You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Last Friday, over 450 people heard great presentations from thought leaders at Economic Development 411. Speakers focused on manufacturing competitiveness, maximizing infrastructure investment, using technology to increase your value proposition, and staking your claim through courageous community marketing. The audience was full of elected leaders, business leaders, civic leaders and full-time economic developers.
Here are a few things I took away from the half-day session:
- Data available to us is often very clear, but our interpretation of it is often muddled by internal politics and the inertia of the status quo.
- We have an enormous capacity to achieve goals and to overcome the challenges in our way. Technology and collaboration are powerful tools in this fight.
- There is overwhelming evidence that says that when we align public, private and academic leaders and leverage our resources, we can achieve nearly any objective.
These are great lessons, and they prompt me to say “of course.”
Of course, we should strive to be more prepared to aid manufacturers to innovate and compete. Of course, we should maximize the infrastructure we have, and both invest in and finance infrastructure very differently in the future. Of course, we should employ the latest technologies to serve our citizens and accelerate business and the economic development of our communities. Of course, we should include citizens in the process of economic development, and invest them in their future. Of course, we should boldly stake our community’s claim, and help our businesses and institutions stake theirs.
If we do so, good things will happen in the short term, and that which is thought impossible will be achieved in the long-term.
One Columbus Update
- This week, the One Columbus team is in Chicago for MAEDC’s 2015 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum and Orlando for Area Development’s Consultants Forum. We’re also in California to meet with companies.
- Back at home, our team is hosting companies considering the Columbus Region.