I had the opportunity to sit in on a lunch where there was a panel discussion composed of a distinguished panel discussing the subject of Building a Better Atlanta. The panel consisted of the Mayor of Atlanta, Kaseem Reed, Sam Williams of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Mike Cote the CEO of Secureworks and Ed Baker, Publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
I am sure, unless you are in the Atlanta area, that you don’t really care about building a better Atlanta. But I did want to highlight the comments of Ed Baker because I think they reflect solutions for Building a Better America. Ed’s company also publishes business papers in about 40 other cities so he has seen the issues that are widespread.
The areas that Ed says we need to address are:
- The entrepreunerial market place. 90% of jobs today are in companies with fewer than 100 employees. We need to encourage growth in this sector.
- Education needs to be fixed. We have been talking for years about making it better. Business needs to be involved at ALL levels of education in order to equip students with the skills needed to succeed in the world.
- There is a dirth of leadership and it is going to get worse. Younger workers just are not taking on leadership roles. Older leaders have not engaged them and they are uninterested. That needs to be remedied.
- Aging demographics. 40% of BabyBoomers will be out of money before they die. This is going to create a whole new world fo homelessness. If we do not take care of the problem now we will never get a grasp.
- Wellness. Business needs to take the lead in making sure that the BabyBoomers (who start turning 65 this year) are taking better care of themselves. Wellness education needs to have a business lead. Otherwise will pay for it big time.
Although Mr. Baker was addressing his remarks to Atlanta issues I think this could have easily been transferred to most, if not all, major metropolitan areas in the country.
We need to heed his words. What can you as a business leader do to make an impact in your workforce and your community?