January 5, 2020

The Big Differentiator

Yes, a community needs real estate "product" to compete for capital investment. It also needs supporting infrastructure. But the most important thing, that which differentiates a community from other places, is talent.

Human resources trumps all el...

December 23, 2019

Panama Rising

Slow growth and economic instability has characterized much if not most of Latin America.

"Latin America is sinking. In the grand scheme of things, it’s become irrelevant," writes Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University...

December 17, 2019

Dare to Be Bold

Helping communities become "better" places for business and companies find "better" places for business is central to our BBA consultancy. But better is always tethered to the competition, which is limiting.

The idea of offering a better product or servic...

December 8, 2019

A Story to Remember

The best stories are the ones we remember. And we remember stories because it helps us make sense of the world. Here's a story that I heard last week while attending Consultant Connect's ECONOMIX 2019 in Charleston, S.C.

In 1995, the federal gove...

December 1, 2019

The Low Wage Workers 

On the face of it, the economy seems to be doing pretty well, with unemployment rates near or at record lows.

But that's far from the full story. The truth is there exists a huge segment of workers today who are earning low wages that leaves them an...

November 24, 2019

A New Urban Crisis?

Yes, Virginia, there is good life in small-town America.

It's true that 25 metros account for more than half the country's economy. But a recent report by the economic analysis firm Emsi shows there is life beyond the superstar coastal metros. 

Much of...

November 17, 2019

OK Boomer Boards

There is a growing realization among economic developers that their boards of directors should better reflect their community's workforce and population.

When I go to an economic development website and it features photos of board members, sometimes to t...

November 10, 2019

Chop Wood, Carry Water

The Japanese words kai (change) and zen (good) are used together to form kaizen, which means "change for better.”

It is a philosophy of continuous improvement and serves as the basis for the Toyota Production System and what Nick Saban, the Univers...

November 3, 2019

A Balanced Approach to Economic Development

Economic developers focus much if not most of their attention on industry recruitment, with manufacturing, almost by default, a primary goal.

If you look at identified target industry groups on economic development websites, ch...

October 27, 2019

Whoever Saw a ...

It was a common refrain during the Civil War among the infantry of both sides: "Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?"

The meaning -- We (the foot soldiers) do the hard fighting and they (those fellows on horseback) don't.

A few years back, I attended a confere...

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