When is good “good enough?”


January 2, 2022
Staff Reports

Let’s face it. Abilene, Texas, is good. It’s better than good.

Yet, the title to this morning’s article is an important question with a pretty simple answer - which is “never.”

I remember back in the 1980’s when the quality of products coming from Japan were the center of discussion among U.S. industry.

Terms like “continuous improvement,“ “Total Quality Management (TQM)” and names like W. Edwards Deming and his famous “14 Point Approach” where the thing.

I’ve been lucky to work alongside some real titans of industry through the years and to apply their successful approaches to my own line of work in the Chamber industry.

And as we dive into the month of January, also known as International Quality of Life Month, I want to drill down on the Chamber's mission and one of the primary points of our mission.

Not only is our organization focused on enhancing our local economy, but to do so, simultaneously, we must work on building a stronger "quality of life."

When we discuss “quality of life,” I can’t help but think about what that really means. Each person most likely defines "quality of life" differently. So how do we improve something that can mean something different to each individual in our community?

I think of “quality of life” perhaps a little differently than most, more in terms of quality of place.  

Think of our region as a product. I see product improvement as building upon the salability of the area in which we live. And work. And raise our families.

Retaining our business base depends on it. Attracting new industry does too. And workforce. And jobs. And capital investment.

Everything that we do ties back to ensuring members of this community have the best quality of life possible. And, the Abilene Chamber will relentlessly pursue programs, partnerships and projects that enhance the salability of our community. We have to. Our competition does. And the global competition for jobs and capital investment is fierce.

And we have to be smart about it. We can’t go it alone. Abilene was built on a public/private partnership. No one entity has all the answers. But when your Chamber convenes those with different perspective and a common objective, good things happen. For all of us.

Understanding the playing field is critical. And to take a in-depth look at the conditions, opportunities and challenges that are imperative to our pathway forward, we invite you to join us on February 9th for our inaugural  State of the Community and Economic Outlook. This event will give us our marching orders for 2022, and we hope you'll join us at ACU’s Hunter Welcome Center for this unique and compelling session.

Finally, I want to thank you for your role that has positioned our community to become and remain competitive. Your support of the Chamber and its effort has made a tremendous difference as we work through all the components of continuous community (product) improvement.

I leave you with this question: how will you, in this new year, be a part of the unified effort to be the best Abilene, Texas, we can be?

Opportunity awaits. I’d love to talk with you about it. Reach out. I’m always on-duty.