Setting a Standard

September 9, 2019

“Records are made to be broken. It is in man’s nature to continue to strive to do just that.”
-Richard Branson

How often have you thought that a record could never be broken, and then someone comes along and breaks it? Whether it is a feat in athletics – like running a 4 minute mile – or a barrier in business, it seems that nothing is ultimately safe in today’s age of innovation. New training methods and technologies are helping to smash seemingly untouchable milestones from the past.

When I think of the record setters, I think of incredible goal-oriented competitors. Cal Ripkin broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game streak in baseball and Jeff Bezos has built Amazon into a trillion dollar company because both of them are competitive and both had audacious goals. And ultimately, I would suggest that these two are competing against themselves. To not only see how long they can remain at the top or wealthy they can be, but how good they can become.

In economic development, the standards of excellence have often been about jobs created and massive investments, or the size of a company’s exit, or even an increase in the tax rolls. These are still very relevant goals and they matter because they quantify if you are making progress or not.

As we strive to achieve broad-based prosperity, our biggest competitor is our own community standards. While we strive to achieve the quantitative goals that will most certainly remain important, we also want to strive for a new standard of economic development success, one in which poverty rates are driven lower and opportunities for wealth creation are driven higher. Just like the athletes that dream of breaking a record, it starts with a single goal, and often ends with a new standard of success for others to follow.

Thank you all for the support of One Columbus and we look forward to chasing our goals over the next decade.

-Kenny McDonald


One Columbus Update

  • Columbus 2020 has a new name – and it’s One Columbus! We officially launched last week, and more information including our strategy, our vision and a press release can be found here.
  • This week, our team is attending Site Selectors Guild’s Fall Forum in Dallas.
  • Columbus is hosting NASCO’s 25th annual Continental Reunion on September 19. More information and registration can be found here.