Saturday, April 6, 2013
How "Buy Locally" and "Grow Globally" Come Together
Fast forward 14 years to 1996 when living in the Detroit area and listening to Mayor Dennis Archer talk about how the region needed to transform to survive - that the auto industry needed to get better, and that Detroit needed new technology industries to start and flourish for diversification. He left soon afterwards, and we all know what's happened to Detroit without fulfilling that vision. Some good news is that after years of horrible economic news, the auto industry has come back slightly, and all is not lost quite yet. But it's on life support, and the next actions will determine survival.
Fast forward 17 years to Phoenix, Arizona and the region faces a similar cross-roads to Korea in the mid-1980's and Detroit in the mid 1990's. Will the companies, people and state invest in industries critical to sustaining life on the desert, and will the locals support those industries?
How does 'buy local' go with 'grow global'? Both are important, and are intertwined. I think in terms of five areas to increase the wealth of a region, and here they are for Arizona...
1) Buy Local. Yes you can support globalization AND 'buy local', and vice-versa. Buying local keeps currency in the state, and reduces currency 'leakage', just like Korean's buying Hyundais and Detroiters buying Grand Cherokees rolling off Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly line.
2) Export. Companies that create products and services here that have value in other states and countries bring dollars in to Arizona, increasing wealth. The key is creating competitive products that surpass other states and countries - and that takes innovation, education and inspiration.
3) Encourage Investment. When there is something good here to invest in, Americans and Foreign Nationals will invest here, again bringing wealth to Arizona. There is a competition for dollars - what does Arizona have that attracts investment here versus Texas, California and Utah?
4) Welcome Visitors. The sad legacy of SB1070 is that people around the world have gotten the sense that Arizona does not welcome visitors. Nothing could be further from the truth - the state needs and desires visitors of all (legal) types with conventions, medical tourism and others. We need to transform the legacy into a better reality and message.
5) Sustain Arizona. Create an ever-improving life and lifestyle in the state - with investments in education, the arts, diversity, freedom, family, the environment, infrastructure, et al . . . to encourage talented people of all persuasions to live and enjoy life here.
It's quite simple, really, and Arizona has the attributes for significantly more wealth creation locally and globally.
It's as easy as one, two, three, four and five.
It ain't over till it's over - join in - in one or more of the 5 areas.