I went to the “CBIA/Metro Alliance Economic Summit and Outlook 2011″ event, held last Friday in Hartford. A wonderful event, something I recommend all of you put on your agenda for next year. A great gathering of businesses, business leaders, legislators etc…to talk to each other, listen and react to what we all learned from listening.
So, here is what I heard…
More of the same.
The same from my/your clients (the business leaders) and (with all due respect) more of the same from our political leaders. Our business leaders looking at our political leaders to help them (not RELY…just help). And our political leaders relying on the businesses to “do their part” and help the state survive. The business leaders are pretty direct…”we need help!” We need a more competitive business environment in this state”. The political leaders (including, but not just, Governor Malloy) cloche it in a “we’re all in this together” veil. Pratt & Whitney says “any place outside of Connecticut is low cost…” and the Governor talks about “transparency” and how the private sector needs to help the state overcome its budget woes (didn’t say much about how the public sector might kick in).
I’ve been in this business for almost 25 years (ouch!) and (as difficult as it might be) I am trying to think back to my early days to see if the story was any different. My conclusion is…NO. Well, one thing IS different…the world is different…the world really IS our oyster now! As it is each and every company’s oyster. Just as WE can pick up and leave on a moment’s notice, so can companies. Just as WE blamed companies for leaving for the “south” in the mid-80′s (which at the time we thought was the “Carolina’s” – not Mexico) , we are blaming companies for leaving today.
It’s time to start blaming OURSELVES (CT) for companies leaving…not the companies. It’s time we start blaming ourselves for the deficit and bad fiscal management…not the companies. It’s time to look inward…not out. Because the companies are doing what they should be doing…we’re not! The companies are staying competitive…WE’RE NOT.
WE make promises and “we’re all in this together” pitches while we become less and less competitive by the day (not just in the world…or the states…but right here in the northeast). Companies have heard the promises…but have not seen the ACTION. Until we start ACTING and showing the STATE is willing to do THEIR PART…what they are continuing to HEAR is called WHITENOISE.