Bullying in the Schools Will End When the Adults Stop Bullying Each Other.

To Be WUCA! is to Welcome, by having a great attitude; Understand, by listening and being open to other’s ideas; being Comfortable in knowing your own passion, purpose, vision, and goals; and Appreciating by expressing gratitude. It is a simple idea. Maybe too simple, because this is not what I see people living.

This is why I am more than a little perplexed at blaming youth for bullying.

Yes, they do need to take responsibility for their actions and yes, we do have a problem with bullying.

But are we focusing on the root cause?

Look around!

All I have to do is look in my email inbox or on my Facebook page to see each political party calling people in the other party names, or women telling men and men telling women that each other’s opinion does not matter, signs and sayings that people post inferring that when people think a certain way, they are somehow un-American or un-Christian, or that if you are not born in this country you are not paying taxes and using all of our services for free.

Have you been watching the presidential campaigns? It is no wonder that we have kids that bully.

We have grown men, who want to be President of this nation and represent all of us, calling each other “liar” and pointing fingers telling them that what they think and what they do is wrong. Politicians shout on television and radio waves saying others are “stupid” for stopping “this idea” from going forward.

And people send money to support this type of behavior.

When adults in communities gossip in coffee shops or in beauty parlors about how so-and-so got to the top by lying and cheating, are they simply jealous of someone’s success? The message is they want to see other people fail.

Or radio talk show hosts and writers hiding behind "free speech" call others derogatory names.

What kind of modeling are we doing as adults? Do we say, “If your values are not like mine, you are wrong?”

Back to students.

Our schools are reflections of our communities: test scores, people on free and reduced lunch, bullying, lack of motivation, and lack of respect for teachers are examples of community life.

Kids are blamed on how big a problem bullying is in schools with when all you may have to do is look within the families and the community.

What is the matter with kids today? Look to the adults that model behavior.

What is the answer to bullying?

Adopt a Be WUCA! strategy in your family, community, church, and school - in all areas of your life! Live to

 Welcome, Understand, Comfort, and Appreciate others.

We’ll be amazed at the turnaround this country will see.

Never Give In, Never, Never, Never, Never!

Churchill famously said, "…never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

Churchill said this on the 29th of October, 1941, in a speech at the school he attended as a boy, Harrow School just outside of Central London.

Churchill went on to say: "Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

What does that mean to "Never give in?"  It means never give up, and don't quit! It means to not listen to those who say you can't.

It means not to listen to that small voice in your head that tells you all of the things you can't do because of the people in your life who told you you weren't worthy. 

It means not to defeat yourself even before you start. It means to never picture a failed outcome even before you start. 

Success means persistence and to persevere! It means to listen to those who cheer you on and see in you talents and abilities that you don't see in yourself. It's to turn a deaf ear to those who tell you "it won't work, it will never work," or "you have never been able to do anything like this!" 

So, what do you need to be successful? 

You need someone by your side that will cheer you on. Someone that will present possibilities, Someone that sees more in you than you see in yourself.

When you have someone to encourage you, to motivate you to push yourself beyond what you can see, you will be the success you only dream about. 

And you will be much happier because you became what you were created to do.

WUCA! coaching makes sense for you because you surround yourself with people that cheer you on. People that help you find your passion and purpose. People that help you succeed by giving you the courage and perseverance to achieve your vision of where you want to go. 

Relationships are in all growth. Communities, businesses, families, churches, and even you grow through relationships. Don't give up on your relationships.  Be WUCA! Coaching is a great process to build relationships that create growth. 

Let us help you keep moving forward and building your relationships. Contact us now! kim@ghorizons.com 

Disengaged Workers are Robbing Your Business.

In your workplace, if the environment is not right, your workforce is not productive and it is your managers who are the likely productivity killers. Not because they are wasteful with your product; it's because they are wasteful with your people.

American businesses are spending more than $300 billion on stress-related health issues. Your business can increase profit margins when you WUCA! 'ize your workplace environment.

In his book, The Coming Jobs War, Jim Clifton writes “Gallup has determined that 28% of the American workforce is ‘engaged,’ another 53% is ‘not engaged,’ and a staggering 19% is ‘actively disengaged.’"

He defines “engaged” workers as the best colleagues. "They cooperate to build your organization. They are the creative force behind everything good that happens in an organization. They are the only people in your organization who create new customers.

"Disengaged workers are just there, killing time with little or no concern about customers, productivity, profitability, waste, safety, mission and purpose of the teams, or developing customers. They’re thinking about lunch or their next break. They are essentially checked out. Most importantly, these people may not just be part of your support staff or sales team, they may sit on your executive committee.

"Actively disengaged workers are hostile, disruptive, troublemakers who are there to dismantle and destroy your company. They exhaust managers, have more on-the-job accidents and cause more quality defects. They contribute to ‘shrinkage’ – as theft is politely called. They are sick more often, miss more days, and quit at a higher rate than do engaged employees.

"Whatever the engaged do, the actively disengaged seek to undo, and that includes problem-solving, innovation, and finding new customers. When you’re in a meeting with nine other people, odds are that two of them are taking notes to make sure whatever you’re planning doesn't see the light of day."

Businesses, organizations, schools, communities, and families all need an environment that engages - and is enjoyable! We know how: learn the Be WUCA! Way. 

You can hire the best talent in the world, but if they aren't working to make you and your organization profitable, you have wasted your time and money.

Give us a call at 712-250-0275 and let's talk about how to increase your bottom line and build a more productive, enjoyable environment!

Some Places Just Don't Want to Grow!

C.A.V.E. people - Citizens Against Virtually Everything.   

W.A.V.E. people - Workers Against Virtually Everything.  

P.A.V.E. people - Parishioners Against Virtually Everything.  

N.I.M.B.Y. people - Not In My Back Yard! 

Every state, community, organization has people like these folks, but we tend to discount them or say, “They will always look at the negative.”

If you have issues in your community, where you just can't get moving because of some people or other obstacle, and you want to grow, it is time to get your head out of the sand and take an honest look at the issues that keep your community/ies "stuck." 

Look at your community culture.

I have served in chamber of commerce and economic development organizations my entire professional career and I know those organizations are paid to promote all the good the community has to offer.

