Three of the most popular chapters in my Cluster Development Handbook are now available as an e-book from www.lulu.com .
These chapters cover (1) the design of clustering initiatives, (2) the roles of successful cluster organisations and (3) the roles and characteristics of cluster managers.
The advice that is offered to Cluster Managers includes a focus on the cluster’s periphery, the cluster’s edges where new opportunities are being explored by the cluster’s firms:
Listen carefully to the needs of your cluster’s stakeholders. Fully understand their situation, their opportunities, and their constraints.
Converse with your cluster’s stakeholders, don’t interrogate. Richer information will come with a true exchange.
Listen in particular to those at the edge of your cluster, those who are on the periphery exploring new markets and new technologies.
Respond with demand orientated services.
2. Act as a venture capitalist, build a portfolio of projects
Spread both the benefits and the risks through developing a portfolio of projects. Not every project will benefit every firm.
Accept that there will be failures; if there are not failures then you are taking it too easy.
Learn by doing.
Shift the focus from addressing problems to addressing opportunities.
Explore new opportunities at the fringes, look for patterns in the outlier data, focus on what is different.
Generate multiple options. New agendas that are backed by passion are not debated…just tested. Validation will come over time.