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Perspective | Collaborate for Kentucky

The more of us who participate in problem solving, the better
Mark Green is executive editor of The Lane Report.

Themes bubble up regularly in our collective pursuit of business and commercial enterprise as technology evolves and social styles change. An idea seems to turn up everywhere, in nearly every field, activity, discussion and endeavor. And if it’s not there already but you add it, somehow the situation improves.

Collaboration is today’s theme. It’s been reshaping how work is done and how workplaces are organized.

Successful leaders in all fields emphasize “collaboration” as The Lane Report reports on Kentucky business activity, trends and success stories recently – for years actually. As leaders explain key new characteristics of construction and renovation of business work space they’ve undertaken, it becomes ever clearer that the workplace of today is being built less to provide solitude and much more so to intentionally provide opportunities to collaborate, to exchange ideas, interact, rub elbows with and learn what colleagues and clients are doing and thinking, to problem-solve jointly. The business world well realizes that the elements of the successful strategies others have found for their tasks, whatever those are, oftentimes can be applied to your own problems.

One of the most vibrant business sectors today, as The Lane Report presented last month in our September issue, is Meetings and Conventions. One might call it the Collaboration Industry. Across the United States and in Kentucky, communities are investing big into improving, expanding and updating convention centers.

The Kentucky International Convention Center reopened in Louisville bigger and better than ever in August 2018 after a $209 million reconstruction and expansion. Lexington Convention Center and its partner Rupp Arena are now in the construction phase of a $300 million transformation that is the biggest capital project in the city’s history. Northern Kentucky Convention Center officials are actively planning toward their own upgrade project.

KICC’s modern “extroverted” design features larger public areas and outer walls that are transparent to fulfill the desire for Louisville residents and their hundreds of thousands of visitors to experience a version of collaboration. The new Lexington Convention Center will be similarly extroverted, and it’s a good bet meetNKY will require a similar design.

The newest offices and workspaces we have visited recently have as much space devoted to common areas, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces as to employee workstation space and traditional offices. It’s a significant change in structure, but it is happening because it is proven to be effective. Achieving and maintaining success requires adapting to and evolving with the marketplace, which requires innovating steadily.

There is a reason the phrase “To stay the same is to fall behind” became a truism.

When it comes down to it, The Lane Report, our website lanereport.com and our FasterLane email blasts are a collaboration platform, for you. It is where members of the Kentucky business community learn what their peers, friends and frenemies are doing. The Lane Report focuses on sharing best practices and success stories because readers not only find it interesting, it is our value proposition – and it convenes an audience that marketers who want to reach Kentucky’s decision makers want to collaborate with.

Since we know collaboration works, there is another version you need to try – if you are not already: This is participation in Kentucky’s public policy process. We could use some new answers to lingering problems, such as how to provide and pay for vital public services like education and justice and to finance a pension system that is seriously underfunded.

The business community knows for a fact that the more we work together, the better our end result. That is why many in the business community participate in matters some consider “political,” but which are our best means available to collaborate on behalf of our state.

It is time for all of us to collaborate in the collective life of our commonwealth. Kentucky needs teamwork to come up with its best ideas, its best innovations, its best solutions.

Find time. Do it. We need you and your ideas.

You’ll no doubt emerge from the process in a better state than you began.