Are you responsible for Ecosystem-Building to Economic Development?  Learn how the Inland Empire in California got it right by working with the right people in its ecosystem: the influencers, doers and power players

An ecosystem of public and private stakeholders¬†in the Inland Empire¬†‚Ästa¬†region in¬†Southern¬†California¬†of the United States¬†with a population of 4 million¬†‚Ästwas on a mission to strengthen economic development.¬†To¬†enable this¬†mission,¬†the¬†core team¬†of¬†the¬†ecosystem had defined three key questions they needed to answer:

3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ANSWER TO SUCCEED WITH ANY ECOSYSTEM-LED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Connectivity1. CONNECTIVITY
How are the various stakeholders in the ecosystem connected?

Pain Points
2. PAIN POINTS
What are the pain points for contributing to the ecosystem?

Key people
3. KEY PEOPLE
Who are the sense makers, doers, and power players of the ecosystem?

Riverside Community College District in partnership with the County of San Bernardino¬†asked Innovisor¬†to help answer these questions and identify the major forthcoming opportunities¬†because¬†they knew that the¬†core team had ‚ÄĚonly limited time and resources available‚ÄĚ (video).

THE INSIGHTS

The core team¬†had¬†a hypothesis that¬†collaboration¬†was hindered by¬†regional barriers.¬†The¬†Inland Empire¬†consists¬†of¬†two¬†large¬†counties¬†‚Ästthe¬†Riverside¬†County and San Bernardino¬†county¬†‚Ästand¬†multiple cities spread¬†over more than 70,000 km2. As a result, it¬†was¬†believed¬†–¬†and¬†assumed¬†‚Ästthat¬†the two¬†large¬†counties¬†had different agendas¬†and priorities.¬†

The data showed¬†a different story.¬†Two major barriers¬†were identified ‚Äď the¬†geographical region¬†was¬†not¬†one of them.¬†Instead, it showed a hierarchical barrier.¬†People¬†looked¬†to¬†higher levels of seniority¬†to get work done. As a result,¬†most people in the ecosystem did not¬†have the authority¬†or power and¬†influence to¬†realize the full potential of¬†the work they¬†were¬†doing.¬†The second barrier was¬†lack of time.¬†¬†

Once the barriers had been identified, the right people to drive change and improvement were found in the informal networks. These people were the influencers, doers, and power players. 

3 TYPES OF KEY PEOPLE IN EVERY ECOSYSTEM

THE FORTHCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

1. Develop a strategic road map for ecosystem & use this for prioritization  
The core team defined strategic priorities and engaged the identified influencers in communicating this widely in the ecosystem. The influencers were the smallest group of people who drove the perceptions of the people working in the ecosystem for economic development. These influencers were identified based on the #ThreePercentRule Algorithm. On top of this, the core team ran co-creation activities with people from all hierarchical levels and regions. This encouraged everyone to take ownership.  

2. Build a structure that supports the strategy  
The core team established a new team of core members and supporting members of the ecosystem and made sure these people were given time to prioritize the work with economic development. These were the people who were identified as the doers and power players. The main responsibility of the core members was to facilitate the connectedness within the community between these people. 

3. Track the progress    
The core team decided to rerun the analysis after one year. This helps with tracking the progress on connectivity on economic development as well as the growth of the ecosystem. 

Find the full client story in our client video.

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