A seminal work in fleshing out the kind of leadership we need to renew and prepare communities for the demands of democracy in the coming era.
Ronald Heifetz, director, Leadership Education Project, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Jolted by the economic downturn of the early 1990s and the rapid globalization of the economy, a group of California business, government, education, and community leaders formed Joint Venture: Silicon Valley, a collaborative regional alliance that helped create a strengthened economy and an improved quality of life in their community. Now three of Joint Venture's advisers outline the process that led to this dramatic turnaround, as well as success stories in Florida, Ohio, Kansas, and Texas. They reveal the powerful new concept of civic entrepreneurship, and they offer practical, proven strategies that community leaders across the country can employ to foster local economic development and renewal.
Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy explains the unique leadership qualities that set civic entrepreneurs apart, and illustrates how these leaders can emerge from all levels of private, public, social, and civic organizations. The book shows how civic entrepreneurs forge powerfully productive linkages at the intersection of business, government, education, and community, and it demonstrates how they operate at the grassroots level to create collaborative advantages that make it possible for their economic communities to compete on the global stage.
Citing numerous real-life examples, authors Douglas Henton, John Melville, and Kimberly Walesh illustrate the necessary steps to build an economic community. They show how civic entrepreneurs motivate and network to organize for action, set priorities, and mobilize resources to get things done. Finally, they demonstrate how to sustain cross-sector collaboration over the long haul for the good of the community. An indispensable resource, Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy offers step-by-step guidance and practical advice equally useful to business executives, elected officials and public managers, community development practitioners, or concerned citizens who want to take an active role in shaping the future of local economic development.
KIMBERLY WALESH are principals in Collaborative Economics (http://www.coecon.com), a firm that forges linkages between local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to promote growth. Henton lives in San Mateo, California; Melville in Ladera, California; and Walesh in Palo Alto, California.