Please forgive the title!
It is happenstance that this is actually the title of the book I have been reading , albeit a bit slowly, since last October. The author, Doug Griffiths, happened to be a speaker at a National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) conference in Reno.
Several hundred professionals from economic development districts, councils of governments, and municipalities, along with federal and state agencies, were in attendance at the annual leadership conference – aptly themed “Re-imagining Regional Development… Building Capacity, Building Regions”.
I quickly dashed to grab a copy of his book and began formulating in my mind all opportunities to have the author speak at one of our events. I imagined how I would immediately read, share broadly, and encourage all of us to embrace and implement the author’s recommended tactics.
With chapter titles ranging from “Forget the Water” to “Deceive Yourself” to “Reject Everything New” to “Grow Complacent” and “Don’t Take Responsibility”, one can hardly not dive into every chapter with abounding curiosity. On the other side of the coin, we might be tempted to single out that community or that person for whom we think this book had to have been written!
SOREDI is smack in the middle of re-imagining and building capacity as I write. Who could know that we would be scrambling in short order right now to identify immediate resources to access for small and large businesses, and citizens alike, in this current COVID crisis.
Last week I shared how I was feeling overwhelmed. I still am.
And so I welcomed a bit of sunshine for a long walk several afternoons in the last week, to simply think about next steps. I pondered my responsibility as a citizen, and as the executive director for SOREDI. With so many critical needs right now, it’s hard to know where to start and how to respond in the most impactful and meaningful fashion.
No agency can manage it all. It is daunting.
Which is why I am particularly appreciative of a regional conference call held this week with multiple agencies, chambers, elected local officials and legislators participating together. The call was expertly facilitated by the Governor’s Regional Solutions Team in what is being referred to as the Rogue Valley RERT – Regional Economic Revitalization Team. Weekly calls and progress reports are planned indefinitely. So many fabulous, constructive and practical ideas were shared; I was inspired.
You may be seeing just a few or a plethora of resource links coming through SOREDI’s news feed regularly – and those of all our partners – for an extended period of time. It will be difficult to digest it all and we will all experience communication fatigue. But it is necessary.
We are all working together to engage quickly , report most critical needs being brought to our attention, express our own vulnerabilities (truly, my hand is raised high!), and pull together every ambitious – maybe even outrageous – idea we have ever crafted and proposed.
A healthy business community drives the economy – our economic vitality. Healthy citizens make every business successful. Big rewards require bold moves and greater risk than we may feel comfortable with. It is that important. Right now.
We know you are right there with us, ready to do the same. SOREDI and all of our regional partners are working now on your behalf and for all of Southern Oregon. We are One Rogue Valley!
Please call us, tell us your needs and your ideas. Even the outrageous, “boldly go where no one has gone before” suggestions.
Read more about the book mentioned above, review excerpts, and order a copy for yourself here: www.13ways.org
Colleen Padilla, Executive Director