FROM 3 Ds TO 3 Ps

November 16, 2020

“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”
-Muhammad Ali

I’ve written before about our efforts to build a durable (strong foundation), dynamic(high-growth), and diverse (resilient) economy. These are great words and a perfectly acceptable way to look at our work in economic development.

Because I think words matter, and we must keep working to evolve how we think and practice economic development, I would like to suggest three different words today.

  1. Purposeful – I think we would all argue that we are not here to simply meet a set of metrics, or to simply “grow” our economies, but to truly improve the well-being of the areas, communities, and people we serve. What is the ultimate purpose of your economic development work? Is it a cause worth fighting for?
  2. Prosperous – Can we achieve growth and close gaps simultaneously so that more and more people are gaining from our efforts? It is not enough for some of the players to have a good game and pad their stats, but then the entire team wins.
  3. Powerful – I’m convinced that if you focus on purpose and prosperity you will become more powerful. However, I’l go further. It is important that we realize that we can have a great purpose, focus on the whole and still not get to where we want. You do have to compete, to use your resources to acquire and strengthen your economy, and to advance. By doing so you are not being selfish. Quite the opposite, you honor your competitors when you work to gain an advantage, to out do them in one way or another, and you make them better in the process.

This week, let’s step back to discuss our true purpose, focus on getting the whole team across the goal line, and the value of active competition. Let’s have a purposeful, prosperous, and powerful week!

-Kenny McDonald