Navigating government change: A guide for Economic Development Agencies

A change in government can have a significant impact on economic development agencies and so it is important for economic development practitioners to think through what it means for their organisation. As the priorities and policies of a new government take shape, it can be helpful for economic development agencies to adapt and align their strategies accordingly. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive checklist for economic development agencies to navigate and thrive amidst government changes.

Preparing for a new government: A checklist

1. Stay informed of economic development policies by political parties

Stay vigilant and up-to-date on the economic development policies and initiatives proposed by key political parties or individuals. Regularly monitor official announcements, policy proposals, and public statements related to economic development. This proactive approach will enable your organisation to anticipate potential shifts and prepare accordingly.

2. Consider how you would navigate and position your organisation in the event of a political shift

Develop a clear understanding of how your organisation fits into the potential changes in economic policies. Identify areas where your organisation can align and contribute effectively. Establish a strategy to position your organisation as a valuable contributor to the new government’s goals and objectives.

3. Build allies with your stakeholders to advocate your value

During periods of political change, it is more crucial than ever that you forge strong relationships with stakeholders, including businesses, community leaders, and advocacy groups. Cultivate a network of supporters who understand and appreciate the value your organisation brings to the community. Collaborate with this network to effectively communicate your organisation’s value and contributions to garner support during transitions in government.

4. Review compliance with new government goals and strategise accordingly

Thoroughly review your organisation’s compliance with the new government’s goals and policies. Identify areas where adjustments may be necessary to align with the evolving landscape. Develop a strategy to tweak your approach and clearly demonstrate how your organisation’s objectives align with the government’s vision.

5. Don’t be scared to adapt to your new environment

Be open to change and prepared to adapt swiftly to new circumstances. Foster a culture within your organisation that encourages flexibility and responsiveness to evolving policies and priorities. Embrace change as an opportunity to innovate and improve your strategies for economic development.

6. Foster collaboration, both internally and externally

Promote collaboration within your organisation and establish strong internal communication channels. Additionally, foster collaboration with external stakeholders, such as other government agencies, NGOs, and private enterprises. Building a strong collaboration network ensures your organisation is deeply integrated and hardwired within the broader economic ecosystem.

7. Cultivate personal relationships with politicians

Establish and nurture personal relationships with politicians across different parties. Engage with them and involve them in discussions related to your organisation’s strategies and initiatives. By including politicians in your processes, you can gain their support and ensure they have a stake in your organisation’s success.

8. Engage early with aspiring politicians

Initiate conversations with aspiring politicians in the early stages of their campaigns or careers. Offer insights and expertise related to economic development to help them shape their policies and messaging. Establishing a collaborative relationship with aspiring politicians can be beneficial for your organisation in future government transitions.

9. Be a trusted advisor and educator

Position your organisation as a trusted advisor to the political system, providing them with valuable insights and information on economic development matters. Educate them about the critical role your organisation plays in fostering economic growth and stability. Celebrate successes and proactively share relevant information to build trust and credibility, and ensure that your organisation is always a go to point for information.

10. Utilize media to educate and advocate

Leverage the power of the media to educate the public and government officials about the value and impact of economic development initiatives. Utilise various media channels, including press releases, interviews, newsletters, and social media, to disseminate information and advocate for the importance of economic development efforts.

Change is inevitable, but you can plan for it

Dealing with political change is an inevitable occurrence for economic development, and to thrive in such an environment requires a combination of foresight, planning, and responsiveness. By following this checklist and adopting a proactive approach, economic development organisations can ensure a smooth transition and continue to flourish under evolving government dynamics.