When strategic consultant Jim Crupi issued his second report on the Richmond region last November, he noted that the Richmond community was pretty good at talking and planning.
Crupi also pointed out that when it came to a strong, compelling regional vision the region was asleep at the wheel. And speaking of asleep, Crupi pointed out that not only was the collective regional leadership getting older, but that there was virtually no bench of young community leaders waiting in the wings.
None that Crupi saw, anyway.
Enter the Capital Region Collaborative, a new nine jurisdiction wide effort to create a vision for Central Virginia, reports the Times-Dispatch:
A group of area government and business leaders is announcing today the names of people it thinks can shape a bold idea: creating a vision for central Virginia that might actually be put in place.
After years of studies, plans and publicly floated initiatives, the two sources of many of those ideas joined forces in May to create the Capital Region Collaborative. The group includes members from the government-based Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and the business-led Greater Richmond Chamber.
The CRC today is naming the members of its first advisory team. The eight government and six business leaders will ultimately be joined by 40 or so others on a team charged with shaping a workable vision for the area's future.
And now for a moment of transparency -- when I am not gnashing my teeth as a member of Richmond's civic-minded weblog community, I am apparently a business leader.
In my role as Leadership Development Team Leader at Luck Stone, where I work with a group of folks focused on championing our business culture and core values among 1,000 employees, I have been named to the Capital Region Collaborative's advisory team.
A few years ago, one of my mentors told me that I needed to "choose between being a committed corporate player and an avant-garde freelance consultant." First, I ignored his advice. Then I tried to alternate between the two. Finally, I realized that what I really needed to be was myself -- which is a little of both simultaneously.
In the coming weeks and months, I'll be active in trying to bring a different perspective to the CRC -- and in trying to bring more diverse and unique voices to a conversation about Richmond's future.
Talking and planning are important components of good visioning work. So is action.
Having decision-makers at the table is important. Diversity and inclusion are important, too.
I hope to bring new ideas, and a challenging perspective on what it means to create a shared vision for a region as diverse as Central Virginia.
It's going to be an interesting ride. I'm pretty sure you guys will let me know if I screw it up.