A Checklist for Economic Development- A Dead Poet Speaks

As I was putting together a sample market study for Scott County Missouri for the ITTS member states (Working Paper 13), there is a lot of information regarding transportation, economic activity, and a host of elements concerning sources of additional economic data, especially when combined with the Executive Briefing Book (Working Paper 21).  However, know this source data does not necessarily mean this information will generate additional economic growth independent of some active leadership.  That question could be summarized as “how do I tell a story that is actionable”.

After writing those reports, I realized that there are two stages to this quest to attract and retain economic development – I call the first step “the Dream”, where a vision is created and sold to regional and potential partners, while there is a second stage I call “the How”.  This is the actionable part of economic development, where leadership and commitment are necessary to move a project forward.

The dream…

  • Elevate your branding
    • Zero in on potential customers
    • Reach consensus with local partners
    • Aggressively identify competitive assets attractive to all parties

The how..

  • Pursue realistic timelines
    • Outline budgetary and regulatory approval needs as early as possible
    • Understand your competitor’s capabilities
    • Negotiate project review checkpoints
    • Deploy resources until completed

(And yes, the acrostic is a poet’s name. I love playing with the Acrostic word games.  One of his most famous poems is an impression of a metro station – another transportation angle!)