In the past year or so I have been doing more work in smaller communities and rural regions. I’m in Nova Scotia this week on a project to help a rural area figure out a better way for its economic development efforts.
It seems clear to me that much of this comes down to the quality of the people involved – staff, boards, partners, volunteers, etc. You have to get the strategy and structure right but, ultimately, it’s people that make things happen.
I watched a video from the Ideas Festival where the guy who headed up the Own the Podium project for the Vancouver Olympics provided a good overview of how that initiative was so successful. I am impressed how they were able to marshal so many different organizations and personalities with relatively little funding.
Economic development is always about marshaling other related stakeholders – it is rarely about single organizations doing all the work themselves. There are too many moving parts for it to be fully controlled by one organization. But the best economic development organizations can bring those moving parts together and have them work in unison.
It’s a bit high level this morning but at some point high level is important.