However, communities that thrive are those who will publicly look for the bad, as well as promote the good. Thriving communities commit to being better.

If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes. You stop blaming other people and circumstances for your situations. You learn what you need to learn. You practice what you need to practice. You put all attention / focus on how you will achieve your goals.

How do you know what needs to be addressed if you don’t look at the downside of your community?

Here are two pain points:

  • Are you increasing population?  and
  • Are you decreasing poverty?

If you are not making headway on those two goals, you are not as welcoming as you think.

In my research, states with a higher population of non-native-born citizens - people who were not born in, but are living in your state - are growing at a faster rate and have higher incomes than states with a higher population of native-born; those born in and living in the state.

Ask those who moved into your community - people who do not have grandparents buried in the local cemetery - if they feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. Even if they've lived there 20+ years.

Ask those who come to your church and sit in somebody else’s pew.

Ask your youth in your high school if they want to stay and raise their children there. 

Look at your culture. How your community "grew up."

To address these issues, you need to start with Why? Why does your community exist?

Do you know “why?" Are you asking? 

Are you digging to find the "problem behind the problem" when the community disagrees? Do you ask for value-based opinions from your citizens on issues your community needs to solve?

Convene a Community Engagement Institute to find your culture.  http://www.bewuca.com/blog/community-engagement-institute

Neighboring Towns and Growth

Why do we not like the community down the road? Is it because of athletics? A school merger? Because they stole our county charter 120 years ago? Or maybe, more than 100 years ago, our community had a competition who could hate their neighbor the most. One did. Understanding and breaking down the walls of conflict, perceptions, and hate is the first step toward growth as a region.

How Issues Become "Issues"

Whether in a family, church, school, business, organization or government, an issue goes through stages. When an issue is emerging, those involved and affected perceive their choices and choose their "sides" in resolving the matter.  The more involved we keep people and include as many choices as possible to solve the issue, the less disruptive the issue.

If we take away choices, voice, and input from those involved and affected, the issue becomes increasingly disruptive. People who do not know how an issue is decided, and are not a part of how the decision is made, do not trust the outcome.

So, the more disruptive the issue, the higher the cost that issue is to resolve in time, manpower, and/or money.

Some communities do not want to know other people’s opinions. It is like they want their deep, dark, secrets to stay hidden, thinking, "if we don't talk about it, it doesn't exist." 

Are you like that? Or do you want to change so you can grow with new people, ideas, energy?

You go to the doctor's office to find out why you are not well. You want that doctor to be honest with you and tell you how to get better. 

The "doctor" is in.

Global Horizons has championed civility-building, community growth processes for more than 15 years.

Building relationships builds civility to address motivation and community issues that keep you "stuck." 

Give us a call. 


Native Born per state 25+ -  http://www.governing.com/gov-data/census-migration-homegrown-populations-for-cities-states.html
Growth rate per state - http://www.usa.com/rank/us--population-growth-rate--state-rank.htm?tag=Fastest+Growing+States+in+U.S.
Richest States by income - http://www.usa.com/rank/us--median-household-income--state-rank.htm?yr=3000&tag=Richest+States+by+Income+in+U.S.

Sow and Reap - What Would You Do?

Author Unknown

A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil, and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year went by and the CEO asked the young executives to bring their plants to work for inspection.

When Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot, she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.

When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He asked Jim to come to the front of the room. Jim was terrified.  He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer — Jim!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. "Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

“All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

  • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
  • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
  • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
  • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
  • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
  • If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
  • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

Be careful what you plant now. It will determine what you will reap later.

Change: With a Hammer or With Time

People love change, they just don’t like transition!  https://youtu.be/pgVVsr8Q49w

If it wasn’t for change, we would not have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. We would still be using the teletype, drums, or fire as our form of communication.

But what is it about change that people do not like? It is the part of change that makes them uncomfortable. 

Good leadership is all about scanning the landscape and looking toward the future to help make circumstances better for all involved. Great leadership is all about helping people make the transition through the change that needs to take place.

That is why change cannot happen quickly. People need timie to get ready for the change to take place. People don’t resist change, their programming does.

Great leaders help people transition from one habit to another. The period of transition, is when you make the best out of the new!

Think of the change you want as an ice cube. Frozen in a particular, solid shape. There are only two ways to change an ice cube! A hammer or time!

Change .jpg

Change happens all the time. It is the great leaders and managers that create an environment where the transition from one habit to the other is meaningful.

High Schools - Rural Community Job Creators

Growing our economy and saving our schools and communities can be done by creating high schools that teach young people they don’t have to work for a big company or for other people. Teach them that owning their own business is a possibility and, in fact, is a local strategy that will grow the economy. The best way to accelerate our job creation rate is to embrace and support policies in all levels of the political spectrum that create entrepreneurs. This is especially critical in today's job market, where change is taking place so rapidly, it's challenging to know what "jobs" will be available in the next three to five years. Especially in rural communities, business creation and succession are easier to determine and execute.

If we really want to make a difference in our economy and grow our towns, we must focus on entrepreneurship in our schools and towns. Don’t just create an entrepreneurship "class." Create a holistic entrepreneurship school that incorporates entrepreneurship practices into the core curriculum and an ecosystem in the community to support entrepreneurship.

We need:

  • to encourage people to dream.
  • to help talented individuals start companies that create business models that grow big-, medium-, small-sized, sustainable organizations.
  • to encourage students to create local jobs by owning local businesses.
  • to support them to grow regionally and globally.
  • entrepreneurship schools that give students alternative curriculum that teaches the components of business planning and use their youthful creativity to design the future.
  • holistic schools that engage youth to develop as local leaders, energizing them through entrepreneurship and business growth.
  • policies and new traditions that include youth in decision making for family-friendly communities.
  • to teach the importance of philanthropy and giving back locally.

Many of our towns are losing population. Schools are losing enrollment, and budgets are shrinking. We can turn around this trend by giving our youth an alternative to working for others and an alternative of having to move away to get a good job. That alternative is owning their own business and locating in the town where they are educated. 

Imagine a school in your town that incubates business ideas and business models that will spin out to locate on Main Street or can be run from a home using the community’s local technology, contributing to and growing your local tax base!

