“We Try Harder”
A few of us will remember the classic disruptive advertising campaign launched by Avis Car Rentals, serving notice to the industry leader, Hertz Rent-a-Car: “We’re #2. We try harder.”
In a similar way, the City of Stratford is considering its options after winning the Top Seven Intelligent Community designation two years running, i.e. we have this tremendous kudos that is already bearing fruit, Stratford is slated to open the first international Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community, the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) is considering moving in the ICF direction as a region, and so on.
We asked Stratford’s Economic Development Officer for his thoughts on the way forward:
As you are probably aware, the City of Stratford did not obtain the title of Intelligent Community of the Year for 2012. Riverside, California attained that recognition with a strong commitment to initiating change through all aspects of their community: government, private sector and educational institutions.
From comments by ICF insiders, it seems the margin that determined which Top Seven community was deemed Top Community was “razor thin.”
So you might be wondering, “What will the city administration do now? Will it rest on it laurels? Or try again next year?”
YES / NO / WAIT
It’s a tricky question to answer because either approach can be questioned. Some people will feel that giving up now will relinquish the hard-won momentum the City has built the last two years by achieving Top 7 status. And others will feel that enough time, effort and resources have been spent trying to attain the top spot and the city should be content with its achievements.
Either way, the community can be confident that the decision will not be made lightly.
Stratford City Council, as well as Stratford’s Intelligent Community Committee, will be analyzing its previous applications and will be reviewing the evaluation results from the Intelligent Community Forum (a statistical breakdown of the Top Seven attained from ICF) before making any decision.
In any case, the City is committed to re-inventing itself as a smart community and ongoing efforts on many fronts are helping us to create a community that is competitive in the new digital economy and the ever-shrinking global marketplace.
CONTINUOUS & CONTINUING
Whether the City decides to pursue the Intelligent Community of the Year designation or turn to leveraging its recent ICF accomplishments, cultivating a smart community is a continuing progress involving continuous improvement.
Randy Mattice, Economic Development Officer
Economic Development Department &
Stratford|Perth Centre for Business