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Launching a shared vision for Gwinnett's futur

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by Jim Maran

In Rosabeth Moss Kanter's book, World Class, the world-renowned expert on strategy, innovation and leadership said, "Change is debilitating when done to us, but exhilarating when done by us."

This has never been truer than in the times we are living today. If there”s one lesson I”ve learned with my many years in the corporate world, it”s that the most successful organizations change or re-invent themselves on a consistent basis. The world is not static. It”s dynamic and perplexing. That can also be said of communities.

That is why the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce will be leading an effort over the next several months with our partners in county and municipal governments, education, and the business and healthcare communities to create a long-term visioning strategy for change. The initiative, entitled "Partnership Gwinnett: A Shared Vision for the Future", has two very simple goals: to create personal wealth for all citizens and to build better communities.

Successful communities know that the key to long-term prosperity is staying focused on clear attainable goals that are developed by a wide range of stakeholders. They must also be periodically updated to reflect important changes in the community and the world beyond.

In embarking on this process, the Gwinnett chamber and our community partners are demonstrating a commitment to long-term prosperity and a willingness to ask tough questions.

Partnership Gwinnett”s strategic planning process will help Gwinnett answer some of these critical questions:

How can a clear consensus be created on "what kind of place" Gwinnett County wants to be?

How can community leaders continue to achieve economic growth while also sustaining the high quality of life in Gwinnett County?

Are there plans and strategies that need updating to reflect the changes that have occurred in Gwinnett County in recent years?

How can Gwinnett County maximize its resources – including land, infrastructure, intellectual capital, and natural resources – to ensure quality growth in the decades to come?

Can Gwinnett County offer destinations for visitors and residents without losing sight of the economic needs of its citizens, particularly those requiring training and workforce assistance?

These questions represent the beginning of an engaging dialogue that will capture Gwinnettians” attention during the strategic planning process.

The resulting shared vision will help us identify the means by which regional communities like ours can achieve long-term economic success and community well-being. At the end of the process, we will have a long-term comprehensive community and economic development strategy with a variety of issues and strategy options designed to build a stronger and more diverse economic and community structure.

Change is exhilarating when done by us – and necessary to compete in a global environment if we want to continue to provide the economic prosperity and high quality of life we”ve come to expect in Gwinnett.

"Partnership Gwinnett" marks a historic opportunity for our county. Through surveys, Web sites, and town hall meetings, everyone will be invited to participate and share their thoughts on what Gwinnett”s future holds. Stay tuned.