Private Mission, Public Purpose

July 25, 2016

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Economic developers strongly believe in the positive power of the private sector. We have the humbling opportunity to meet with companies that reflect the best of capitalism – those within our communities and those considering expanding to our area. We meet executives who are passionate about their company missions, their value systems, and about making a profit so that they can make positive changes in their customers’ lives. I’ve had a feeling lately that we don’t celebrate that enough, and a trip to China provided a reminder of why we should.

Sometimes you have to study others to better learn about yourself. Our team recently visited China to speak with companies about their growth plans for North America. We met some very large, older companies and some that were smaller, tech-driven, and led by passionate entrepreneurs. We traveled to several different areas of the country and met with several different industries, so we were able to get a great sampling of attitudes and the business environment.

First, company leaders have an intense pride in their company mission to serve customers and grow. Their teams were unabashedly proud of their companies and their future potential. I don’t mean to suggest that these employees are blind followers of the company doctrine, but they are motivated by the excitement of competing on the world stage. Second, they had a clear understanding of their broader public purpose, and their role in society as job creators and forces for lifting people and advancing their country. Perhaps that is because China is still emerging, with millions of people mired in severe poverty, so the public purpose is more visible and palpable.

This week, I invite you to celebrate the great companies that you work for and with. I ask that, if you are a government or non-profit leader, you pause to appreciate the entrepreneurs in your community who create jobs and add to the fabric of your community. Let’s celebrate the companies in our communities and all that they do for our society. They create jobs, build wealth, sustain our tax bases, support social causes, and bring their products and services to market to make the world better. For a host of great Columbus Region stories, start here.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations and thank you to VirtusaPolaris, a leading worldwide provider of IT consulting and outsourcing services, which announced 50 new jobs in Dublin. The company will open a new innovation and technology development center and credits the Columbus Region’s large IT talent pool for its location decision.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is hosting companies considering the Columbus Region.
  • Mark your calendar for Economic Development 411! This year’s date has been set for December 2.