Do your students see a future for themselves?

Gallup identified the reason students drop out of school and disengage in education: they have lost all hope in graduating. They cannot see how the education they are getting will lead them to where they want to go. Students will engage in their education when they see how it will provide them with a good job and a chance for a good life. For many, it is giving them hope that their “good job” will be created by their own creativity and the realization that they can own their own business.

Innovation itself doesn’t create sales. The entrepreneur is the connector, the person who envisions a valuable product or concept and its customer, and then creates a business model and strategy that creates sales and profit.

This isn’t just a school’s issue. For many towns and cities, it is a community survival issue.

Entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment that needs the support of the local community, local school district, coupled with state policy support. From his book, The Coming Jobs War, Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup, states, “If you were to ask me, from all of Gallup’s data and research on entrepreneurship, what will most likely tell you if you are winning or losing your city, my answer would be, ‘5th-12th-graders’ image of and relationship to free enterprise and entrepreneurship.’ If your city doesn’t have growing economic energy in your 5th-12th-graders, you will experience neither job creation, nor city GDP growth.”

 Entrepreneurship schools in our education system is a must and needs to be a supported strategy by leadership on all policy levels for our healthy, growing, successful future.

Who powers your town?

The dominant theme on any news is how “bad” big business is and how many employees “they” have added or taken away. Many people think that this country is run by “big business,” but actually, our country is really run and dominated by small- and medium-sized businesses. Ninety-eight percent of a community’s new jobs are created by businesses you see on your Main Street, home- based businesses that are a part of your town’s hidden economy, and many other of your existing businesses that you count on to meet your needs.

Clifton continues, “as of 2007, there were about six million businesses in the United States with at least one employee; businesses with 500 or fewer employees represent more than 99% of these six million. There are slightly more than 88,000 companies with 100 to 500 employees and about 18,000 with 500 to 10,000 workers – and only about 1,000 companies with more than 10,000 employees.”

Math says, of six million U.S. companies, only 107,000 of them have more than 100 employees. That leaves 5,893,000 businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

We work with communities on many different levels time in very rural areas. We’ve watched communities spend many thousands of dollars to “steal” companies from other towns, thus creating a neutral net gain of jobs in the economy. Many of those companies, after they have used up their tax advantages from relocating, will look elsewhere to gain more tax advantages and their loyalty to that community ends as soon as they receive a better deal, if there was any loyalty to begin with.

This is not just about taxes or regulations, though those are important components to the economy. Our focus is about teaching young people from a very early age that there is an alternative to working for someone else and that is creating your own business and products and working for yourself.

    According to Clifton, “the United States has successfully invented and commercialized between 30% and 40% of all breakthroughs worldwide, throughout virtually all categories, in the last 200+ years.”

    That is a startling statistic when you really think about what that means.  We have a culture of creativity and invention. We also have a culture of taking those inventions to market.

    That takes an entrepreneur.

    Who are your entrepreneurs?

    It appears to us we have been losing "entrepreneurial spirit" in our creative business cycle. Many community businesses are third-generation owners, passed down in families, leading to many of our communities and leaders losing their entrepreneurial culture, innovation, and drive.

    Entrepreneurs are the bridge to the innovations and those customers that will use the products, and the business model is everything! You can have all the inventions and innovative products in the world, but without the business model the entrepreneur creates to bring a product to market, new inventions and innovations sit on the shelf.

    Entrepreneurs are those who usually start businesses, but teaching entrepreneurship in school also introduces the concept of “intrapreneurship.” Intrapreneurs work inside companies and are the brains and energy behind creating customers.

    An entrepreneur/intrapreneur will create business models that will identify more customers and create innovative ways to address local, commercial, and social concerns.

    Who do YOU see has a great idea that can become a successful business for your community?

    If you'd like to explore ideas for your school and community, we're here!

    WUCA! and Politics

    We were told that WUCA! should stay out of politics. That we should focus on doing WUCA! and not get into the "mud" with the others. 

    If new to WUCA!, the acronym is to Welcome, Understand, Comfort and Appreciate yourself and others for great relationships. bewuca.com

    Actually, in part, WUCA! was created in response to politics. Politics where one side bullies the other and people don't get along in business, community, organizations, school, family, church - you name the entity. 

    WUCA! asks how do you value other people? How do you value yourself? Do you look for ways to be offended and strike back or do you try to understand the "why" of the other person's thinking and build a relationship with them?

    WUCA! has the power to elevate and improve politics when you look inside yourself and take responsibility for the way you react to the outside environment. No one else can make you feel angry, sad, mad, glad, offended, or any feeling, only you can. You allow your feelings by the choice of the response you make. 

    The Welcome in WUCA! is about self-responsibility and how you choose to feel. In each situation, determine the outcome you want and act to achieve it. Welcome frames your ability to respond in the way, with the words and actions, you choose, for the outcome you want.

    Understand is to listen. Do you really listen or just wait to talk? Listening involves all your senses because only seven percent of what is said is heard through the words spoken. Body language and tone make up the other 93 percent of what we say.

    Listening also involves the values and history of the receiver and speaker of the communication. How did they grow up? What were their parents like? What happened to them when their brain was developing during the first five years life, when the brain makes more than 80 percent of its neuron connections? Do you know the why behind the words? 

    Comfort in WUCA! is to know your passion, have a purpose in life, with a clear vision of the future and goals to reach your vision. It is being comfortable in your own skin with who you are and where you are going. 

    Appreciate yourself and others, as unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. Appreciate people for who they are, while they are living. If you wait until their funeral to give their eulogy; it's too late for them to hear.

    From what we experience and observe, WUCA! belongs FIRMLY planted in politics and in life, for relationships - and politics - are all around us. How we behave and treat others is a constant and creates the world in which we live.

    When you Learn WUCA!, Act WUCA!, and Teach others to Be WUCA!, you will change the world.

    We know how to help people get along in all settings. If you'd like to know more, reach out to Kim, kim@ghorizons.com.


    Immigration Dialogues

    Is your community wrestling with immigration?  Are you unsure or fearful about how to proceed? Do you see approaches that are ineffective and polarizing for your community?

