With ‘tunnel vision’ and ignorance, it is challenging to see the possibilities and opportunities of how communities work in a modern global economy, how communities are being impacted by external forces, such as the internet and technology in general.
Local businesses and organisations must take the time to look around and see what is going on. Making assumptions based on the past is extremely dangerous. Instead, they need to look at communities that offer new opportunities outside their sphere of influence. Taking a ‘three hundred and the sixty-degree view is important if surprises are to be avoided.
As you become more connected with the global economy, it makes sense to look outside the square (your own backyard) to move forward. Recognise that there are endless opportunities and possibilities. You must look outside your community for innovation and be prepared to cast a wide net.
The old saying, “she’ll be right mate”, has lost its relevance. It will only be right if you don’t get stuck with the ways things used to be done. Be prepared to embrace change with an open mind. Don’t have your business and community bypassed and left to the history books.
High pricing structures across regional communities is no longer an excuse. Pricing needs to be consistent with good business practices. Communities should become more intolerant of external businesses. Like supermarkets, oil companies, insurance companies and overseas businesses, and organisations like Lotteries and other gambling organisations. This is because the revenue, cash flow and profits don’t circulate and fly straight out of the community. Instead, communities must continue to foster buying locally, where everyone benefits.
The ‘engines of change’ impacting communities?
- Adversities such as drought, flood, fires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The generation waves, the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials.
- Telecommunications, broadband access.
- Information technology, cloud computing, mobility, big data, and AI.
- SEO and visitor experience on the community website and other aspects of social media.
- Innovation such as robotics and 3D printing.
- Population increases or population in decline.
- Value chain disruption and improvements.
- Immigration policies.
- Lack of advisors who advocates innovation and new opportunities.
- New tourism opportunities being opened up in the community or adjacent communities.
- Revitalised communities with new growth potential who develop ‘pulling power’.
- Downsizing of major corporations and government.
- Exploitation of natural resources.
- Government decentralisation policies.
- Research, change being done on purpose.
- Transport infrastructure, new roads, rail and air.
- Cultural changes.
- Sister city programs.
- Crime levels.
- Environment issues and protection.
- Government policies and instability.
- Merging of local government areas.
- Interest rates and availability of finance.
- The big changes can come about when communities work together to solve common problems.
- Big changes can also come about when businesses and community organisations cooperate to compete.
You can’t stop the engines of change or the population ageing. People are not going to stop researching tomorrow to make a difference. So what are the people in your community good at, where are their passions, what do they like doing and what are their strengths? Creating opportunities for your community can be challenging, but great things can happen by having and developing an ‘opportunity mindset’. Appreciate everything you have, engage with your community members and enjoy your community even more.
“Academics and governments tend to discuss how global forces shape the choices we need to make about our communities, rather than the needs of the real people who live there”. Peter Sergeant
“If you continue doing the right things and applying sound business principles, you can create exciting and competitive opportunities in most places in the global marketplace”. Peter Sergeant.