Unanswered Questions, Unfulfilled Leadership

I was reading the other day about how firms in my homeland of Canada are filling the gaps left by the government’s decision to axe the long-form census. In this case, the newspaper (okay, not a real newspaper – the online version) described a firm that is collecting data about the workforce so that organizations can better understand how to attract and retain employees. This is a private sector firm collecting data to uncover what used to be provided by government agency Statistics Canada.

What is this story really about? Is it about the private sector is naturally filling a void created by a government cutting programs? Or is this a story about how leaders need insights… decisions need background information, and strategies need guidance?  Just because it is a cliché does not mean it is not true… Knowledge is Power. The best decisions are made with better information. The best strategies are based on market intelligence.  And investments are best leveraged when you know where they can have the most impact.

Governments poised to compete in the 21st century global economy realize that to thrive, they need to be able to leverage the resources they have, make the right decisions, and provide their businesses with an ability to innovate and capture markets. Good planning requires insights into opportunities within the context of available resources and tools to overcome barriers.

Regions with governments that are cutting back on information gathering will not have the data and insights they need to create winning strategies and develop programs that foster growth. Without naming names, we all know of regions that are depressed and struggling more than others. What do most have in common? Weak or nonexistent strategies. And behind that, a lack of insights needed to succeed. So who will fill the void?

I founded SNG 12 years ago to help communities and regions make better decisions about their broadband investments and show them how to better leverage the networks for economic and social development. This requires assessing needs, benchmarking gaps, and helping regions plan strategically to shorten the path to desired outcomes and impacts. In essence, SNG is translating broadband into opportunities and jobs through fact-based economic strategies.

If you don’t measure, you can’t manage … and you surely cannot develop successful strategies that will give the stakeholders in your communities and regions what they need to compete and lead in today’s knowledge economy. Without intelligence and insights on where you are now as compared to where you want to be, you are forced to be a follower. In the globally competitive marketplace, it’s the innovators that will benefit from a high wage economy and with it, high quality of life.

SNG maximizes limited resources by identifying key economic levers on which to pull and we do this on a case by case basis. SNG can help get you the information you need for your own creative strategies from a region-wide standpoint. In addition, our DEi Scorecard can give you insights all the way down to the individual organization level. For example, businesses can receive individual reports to let your entrepreneurs know how they stack up against local and global competition and what they need to do to be more competitive.

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