DT #319: 8 Pressing Questions About Strategic Planning


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In the current environment, economic development and community leaders are spending a lot of time on triage – trying to keep existing businesses and programs afloat, working with greater urgency, and managing with fewer resources.

The depth of our uncertainty feels bottomless. Even with the promise of a vaccine, a full economic recovery feels dauntingly distant.

In this episode, Dennis chats with Tom Stellman and Tracye McDaniel of TIP Strategies on the pressing questions in stategic planning.

1. What can leadership do right now?

2. How do we confront an uncertain future?

3. How do we communicate when there is so much discord?

4. How much can I really influence the future under current circumstances?

5. Can I be creative if my budget is shrinking?

6. At the speed at which things are changing, can I rely on data?

7. Should community wide economic recovery be my primary objective?

8. Is it even possible to plan ahead anymore?

Connect with Tom Stellman

Connect with Tracye McDaniel

Check out TIP Strategies

About Tom Stellman

As CEO and founder of TIP Strategies, Inc., Tom has national and international experience in economic development and workforce analysis. Tom is the lead author of TIP's Texas Automotive Profile and has spoken extensively about automotive supplier attraction strategies. He also developed and launched the highly successful Invest in Texas Alliance, a marketing initiative targeting domestic and international growth companies which generated over $3 billion in investment leads and facilitated the location of 15 companies.

Tom's recent projects include developing a talent-focused strategy as part of a WIRED-funded initiative for a 26-county region in Kentucky and Indiana; crafting diversification strategies for military dependent communities in Texas (Fort Hood and Sheppard AFB) and Tennessee (Fort Campbell); preparing an economic development strategic plan for Hinds County (Jacksonville), Mississippi; and creating marketing strategies for suburban communities along the expansion of the President George Bush Tollway in the Dallas area.

Prior to establishing TIP, Tom was director of the Office of International Business for the Texas Department of Commerce. He led a 10-person staff charged with promoting the state's exports, marketing the state to foreign investors, and facilitating communication between foreign investors and economic development organizations statewide.

About Tracye McDaniel

Tracye McDaniel, as president of TIP Strategies, Inc., brings a global perspective to local strategies. Throughout her thirty-year career, Tracye has advised and supported five governors in all facets of economic development. She has led marketing efforts in over 51 countries. Tracye is a trusted advisor to CEOs, nonprofits, public organizations, and private enterprises.

Prior to joining TIP, Tracye was the founder and CEO of McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems. She has served as president and chief executive officer of the Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to marketing the state globally for business attraction, retention, and foreign direct investment.

Before that, Tracye was Founding CEO of Choose New Jersey, one of a few economic development organizations in the country wholly funded through private sources. While there, she shaped the state’s brand for economic development marketing as well as its business retention and recruitment strategies. Tracye was also one of the founding creators of Opportunity Houston at the Greater Houston Partnership where she served in the role of Executive Vice President and COO.

Tracye is a widely recognized strategist with C-Suite level experience in all facets of the organizational development, corporate engagement, economic development, and the travel marketing industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

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