“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”- Henry Ford

Cohesive Unit

In part 1 we highlighted the 8-member team that if cohesively moving as one unit- could lead to the opportunity to succeed in community and economic development.  An important word to highlight here is cohesively.  A quick google search just told me that cohesive describes something that sticks together literally or figuratively.  Your 8- member team must stick together- at its foundation in order to successfully developed a community.

Accountability

Accountability is an assurance that an individual or organization is evaluated on its performance or behavior related to something for which it is responsible.  If a cohesive unit is the foundation of success- would it be fair to say that if just one piece to the puzzle isn’t holding their own the chances of success suffers greatly? Accountability is one of those words that everyone likes to throw in their social media post, or interviews with press but so few are capable of enforcing it.  It takes a true leader to hold other members of a community responsible.  Are you ready to rise to the occasion?  Ask yourself this- is something/someone underperforming on your team?  Is it you?  Time is a valuable nonrenewable resource and the clock is always ticking.

Education

I had mentioned in part 1 how complex the world of community and economic development is portrayed, and that it is done intentionally to stall progress and waste resources-but that is another story for opera.  Nonetheless there needs to be a good source for education that is distributed to your team.  Here in Butler County, we partnered with PA State Rep. Marci Mustello to ensure we were getting the most up to date information into the key players hand.  My advice for your community is to contact your local chamber and ask them to host the same thing.  Please do not forget to invite the developers- who are ready to invest and just waiting for the right the strategic partner to help them.  Don’t know anyone interested in private investment? Contact your local municipalities and request the contact information of all builders and developers who have submitted for permits.  While you’re at it invite those property owners who everyone complains about but nobody contacts in your area.  Be part of the solution- not the problem.

Sweat Equity

Don’t be afraid to put your boots on the ground and lead by example.  Pick up trash on a city block, plant some flowers, join a civic group, paint façades (Not joking, our grassroots group in the city of Butler did this during covid and it was a huge success), invite others to join you.  Take pride in your home and others will soon do the same.

Prepare To Dominate

I really have a love/hate relationship with ideas.  I love ideas because I do believe in the power of big ideas.  Big ideas that lead to big thinking creates big results.  Big ideas can transform communities. I hate the term idea because everybody usually is filled with great ones, but very few have the drive and creativity to make them happen.  If you are still reading this post now would be a good time to take a break, look yourself in the mirror and find out if you’re a big thinker capable of driving change or the latter. After you get done checking your internal oil, check the oil of those on your team, adjust accordingly, fasten your seats belts, and enjoy the ride.

I must note that there are no secret sauces nor is economic development a uniform process.  What works one place may not work in elsewhere.  In the first two parts of “The Winning Formula for Economic Vitality” the boots on the ground part of progress has been expressed from my professional point of view.  There is so much more that goes into it.  Stay tuned as we continue to talk progress with more coming on place making, planning, legislative advocacy, funding, and much more.

Jordan Grady is the President of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce and has served in this role since July of 2019.