No longer will community decision-making be dominated only by the loudest voices. No longer will economic development strategic planning be simply an academic exercise that results in the proverbial report on the shelf.
Baker City, OR (Vocus) October 28, 2010
American communities no longer have to guess about how to revitalize their future. Brian Cole, an economic development practitioner with 25 years experience, has created a new approach for American communities to create jobs and improve their overall quality of life. Building Communities strategic planning allows cities, counties, and regions to immediately identify their best possibilities for success, and offers very specific action steps to jump start implementation within weeks.
Communities throughout America have varying levels of desire and capacity to envision and enact their future. Quite often, however, community leaders—both professionals and volunteers—do not find themselves equipped to help their community.
'It all begins with strategic planning,' says Brian Cole, President of Building Communities, Inc. 'More often than not, however, the traditional approach to economic development strategic planning simply does not generate long-term results'.
This traditional approach, which relies upon assessing the current situation, performing a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis, defining goals and objectives and activities, and then assigning tasks, proves to be an academic exercise that misses the mark according to Cole.
The reasons why traditional economic development strategic planning fails are numerous:
- Strategic options are not identified
- Barriers to implement strategies are unknown
- The community is not organized to effectively seize opportunities
- Specific steps to implement strategies are not understood
- Mechanisms for follow-through are not in place
Building Communities is an economic development strategic planning paradigm shift. Instead of starting with a demographic study and community-based SWOT analysis, Building Communities begins by offering a menu of 25 executable strategies through the Strategy Selector Tool.
Community leaders then consider 85 separate key success factors that are relevant to one or more of the prospective strategies.
By evaluating the assets and characteristics of their own community, community leaders can take a very objective approach to identifying strategies that are viable.
Once the strategies are selected, Building Communities presents between four and eleven Essential Action Steps that the community must take in order to efficiently and effectively implement the strategy.
Communities are also inspired and guided by a strategy-specific success story—a community that has already implemented that strategy with significant results.
Finally, community leaders will develop a 'to do list matrix' that identifies who will do what by when.
'No longer will communities fail to identify options', says Cole. “No longer will community decision-making be dominated only by the loudest voices. No longer will economic development strategic planning be simply an academic exercise that results in the proverbial report on the shelf.”
Cole concludes that Building Communities ushers in a paradigm shift that will allow American communities to better target their human and financial resources toward strategies that work to create jobs and enhance the overall quality of life.
About Building Communities: Building Communities is an economic development strategic planning company assisting communities throughout the United States to envision and enact their future through unique, proprietary methods and software that expedites the ability of communities to select strategies that they can succeed with to create jobs and improve their overall quality of life. President, Author, and Founder of Building Communities, Brian Cole, brings 25 years of experience in planning and implementing successful projects, initiatives, and strategies. Find out more at http://www.BuildingCommunities.us.
About Brian Cole: Brian Cole has 25 years of experience in planning and implementing economic development projects, initiatives, and strategies as a local and state official, county commissioner, and as a private sector consultant and author. More on Brian can be found at http://www.buildingcommunities.us/about.html.