    Bring the Community Engagement Institute to help you talk through, not just about issues around immigration in non-threatening conversations. This on-site community engagement process uses value-seeking conversation called deliberative dialogue. Deliberative dialogue builds relationships that allow respectful understanding of, and appreciation for, the viewpoints of all people.

    This dialogue setting creates an atmosphere where people can participate and understand why another person holds a view on an issue – to hear what has happened in their life to cause them to think the way they do. The result of deliberative dialogue is that relationships are built and common ground is discovered to move forward in non-violent ways.

     Global Horizons specializes in processes that engage people to work through issues, not simply discuss them. The philosophy generates relationships that stimulate any community of people to become the best they can be to work creatively and productively together. Healthy, respectful relationships must be in place for a community to move ahead. 

    Change Your Response to Change Your Circumstances

    We teach in our workshops that everyone loves change, they just don't like transition. Change is nothing more than creating new habits, taking some people longer to adapt to new ways of doing and thinking about things. 

    Habits are merely reactions and responses we have learned to perform automatically without having to think or decide, most by our subconscious. Fully 95 percent of our behaviors, feelings, and responses are habitual.

    All of our attitudes, emotions, and beliefs tend to become habitual. In our lives, we've learned that certain attitudes and ways of feeling and thinking are appropriate to certain situations, so we tend to think, feel, and act the same way whenever we encounter what we interpret as the same sort of situation.

    For example, over time, arguments between spouse, business partners, or communities, become habitual. People learn to “push buttons.” You say this to me, I say this to you, and back and forth, acting out the identical script and responding in exactly the same way as you have done many times before.

    The great news is that these habits can be modified, changed, and reversed, simply by taking the trouble to make a conscious decision, and then practice and act out the new response or behavior. It requires constant watchfulness and practice until the new behavior pattern is learned, but it can be accomplished!

    In "The Be WUCA! Way," we call this "driving your WUCA! CAR," for C (Circumstances) + A (Actions) = R (Results.) To change your circumstances, you have to change your actions to get the results you want. This is the only way to achieve what you want.

    Seven pledges to change your habitual response:

    Raise your right hand and repeat after me! 

    1. I will be as cheerful as possible.
    2. I will act friendlier toward people.
    3. I will be less critical and more tolerant of other people, their opinions, failings, and mistakes. I will place the best possible interpretation on their actions.
    4. I will not judge other people. I will not let my own opinion color facts in a pessimistic or negative way.
    5. I will practice smiling at least three times during the day.
    6. I will react as calmly and as intelligently as possible.
    7. I will ignore completely and close my mind to all those pessimistic and negative comments that I can do nothing to change.

    Simple? No. But each of these habits of acting, feeling, and thinking has an influence on your self-image. Commit to these seven pledges for 30 days, then teach them to somebody else. See if worry, guilt, hostility have been decreased and if confidence and a better outlook on life and your situation has increased. 

    Learn to drive your WUCA! CAR to get different results in your life. The Be WUCA! Way is a great book to begin the process to change your habits. www.bewuca.com

    What if Congress and State Legislatures were Split 50/50

    I was told once by an Iowa state senator that the only time she remembered getting "real" work done is when the legislature was split 50 percent Republican and 50 percent Democrat.

    This got me to thinking, what if there was a constitutional amendment that required Congress and State Legislatures to be 50/50 by the parties?

    You could still hold party affiliations, still elect by party in the primary, but the determining factor of governing would be the requirement of equal party/power balance in state and federal Capitols.

    One of the moves that helped in Iowa was to have shared leadership and co-chairs of committees.

    If we had equal weight and balance, there would be no more "blaming the other party" for not doing anything, since whatever was done would be passed by bipartisan compromise. If the matter at hand was vetoed, all responsibility would fall to the chief executive of the state/country and there would be override opportunity by a 2/3 vote.

    It might even take out the need to sign executive privilege declarations.

    Here is what the National Conference of State Legislatures says about the issue:


    In Case of a Tie......

    (Legislative Deadlock, Tied Chambers)

    Every even-year election from 1984 through 2010 produced at least one deadlocked legislative chamber. Here is what legislatures suggest to make a 50/50 work.

    ·      View the situation as a challenge, not a dilemma.  Have the attitude that you are going to make it a success.

    ·      Use organizations such as NCSL to find out what other states have done who have faced deadlock. Then open up lines of communications with those states.

     ·      If possible, get a mentor in one of them—someone who is willing to help you through the details.

    ·      Begin negotiating as soon as possible. The negotiations will take time because this is a very stressful and often traumatic period. Have more than one person from each caucus on the negotiation team; this helps generate broader support for the final agreement. Negotiate carefully over the make-up of your committees because they play a very important role in the legislative process.

    ·      Put people who aren’t intensely partisan or ideological in leadership positions. Cooperation and productivity are more important than who gets the credit for each individual issue.

    ·      Establish and maintain good communication; it is the key to avoiding problems.

    ·      Don’t forget a mechanism or an "escape valve" to keep the process moving ahead.  You might need it in case important or critical legislation gets bogged down.

    ·      Let the public know what’s happening.

    50/50. Shared power. Working toward common ground on every issue that comes before the governing body. Might be worth a thought. 

    The biggest gap in growth is the gap between knowing and doing. In other words, you cannot grow if you do not do something toward growing. 

     Just as Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

    Rural Communities: Stuck and Spinning Wheels

    In this blog, the context of “communities” is perceived as any group of individuals

    who work to make life better for all people in all groups.

    Is your community growing in population and new business, or does it feel you are “stuck” and spinning your wheels?

    Do the "good ol' boys" want you to believe they know what’s best to develop the community, even when you are skeptical they are self-motivated, rather than looking out for the good of the whole?

    If you are growing, great! Keep doing what you are doing!

    If you could use some help, here’s a technique to help your community move forward in the best way possible: deliberative dialogue.

    In a Be WUCA! community, all people work on public problems together, like what to do if the school is struggling, or your population is dwindling away. What sets a Be WUCA! community apart is its focus to talk through, not just about its issues using a technique called "deliberative dialogue.”

    This type of conversation gives amazing results because community members talk with each other for mutual understanding, not decision making, to find common ground. You get to hear why an issue is important to your neighbor from their values and experiences, not just venting.

