Here in the U.S. we’re a competitive, creative people. Not claiming that we have the corner on the market, but it is core to who we are. Unfortunately that also comes across as arrogance (ask folks internationally). Generally, being competitive is a good thing. In some regards though, how we compete needs to change ASAP.
For a very long time, here in the U.S., we spent a lot of time competing amongst ourselves. There is the State level:
Before you know it, you have hundreds, thousands, of individual governmental and societal entities that feel it is in their best interest to compete directly with their adjacent neighbor(s) on everything from who has the best high school football team, to economic concerns.
Within the United States, and certainly within smaller economic regions, the traditional ‘in fighting’, fighting amongst each other, simply has to change. We compete on a global platform now. No longer do we simply compete with our neighbor next door, we compete with the fine folks on six other continents!
This morning I was pleased to attend the Livingston County Economic Development Summit. It was refreshing to see proactive leadership at a larger scale, encouraging cooperation among local competitors (co-opetition), driving for strategic focus with an eye toward the bigger picture.
Michigan needs to reinvent itself in a big way if it is to have any meaningful clout into the future. Today, Michigan is a state the rest of the nation would like to forget about. It is up to Michigan, and all the bodies within, to make sure the rest of the world doesn’t simply slough it off, worthless and forgotten.
As a resident of Livingston County, of Michigan, it is encouraging to see these activities happen. Hopefully your own regions have seen the light and are doing the same—stopping the infighting and working together!
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