An ecosystem of public and private stakeholders in the Inland Empire – a region in Southern California of the United States with a population of 4 million – was 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
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 ”only limited time and resources available” (video).
The core team had a hypothesis that collaboration was hindered by regional barriers. The Inland Empire consists of two large counties – the Riverside County and San Bernardino county – and multiple cities spread over more than 70,000 km2. As a result, it was believed – and assumed – that the two large counties had different agendas and priorities.
The data showed a different story. Two major barriers were identified – 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.
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.