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Genchi Genbutsu

“Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.”
-Tom Peters

Genchi genbutsu is a Japanese phrase used in the famed Toyota Production System meaning real place, real thing or “go and see.” In today’s fast-paced world, it is so important for leaders to move past the layers of communication and go directly to the source of the information they are seeking. Leaders will make much better decisions when they speak to their target audience directly about what is working and what is not.

Economic development leaders – myself certainly included – too often can be out of touch with the real place, the real thing. It takes time and effort to meet with companies, tour workplaces and see what is really going on under all the data. But, if we regularly take the time to do it, and also marry it with the data and analysis, it is possible to get closer and closer to the real place, the real thing.

Success and failure in economic development has real consequences for real people in your community. Economic development isn’t just a process to be managed, it is an active and dynamic environment that requires strategy to be aligned with the facts on the ground so that you can make better decisions about your opportunities and offer real solutions to address your problems.

This week, try to move beyond the layers between you and the sources of first-hand information. Can’t wait to hear what we all learn.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • This week, the One Columbus team is headed to Europe, meeting with companies evaluating the Columbus Region.
  • Last week, Columbus hosted NASCO’s 25th annual Continental Reunion. Thanks to all who attended!
  • Columbus 2020 has a new name – and it’s One Columbus!