August 21, 2023

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The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
– Abraham Lincoln

The economy, politics, and society are all changing at a pace that is hard to comprehend due to the advancement of technology and changing demographics. Those in power and most of the rest of us want things to stay the same, or move a little slower, so we can work within the system and get through the day. There are others, the innovators, agitators, and those left out, that do seek change, often out of desperation for different results.

All we seem to hear about these days is change. Technology changes, climate changes, geopolitical changes, and the rapid pace of societal norms. It makes us anxious, it drives us to distraction, and yet, in the end, we often get the same results. Every so often there is a breakthrough that eliminates a barrier or unlocks a solution. Occasionally, and only with the luxury of hindsight, do we see the vast differences brought on by agricultural, industrial, medical, and political changes and how they truly changed the world.

All too often, however, all of this “change” is leading to the same end results. Has the iPhone or social media made us better? Are the political and economic fits and starts just part of a historical cycle that we repeat?

As community leaders, we must rise above what is simply noise and seek real change. This week, I invite you to think about changes that really move the needle for people — to move beyond incremental change and look for breakthroughs that will lead to better outcomes and not just apply cosmetics to your most pressing problems. This only happens when we muster the courage to challenge our own limits, pushing beyond the familiar and competing against ourselves to do better. That often starts with asking what results would look like if we could not fail.

Let’s have a great week, lift each other up, and move forward together.

Kenny McDonald
President and CEO
Columbus Partnership