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|4 Ways Communities Can Work as a Team To Attract Jobs|
|Published Thursday, October 12, 2017|
Communities across the United States are always interested in luring industries that will help them create new jobs or keep the ones they have to ensure the best economic footing. Cities, counties and states often compete aggressively for those jobs, even with close geographic neighbors that they view as rivals rather than allies. But in those cases, they might achieve greater results if they worked collaboratively rather than at cross purposes.
“Sometimes when communities are close together people may lose sight of the fact that exactly where industry locates doesn’t matter because the whole region will benefit from economic development,” says Greg Kozera, director of marketing for Shale Crescent USA, a nonprofit, non-political group of business and community leaders. Kozera says bringing together people across city and state lines to achieve a shared goal isn’t always easy. But it can be accomplished by using some of the key ingredients that any successful team needs – whether it’s a sports team, a corporation or, as in the case of Shale Crescent, a group of communities working together for the greater good.
Those keys to creating a successful team, Kozera says, include:
A common goal or vision. This is the single most important element, Kozera says. In the sports world, when players focus on their own success rather than the team vision, the whole team suffers. The same can be said for communities that work together to lure jobs. Being team players helps with the success, while acting with selfish motives could prove detrimental – especially if a more collaborative region enters the picture and draws those jobs away.
Effective communication. To feel a part of the team, everyone needs to know what the vision or goal is. “Good communication can also build team spirit,” Kozera says. “Communication must be open, honest and caring. It should also be positive.” This is especially crucial in trying to inspire communities – each of which has its own leaders – to work together. “No one wants to feel out of the loop,” Kozera says. “They need to be kept abreast of what’s happening and what it means for their residents.”
Diversity. Football teams need players who can catch passes and they also need players who can throw passes. They need people who are good at tackling and others who are good at blocking. “Diversity is the very reason why teams are more successful and productive than individuals,” Kozera says. “Different skill sets, different ideas, and different ways of thinking make teams successful.” When communities work together to promote jobs for their regions, they bring their diverse views and experiences to the process and can make it even more successful than if each community acted individually.
Leadership. Every successful team has a leader or leaders, pointing the way, making sure the goals are achieved. “It’s the leader who makes sure the team stays focused,” Kozera says. “No team or organization is consistently successful without an effective leader or leaders, and that is going to be just as true with any multi-community or multi-state effort. Nothing will happen without strong leadership.”
“People are hungry for good jobs,” Kozera says. “The wise communities are going to work together, make the best of any natural resources or geographic advantages, and help the people in their regions thrive.”
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