The Three Keys to Economic Development Success

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) seminar held at the Community Development Foundation’s (CDF) new headquarters in Tupelo.  During the Q & A session, David Rumbarger, President and CEO of the CDF, was asked what he considered to be the keys to success of CDF, which is considered one of the premiere economic development organizations in the United States.

Without hesitation, he answered, “Planning, goal-setting and execution.”

We all seem to be looking for secrets to success in economic development, but it really comes down to what Rumbarger said. It reminds of what another business leader once told me about his company’s “secret” to success.  His version was “Plan – Do – Check – Adjust.”

Another thing I could not help but notice at that meeting in the CDF boardroom was the prominent poster-sized item at the front of the room.  It was a list of the CDF’s goals for the current year.  Stop and think about that.  At every meeting the board members are reminded of the goals that they have set for the coming year.

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