Starting out again – “what is the secret to growth?”

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve returned from offshore and I’m starting out blogging again.

I’ve tried to start again a couple of times and I’ll make no excuses, I haven’t “shipped”.   All sorts of questions have arisen: What to write?  How often? Will people keep reading?  Have I got the time, energy and passion?  

So here we go again.  My plan is to post topical insight and analysis once a week.  I will also invite guest bloggers.
If you’d like to guest blog or suggest future topics, please just comment or send me an email. 

First up this week, is the most common question people have asked me since I’ve been back – “what’s the secret to growth?”

It has incredibly difficult to summarise 6 weeks of immersive experience into an elevator pitch. However my response has been consistent – “it’s the people” that make the difference.  The simplicity may well disappoint people but that’s the reality.  There is no magic bullet – be very aware of people who claim there is one. 

This view reflects that anything is possible when you unleash people to be creative, relentlessly execute and learn from their mistakes.  It’s like the analogy of the talented athlete that doesn’t apply themselves – in the long run they will be outdone by a less talented athlete who works harder.  In an economic development scenario – the region with natural resources can be outperformed by a region without the same resources that executes better.  Of course underlying this is an interconnected web of things that if one or more is weak then it can affect everything else.  Over the next few weeks I will run through the “web” or pieces of the puzzle as I see them. And most important time matters – there’s no such thing as overnight success.

Interestingly, the principles of economic development are not too different to organisational development, so Jim Collins ‘Good to Great’ applies. The big challenges for economic development how to ensure alignment and collaboration across a range of sectors, locations and companies.  In a private company it’s clear who is responsible – the board and senior management, but in a region – who is responsible?


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