Understanding trends and developments in a market system can help you predict its potential for change. As such, ‘momentum’ is a term used often by market systems practitioners because it signifies change in behavioural patterns and norms with regard to partners and also regarding the market as a whole. To know if you are building momentum with a partner, the following questions are useful:
- Is the partner doing the action themselves?
- Do they have plans to continue with it in the next quarter?
- Are they using the innovation in other aspects of their work?
- Are competitors starting to feel pressure? Are they changing aspects of their behaviour to match those of your partner?
The Firm-Level Improvement Plan (FLIP) provides one way to monitor, amongst your lead firms, whether or not momentum is building by linking project activities to desired behaviour changes
At the market systems level, identifying whether or not momentum is occurring is more challenging. A good place to start is to identify whether there have been any reactions from other market players and to build on that momentum. For instance, if a commercial model was piloted, assess whether competitor firms have reacted to it by making similar changes in their operations. This is often referred to as ‘crowding-in’ by market systems practitioners, and it means that you are building momentum in your market system. Moving to scale outlines further how to crowd-in a market around a pro-poor change.
Momentum is hard to quantify. Experienced market systems practitioners know when it is happening oftentimes based on discernible changes in attitudes and ways of speaking amongst lead firms, as opposed to quantitative indicators. Looking for it requires having systems in place that allow for operational flexibility and allow you to monitor useful qualitative indices.
This BEAM How To Note outlines the experiences of MarkterMakers in Bosnia-Herzegovina in building systems that helped them identify and act on indications of momentum in selected markets