Who’s Making You Better?

June 8, 2015

Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress.
-Herbert Hoover

Last week we welcomed a few hundred economic development leaders from the Midwest and beyond, to join us for the inaugural TrustBelt Conference here in Columbus. In preparation for the event, I took a few hours to examine the other economic development organizations in the 10-state area. From Omaha to Buffalo, from Grand Rapids to Louisville, the good work being done across the Midwest and the entire country is impressive.

It is equally motivating. Economic development is a competitive pursuit and, in part, it’s the competitive nature of cities, regions and states that helps propel the American economy forward. It seems that every area is trying to find the edge — trying to determine how to work with universities and colleges to commercialize research, how to create a vibrant city center, how to leverage economic clusters, and how to grow foreign trade and investment.

Who do you look to as your competitive set? Who are you comparing yourself to and measuring yourself against? What are they doing that you are not doing well, or at all? Where do you have an advantage? When was the last time you checked out your competitors’ websites, visited their locations, or gave them a call?

What edge can you gain not by chasing your competition, but by learning from them?

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • This week, the One Columbus team will travel to Madison for IEDC’s 2015 Economic Future Forum and Toronto for the Intelligent Community Forum Summit. We’ll also be in Texas to meet with companies and consultants.
  • Back at home, our team will attend the Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s seminar on the Chinese Supply Chain. Click here to learn more and to register.