    Be WUCA! community work creates the environment where all people thrive and feel part of their future. It’s a place where all feel WUCA!: Welcome. Understand. Comfort. Appreciate.

    Community members are the experts, so public deliberation begins as citizens - not the good ol' boys or experts - name a problem and identify potential approaches toward it. Through dialogues in a safe, neutral space, people take time to carefully consider advantages and drawbacks of the approaches, leading to new understandings and shared directions or decisions.

    A Be WUCA! community opens the door for all sectors to work together to enhance community life, where old relationships can change and new ones develop. You’ll even find that individuals or organizations who have a history of arguing or never talking can begin to work together!

    Growing your population and businesses using this Be WUCA! process creates a place for all people to be involved, because growing a community is up to each person to talk well of and promote your town, not because it’s someone’s “job.” 

    Communities that want to grow need to create opportunities for all people to get involved and then individuals need to take the opportunity and do it.

    Make growing your Be WUCA! community your responsibility.

    To learn about how these questions can help you grow, check out http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community?rq=WUCA!-ize

    Rural America, You Have So Much Potential

    Growing up, my mother was told by my teachers that “I had so much potential!” The problem was I did not see my potential because I had such a limited view of myself and my teachers did nothing to pull what potential they saw out of me.  

    It's the same with our communities. We cannot see from the inside what others see from the outside. We must draw out potential. 

    I have a passion to build rural America because for more than 30 years, I have seen the innovation, passion, drive, business sense, and heart of people who love where they live and want others to love it. I have seen and know the potential of rural America - it's vastly more than agriculture! 

    The result about potential is that rural America’s counties are losing more population than gaining.  The problem is not lack of buildings or industrial parks, bike paths, or lack of jobs.

    The key to building rural America is relationships.

    Communities must recognize and knock down the "walls" built through many years being jealous of other communities. For holding grudges from long-ago athletic competitions or school mergers where one community did not “get the building.” For family feuds created from generations of animosity toward each other. I know of one community who festered for 100 years before they realized how to grow.

    You can draw out potential in your community by including new people who bring new ideas, new directions, and creative approaches to old problems. 

    People will stay when they:

    • feel they belong. 
    • know that they belong to something bigger, with a vision for a better future.
    • see themselves as equal participants in community growth. 
    • know why the community is a good fit for them.
    • know that the community has a sense of purpose.

    The role of community leaders is not to come up with the great idea, but to create an environment in which great ideas can happen, are encouraged, and are supported.

    Ask these questions of your "newer" citizens to help your community see itself through the eyes of another, perhaps one whose grandparents aren't buried in the cemetery.
    •    How long have you lived in this community?
    •    Why do you think we continue to exist as a community?
    •    For whom do you think we are a good community?
    •    Tell me a time when you did not feel you belonged/were welcome in this community.

    When you open your environment to Welcome, Understand, Comfort, and Appreciate new people, new ideas and creative approaches to old problems, your school will increase enrollment, your tax base will increase, and you will have more volunteers. 

    Want to draw out potential in your community? Check here for more ideas and call us to grow, 712-250-0275; kim@ghorizons.com.  http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community


    Questions to Understand Another's Viewpoint

    The news environment is throwing sound bites of information. Politicians spew carefully crafted words, even defining new phrases.

    When faced with sound bites, try these questions to help you with your position and understand another’s: 
    •    Do I believe what I’ve heard?
    •    I don’t like what I’ve heard, but for those who feel that way, what do they deeply care about?
    •    Is what’s being said based on a fact, an assumption, a false conclusion?
    •    What might happen to others from my ideas?
    •    What are the trade-offs I am, or not, willing to make about what’s being said?
    •    What is valuable to me or those who support this way of thinking?
    •    Could it be I am mistaken in my belief?
    •    Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?
    •    Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?

    Questioning and verifying what we hear is good for ourselves, our businesses, communities, and country.

    It’s the Be WUCA! Way.

    These questions can grow your community! Check it out at http://www.bewuca.com/blog/community-engagement-institute

    My "Why"

    April 28, 2011 will be a day I will never forget. While driving home, I got a call from my oldest daughter who lives with her husband and six children in upstate N.Y. It was a call that no parent ever wants to receive.

    The Way I was Parented
    To set the stage, I was raised by a single mother with a brother and two sisters. My mother was an entrepreneur and very successful in business.

    She would raise us all with a very tight fist. In fact, a favorite saying of hers was, “I don’t care if you love me or not, but by God, you will respect me!!”

    Now a child will be trained by their parents and other people close to them. Children learn by what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. They can become the parent in the way they were raised, with the same actions, sayings, and rules for their children.

    Some children though, make a conscious decision to not be like their parents and choose to raise their children differently. I am very thankful that my oldest daughter chose to raise her kids differently than she was raised.

    You see, I adopted many of the rules, moods, emotions, and sayings that I grew up with. Things like, “if you don’t finish your dinner tonight, you can have it for breakfast in the morning.” or “Go get the hairbrush and bend over my knee and I’ll really give you something to cry about!”

    In my house, it was the same environment. So much so that it was extremely hard for my kids to develop a relationship with me as their father. They were more scared of me and my moods than anything. It was like walking on eggshells for them.

    My Self-View Impacted my Personal Relationships
    Also, I did not make great choices with other relationships. One extreme example was a very abusive relationship. One incident was when this woman walked into my apartment and was so angry that she started to break every potted plant I had, throwing them on the floor. It scared the kids and I so much that I took them into the bedroom and we huddled in the corner until she left and we heard the door shut.

    You see, I had such low self-esteem that I could not even get out of a very bad relationship because of the guilt and low self-image I had. I wanted someone to love me and I would take anyone that had the appearance of love. What I thought love looked like. Something that I did not feel growing up.

    As you can imagine, this did not build a great relationship between my kids and me as their father. Who would ever expose kids to a relationship like I did and not protect them from seeing anything like what they were exposed to? That too, played heavily on my guilt. It just piled guilt upon other guilt and a self-image that I had accumulated during my life.

    When they could, both girls decided to see what it was like to live with their mother. So they moved when each was around 14 years old.

