A New Year Like None Other

At the end of every year, my wife and I spend some time planning for the months to come. That process usually results in some calendar or budget decisions that guide us for the next 365 days. All-in-all, it’s been a helpful tradition. Last year though, virtually none of our carefully thought out plans came to fruition. Our lives became a daily reaction to negative events. It was virtually impossible to make even a mid-term plan because we just didn’t know what the near future looked like. But we did. We made plans that looked forward as much as possible.

Likewise, at the chamber, we implemented planning and strategic initiatives, and proudly, we were able to make a difference.

I now find myself in a very different place. Today, I can see a real future to plan for. I can see that when it is warm again, the vaccines will have been distributed widely. With that in mind, we can make plans to reopen or grow our businesses. We can ensure that our responses to social justice issues developed last year will take hold and we will see progress continue unabated. In our personal lives, we could even not make careful plans yet still go out for an impromptu evening. With this type foresight, we can plan to make a difference and expect results.

So, here is my challenge to you.

What can we do in our businesses and community to make this year one of the best ever?

It is the same challenge that I put to my team at the chamber. The time for short-term thinking and reaction-based planning is over. The time for optimism is here. This is a chance to take that giant step towards our preferred future in Omaha 2040. This is what Omaha could be:

It’s 2040 and Greater Omaha has emerged as one of America’s great next-generation regions. Noted for its cultural diversity and the private, public and civic sector commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and excellence, the region is a high-growth/high-tech economy, a net importer of talent that has amassed an impressive record of “best places” accolades.

The area is known as a place that treasures each individual and businesses have the talent they need. The regional economy is robust and growing with an aggressive startup scene and a diverse collection of internationally-recognized businesses, small and mid-sized businesses, and corporate headquarters – all of which recognize ethical practices as drivers of profit. All area leaders regularly collaborate and leverage technology and resources to deliver effective solutions to community challenges and opportunities, ensuring a seamless delivery system of services to those in need.

I know that I want to see that future in my lifetime. So, the time for planning the first step in an epic adventure is here. What can we do in 2021 that will make it more memorable than just as the year that followed the worst year in memory? What can you do in your business that will make 2021 an epic adventure? I look forward to the answer. Let us know how we can help.


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