At its core, ViTAL Economy (VE) Alliance members believe that every community, no matter how remote, rural or limited in resources, has the opportunity to become a successful participant in the 21st century global economy. Our philosophy encompasses the following beliefs and approaches:
Leverage Individual Talents to Benefit the Community
We passionately believe that every individual possesses unique but unrealized talents and knowledge that can be leveraged for their own benefit and that of their region. Community and economic development (CED) is the job of every citizen and business; by participating, they can directly benefit from viable and sustainable economic growth.
Use Collaborative Approaches to Bridge Boundaries and Build Wealth and Prosperity
We also believe in building strong, collaborative, boundary-free CED initiatives. Most such initiatives fail because they don’t recognize how different 21st century CED is from 19th and 20th century industrial or agrarian economies. We are now in a global, networked economy where wealth and prosperity are built through collaborative people and resource networks. However, many CED initiative leaders remain focused more on attraction than on internal development and growth, and on preserving political subdivision boundaries in a world of global economic reach where such boundaries inhibit prosperity.
Support Change Management
We believe that transforming a region’s approach to CED is all about change, yet we understand that change is one of the hardest tasks any person or entity can undertake. We have often witnessed community leaders’ frustration when traditional approaches to transform their economies didn’t work. We know that leaders can’t expect different results when they repeatedly use the same approach. That’s why VE has made change management expertise a core capacity of our team. It’s also why, instead of merely producing a report that gathers dust on your office shelf, we commit to coach and guide each and every client community through the entire implementation process. VE initiatives move away from a focus on long-term strategic planning and become action-driven, networked initiatives with a strategic focus.
Commit to Transferring Our Knowledge to Community Leaders
At the heart of our philosophy is a commitment to knowledge transfer. We’ve seen too many CED initiatives die in the short term because the consultant was the only one who possessed the tools and processes needed to craft the plan. We believe that leaders of 21st century CED initiatives must be equipped with new tools to lead and to expand citizen participation in economic transformation. Our Ingrain service is specifically dedicated to establishing a long-term basis for knowledge transfer from the beginning to the end of every VE Alliance engagement.
Promote Collaboration and Shared Resources
Finally, we believe that to do well you must first be committed to doing good. CED initiatives can be fractured and divisive when everyone focuses on what’s in it for them. The VE Alliance has proven that collaborating across boundaries and sharing resources improves economic performance. Identifying a common “sense of urgency” is an essential motivator to help communities overcome barriers to change. Our Value Linkage process gives communities an essential tool to build sustainable collaboration, even among those who traditionally haven’t worked together.