    Each did come back however, and live with me after a couple of years. My oldest daughter graduated high school and went on to college. She met her now-husband and moved after graduation to N.Y., where her husband grew up.

    My Daughters Grew Up
    As a little girl, my eldest had a fantasy of having a family just like Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie.” Her husband has a core family and many brothers and sisters. He is such a great husband and father and she is such a great wife and mother. See, she made a conscious choice to not accept the “program” that I offered on how to parent.

    My youngest daughter, Erin, did not fare as well. Ever since she was a pre-teen, she was being treated for different types of neurological symptoms. Uncontrollable hiccupping, depression, and other emotions that I thought might just be age- or stress-related.

    But as she got older, symptoms got worse. By the time she graduated high school, she was on many neurological drugs to combat symptoms such as hearing voices, hyperventilating, and lack of focus. She would start school and not last two weeks before she would get sick and have to drop out. She would start a job and have to quit.

    She was admitted to in-patient facilities and counseling sessions to help her figure out what was wrong. No one in the family or the professional community could figure out what was wrong with her. I always thought that it was because of my actions and relationships that she was like this.

    One afternoon I got a phone call at my office from my oldest daughter. She told me she got a call from her sister, who wanted to come to N.Y. and live with her and her family. But my oldest did not want that. She did not want the responsibility of taking care of her sister along with her own family.

    So being the good Dad, I talked with my youngest on the phone and told her that she could not go out and live with her sister. Well, I was told that I could not tell her what to do and she was going to go anyway. 

    That is when I hit the roof and yelled into the phone that "she was not going and I forbid her" from going out to live with her sister.

    All I heard from the other end of the phone was a “click.”

    That was the last time I heard from her or anything about her for more than nine years. She did go out to N.Y. but she did not let anyone tell me where she was, how she was doing, or anything about her.

    Then nine years later, I got that phone call from my oldest daughter when I was driving home. She said that she had something to tell me about her sister.

    My youngest daughter was taking a nap one afternoon. When she woke up and got out of bed, she fell to the ground and died.

    It was that quick.

    The next time I saw my youngest daughter was in the funeral home, lying in a cardboard coffin, wrapped in a sheet with only her face and one hand showing so I could at least touch her one last time. Since it was an unobserved death, she had to have an autopsy and the funeral home did not prep her for viewing since she was going to be cremated and we were not having a public viewing.

    What we found out was that she did not have psychological issues. She had Lyme disease.

    In tracing it back, as far as I can figure, she had been bitten by a tick around the age of nine. We would go for walks in the woods and when we got home, we would check for ticks. I must have missed one.

    Great Relationships are now my “Why.”
    My poor relationships with my daughters and my poor choices in my intimate relationships became my “why.” The why I choose to teach families, businesses, communities, and organizations how to build awesome relationships, because you might not ever get a second chance with a person.

    The best teachers are the ones that have failed the worst. The best teachers are the ones that have been through the darkness and learned how to come out better on the other side. The best teachers are the ones that can take their mistakes and offer them to others as lessons to be learned from and not repeated.

    Relationships are everywhere and the basis of everything. We need them in the workplace, we need them in our families, we need them in our lives, period.

    However, if you do not have a great relationship with yourself first, you cannot have a great relationship with anyone, ever.

    I teach relationship-building because I have a passion to help others so they do not have to go through what I went through. I live those moments every single day but I do not live in them. I have learned to forgive myself and hope and pray that I am forgiven by those that I have hurt and truly love.

    Here is what I have learned.

    When you Learn the Be WUCA! Way, Act the Be WUCA! Way, you can then Teach the Be WUCA! Way.

    When you pass the Be WUCA! Way to others, you change the world building great relationships.

    Pass it on. 

    Rural Matters

    For the first time in the history of this country, rural counties have negative population growth, meaning more rural counties lost population than gained between 2010 and 2014. In many of these counties, this has been a trend for more than 100 years. 

    Roughly 46.2 million people, or 15 percent of the U.S. population, reside in rural counties, which spread across 72 percent of the nation's land area.  

    Fewer, larger farms are not contributing to population growth, nor is alternative energy, such as ethanol and wind. Wages are not equal to those in the metro areas.

    So why is this happening? Should rural communities give up? How can counties reverse the downward spiral?

    Ask these questions at home. At your board of supervisors/city council/economic development team/school board meetings. At the coffee shop. Ask them to people who do not participate in anything.

    • Are you talking about population decline? More importantly, what are you doing about it? About poverty rates?
    • Is your county still doing economic development the same way as it has for the last 100 years? Is the county getting the results you want?
    • How about attitudes? What is said of your county? What do you say about it? Your youth?
    • Do you have an entrepreneurial ecosystem in place, not just a class in school?
    • Are you discussing what is happening in your school district with the public? More student growth than can be handled? Whole-grade sharing, sharing sports, merger, consolidation?
    • Are you constantly looking for new people to engage and participate?
    • What’s happening with your hospital? Are you birthing babies? What is its stability to stay open?
    • How about housing? Are people just changing location or are new people coming to the area?
    • What about income opportunities? Not everyone is cut out to work for someone else. Is your county supportive of people starting their own businesses and will your community support them? Be sure to see the accompanying pyramid that paints the picture.
    • What is your county/ you doing to attract new people?

    Depending on the answers for your county, it may be time to think about changing up your approach to community growth to attract newcomers and move that people needle UP.

    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but the efforts of most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the county, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan. Rural must work differently – together – to grow.

    Forward-thinking metro areas support rural development because, as people move to “the city,” the hollowing-out of surrounding communities will minimize potential employees in their current and future workforce pool. Young people have been moving to the metro areas for years, but with the decline in rural school populations, that source may dry up.

    Healthcare impacted

    Also affected by declining population, access to medical practitioners and facilities is crucial for Iowa’s aging rural population. In addition to healthcare itself, in many counties, the healthcare system is a major employer.

    Two summer articles from the National Conference of State legislatures, NCSL, brought sobering news for rural areas.

    The National Rural Health Association wanted to know where this trend of depopulation is heading. They teamed up with the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina and iVantage, a health analytics firm. The goal was to identify rural hospital closures when they happen, collect a snapshot of how many rural hospitals are struggling, and where they are located.

