« Poetry Center of the UniverseGems in Cleveland's Gravel Pit »

Deaf and Late

WARNING: This is a rant!

Today, on a rare time I read the PD, I saw two items in the business section that got me hot. It wasn't about the writing or editing or dependence on newswire this time. It was on the typical bonehead myopia, squelch filter, and hubris of the so-called Cleveland economic development leadership.

First, the PD reported that Ohio is one of the top medical device manufacturers in the country. Duuuh! I said that for the two and half years I lead NEOBio over four years ago. Don't believe me? Check my quotes in back issues of Inside Business. I said that northeast Ohio had a long and established base in medical devices and that is was one our strengths that should be leveraged. Back then I figured that we were already 4 to 5 years behind in investment on the business infrastructure for growing this sector of the "new hot" industry. Of course, the overpaid self involved moneybag string holders were pushing for biotechnology and whatever the Clinic or Case had on their selfserving agenda. Of course, NOW the muckymucks agree with the findings and even have the gall to take credit for it. Yup, take credit for something that has existed for years, that they ignored even when it was right under their noses, and that is now probably a decade late to the investment party. Wake up and see the history as its made, econ dev "loiter/leaders". If it's in the history books, it's too late.

The second item I saw was that Fund for Our Future wants Nortech to explain why they should exist. Of course, many of us wondered that for years and wondered how they kept getting large sums of money to put out papers that had the same conclusions as Newsweek, Forbes, and Fortune magazines. Oh yeah, they did publish a strategic plan a bunch of years ago that was vague, inconclusive, and had pretty graphics from windows clipart. Also, they seem to not have met many of the ambiguous goals in that document. They did take credit for pulling in money from the many grants that were rewarded to individual entrepreneurs and, you guessed it, the Clinic and Case, even though they never lifted a pen to write any of these proposals for the winners. So now the Tutti Fund of the funds wants Nortech to hire a consultant to tell them what they should do. Bet McKinsey gets the contract, not that Brad Whitehead, the Head of FFF and a former McKinsey-ite, might have some say.

I used to have a small speech about how the goal of NEOBio was that it would cease to exist. It either achieved it's mission and was not necessary anymore, or that the mission was not relevant anymore and so had no reason to exist. It seems that there was a third option and that was that the mission was important, but not enough people cared to do what was necessary.

I felt that the large number of nonprofits in our region was due to their immortality. They simple would not die. They acted, not to fulfill their mission,but like an organism with a prime directive of self preservation. In other words, they "found" missions if the original was not relevant, so they can continue to siphon off public and foundation money. I used NATO as an example. Now I can point to NorTech for a more local flavor.

End of Rant. You can go home now.

Permalink

3 comments

Comment from: milesB [Visitor] Email
milesBNice rant.

Corporations, too, were originally legally designed as temporary entities, to be disbanded after their stated objective was achieved. Not so much anymore...
03/13/08 @ 06:17
Comment from: winston smith [Visitor] Email
winston smithrant n roll, way to goal.
03/13/08 @ 13:12
Comment from: bg [Visitor] Email
bgnice rant - non-profits in the arts are the same way. Reading your ire i thought of Spaces and all the grant money it sucks out to only show selected artists handpicked from the board - not exactly their mission - but for 20 + years crap like that gets our money but does not give back to the taxpayers it feeds off and this region wonders why the pack up and leaveland stickers......
03/22/08 @ 08:17