5 on Friday: Fuel for Thought February 9, 2018

posted on Friday, February 9, 2018 in Blog

by Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

5 on Friday is a two-way street: please send me recommendations on books, reports, articles, blogs, videos, or anything you're reading or watching that impacts business and the economy.

ONE What’s next? You Have an Amazing Opportunity

By now, most of you have heard that I'm leaving the Alliance & Chamber soon.

I am so very grateful for your leadership and financial capital used to build the Alliance and deliver meaningful economic growth, a stronger business climate, and civic change since I arrived in mid-2004.

I enjoyed leading the effort to establish and grow what has become today's Alliance & Chamber group of organizations. Now, it really is time for new leadership to guide the Alliance forward, and for me to find the next challenge.

Usually, a guy finds his new gig before leaving, but in this instance you are literally on the cusp of amazing new opportunities in new directions, and you need to act on these now. New partnerships; new, sustainable revenue models; solidifying and expanding work of the Alliance group; and more. And you need to guide it.

Many of you have been invited to a meeting next week to begin that evolutionary process. I hope you will accept Bob Smith's invitation if it arrives. And after working to get us all this far, I do not want what we have done to achieve this to be a barrier to what Alliance & Chamber needs to become.

I'm searching for what's next. Donita and I would like to stay in the Cedar Valley, if possible. I'd like to join a Cedar Valley or Eastern Iowa firm that needs someone to start and grow a new business unit or grow through acquisitions, and I'm open to other opportunities, too. Like anyone, I'm looking for fun work, meaningful to the enterprise, which can support my family. Here are some very kind words sent my way.

Dust never settled for status quo, The Courier, January 28, 2018

TWO Future Ready Iowa: Create an Educated, Skilled Talent Pool

Quite a bit of info has been delivered to 5 On Friday followers about Iowa's Future Ready Iowa Alliance initiative. Its goal: 70 percent of Iowans possess post-secondary credentials by 2025. Is that worth $18 million? I bet you'll think so when you read what that expenditure will deliver to Iowa. Many of the recommendations of the Future Ready Iowa Alliance Board, of which eight members were from the Cedar Valley economic area, require legislative action. NFIB Iowa summarized the recommendations currently in the legislature. This initiative will test the legislators' commitment to preparing Iowan's to fuel your growth.

Gov. Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa Alliance Proposes Spending $18 Million, National Federation of Independent Business, January 31, 2018

THREE Which Industries/Business Sectors Optimize Talent?

This is an interesting string of conversation in a blog that asks, “Which industries or trades identify and make the best use of talent?” The blogger, Tyler Cowen, answers, which is followed by a string of comments containing thoughts on the topic. It spills into a second post, as well. It's a wide ranging discussion, so you have to stay with the string. Tyler Cowen is also the author of the book I recommended to you earlier, The Complacent Class.

Where is talent optimized? by Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution, January 27, 2018

FOUR Midwest Ag ties to Global Economy

Ok, I hear the collective, “duh!” as you read the title. I reacted that way, too. This reaction is because, as we know, one of the things that binds our Plains States together is that more than one-third of each state's exports is ag and food products. The Fed's publication does a good job of framing and quantifying the importance of open international trade. It's important for all business and civic leaders to know the foundations and facts of this economic dynamic as the US begins a “renegotiation” of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Sorry , it's all text– no graphs or charts.

Midwest Agriculture's Ties to the Global Economy, by David Oppedahl, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2018

FIVE Future of Real Estate

Following in the same track as the last recommendation is this blog post by Michael Beckerman on Commercial Real Estate. Beckerman likely doesn't say anything new in this post, but he crystalizes what has been floating around in your head as you observe what's going on in your industry, business district, the Cedar Valley generally, etc. Real estate developers will not (usually) lead in creating demand for new space. Instead, you will define the spaces you need and the real estate development industry will produce it to fill demand. I don't know how that's any different than what has happened over the last several years, but Michael does help us see the forces shaping what's coming at us because of the disrupters like Amazon and Air BnB.

To See the Future of Commercial Real Estate Development Don’t Look to Real Estate Developers, Michael Beckerman, Michael Beckerman blog, January 29, 2018