Adding value

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OconEco workspaces are structured to promote creative ideation, as psychologists use the term (see here, for example). Designating Scale(s) and Procedures for a Workspace mitigates Divergent Thinking. Suggesting a novel approach to stakeholder Perspectives and defining the Task(s) promotes Lateral Thinking

To move expeditiously beyond generalities, we recommend our client target a fine grain construct in each branch, and then 'connect the dots'. For example, a corporate client  might explain its thinking about where to locate a new facility based on M-LA County metrics. To show this as a positive-sum game, it might consider Perspectives beyond transactional  partners, in particular explaining benefits to households, the ultimate owners of wealth. Procedures should show the client is more interested in consilience and feedback, than a specific outcome. And the task is less about choosing the best location for what the client had in mind when creating the workspace, than changing minds--either the client's or its transactional partners.


There are many useful references on stakeholder engagement (e.g., here). However, we give added attention to Perspectives often missing when workspaces begin yet present in those that make it to the client's work routine. For example, all should agree households are ultimate owners of wealth, broadly defined; and contracts, social and legal, are imperfect ways of passing them the income (FRoI in our model) from productive assets. Yet few stakeholder engagement processes have a household representative; advocacy groups and local authorities often claim that role. Similarly, innovation requires patient capital, investors after more than short-term profits; recognizing and valuing 'spillovers' that benefit not only transactional partners but also households as ultimate owners of wealth.. 

More on Perspectives


We define a task as wealth-creation by a set of collaborators a client doesn't own or control, adding resources to a place (.e.g., US County) a client selects, for a share of income (TRoI). 

Our matched modeling for causal inference assesses the place of interest to a client relative to others with similar attributes, how that target group differs from a control group in attributes, and how the client's specific target is the best use of planned resources for creating wealth among stakeholders participating in a workspace.

Having clarified Where (and When) a client aims to allocate resources, the task becomes explaining Who & What more is required and How & Why those invited to participate are preferred collaborators. Since they will have other options for solicited resources, this stage of the task entails Changing Minds. 

More on Tasks


Stakeholders have 'priors' about the task-design framework for engagement. Our Procedures are designed to show the client is more interested in Consilience and Feedback, than a specific outcome. In our experience, this leads to discussion among workspace invitees about whether all crucial Perspectives are represented, and recognizing the two conceptual aspects of all tasks is replicability (Finding Matches) and Changing Minds. 

Conventional stakeholder engagement tends to turn into social networking. This is a valuable spillover but quickly hits diminishing returns to the client unless part of the 'upward spiral' of activity for conjoint wealth creation. That takes feedback mechanisms allocating value added among stakeholders in line with agreed operational guidelines. Spiraling up entails reaching agreement on whether to go another round with the same or modified guidelines.

In our experience, agreeing on evidence is the biggest challenge in a workspace. We enter with 'priors' and plan to show others the wisdom of our ways. Yet we often must play six degrees of separation to find common knowledge--only to find synapses are peripheral in one or another perspective. Given a client's list of prospective stakeholders, we add a quick scrape of their online materials to our pre-processed evidence repository; to assess where invitees will have to agree what constitutes evidence before agreeing how to weigh it all. We call this conscilience.

More on Procedures


We use this term for rungs in the abstraction-specificity ladder we all traverse in creative ideation tasks (as explained by others, say here). Stakeholders tend to be "fluent" at different rungs of the abstraction ladder. Scales triangulate objective knowledge at prescribed intersections of Who & What, Where, When concept hierarchies in FIND & M-LA. This invites discussion of whether, and if so How & Why, Scale matters. For practical reasons, we recommend anchoring a task at the County level.We offer pre-processed evidence and procedures at each scale. What gets tricky on lower rungs, and takes guidance from clients, is deciding who will represent which stakeholder perspective in a workspace. To focus discussion with us, we recommend imagining a local workspace; say a US County or two and FRoI over 5-30 years. Our first consultation will then outline how we envisage relative nesting (parent, sibling, and child workspaces). 

More on Scale(s)