    The research identifies 2,078 rural hospitals, of which, 1,284 are critical-access facilities. They found 210 were “most vulnerable,” meaning they could potentially close tomorrow. Another 463 were simply labeled as “at risk,” meaning they could close at any point in the next couple of years. Together, 32.3% of all rural hospitals in the U.S. are compromised.

    As more young people leave rural towns to go to work in the larger metro areas, we see the most vulnerable people, the elderly, being left without critical services where they live. Find the full article here http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-rural-hospitals-critical-condition.html.

    Birthing Specialists

    The second article is just as concerning for communities longing for young people starting families: medical professionals like OB/GYNs and nurse mid-wives are in short supply across the country. If your county doesn’t have specialists to deliver, are your general practitioners doing so? If travel is required for families to give birth, will the availability of a birthing facility impact their decision to live in your county? http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/08/15/a-shortage-in-the-nations-maternal-health-care

    So what is a county to do to keep going and growing?

    These recommendations will move you ahead.

    • Make sure you truly welcome and include all new people. Most communities want to grow, but often don’t want newcomers and their ideas, unless the new people think, look like, act, and believe like the community. States with the greatest percentage of population gain have a higher percentage of people who were NOT born in that state than people who were. Ask a newcomer – even someone who has lived in the community 20+ years - how they feel. You may be surprised at what you hear if their grandparents aren’t buried in the cemetery.
    • Much of rural Iowa has amazing telecommunications infrastructure, thanks to rural telephone company investments. New home-based businesses can move in. Companies can adopt telecommuting options, while communities and businesses create more family-friendly policies. Check with yours to see how to grow these options.
    • Capture the transfer of wealth, using it to build and support new enterprises and business succession.
    • Use social networking to build relationships with 30- to 49-year-olds who would love to live in safe communities and build a global business.
    • Consider and develop family-friendly policies in every discussion. Early care and education must be considered “critical infrastructure” that requires community and business investment to attract families and support workforce needs. 
    • Teach communities, businesses, families, organizations the art of value-based dialogue to move contentious issues forward.  
    • Develop entrepreneurial ecosystems to create an entrepreneurial environment.
    • Teach pertinent skills to 9 – 12th-grade students to connect school-to-workplace habits. Encourage students to see themselves as entrepreneurs who can build businesses in their home community.
    • One of your best youth retention strategies is to work very intentionally with your students labeled “at-risk,” as these young people have great, creative ideas to develop into solid businesses. They will likely attend community college, trade school, or jump right into your local workforce and lead your town serving on city council, church, and school boards. Connect with them now to be good leaders.
    • Create strong relationships to change the culture and dynamics between communities that may have been damaged by athletic competition, county charter arguments, and/or school mergers.

    If you look at these suggestions and say, “We are doing this,” but are still losing population and your poverty rate is stable or rising, think again.  The measures of improvement are a growing population, increased community engagement, a younger average age, and decreased poverty rates.

    You may have to work around the “good ‘ol boys” clubs or maybe you are a part of one. Decades-old methods of attraction no longer work. If still using them, you’re likely losing population, schools, hospitals, and youth.

    No more silos! Area leadership must work together to grow. County boards of supervisors, hospitals, schools, city councils, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, civic groups, community and private foundations – you know your community – will accomplish more, faster - when they work together.  If there’s a bold, new idea to try, do it!

    How are decisions made in your county? A community best-functions when all people get together to work on public problems. This creates wealth, where entrepreneurial opportunities are identified and developed for the good of the whole.

    You will know you are on the right track to be successful when you have:

    • collaborative leadership,
    • shared vision,
    • shared goals,
    • youth involvement,
    • a communication system to disperse community information and
    • all citizens see a role to engage.

    A Quick Tale of Two Cities

    Chappell, NE. Interchange on I-80 

    Chappell, NE. Interchange on I-80 

    Sidney, NE. Interchange on I-80

    Sidney, NE. Interchange on I-80

    Our work takes us across the country. Early in his career, Frank was the economic developer in western Nebraska, so we stopped en route to Colorado last summer, where we were the keynote for the Progressive 15 county economic developers’ meeting, and took these snapshots for the story of Cabela’s.

    From Cabela’s website: “In 1961, Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: "12 hand-tied flies for $1." It generated one response.

    “Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read "FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand-tied flies....25c Postage....Handling" and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn't take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country.

    “In the beginning, Dick and his wife, Mary, ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell.“By 1964, continued success and growth demanded a bigger and better location. The operation was moved from their kitchen table to the basement of Dick and Jim's father's furniture store and then on to various buildings in Chappell. In 1969, Cabela's was operating in a 50,000 square-foot vacant John Deere building in neighboring downtown Sidney, Nebraska.”*

    *The missing piece of this story is that the city fathers of Chappell were approached for help into a bigger building as the business grew. The response given the Cabela’s? “No one helped us get started. Why should we help you?” 30 miles away, Sidney’s city fathers asked how they could help the company grow.

    Today, Cabela's world headquarters along Interstate 80 in Sidney encompasses more than 250,000 square feet. (The week this article was published, Cabela's announced their sale to Bass Pro for $5.5 Billion dollars. Not bad for a business starting in a basement.)

    Was this a missed opportunity? Maybe yes, maybe no. You decide. What steps are you taking to encourage your county to flourish?

    Global Horizons has a plan to recruit people to live, work, and play in your communities. 

    Editors note: This article was published in the October 2016 issue of the Iowa State Association of Counties "Iowa County" magazine. http://www.iowacounties.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/67764_IACty-October2016_SP_OPT.pdf


    Fund Early Care and Education for a Better Workforce

    Why should businesses, communities, and states be concerned about creating family-friendly policies for their workforce and citizens?

    • Communities are concerned with keeping their youth and attracting young people and families to live, work, and play.
    • Communities across the country are pursuing the same families, so special attention is needed to stand above the rest.
    • U.S. companies lose $3 BILLION annually as a consequence of childcare-related absences and 85% of employers report providing childcare services improves employee recruitment. 

    Here's how: inject money into making sure yours is a Be WUCA! family-friendly business and community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment. Every decision your community makes, asks: "how will this decision affect children?" Look at all your policies and ask if they are family-friendly. 

