ASSESS - FOCUS -ACT
When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, goes the old expression. CIEL has developed targeted tools and strategic processes that get the job done. That means they are designed to accurately ASSESS the community (using a fun and engaging process), get it FOCUSed and jumpstart it to ACTION using the community's energy.
CIEL was birthed in British Columbia's Kootenay Region, a region that boasts 23% of the communities but only 4% of the BC's population. In the early 2000s the Kootenays had many small communities which were "stuck", waiting for a white knight to come in and revitalize them, These were "constipated communities", unable to undertake any action on their own for a variety of reasons, recalls CIEL's Mike Stolte, Mike discovered that the small communities that were thriving in Canada, the US and around the world were those that had harnessed the entrepreneurial energy of their residents. This entrepreneurial energy attracted even more entrepreneurs and new residents - a virtuous cycle of sorts. This business vitality not only makes a community more resilient, attractive and more economically viable, but also better able to harness the energies of its residents to innovatively and proactively respond to a fast-changing world..
Mike and his team, working within Community Futures Central Kootenay, researched and designed the Business Vitality Initiative, an innovative tool and engaging process which would:
- comprehensively assess communities using the perceptions of key residents,
- facilitate the community through a focusing process to identify 1-3 key short term strategic actions, and
- jumpstart it to action.
Many of the small communities began to undertake small and large projects, building momentum and confidence. In one town, seven projects were undertaken in a year including the development of a summer music festival, the targeted recruitment of more doctors and an opportunity identification session for youth, that led to the creation of 7 new businesses.
Mike and his team were so successful that CIEL was born. Since then, Mike and CIEL have gone on to build tools and processes, working in 9 Canadian provinces, mostly with communities with populations between 250 and 25,000 residents.
CIEL offers training and accreditation for all of its tools. It also offers free simple version of most tools. Some of the tools are described on more details below. Please contact Mike for a free consultation.
Were is your community at?
What phase are you at?
Depending on where you are, the way forward will look different. The right tool is imperative for the stage and phase communities are at.
The free Communities Matrix has been requested by more than 25 countries and was recognized by the international Community Development Society as one of the world's best for assessing community readiness. This one-page conceptual framework is a great place to start the conversation whether you are a large community or a small organization.
TOURISM VITALITY TOOLS
How tourist-friendly is your community to residents and tourists?
- Citizens of this community have a positive attitude towards tourists.
- The photography & videos on the main tourism website for our town or region are professional looking and beautiful.
- Our brand is accepted and promoted by the community, its businesses and tourism operators.
- Our community tourism website for our town or region conveys a sense of excitement.
- This town believes in itself. We think that with enough support, we can do anything
Our tourism vitality tools take the pulse of your community and - with tourism operators and local leaders - strategically build tourism assets and attitudes.
BUSINESS VITALITY TOOLS
How business-friendly are you?
Is your community doing everything it can to create fertile soil for entrepreneurs and businesses?
- Innovative and entrepreneurial thinking is understood & encouraged in the community.
- There is a vibrant community core where people can interact.
- Young adults (age 25-34) consider the community a desirable place to live.
- The community identifies and follows through on opportunities.
- People prefer to purchase local products and services before those from out of area.
Take the pulse of the community by using our Business Vitality tools. Coupled with an engaging process with community leaders, businesses and other community influencers , we harness the energy of your community to drive change.
OTHER TOOLS - Training and Accreditation
We can work directly with your community or train and accredit you to use versions of our tools. CIEL offers direct delivery or individual/group accreditation and training on a variety of tools. Training can be delivered in-person or remotely (by Zoom or other method). Some of CIEL's tools include:
- Communities Life Cycle Matrix
- Business Vitality (business friendliness and entrepreneurial capacity)
- Tourism Vitality
- Community and Economic Development
- Community Check-up (a detailed community readiness tool/process)
- Community Vitality
"Working with CIEL has been one of the most rewarding processes I've ever been involved with professionally."
Senior Director, CEDEC, Quebec
"The tools provide important benchmarks and are measurable - something communities need. Besides that, the processes are fun, easy to understand and engaging."
High Country Management Enterprises, VIC Australia
"The CIEL team is the most innovative organization in the region. And we've got lots of dynamic, innovative organizations in this region."