Case Study Model Community Initiative Holland-Zeeland, MichiganBusiness Growth through Innovation
BackgroundThe overarching question for the area and region was:“How do we work together, to identify and pursueeconomic development opportunities that will enablethe Holland/Zeeland area to innovate, move up thevalue chain, increase business revenues andprofits, grow jobs and generate community resourcesat the fastest and most sustainable rate possible?”A planning team of community leaders was formed inorder to begin the dialogue around this question and EdMorrison/PCRD were called into action.
Their Work to Date“White paper in a brown wrapper”…has enjoyed a successful past, a strong localeconomy and a uniquely desirable quality oflife. A combination of global forces hasfundamentally changed the effectiveness ofarea business models and the way we mustapproach our future, both nationally andlocally…
Supporting DataThe next economy must have four characteristics:• higher exports, to take advantage of rising global demand• low carbon technology, to lead the clean-energy revolution• innovation, to spur growth through ideas and their deployment• greater opportunity, to reverse the troubling, decades-long rise in inequality.
Pre Workshop ActivitiesAnalysis of their current situationMultiple conference calls with key civic leaders to determine what success looks likeCustom PowerPoint presentation preparedPre workshop training held with table guidesCustomized Strategic Doing packs prepared
Holland/Zeeland Strategic Doing Workshop Strategic Focus Areas, Table Guides and Framing Questions Strategic Focus Framing Question Activation of clusters involves a focused economic development strategy.Economic Clusters Cluster strategies depend on building complex, innovative collaborations(Tim Hemingway) quickly. What can be done to develop a repeatable process that allows for the successful creation of new, purposeful economic cluster networks?Business The strength of any regional economy depends on its existing businesses. How do we develop a support system to accelerate their growth? WhatExpansion and could we do to align, link and leverage our resources to support existingAttraction companies? How do we develop a reputation for speed, innovation, and(Garth Deur) responsiveness that would make us attractive to outside companies? We need new businesses that can leverage the assets we have in ourInnovation and region. How do we build a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem to supportEntrepreneurship new and innovative companies? How do we engage young people in(Mark DeWitt) building businesses in our region? How do we create thick networks of support?
Strategic Focus Framing Question How do we build a region that fully embraces lifelong talentTalent Development development? Where do we start? What initiatives appear most(Janet DeYoung) promising and how do we effectively support and leverage them for area--‐wide success and sustainability? Creating quality physical connections requires us to think in new ways about our investments in infrastructure. We also need quality,Infrastructure connected places to attract and keep young people. Chances are(Dan Bourbon) traditional approaches to infrastructure planning will not meet our needs going forward. How do we develop new practices to guide our infrastructure investments? The Midwest suffers from the legacy Rust Belt image. How do we set ourselves apart? What differentiates us from the competition?New Narrative What are the unique, compelling reasons for companies to choose(Bob Ellis) the Lakeshore to grow, launch or locate? How do we “face forward” and tell the stories of our promising future?