Survey of Senior Economic Developers

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DCI surveyed a group of economic developers to find out the biggest challenges they face (both professional and personal), and whether or not they would encourage their child to become an economic …

DCI surveyed a group of economic developers to find out the biggest challenges they face (both professional and personal), and whether or not they would encourage their child to become an economic developer.

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Transcript

  • 1. Survey Says: INSIDE THE MINDS OF SENIOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPERS Andrew Levine, President/Chief Creative Officer Development Counsellors International (DCI) (December 5, 2013)
  • 2. Methodology • Online survey with 17 questions conducted between November 13 – 21, 2013 • Sent to 1,224 economic development executives in North America (“CEO,” “President,” “VP,” “Executive Director” titles) • 197 responses received for response rate of 16.1%
  • 3. Respondent Profile – Demographics AGE 60+ years, 2 7.7% 50 - 59 years, 3 2.8% Under 40 years, 1 3.3% 40 - 49 years, 2 6.2% GENDER Female, 30.3% Male, 6 9.7%
  • 4. Organization Budget Over $5M, 16.9% Less than $500,000, 2 5.1% $2.5M $4.99M, 12. 3% $1M $2.49M, 27. 2% $500,000$999,999, 1 8.5%
  • 5. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the profession? 46.7% 50.00% 40.00% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 0.00% 43.2% 40.1% 27.9% 26.9% 19.8%
  • 6. Biggest Challenges Facing Profession (continued) 50.00% 40.00% 30.00% 19.3% 20.00% 13.7% 12.7% 10.2% 10.00% 8.6% 2.5% 0.00% Communities No perceived Decline in cannot value of private sector maintain economic funding basic services development Other Increased Lack of nonscrutiny from financial funding resources providers
  • 7. Biggest Challenges Facing Profession: Sampling of “Other” Responses “Leadership, Leadership, Leadership.” “Duplication of economic development services.” “Too much pursuit of short-term.” “Project bidding wars.” “Economic development is not only about jobs.”
  • 8. Biggest Challenges Facing Profession Differing Opinion by Age Under 50 years 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 50 years and over
  • 9. What are the biggest challenges facing you as an economic development leader? 80.0% 60.4% 52.8% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% 23.9% 20.8% 20.3% 11.2%
  • 10. Biggest Challenges You Face as an ED Leader (continued) 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 11.2% 9.6% 9.6% 9.1% 8.1% 4.1% 0.0% Stress on home Lack of support life from Board of Directors Other Lack of modern Finding relevant Lack of support leadership skills educational from peer group opportunities
  • 11. Biggest Challenges Facing You as an ED Leader: Sampling of “Other” Responses “Time spent on securing resources.” “Lack of leading edge continuing education.” “System resistance to collaboration tools.” “Managing a shrinking marketing budget.” “Demands for a ‘quick fix.’"
  • 12. Biggest Challenges Facing You as an ED Leader Differing Opinion by Gender Female 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% Male
  • 13. Biggest Challenges Facing You as an ED Leader Differing Opinion by Gender Female Male 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% Stress on home life Lack of support from Board of Directors Other Lack of modern leadership skills Finding Lack of relevant support from educational peer group opportunities
  • 14. The Greatest Survey Question Ever… Would You Encourage Your Child To Become An Economic Developer? Thanks, Ron!!!
  • 15. Would you encourage your child to become an economic developer? Not Sure, 28. 1% No, 15.3 % Yes, 56.6 %
  • 16. Encourage Your Child To Become An Economic Developer? Differing Opinion by Age Under 50 years 50 years and over 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Yes No Not Sure
  • 17. What do you wish you had been told before you became an economic developer? 1. More political than expected (24.9%) 2. Diversity of skills is required to succeed in the industry (9.0%) 3. How fun/rewarding it can be (6.2%) 4. That the field existed (5.6%) 5. To move up, you need to move (4.0%) 6. Demands on time/personal sacrifice (4.0%)
  • 18. What Do You Wish You Had Been Told? Some Interesting Responses “Every board member, investor, stakeholder and citizen believes he/she is your boss and could do your job.” “You must be fearless, ‘safe’ does not create real change.” “The struggle to remain relevant and effective never ends. It's a little like rock climbing. You can never relax and let go… the fall might kill you.” “You need to have a bottomless cup of energy and enthusiasm.”
  • 19. What is the most important thing you do each week as an economic developer? 1. New business outreach/attraction (21.5%) 2. Existing business outreach/retention (17.3%) 3. Communication – internal and external (11.0%) 4. Staff development (8.4%) 5. Help community/stakeholders/staff stay focused on strategic goals/mission (6.8%)
