I’ve been back from Poland now for a week, but I haven’t had a chance to blog on our final recommendations. Overall, it was an amazing experience and a great learning opportunity. I think every IBM executive should complete one of these assignments every few years. It really grounds you in the problems that the world is facing.
We wrapped up our final recommendations during our final week, and presented them in a half-day marathon to the Mayor, his staff, and various constituents of the metropoly, and then the next day to the local media in a press conference. Our final recommendations and deliverables included three work streams: City of Commerce & Culture, A Well-Planned City, and City of Digital Innovation. In the spirit of brief blogging, I’ll summarize one area in each of my next three blogs.
City of Commerce & Culture
This work stream was focused on answering the question, “How can Economic Development and Marketing Strategy be strengthened to improve quality of life (economic and social) and attract increased investment?”
Our recommendations included:
- Align long-term economic development plan with existing city development plan and marketing plan
- Build a clear and compelling city brand and value proposition across the city ecosystem
- Tailor investor messages to targeted audiences, highlighting the business infrastructure of the city and the human and capital benefits
- Foster local citizen confidence in the progress and new development that is happening
To support these recommendations, we provided a large set of deliverables to the City and Voivodeship. These deliverables included:
- Guiding principles on selection and engagement of investor promotions firm and marketing agency
- Strategic planning models
- Samples of city economic development plans from similar sized cities
- Management system infrastructure recommendations
- Ecosystem map and constituent personas
- Brand guidance and marketing interactions
- Feedback on the existing investor presentation
- Value selling framework template
- Communications framework recommendations
- Best practices for social media strategy
- Social media usage examples from similar cities
The team working on this work stream also did a fantastic job of documenting some of the key constituent personas for the city, including videotaping and profiling some citizens who represented those personas. They also made some key connections with local youth forums and recommended that the mayor engage these groups in the planning and marketing process, particularly to help address specific areas like nightlife development.
This work stream is obviously critical to Katowice. They need to establish their brand in order to draw the investments and economic development they are seeking. They also need to market themselves to their own citizens in order to increase their regional pride and retain the people they want to remain in the city.
The reaction to this set of recommendations was very positive. The mayor started on the path immediately to pursue many of the recommendations. I believe that these actions will have a strong effect on the city’s ability to attract new investment and market itself.