Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grow Globally 2012 - October 8th

Grow Globally 2012

"All the Global Resources in Arizona, All Together, Once Per Year" 

It's also the 5th anniversary of AZIGG! Special guests and awards!

Monday, October 8, 2012

4:00pm to 6:00pm
SkySong, 1475 N Scottsdale Road, Convergence Room 
$30 online  

Who should attend: Executives in Arizona looking for opportunities to grow globally.

Info and RSVP Here

Can Arizona Survive Our Political Leaders?

Every state has their share of politicians in over their head on international issues. It's easy to happen if the person hasn't had international experience and/or doesn't listen well. Unfortunately Arizona is challenged now with a Governor who 'doesn't get global'.

There are many examples of how it's not working now.

One is the Governor's attacks on Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) - made crystal clear when she appealed to the GPEC board to stop supporting Barry Broome - a man who who works tirelessly with his staff to grow global and national business in Arizona. Yes Barry Broome is a tough cookie with strong opinions, but to demean his work and the work by GPEC by asking others not to support him is petty and inexcusable.

Sorry Guv, you're wrong on GPEC. You should be supporting their results, not tearing them down, for the benefit of international business in Arizona.

Jan Brewer also refuses to address the international community in Arizona. The "International State of the State" address at Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations has in the past been a wonderful event for Arizona's globalists. In past years Governor Napolitano was the keynote, eloquently discussing the future of international tourism, business and policy in Arizona - including what had been done and needed to be done. Governor Napolitano concluded each luncheon with questions and answers, and then wandered into the audience afterwards to talk more.

Then Governor Brewer was thrust into her role when Governor Napolitano went to serve in Washington, DC. In her first and only International State of the State, Jan Brewer was very light on substance and then excused herself, turning over questions and answers to others on her staff. In subsequent years, she declined to speak - including the event October 15, 2012.

The lack of vision and leadership to attract new companies is glaring, and the vacuous strategy is evident from commercials made and run earlier this year asking businesses to come to Arizona. In those ads the case was not compelling, did not cover the real strengths of the state, and ended with the voice and picture of the divisive Governor. Economic development wrapped in politics doesn't work.
Yet another example of an international business challenge we face is a new state strategy to focus on only Mexico and Canada for economic development. It wouldn't feel so painful if the Governor hadn't petitioned an outside-Arizona consulting firm - possibly paying them $1 million - to contradict a strategy already developed by people in Arizona.

"Small ball" works for the Oakland A's and can be an effective strategy. Small thinking doesn't work.

Despite all that there are economic development leaders in Phoenix, in Scottsdale and across the state working hard to make it work anyway - both for companies to succeed in the state and for more more companies to come. The case for companies to do business here is compelling and is being made more so by groups like the Arizona Chamber, but something is holding them back.

This is not a political issue. This is about capability, OR giving a damn. Many of us think that giving a damn about Arizona being global really matters, and speaking behind the back of an international economic development leader, or not speaking to PCFR's international community speaks volume.

Creating and exporting value is essential for the future of Arizona, and understanding how to do that - and doing it - is critical for the State's short and long-term viability.

There are many people working hard to keep things going. Arizona recovered from Evan Mecham, and so being the eternal optimist, I have no doubt that Arizona will survive Jan Brewer.

August 17 Addendum: This week Governor Brewer sought to stop Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from getting a driver's license. The small, mean and petty approach will undoubtedly result in keeping more international and creative people from wanting to live in Arizona until small-thinking people like her are flushed from the system. No matter which side of the fence you're on about SB1070 or the Dream Act, the issue is HOW the points are being made. When they are done in a mean-spirited way as Jan Brewer has done, we all lose.

With international business - how it's done matters. That's why it's clear she doesn't get 'it'. The good news is that Jan Brewer has united Republicans and Democrats against her nonsense, and we're hearing that more reasonable people are lining up on both sides to replace her.