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Finding Your Niche in Niagara

This comprehensive macro study of the Niagara Region enabled Gene to introduce the “Community Enterprise Monitor”

The Community Enterprise Monitor (CEM) consists of six distinct elements. Linked together, they provide an ecological perspective of what is happening, what it means and what needs to be done. Having been successfully beta tested in another Ontario community, the elements that made up the CEM include:

  1. Global Scan — This identifies the nature of the environment, and emerging global patterns in the demographic, economic and societal fields.
  2. The Seven Stages of Development — Drawing on the research of a number of scholars, their contributions have been integrated to produce key constituents which include: technology drivers; factors of success; economic drivers; organizational structures; and the foundation for each of the seven stages of development. This method enables communities to become aware of their current position, in order to determine what needs to be done to move to the higher levels of their choice.
  3. Mental Models — This is, by far, one of the most critical determinants in that it traces the effects of the dominant scientific method of the period that impacts on the thinking of the community at a particular time. What it clearly demonstrates is how this thinking influences perceptions, patterns and decision making in the community at large. This component demonstrates why it is so difficult for communities to adopt new rules and ways of thinking needed to succeed in today’s global village.
  4. Community Context — This is a comparative study of three distinct communities that have made a conscious effort to transform their current reality into a higher level of connectivity with the emerging realities of a higher stage of development. The three communities in the study include: The Golden Technology Triangle (Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge), Silicon Valley, USA and Oulu, Finland. These communities approached this challenge using very similar methodologies.
  5. Social Innovation — As some leading-edge organizations around the globe have demonstrated, it is not enough for people to discover who they are if there is an absence of a culture that creates the right conditions that nurture people’s distinct talents, meaning and mission. When these right conditions are present, the creative process of each participant is engaged, leading to innovation at all levels of the organization. These same principles apply to both public and private sector organizations and their respective communities.
  6. Human and Social Capital — The Collins and Porras Study (Built to Last, 1994) was a search to identify enduring enterprises that have not only survived the test of time, but have outperformed their nearest rivals by a wide margin financially. They discovered a common pattern among these highly effective and efficient firms. Leaders of these organizations have collectively concluded that it is more important to know who you are than where you are going, for where you are going will change as the world around you changes. These findings have influenced recent studies that look at individual talent and how to effectively benefit from an organizational context.
CEM Graph

Click below for the Finding Your Niche in Niagara Study.

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