The recent departures of three top executives at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership triggered a delay in a new strategic plan for the region. What it will look like exactly is unknown as development continues. But a new plan unveiled this week in Charlotte could be a preview for what to expect in the Triangle, especially given the partners involved as well as the strengths of both regions.

WRAL TechWire has reported extensively about the management changes, starting with Charles Hayes’ retirement as CEO. And new board leadership is in place under real estate power-player John Kane.

Plus, WTW has noted that Harvey Schmitt, former CEO for the greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, has been brought on board as an advisor to help shape the plan.

And the current Raleigh Chamber CEO Tim Giuliani is the new RTRP secretary.

So what does Charlotte’s plan have to do with RTP?

Just so happens that the Charlotte Chamber and the Charlotte Regional Partnership teamed up to develop a new strategic plan for the Queen City region.

Notice any similarities?

The Charlotte plan

Interestingly, the plan being considered in Charlotte to leverage its strengths reflects many of the same advantages found in the Triangle, such as a booming entrepreneurial sector, a highly rated business location, and access to talent with local universities providing educated workers today’s companies need.

The groups also talk about “clusters” – a similar strategy embraced by the RTRP under Hayes for such things as clean tech.

Avalanche Consulting of Austin, Texas, developed the plan over the last six months. Its recommendations were presented to the Charlotte Chamber and Charlotte Regional Partnership on Thursday.

The plan identifies six clusters:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Health
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Information technology
  • Higher education

The area’s four “core” strengths are:

• Highly competitive business location
• Robust entrepreneurship and innovation environment
• Deep talent pipeline
• Solid foundation that supports business growth

The Charlotte Chamber noted four report recommendations for special attention:

• Invest in more sophisticated marketing tools
• Expand focus on entrepreneurs
• Launch a talent attraction and retention campaign
• Create a nonpartisan, regional executive council

The same four would make sense in the Triangle, wouldn’t they?

Read the following two comments that follow about the report and, just for fun, substitute John Kane Tim Giuliani (as well as titles) in place of Ronnie Bryant and Bob Morgan:

Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership: “These initial findings drive home the idea that growth for Charlotte USA is dependent upon shared success. The only way we will reach our full potential is through organizational alignment, increased funding and additional resources.”

Bob Morgan, president and CEO of the Charlotte Chamber: “Collaboration across multiple platforms just makes good business sense. The economic growth of Charlotte, the region and even the state is interdependent upon each other.”

Maybe RTRP should just buy a copy of the Charlotte report and use it as a blueprint.