A Reported Itinerary. The School of the Territory: the Sense of an Experience

img_3949Sense and Experience

The sense of experiences lies in the fact of performing them and performing them means to accept one can be changed by them, in a way or in another, but changed, anyway, even in a deep way. If you agree with this, this will be the first step towards truly living an experience: every event which happens, we know this well, is by definition something which can modify the way we are.

Living our territory, too, getting to know it as we did, with enthusiasm and energy, with curiosity and the ability to get in contact in a different and not obvious way with a reality already known, taking note of everything we saw, never giving limits except the ones which could be passed: all this was necessary in order to start this itinerary and do it all together. We called this awareness and this itinerary, too, the School of the Territory.

At this moment, when we concluded this experience, we would like to relive it again in its deep motivations and, in this way, the model we assume as our own planning to know our territory will be brought to light and to visibility. In this way, it can be constructive and it can be a model for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be together. We will share it together.

Visiting 15 Companies

Talking about territory in our case means talking about the western Romagna and of the territory of Ravenna: a region exactly delimited, to which we gave a perimeter, the one adequate to our experiences. The first important thing is seeing: because seeing is comprehending.

We visited 15 companies: companies of big dimensions, but also medium and small, but that have all in common the fact of belonging to this specific territory. From our visit, we could learn: learning and giving shape to our knowledge. We believe these companies are exclusive forces of this territory: they have a distinct personality able to give a unique value.

Visiting means, first of all, meeting: in fact, every visit was accompanied by the meeting with the leading representative of the companies or the association who introduced his organization. Meeting people was followed by the true visit to the factory: in order to understand the dimensions of the activity and the nature of the productive processes. The School of the Territory insisted on the concreteness of what we observed: considering also the geological illustration of the territory which explained its contemporary characteristics as a result of very ancient processes.

Realities are crossed by stories and narrations, hopes and deeper motivations and this was clear to us: we understand present is the result of a past that is historical, economic, geological, which leads to this moment as we know it for what it is, with its limits and opportunities which we see in the present.

Exclusive Forces of the Territory. Finding them Together

Instruments are like the ingredients for recipes: you cannot do without them. If your instruments are appropriate, it is as if your ingredients were good: the result will be even better that it could naturally be. It is the same fact for us, too, because having the right instruments helped our work. An attentive and analytic work which minded details in order to build new certainties.

A team work, the Map of Segmentation of the Territory, during the first day of the School of Territory, made us reach three specific themes which are the recognized forces of the territory, extracted and selected starting from the local heritage which was previously determined by the participants.

Mechanical engineering, historical and cultural goods, the spirit of Romagna are these three themes. Mechanical engineering ranges from motors to packaging technologies, from automation of the automobile and space fields to mechanical for the agricultural transformations. Cultural goods find here their historical-artistic premises even millennial, since Ravenna had been the capital of the Byzantine- Roman Empire to the development and birth of the most refined arts and crafts. The Romagna spirit is a unique lifestyle in our country: joy of living, love for sociality, music, dance and good cooking.

These three themes are the ones making great this symphony that is our territory. These are the themes we can find there and made our territory what is deeply, differentiating it from all the others.


Understanding a Company. A Sustainable Strategic Positioning

In every strategic game, the next move is based on the previous one and, particularly, it creates a drawing composed according to a sense which is just that one because only that one does make sense. This is true also in relation to us. Therefore, how did we do?

Visiting a company is the first step concluding the analysis of the emerging forces which characterize the companies themselves. If you clarify nature, contents and interrelations, then it is also possible realizing the model of sustainable strategic positioning: it gives to us a precise identity by attributing to each company its peculiar personality, its strategic differentiation, its cultural and historical relation with the forces of the territory. This is important in order to understand the strategic long-term direction and to plan coherently the activities of the company itself and every action will be performed in the future.

