A Brief Intro to the
“We’ve long had reliable processes for producing what we don’t want: poverty, climate change, extinctions, etc. But, until now, we’ve lacked a reliable process for producing what we all want—recovery, revitalization and resilience—so those efforts have mostly failed.“
– Storm Cunningham, RE
About 90% of local recovery, revitalization and/or resilience efforts fail. The reason is the same in almost every case: lack of a strategic process.
In most cases, the local folks aren’t even aware that a process is needed to reliably produce anything. So, if you ask them why their initiative failed, they’ll say things like “lack of funding”, “poor leadership”, “insufficient stakeholder engagement”, “paucity of partners”, etc. But those are just symptoms of not having a strategic process, not causes.
The groundbreaking new (2020) book, “RECONOMICS“, describes reconomics as the study and development of processes that produce resilient recovery and revitalization in communities and regions. These processes are based on strategic, programmatic regeneration that repurposes, renews and/or reconnects built, natural, social and economic assets. As a result, local leaders worldwide now have a proven approach to producing what they all want: resilient prosperity.
They can now address complex agendas without making governance more complicated. Today, virtually every place on Earth needs to simultaneously produce crisis recovery, economic revitalization and community resilience. Properly applied, the RECONOMICS Process does exactly that.
“Process” is the key word. Every successful manufacturer, farmer, business owner and manager on the planet knows that a process is needed to reliably produce anything. That basic management insight is missing in most places that are striving to produce revitalization and/or resilience. Process is seldom present in such situations. As a result, failure is the norm.
Instead, most places stagnate by endlessly producing plans that are never implemented. They launch initiatives that aren’t supported by–and are often sabotaged by—their own policies. They rely on private developers to propose projects, so that governance is reduced to reactive yes/no decisions.
Or they focus on just one or two agendas—like downtown revitalization, heritage renewal or beautification—while ignoring numerous other factors that are crucial to success, like infrastructure renewal, air quality and natural resources restoration.
Or they remain in a stop-start, project-oriented mode, never gaining the momentum and efficiency that comes with an ongoing program. They have to recruit new partnerships—and create new stakeholder engagement efforts—every time they want to do something new. As a result, they fail to produce the single most important outcome: increased confidence in the local future. Armed with that, they automatically attract—and retain—residents, employers and investors.
Instead of creating a place that residents, employers and investors want to be a part of, process-free places rely on baiting them with artificial incentives like tax holidays, free land, and image-boosting marketing campaigns. Such tactics occasionally produce a “win”, but seldom reverse the trajectory of a declining economy or quality of life.
RECONOMICS is the solution. It studies successes and failures worldwide to detect common factors. What’s almost always present in the success stories? What’s almost always missing in the failures? The result is the RECONOMICS Process. It’s the state of the art in reliably, efficiently producing resilient prosperity at the local, regional and national levels. And each step in the process is a potential entry point for you to grow your career or organization.
The most spectacular revitalization and resilience successes are usually the ones that have the most elements of the RECONOMICS Process. One of our goals in training and certifying Revitalization & Resilience Facilitators is to help more places create the complete process. Only then can cities, regions and nations fully tap their potential.