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Legacy-driven leadership: 25 Years of innovation focused on the future

How will the work you do change things for the better? On our 25th anniversary, we're reflecting on what it means to have a legacy-driven mindset.

Alissa Sklar
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on February 09, 2023
Alissa Sklar
Vice President of Marketing

"Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day" - Gary Vaynerchuk

What kind of difference is your organization making for your community? How will the work you do change things for the better? This introspection is critical  - too many leaders get so caught up in the day-to-day that they don't consider their legacy: What mark will they and their organization leave on their industry? On the occasion of GIS Planning's 25th anniversary, our team renews our commitment to our legacy-driven leadership in the field of economic development. 

building blocksWhat is legacy-driven leadership, also known as a legacy-driven mindset? It's about an intentional approach to organizational objectives and decision-making. After all, whether we recognize it or not, we influence people every day with what we say and how we act. The products and services we offer in our industries help define how people understand and manage their own objectives, strategies and tactics. And all of that influence adds up, so we would do well to be thoughtful about what we do.

We take the ongoing legacy of innovation very seriously at GIS Planning. We are well aware that when we introduced ZoomProspector 25 years ago, back in 1998, there was nothing else like it. In offering an online site selection tool that made GIS accessible to non-GIS users (businesses making location decisions, local businesses and community stakeholders), we disrupted the practice of economic development online. Suddenly, anyone could research, analyze and visualize complex data on beautiful, easy-to-understand maps and charts. 

It's safe to say that this changed everything in economic development and corporate site selection. What once relied on printed material, VHS cassette tapes, expensive consultants or in-person visits could now be achieved online by anyone with a few clicks.

We take this legacy-driven mindset very seriously: Our consistent innovation over the span of 25 years has meant we continuously lead the pack in offering the most cutting-edge online GIS data tools to our economic development clients in the U.S., Canada, Europe and around the world. Our legacy-drive leadership in this space is defined by the following characteristics:

  • Long-term vision: The GIS Planning team offers a clear, long-term vision of the future for investment attraction, with data visualization and the democratization and accessibility of complex data accessible to an ever wider audience of website visitors. We work to inspire and motivate others to work towards that vision.
  • Purpose-driven: The continued evolution of our online data software derives from our sense of purpose and a desire to make a positive impact for economic development professionals and businesses making location decisions.
  • Ethical: Our decisions are guided by a strong sense of ethics and integrity.
  • Empowering: Our online GIS data tools require no training to use - they make complex data accessible, engaging and interesting to all web visitors so they can use it to make informed decisions.
  • Sustainable: Legacy-driven leaders prioritize sustainability and are focused on creating a future that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Although in-person visits to potential business sites will be necessary in most cases, the ability to research, analyze and use virtual tour technology in our software tools makes it easier than ever to gather critical information online rather than getting on a plane or driving long distances.

As a service from the Financial Times, GIS Planning can maintain an impressive commitment to continuous R&D; our in-house engineers can ensure our suite of software keeps raising the bar for what businesses and potential investors can do on our clients' economic development websites. Of course, The Financial Times offers its own distinctive legacy-minded leadership, defining excellence in journalism for 135 years. Furthermore, this July will mark eight years that the FT has been part of Nikkei, Inc., a venerable Japanese media company renowned for business journalism for more 147 years.

A leadership style that is guided by a vision of the future is a responsibility we take seriously. 72% of Americans and more than 67% of North Americans live in territory serviced by our software, including 30 statewide economic development organizations and the majority of the top 100 metro areas. With a steady stream of new features and updates, we ensure they get the very best technology on the market to attract investment, support businesses, inform stakeholders, and create new jobs. No other company on the market can match our steady and consistent innovation - we have already announced three new updates and features in the first few weeks of 2023.

To learn more about how GIS Planning's suite of GIS data software tools for economic development websites can help your community attract investment, support businesses, create jobs and inform stakeholders, please click on the link below to schedule your own customized assessment and demo. 

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