Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More On Our Connections

There have been some comments from other communities about the Knight Foundation study "The Soul of the Community" and on the overall results from 26 nationwide cities. There may be a new formula emerging from this research.

L + P = $

L come from loyalty. The loyalty that comes from living in a community that make you feel comfortable and welcome. But that feeling on comfort exists on a two way street. Just like that bar "where everybody knows your name", you have to extend yourself to become one that everyone wants to know. You can't be a wallflower and be accepted into the "family", nor can you be the one who contests, vocally, what the majority tend to agree with.

P come from passion. Passion for your community shows in many ways and can be very confusing. Some may show their passion by going along with everything that is proposed, no matter what the outcome. Others may show their passion by holding firmly to the old tried and true ways of past generations until they are simply outnumbered. Those with true passion for their community will take the best of their past and the most viable option for their future and forge new pathways boldly into breech.

L + P = $ means that communities able to inspire loyalty and passion among residents are also likely to see a swell in their financial outlook. I think that we can see evidence of this in our own community, or at least in our sports community. Our University of Kentucky sports community, both local, statewide and nationwide, are some of the most passionate fans alive. The loyalty that the show for home games and away games has made sports fans and media very aware of the level of passion and loyalty and how it relates to the financial success of having those fans attend or watch the games. Simply put, UK athletics means $BIG BUCKS$.

So, how can we, as a community, inspire the loyalty and passion needed to bring a swelling of our financial future?
“There's more to folks coming and staying in communities than just jobs – especially for that highly mobile, talented population sought after by many communities,” said Katherine Loflin, lead consultant on the project. “If they feel like their community is on the rise ... they have more of a tendency to feeling more attached to where they are,” she said, adding that people who feel satisfied in their jobs also tend to have more feelings of attachment to the place they call home.
That high touted "creative class" is once again in the spotlight. Those who can do their jobs from just about anywhere and unfortunately, are loyal more to the money than to the job location. To a larger and larger proportion of them it is more about "Who will pay me more for what I do?" than "Who will benefit the most out of what I do?".
Across the board, the relatively young and highest educated respondents rated themselves the least attached to their current communities.

Those are often people who are able to create the conditions they want or need in any environment they find themselves
How do we instill loyalty and passion for Lexington in these people?

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