    Issues with childcare often affect the job performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism, tardiness, turnover rates, recruitment, and training costs. In turn, these issues affect productivity and work quality and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these workers.

    An average business with 250 employees can save $75,000 per year in lost work time by subsidizing care for employees' sick children. Employers surveyed report that childcare services decrease employee absences by 20-30 percent and reduce turnover by 37-60 percent. If it's your own business, it impacts your bottom line.

    Research shows that work-family benefits have a direct impact on employee recruitment and retention. For example, a small textile manufacturing company in the Southwest experienced a 40 percent turnover rate that dramatically dropped to seven percent after beginning a childcare program.

    It's critical employers attract and retain good, productive workers to stay competitive in the market. Given the changing composition of America’s labor force and the impact childcare has on worker productivity, businesses with employer-assisted childcare implement a cost-effective way to control labor costs, enhance worker productivity, and engage your workforce. Employees will be loyal to and productive for a company who helps care for their children!

    Investing when the brain is developing is good policy.

    The following chart shows the relationship of brain development to public expenditures.

    The brain develops 80% by the age of three and 90% by school age. In fact, the brain is connecting new neurons in the first 2000 days of a child's life at a rate of 700 connections per second. Every connection is a thought, belief, or a new learned experience. These first 2000 days are when school and work habits are being formed. We need to spend dollars when they will do the most good. 

    Think back to your first thought. How old were you when you have your first memory? For most, our first memories average at three or four years old. As that is true, what is being taught to children during this critical phase of lifetime brain development is crucial to a child's - and society's - welfare.

    But, as the diagram shows, public expenditures increase in the preschool and kindergarten years when a child begins school, near the end of early significant brain connections. In fact, the Federal Reserve has documented that for every $1 invested in early care and education, communities save between $4 - $14 in future costs of remedial and special education, the juvenile crime system, and welfare support.

    The labor market today and into the foreseeable future is radically different than it used to be. New jobs that we will need have not even been thought of or invented. The old problem of finding enough work for rising numbers of workers is replaced by the new problem of locating enough workers to fill new jobs requiring technical skills generated by an expanding economy. 

    Every experience we have had shapes who we are, including our school and work habits. Good early care and education is critical to the students and workers of the future. 

    When you invest in and create a family-friendly WUCA! community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment, families will look for you and choose your community to call home.

    When you implement these recommendations in your community and state, you will stand above the rest and grow! 

     How does this decision affect children? Is it FAMILY-FRIENDLY?

    Rural HealthCare in Crisis

    For the first time in the history of this country, rural counties have negative population growth, meaning more rural counties lost population than gained between 2010 and 2014. But you are not hearing about the critical issues in the election process, what this loss of population to rural areas is doing. 

    In many of these counties, this has been a trend for more than 100 years. If you live in a rural community, you just might be in crisis due to your economic development efforts.

    Rural economic development efforts often bring to mind Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same things, in the same way, expecting different results!” Rural areas must change up their approach – and acceptance - to attract newcomers.

    Is your community still doing economic development the same way as you have been for the last 100 years? Are you getting the results you want?

    How Jobs are Created.jpg


    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but the efforts of most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the community, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan. Rural must work differently – and together – to grow.

    Healthcare impacted

    The National Rural Health Association wanted to know where this trend is heading. They teamed up with the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina and iVantage, a health analytics firm. The goal was to identify rural hospital closures when they happen, collect a snapshot of how many rural hospitals are struggling, and where they are located.

    The research identifies 2,078 rural hospitals, of which, 1,284 are critical-access facilities. They found 210 were “most vulnerable,” meaning they could potentially close tomorrow. Another 463 were simply labeled as “at risk,” meaning they could close at any point in the next couple of years. Together, 52.4% of all rural critical-access hospitals in the U.S. are compromised.

    As more young people leave rural towns to go to work in the larger metro areas, we see the most vulnerable people, the elderly, being left without critical services where they live.

    Hospitals, schools, foundations, and businesses need to be involved and turn this around with relationship economic development.

    Relationship economic development is all about getting people and communities to learn how to build relationships with each other. Communities need to let go of past hurts of school mergers, county-seat struggles, where the railroad went, and unhealthy athletic rivalries.


    Relationship economic development consists of three learning steps:

    • Relationship development - Common knowledge
    • Community development - Common interests
    • Wealth creation - Common work

    Forward-thinking metro areas support rural development because, as people move to the metro, the hollowing-out of surrounding communities will minimize potential employees in their current and future workforce pool. Young people have been moving to the metro areas for many years, but with the decline in school populations, that source will soon dry up.

    Want to grow your rural area and keep hospitals, schools, services strong? Check these:

    • You may have to work around the “good ‘ol boys” clubs and ideas. Decades-old methods of attraction worked then, but, if still used, you’re likely losing population, schools, hospitals, and youth.
    • Do you truly welcome new people? Most communities want to grow, but often citizens are hesitant to welcome newcomers and their ideas, unless new people think, look like, act, and believe like the community.  
    • Declining population can bring decline in housing options. Buyers are more choosy these days, and homes are not always equipped or updated. Communities are smart to address this trend to remain in the running for new owners.
    • Area leadership must work together to grow. Hospitals, schools, city councils, county commissions, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, civic groups, community and private foundations – you know your community - are best together.
    • There is the opportunity to build through the telecommunications infrastructure in some rural areas. New home-based businesses can move in. Companies can adopt telecommuting policies and communities and companies can adopt more family-friendly policies.
    • Early care and education must be considered “critical infrastructure” that requires community and business investment to attract families and support workforce needs. 

    Relationship economic development will help your community/organization:

    • prepare for newcomers, 
    • learn skills to talk through, not just about, community issues that positively guide the future,
    • learn more about their own area - how each community is unique and complements one another,
    • learn how to encourage & support entrepreneurs,
    • identify, invite, and welcome those from around the globe who want to live in rural areas,
    • grow populations and business sectors.

    Global Horizons, LLC is an experienced company with a plan and processes to grow communities by building healthy relationships: http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-communty

    Ready for a better way to build wealth and healthy relationships to change your community's future? We know how and would like to visit with you!