Smart City, Smart Business

I was lucky enough to be the opening act before Carol Coletta the CEO of CEO’s for Cities and the host of SmartCity for a leadership

Carol Coletta discussing what it takes to be a vibrant, growing community.

 event.  I could not help but be intrigued by her talk.  She discussed the need to retain key parts of the population in a city, developing connections with your citizens, core vitality which reflected a cities personality and uniqueness much like an organization’s strategy should.

It became clear that a community and an organization are similar in many ways.  Both a community and an organization must retain people, engage people, and grow people.  The question I found myself asking is how many organizations see themselves tied to the community in a strategic way.  With all of the talk regarding Corporate Social Responsibility what is real and what is hype.  When we look at our community statistics it does not bode well for CSR as it relates to the local community.  More local communities are losing the key people to drive growth. 

Next time we cut tuition reimbursement, remove flex time, or reduce training expenditures we might also want to think about how our choices will impact the broader community as well.  According to Coletta a 1% increase in college graduates brings in 1 billion dollars to a community.  By the way, it also improves your recruiting talent pool.  Hmmm, something to think about.

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