What It Takes To Be A Great Community
What a perfect way to begin 2019 with a ribbon cutting ceremony of the McPherson Hospital Medical Office Building on Thursday, January 3rd. Our community should be proud of supporting the vision of the McPherson Hospital and McPherson Healthcare Foundation boards. A hospital and access to specialty physicians is all part of the many pieces necessary to be a great community.
I recently read an article from The Global Investor’s Perspective on True City Competitiveness by Conway Inc. (published by Creative Economic Development Consulting). Although the article deals with city competitiveness, it can easily be applied to communities of any size. Here is the top 10 indicators of a Great City.
1. Lack of/minimal divisiveness at the local level
2. The ability of the public to be able to name the local “movers and shakers” with ease.
3. Strong public/private partnerships
4. Citizens know the “civic story” – the city’s strengths, weaknesses, and plans moving forward
5. The condition and potential for the city’s downtown will indicate the city’s future
6. Nearby research institution
7. Strong community college
8. Creative and experimental public schools
9. Inclusive and open to all groups
10. A collective “Big Dream” – sense of where things are going
11. BONUS – a great craft brew industry
At the Creative EDC, they believe that the difference between successful and unsuccessful communities is leadership, numbers one and two in the list above. Communities succeed when leaders share a common vision for the future and work to realize the vision (#10).
People and businesses are drawn to communities that invest in themselves. Communities that are successful have positive government involvement and a track record of public and public-private partnership investment (#3). Creativity in the public schools and deeply engage community college system are indicators of the investment the community is making in itself (#7 & #8). Another indicator is the condition of the downtown. A vibrant downtown is the heart and soul of a community (#5). Why would a business invest in our community if you are not investing in it yourself?
I believe McPherson is accomplishing the majority of the 11 items on the list. There will always be work to be done, keeping the momentum is essential to maintaining our success.
Proud Community Champion . . . . High Five McPherson!
Jennifer Burch, Executive Director
McPherson Chamber of Commerce