Insights > ‘Strategic Doing’ Helps Get Economic Development Done in Harrison
‘Strategic Doing’ Helps Get Economic Development Done in Harrison
Successful economic development is usually the result of getting many small things done to clear the way for the bigger things to happen. That was the thinking behind the Community Catalyst program, which is funded by Entergy Arkansas and conducted in partnership with the University of Central Arkansas’ Center for Community and Economic Development and Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute.
Kicked off in late 2019, Entergy Arkansas partnered with the University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development to help five Arkansas communities with grassroots citizen engagement through the Community Catalyst program.
After taking a pandemic hiatus, Entergy Arkansas, among others, helped conduct the first 2021 Community Catalyst program in Harrison Sept. 21. Harrison was one of five communities in Arkansas selected to be a part of the program.
The Harrison event, held at the North Arkansas College John Paul Hammerschmidt Conference Center, hosted 30 community leaders, including members of the Boone County Leadership class.
Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute’s Dr. Joe Fratesi and Dr. Jeremy Murdock facilitated the workshop with assistance from UCA’s Center for Community and Economic Development Assistant Director Dylan Edgell and project manager Emily Cooper and Entergy Arkansas Community Development Program Manager Tandee White.
The Community Catalyst program applies a process called “Strategic Doing.” Unlike traditional strategic planning, Strategic Doing focuses on immediate, impactful small wins and goals. The process involves forming collaborations quickly and guiding them toward measurable outcomes.
The Harrison group identified several categories of importance, including education and workforce; business growth, development, and entrepreneurship. Entergy Customer Service Manager Mark Martin is a member of the business growth, development, and entrepreneurship team. These teams walked through the Strategic Doing process to each identify a project that they will accomplish using assets of the team members.
“The community leaders in the Harrison area understand what it takes to compete for business, and they’re enthusiastically embracing new tools to support success in the growth of Harrison’s economy,” said White. “Entergy Arkansas is glad to help add to their toolbox.”