Enterprise Mapping – choosing pictures over words

In order to achieve its strategic vision of a ‘Dynamic Durham’, County Durham Economic Partnership is keen to maximise its start-up support for residents. This means having absolute clarity of partner activities and an effective way to identify and communicate new opportunities.

IDEAS

The initial idea was to undertake focus groups and meetings with all key delivery partners, and to create a clear report on current activities, opportunities and recommendations around stakeholder communications.

TOOLS & TACTICS

Over 20 meetings were held in total, representing 12 groups across four Council directorates. A written report was created as requested, but this was not the best tool to illustrate opportunities and help stakeholders understand where their activities sat in a county-wide context. Instead, activities and opportunities were mapped out visually against an existing ‘enterprise journey’ model.

This meant that all activities were structured against the needs of residents at their various stages of business start-up; rather than against the structure of the Council’s delivery mechanisms. This visual model was delivered both as an updateable powerpoint presentation and also as a 20-minute movie file with voiceover explaining the mapped activities and reinforcing opportunities for joint-working and clearer communications.

The visual map has enhanced understanding across the Economic Partnership and cost-cutting plans are now in place to maximise opportunities for joint-working. Stage two – the development of stakeholder communication tools – is planned for March – may 2011.

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