Methodology

Mobilizing Leaders

The secret of generating sustainable economic development is not simply to "find the solutions", but to identify the leaders in your region who already have the solutions, and support these leaders in implementing their solutions. Leading theorists have hypothesized that economic growth is a function of trust man leading boy(Francis Fukiyama) and ideas (Paul Romer) - ECG has evolved a process approach that brings together the people with the ideas, and provides not only appropriate analytical support to them, but also a working context designed to foster higher levels of trust and collaboration.

Our results in regions as far-flung as Morocco, Malaysia and South Africa, and as close to home as El Paso, Arizona and Silicon Valley, demonstrate not only that lasting economic change is achievable, but that this approach is robust and can be adapted to any cultural setting, size of region (city, state, nation) and any level of development.

ECG specializes in assisting regions to develop and implement action-oriented economic development strategies. In its classic, cluster-based competitiveness projects, ECG works closely with business and government leaders in a region to:

  • Provide a baseline economic business climate analysis;
  • Identify a region's established and emerging clusters;
  • Evaluate a region's economic foundations (infrastructure, human resources, quality of life, tax, and regulatory policies, and access to technology and financial resources);
  • Implement a highly interactive, collaborative strategy development process by involving key leaders from business, government, education, and civic communities;
  • Mobilize and assist community leaders in the implementation of action initiatives which directly address the region's competitiveness problems, and support local leaders to self-implement;
  • Facilitate economic conferences and strategy workshops.

Facilitation is a vital skill in the New Economy, and at ECG we view facilitation skills to be as important among our staff as economic analysis skills. Collaborative methods are key in creating competitive advantage, whether in resolving conflicts (say, between industry and environmental regulators) or in fostering new joint initiatives (e.g. training or joint product development). ECG staff are well versed in a variety of facilitation methods, and are eagerly researching and exploring alliances to learn new human process techniques, including graphic recording, video-conferenced cluster meetings, web-casting and Open Space Technology.

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