OGSM: a solution for Regional Development Companies?

“It helps our clients when we speak one uniform strategic language together.” Waronne Sint, Project Manager en Advisor at the Development Company Noord-Holland Noord

The FD (Financial Daily) of 6 September 2021 contained an article about the plans of the province of Noord-Holland to set up its own regional development company (ROM). A ROM is a regional governmental instrument to strengthen both the regional and local economy, ensuring sustainable growth in employment. With the arrival of a ROM in North Holland, there is now a nationwide network. In Noord-Holland, the ROM will collaborate with organizations such as the Noord-Holland Noord Development Company, complementing their activities. However, strategic coordination of these regional partnerships proves to be quite a challenge. Waronne Sint, project manager and advisor at the Noord-Holland Noord Development Company, talked about her experiences using the strategic framework OGSM to steer their activities and communication with clients.

What does the Regional Development Company do?

“We have been in existence for 15 years now. Our mission is to stimulate the regional economy in Noord-Holland Noord by advising entrepreneurs about relocating their businesses here and innovating. We’re also responsible for acquisition and marketing. Coordination with local authorities improves the business climate, and we organize pilots with educational institutions and others. So we carry out a broad range of tasks. Entrepreneurs have many questions, about financing, location, innovation and partnerships; the development company is able to offer meaningful answers to all those questions, or to direct entrepreneurs to the right resources.”

What do you expect from the new ROM in North Holland?

“The ROM will be a new addition to the business support landscape, starting October. It covers the entire province, not just the Noord-Holland Noord area. The ROM focuses on guiding individual entrepreneurs to prepare effective business plans for the market and can also provide funding. As a Development Company, we will definitely encourage our customers to claim financial assistance – it is an opportunity for the ROM to provide value.”

What is your experience with OGSM as a strategic framework?

“At the Development Company, we started using OGSM in 2019. Our clients are municipalities and provinces receiving public funds. It was vital to show what results we were achieving. In public partnerships, defining and reaching objectives can be very difficult. OGSM forces us to formulate goals explicitly, so we can have meaningful discussions with clients about their needs and expected results.

OGSM is clear and coherent. As a Development Company, we are active in investment, marketing, implementation, relocation and innovation. OGSM creates an overview of the interconnection between activities and their impacts, and enables us to explain to all stakeholders how their individual projects contribute to the bigger picture.

So I like OGSM a lot. Taking the implementation process seriously is vital ­– for many people, it takes a shift in mindset. It’s not been exactly plug-and-play; we have needed time to build support, identify key players. Occasionally, it is necessary to give our partners a push to get things moving, but the results make it well worth the effort. OGSM is now well established and forms the basis of our annual plan, whose entire structure follows the OGSM methodology. With OGSM Software I can print a six-monthly report with just two clicks of the mouse, which naturally makes me very happy.”

Could OGSM also be used as a strategic framework for ROMs?

“For both the Development Company and the ROM, the entrepreneur is central and our activities are complementary. So OGSM is a good fit for both. The OGSM methodology has helped us clarify strategies, maintain focus and make adjustments on the fly. Activities are more structurally measurable. Of course, we’re not making biscuits, so the cause-effect relationships are not always clear, but we work and communicate more effectively.

With the arrival of the ROM in North Holland, the network is nationwide. OGSM allows us to speak one strategic language within the network, helping our clients gain insights into the strategic priorities of each ROM and how they work together to achieve shared goals and operate in a clear and focused way, especially in projects across multiple regions.”

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