Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb. 23rd “Shovel Ready” - or A New Perspective on Buzzwords and Clichés

I participated in a panel at the Food Security event this weekend and began my remarks with this phrase. I’m guessing it’s set a world record to buzzdom, getting there in about two months or so. But the reason I used the term is because I believe it should apply to everything new we want to do, in City government and in our community.

"Shovel ready" means thought through all the way - so that, if somehow the necessary funds turn up, we can put out an RFP or set the start date tomorrow, at the latest. Whether it’s a community composting system, a proposal to re-brand Ashland as a center for sustainability, film-making, and geo-tourism, as well as our traditional OSF-based identity, or a shuttle service for Mountain Meadows and the other senior residences in town, we should have everything worked out and ready to go.

Events are moving so fast these days that we can’t do things in a step by step process. To often good ideas get blocked because we don’t know where we’ll get the resources to implement them. I say pursue every good idea as if we can afford it. This is our only chance to keep pace with the changes sweeping through our world.

Maybe it’s a case of "Build it and they will come."

Or "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.""