  • 20. What is the hardest thing you do each week as an economic developer? 1. Balance demands of job/ changing priorities (21.5%) 2. Dealing with political realities (13.1%) 3. Dealing with stakeholders/ officials who don't understand ED (10.5%) 4. Keep focused on mission (8.4%)
  • 21. Finish this sentence: I know my leadership is successful if… • Staff/community partners are motivated and empowered (29.4%) • I have buy-in/support from the community and we’re receiving public acknowledgement (21.9%) • Able to attract quality investment/create jobs (16.0%) • We're seeing results and meeting our goals (8.6%)
  • 22. “(My) team is motivated, focused, happy and performing.” “Residents lives are improved by my actions.” “I can sleep without Ambien.” “I can get people to understand the long-term vision of economic development.” “My work results in investment and job creation in my area.” “Representatives of new companies are making statements such as, "We could not have accomplished our goals without this (our) organization." “New jobs are created without giving away the farm.” “I put my team in a position to be successful professionally and personally.” “My board and staff are singing the same tune…” “Our organization is perceived favorably by local elected officials.” “All stakeholders know what the organization stands for.”
  • 23. What is the one thing you would immediately change about your leadership style? 1. Be more assertive/forceful (13.4%) 2. Delegate more (9.7%) 3. Be more patient (9.1%) 4. Improve "coaching" or management skills (8.6%) 5. Become a better communicator (5.4%)
  • 24. What economic development thoughtleaders do you regularly follow? • Jeff Finkle/IEDC (12.0%) • Richard Florida/Author (8.4%) • Andy Levine/DCI (7.8%) • Eric Canada/Blane Canada (5.4%) • Joel Kotkin/Author (4.2%) • Ron Kitchens/Southwest Michigan First (4.2%)
  • 25. Who are the leadership gurus/experts that you follow (not ED related)? • Jim Collins (7.7%) • Stephen Covey (7.1%) • Warren Buffet (5.8%) • Jack Welch (5.2%) • Malcolm Gladwell (3.9%) • John Maxwell (3.2%)
  • 26. A Two-Part Question Part 1: Part 2: How would you rate the importance of each of the following factors to your organization's success? How likely are you to engage the services of outside professionals in each area?
  • 27. Part 1: Importance to Organization’s Success 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 4.71 4.44 4.43 4.23 4.16 4.05 3.98 3.91 3.29
  • 28. Part 2: Likelihood of Engaging Outside Resources 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 3.76 3.06 2.95 2.94 2.74 2.74 2.71 2.17 1.99
  • 29. What advice would you offer to a new member of the economic development profession? • Always continue professional development/obtain CeCD (25.0%) • Find a mentor (13.3%) • Network, build relationships and learn from others (10.6%) • Get a broad base and diverse set of experiences (8.0%) • Be prepared/expect to move (7.4%)
  • 30. “Join your state economic developers association. Join IEDC. Get active!” “Relocate when everything is going great.” “Network and maintain relationships. Provide others superior service.” “Find great mentors” “Find a well funded visionary organization, find a couple of good older Mentors and work hard and learn everyday.” “Work a variety of ED jobs and at the state, regional and local levels.” “Be willing to move.” “Engage your community, be transparent, and always keep your board updated.” “Diversify your knowledge” “Be politically aware, but not politically involved (if you work for or are funded by a governmental entity).” “Continue education/get certified.” “Be open to new ideas and opportunities. Take risks. Resist conventional wisdom.”
  • 31. What organizations do you turn to for professional development opportunities? 68.4% 13.4% 7.0%
  • 32. How Do You Obtain News/Information? What is the % for Print, Broadcast and Online Sources… Print, 23.4 % Online, 60 .4% Broadcast, 16.2%
  • 33. Please list your favorite news outlet(s). PRINT ONLINE BROADCAST
  • 34. How strongly have you embraced each of the following social media networks? 5.00 3.82 3.28 4.00 2.53 3.00 2.51 2.00 1.00 0.00 LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+
  • 35. One Consultant’s Point of View Some Key Takeaways… • “Politics” is the single greatest frustration among senior economic developers. • Many of the challenges cited by respondents have more to do with “management” than “leadership.” • Traditional functions – business retention/expansion, investment attraction & marketing – are at the center of an organization’s perceived success. • While the work is demanding, there is a general sense of optimism and enthusiasm for the profession.
  • 36. THANK YOU…. • Will email the presentation to everyone. Feel free to share with staff and colleagues. • Welcome your thoughts/comments and specific any data requests. Call (212/725-0707) or email me (andy.levine@aboutdci.com). • If you are on LinkedIn, please join the 6,000+ members of “Economic Development 2.0” • If you are on Twitter, please follow me at: #DCI_Andy