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How Resilience Thinking Can Help Your Community Gain the Competitive Edge

How resilience thinking can help your community gain the competitive edgeNew Year’s resolutions are a test of just how resilient you are as a person.

Think about it: If you resolve to do something, will you be able to say you were open to change and made it happen one year later?

Resolving to get things done is what economic development professionals do well. Each day we are expected to be resilient enough to deliver positive changes for our stakeholders and the larger community.

My colleague Alexandra Tranmer and I recently conducted a webinar for the Texas Economic Development Council about how resilience planning can give your community a competitive edge by optimizing your decision-making processes and advancing your community’s economic development goals. I’d like to share some of the core concepts we presented at that webinar.

The Competitive Benefits of Resilience Thinking

As part of that webinar, we outlined the competitive benefits of internalizing resilience for the benefit of the ecosystem, our organizations, and ourselves as economic development professionals:

For Your Ecosystem: Periodically you need to get outside of your lane and scan the civic landscape. Look for connections and ways to collaborate with your partners and stakeholders to address cracks and holes in the economic and civic infrastructure. The more you master the nuances of the larger ecosystem, the more valuable you will be to it, your peers, superiors, stakeholders, and clients.

For Your Organization: While a resilient ecosystem requires trust and collaboration amongst multiple organizations and civic leaders, a resilient organization requires trust and cooperation amongst diverse, highly talented staff who are supported and in sync with management. Both must be forged with a commitment to a common purpose. The more the vision, mission, values, and strategic objectives are in alignment, the more responsive and nimbler you will be.

For Yourself: We are all capable of adapting to change, and must do so if we are to grow, compete, and thrive. It begins with honest appraisal — coming clean about what you know and don’t know — followed by diligent, hard work to improve your chances for success and satisfaction. Hard work, credibility, and integrity are your greatest competitive advantages.

8 Ways Your Organization Can Become More Resilient Every Day of the Year

#1: Identity, strengthen, and reinforce the networks that will be there in times of crisis and every day to support residents, businesses, and communities.

#2: Design methods to connect with businesses to identify what is impacting their ability to remain resilient and adaptable now and in the future.

#3: Establish clear pathways and tactics to improve civic infrastructure, enable stronger crisis response, and improve the preparedness of the region and its businesses.

#4: Analyze data and past planning strategies to identify vulnerabilities in the ecosystem and act, including brokering “non-traditional” economic development roles such as housing, childcare, and transportation.

#5: Engage those who have historically been left out of the conversation to address systems of inequity and build community-wide resilience.

#6: Recognize the need and avenues for financial resources to support ongoing implementation, operational changes, and business viability.

#7: Identify the areas, issues, and assets that you have standing over and pursue changes that will create a more resilient, adaptable, and transformative economy.

#8: Take a future-forward and holistic approach to economic development that goes further than jobs and investment to truly consider the people, families, and communities that are at the center of why resilience is so critical.

Contact me at dan@camoinassociates.com if you would like me to speak to your group about how to better position your ecosystem, organization, and people for success. Learn more about Camoin Associates’ resiliency services and expertise.