Close to the Customer

April 3, 2017

“The real work of the organization is done two or three levels ‘down.’
Go there.
AND: Reap outrageous rewards!”
-Tom Peters

The Columbus Region is a big believer in the power of cities, and perhaps more specifically, the practicality of local and regional networks. In today’s world, that is where accountability and delivery are closest to the customer – the customer being both citizens of the area and businesses that operate there.

If a CEO wants to get in touch with her customers, she visits them, spends time in the store and listens. Mayors can do the same thing by walking their neighborhoods or driving the city. In both cases, change can come swiftly and be applied directly to problems that go unseen from the corporate suite or Washington, D.C.

In economic development, that means that we have to spend more time with our businesses, walk the plant floor, or visit their talent recruitment teams. It also means spending time with local officials, mayors, commissioners and public administrators so that we can know their frustrations and aspirations for their cities, townships or villages.

Given that 75 percent of the world’s GDP and over 70 percent of the population is in or near metro areas, these actions are not just practical. They are mission critical for economic developers. This week, let’s think about how we can get closer to the customer. A few resources for reading are below:

  • TED has an entire section devoted to the subject of cities
  • There is a Global Parliament of Mayors to bring together leaders from around the world
  • Closer to our heart, there is a Central Ohio Mayors and Managers group where local leaders shape ideas and collaborate

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to Infoverity and Medical Staffing Options which last week announced expansions that will add 40 new jobs in Dublin and 60 new jobs in Columbus, respectively.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is traveling to Chicago for ProMat 2017. Back at home, our team is hosting companies considering the Columbus Region.
  • Next week, our team will travel to Tampa for the Industrial Asset Management Council’s Spring Forum.
  • One Columbus is hosting a trade mission to Canada this June. The mission is open to all Columbus Region companies looking to establish or expand their exports in Canada. The deadline to register is April 10.