organisations will attempt to do ‘open, genuine engagement’ with this statement lingering on them. This will leave stakeholders either angry or withdrawn, the project in limbo and the team deflated every time.

If you are in the very early stages of planning and don’t have a solution yet, that’s great! That’s where you and your stakeholders get the most benefit out of an engagement process. But, without planning or a planned question your stakeholders will probably perceive that your question is:

“We don’t know what we’re doing, what do you think we should do?”

community engagement mistake

Without a planned question your engagement efforts may not come across as genuine


Whoops… I bet you didn’t mean to communicate that to your stakeholders.

Let’s talk about the solution (hint: it’s learning to craft a great engagement question)

If the problem is a poor and/or unintended question then the solution is starting your community engagement process with a planned, well-crafted question to work with.

A great question crafted for (or with) your stakeholders has the power to bring everyone together. A great question has the power to deliver innovation, build relationships and social licence.

A great community engagement question that is planned before you start engaging has the ability to get you noticed as an innovative, stakeholder-focused leader.

For example in the national parks example above instead of asking “As a national parks service should we value conservation or recreation?”

The question became …

“As a national parks service, how do we balance the needs of recreation and conservation?” Now that’s a question I can sign up too! Even if I come from one side of that debate.

The Question Changes Everything – the course

All community engagement has a question associated with it. It’s the question you’re asking your stakeholders to respond to.

The Question Changes Everything is the course that will teach you the step-by-step process of crafting a great question for your stakeholders. A question that will deliver business results, not angst.

Crafting a great question is a simple process which can be scaled depending on the type and size of your projects.

It is an engagement planning fast-track system that will enable you to start or reboot your engagement process to avoid angst and deliver great results for you, your project and organisation.

Now, here’s the community engagement training to help you ask a great question and, therefore, get great responses.

Community engagement training designed for you

The Question Changes Everything is delivered online so you can take it anywhere, on any device (with the beverage and your snack of choice at hand). You can pause your trainers if you get that important call you have to take. If you don’t get something the first time you can rewind us! Or reach out and ask a question.

If you’re looking to improve your results with stakeholders this is the community engagement training opportunity for you!

You can take the course online at any time and anywhere you have internet access. The course platform will work on any device.

The Question Changes Everything and all community engagement training at The Community Studio are designed for you.

Community engagement is an emerging field and expected to be included as part of project planning and project management cycles. Basically, all professionals need to be able to add community engagement capability to their bag of tricks.

The Question Changes Everything is a short course. It is delivered online, will work on all devices and will fit into your schedule.

See more courses at The Community Studio


When you invest in the course you’ll get:

  • Guided video lessons
  • A 12- page workbook yo work through your community engagement challenge and craft a great question
  • The tools we use to plan engagement processes that get business results
  •  1-hour online workshop
  • A great early bird price (AUD $247) if you join the wait list now.

Join the waitlist (and score the early bird rate AUD$247)

If that all sounds like something that can help you wand your career sign up to join the waitlist. You’ll be the first to know hen The Question Changes Everything is open for enrollment again.

About your trainers

The Question Changes Everything has been developed by Max Hardy of Max Hardy Consulting and Susan Carter or The Community Studio.

Max and Susan have experience designing and delivering successful engagement processes across all types of issues, projects and industries.

Max has recently been published by TEDTalks speaking about this exact topic.

Find out more about Max here

And more about Susan here

Susan Carter - The Community Studio


max hardy TEDTalk

How is the course delivered?

The course is delivered online. The platform is easy to use and navigate on any of your devices. To help you learn to create powerful community engagement questions the course has:

  • Guided video lessons presented by Max and Susan
  • Case studies
  • A 12-page workbook
  • All the tools we use (and you need) to craft your own great question
  • A 1-hour live Q and A workshop session.

the question changes everything the course

Here’s what it looks like inside the course. The platform is very easy to navigate.

Join the waitlist (and score the early bird rate AUD$247)

If that all sounds like something that can help you and your career sign up to join the waitlist. You’ll be the first to know when The Question Changes Everything is open for enrollment again.