Strategic Thought and the Economic Development Professional

It has long been reflected in the literature that strategy development should be a primary focus of those at the highest levels of leadership in any organization. Conceptually, the President and CEO should thus devote a greater proportion of time to strategy development than should the Vice Presidents, line supervisors, and other employees.

The question for this research is whether that was, in fact, the case amongst economic development professionals. Do the more senior economic development professionals in an organization spend more of their time strategizing than do others? Do they consider the time they spend thinking strategically to be sufficient, or would they prefer to have more time to devote to strategic thought? How do economic development professionals spend their time and are there any discernable differences in the patterns that can be traced to the types or sizes of the economic development programs in localities?

The process of strategy development is comprised of two vital components. Strategic planning, as a process, has become just that- a process. It has evolved in most contexts to be an annual or bi-annual event which is surrounded by flurries of preparation and follow-up. The greatest value is in the thought process: before, during, and throughout the year after the actual planning meetings.

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