Area of Specialization

The Economic Competitiveness Group is a group of professional economists, planners, and management consultants dedicated to helping clients achieve sustainable economic competitiveness using an innovative, cluster-based methodology, a proven collaborative implementation process, and a host of related analytical and institution-building services.

Our clients range from local, regional and national governments, to individual firms, industry "clusters," workforce development organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and international donor agencies.

Over the past 20 years, we have fine-tuned our methods and analytical approaches to helping our clients achieve and sustain economic competitiveness in a manner consistent with their unique cultural values and goals for the future. Our methods include:

visual recording
An example of visual recording

Context-setting and benchmarking
Using state-of-the-art analytical methods, data, and forecasts, we are able to help clients understand the major trends affecting their economy or markets (e.g., industry trends, employment patterns, changing occupations, housing, demographics, innovation capacity), assess their business climate, identify targeted industries, and demonstrate how they compare to other industries or regions.

Primary research
ECG’s research staff also uses a variety of primary research methods, including surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. Our hallmark is our experience engaging CEO’s and high-level decision-makers, as well as small business owners and employees who are struggling to adapt in a marketplace.

Our economists are uniquely trained in meeting facilitation and in managing the participation of a broad variety of stakeholders in any effort. ECG economists and their graphic recording partners use a variety of methods, including break-out groups, visioning, and goal setting exercises that lay the foundation for strategic thinking and implementation. ECG frequently uses graphic recording – a series of techniques of visual listening, graphic facilitation and using big-picture, large-scale paper displays – for creating focused, effective, and results-oriented meetings.

ECG believes well-functioning markets are the most efficient mechanism for arbitrating the millions of transactions in any economy every minute; from our experience, however, we also believe that the effectiveness of markets can be enhanced and better reflect the shared values and goals of region or industry if its components collaborate in order to compete. We call this “co-opetition.” For years ECG has successfully brought together disparate groups (private firms, public sector officials, workforce training experts, university research staff, labor officials, and others) around the central idea of “industry clusters” – geographically concentrated sets of industries and their supporting and related foundations (e.g., community colleges, research labs, financiers). As a way to organize the various players in an economy and get them working in concert towards clear and common goals, ECG’s ground-breaking cluster working group process yields powerful results.

Strategy formation
Based on primary research, data analysis, and facilitating the direct participation and input of private and public sector leaders and stakeholders in an economy or industry, ECG designs highly customized strategies. These can be economic strategies for a region, cluster-specific strategies, workforce development strategies that help a region or Workforce Investment Board target the investment of public training dollars, or firm-level strategies that enhance competitiveness. By involving key leaders from the business, government, education and civic communities, and combining that with state-of-the-art analysis of global and regional economic and market trends, ECG provides clients with clear, action-oriented strategies that can be implemented immediately.

Strategy implementation
ECG is well-known for shaping strategies that are action-oriented and highly implement-able. Due to the nature of our strategy formation process, we are able to identify “civic entrepreneurs” or "implementation champions" early in the strategy process. These champions, as individuals or through their organization, take responsibility for moving specific action initiatives contained within the strategy forward toward final implementation. ECG works closely with these key stakeholders to implement action initiatives. We also help establish the institutional or organizational structures necessary to keep the implementation process going.

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