31 May Boundaryless: Economic Development?
Jack Welch used the word “boundaryless” to describe his vision for GE. Specifically, Welch wanted to do away with the hierarchical, get-seven-signatures-before-buying-toilet-paper, bureaucratic B.S. that crippled GE’s ability to move nimbly into markets, execute quickly on decisions, and empower people.
Economic developers would do well to tear a note from Welch’s playbook. Why? Because markets are already moving in boundaryless fashion. It’s time economic developers craft policies, measures, and people who can think and act as the markets already are.
Today, for talent, it is all about accessibility. How easy is it to get what you want, when you want it? City limits are invisible when it comes to finding the best bike trail, a great vegan meal, or a shoe bargain. In focus groups in Nashville, we asked 25-34 year old talent, “Where do you shop?” They responded, “Michigan Avenue.” In Chicago. Sure enough, a $39 ticket on Southwest Airlines gets you from Music City to the Miracle Mile. Talent is already behaving as if state lines don’t exist. Yet, we continue to talk about brain drain and economic development as a zero sum game. That’s so 1980’s.
For more information on boundaryless economic development thinking and Next Generation Communities, contact us. Thanks to Gordy Kacala and Bill Mitchell for continuing to inspire us.
Rebecca Ryan is founder and partner of Next Generation Consulting. She drinks coffee from a mug that says, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Next Generation Consulting is a thinkubator committed to building Next Generation Companies and Communities. Her columns address the work and life trends of today’s young, tech-savvy talent as well as the tools, tricks and tips for those daring hot companies they work with. Please e-mail topics, suggestions and feedback to Rebecca at .