The Sustainable Strategic Positioning is the real instrument which allows us to determine real motivations leading a client to choose that specific company: about the 15 companies we visited, this instrument reported to us they were all expressions of excellence in strict relationship with an exclusive force of the territory and this awareness can be translated in the everyday operative and concrete productive processes.


In Retrospective: Updating and Repositioning with the Brand Mapping

At the conclusion of the school of the territory, our new awareness could not but flow into a reconsideration and an updated realization of that brand mapping which, in an initial phase, we promoted as leading model of our experiences in the operative field.

In this sense, reference is given by the two semi-axis of territory and environment, on the horizontal axis, and innovation and tradition, on the vertical axis.

According to this orientation of Cartesian axis, it was possible to attribute to each company a position in this space which it is a way to interpret our territory. The companies which were more oriented towards innovation are placed in the upper part of the graphic, while companies with a stronger vocation towards tradition occupy the lower part.

In the same way, companies more oriented to society are placed on the left in the quadrants, while companies more centred on the environment are on the right in the analytic graphic.

This map provides us for essential information: how to give answer to our own market, how to orient managing behaviour in contrast with other competitors, which strategic directive actions are to be followed.

How to Answer Expectations: Participants and their Evaluation of the School of Territory

Our aim was formative, giving participants instruments coherently to the acquisition of knowledge, but, most of all, with the purpose to give awareness in persons who would have shared this important experience.

We enjoyed knowing and testing our expectations were confirmed in the evaluations formulated by our participants. This fact demonstrates we have completed an itinerary which every participant will communicate once this experience will be deposited in more complex and total experience of a person.

In fact, good practises are contagious: they are transmitted by a person to another and spread in this way, in the same way information and news, stories and narrations do, asking just to be told and listened once again.

The Essence of our Territory

What is territory if not a non indifferent variable which contribute to the general competitiveness of the system? Territory can give force to this complex and shared itinerary of growth, by expressing all its qualities in the form of resource or opportunity. In recent decades, our territory has recovered its main activity which is related to its history, culture, tourism and local production: all this combined with the value represented by sustainable companies. What is even more important is relating together and connecting subjects which are present and operating in the territory. All this leads us to be responsible and aware of the possibility deriving concretely from this perspective: our region has been dedicating to this project since many years.

Common aim is to connect and give coherence systematically to knowledge about the world of enterprise and, starting from the creation of specific competences of the territory and its persons, create work and manage to create also highly competitive companies. This is what we can do. However, what can young generations do, too? They can understand territory and the importance they live and were born there: because territory is most of all a source of possibilities offered to us everyday. Territory offers to us everything as resource or opportunity, already realized or to be realized with the contribute of everyone in order the territory can be exactly as it is at present. The context of reference for themes of research, training, social responsibility, companies programmation, persons is territory: of everyone and for everyone, with the ability to change competencies into an element of competitiveness. Comprehending and operating with this aim is waht we can call valorization of territory.

We should continue working in the direction of building connections and relationships between different targets of subjects  to be together in the territory in order to create that added value which is a total potential of the territory we should in every moment be aware of.

Recovering. Communicating. Being

Every time we behave in a certain way someone is watching us and would like to know an added truth, a certainty, an awareness which only us can give and others expect from us. This is natural and we should reassure all social actors we have done as much as possible in order to be coherent with our expectations, first of all, the ones which configured and led our way to operate.

For what concerns this experience, what we can say is our participants, institutions supported us and believed in the force of this project, but not only them but also companies themselves which let us visit their realities: all they observed us and our way to behave.

We want to believe everyone of these social actors can agree with the positive impact of this rich and training experience, which can be proposed as a model ready to be exported with new and positive effects.

At present, we can only remember once more and underline again the historical environmental, social force of our territory: we can also talk about exclusive, distinctive, peculiar forces which found the identity of this territory in a strong, propositive and positive sense leading towards tomorrow. Tomorrow will be ours, of everyone and of civilization.

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