As summer BBQs turn to fall tailgates, how often do you find that neighborly backyard burger flipping leads to discussions on how great your town is or how much better it could be. Sure there is always room for improvement, but ever wonder how those opinions and impressions sync-up with the facts. Sometimes we are too hard on our own community when it may really be doing quite well, while other times it is heading for a cliff that nobody seems to notice or care. In either case, gaining a better understanding of how impressions align with the facts is a good starting point for long-term strategic planning.
A few years ago Fourth Economy launched the Fourth Economy Community Index. More than just a “best places” ranking, the index has served as a functional dashboard for community stakeholders to gauge their competitive capacity to attract and retain sustainable investment.
The Index examined several county-level factors within five areas: 1) Investment, 2) Talent, 3) Sustainability, 4) Place, and 5) Diversity – each of which contributes to a community’s future economic success. In addition to these variables, Fourth Economy recognizes that Civic Engagement – the active involvement of public, private, philanthropic, and academic leaders – also greatly impacts a community’s ability to achieve success.
So how competitive is your community? To answer that, we invite your town to a virtual backyard tailgate. You and other community stakeholders can share your impressions of your own community. Take a moment to join in by completing the following survey, and, to see what your friends and colleagues are thinking, send along the survey link and encourage them to respond.
Once completed, our team can then provide you with the survey findings that can help identify community challenges and opportunities and define early priority areas. Beyond the survey findings, Fourth Economy can be engaged to provide and analyze the county-level Index data to reveal how community sentiment aligns with the data. This provides a solid data-driven foundation for a serious strategic planning effort.
Ready, Set, Survey – and please pass the mustard…