It seems as if the world almost gave up on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. This is not to diminish the work of tens of thousands of hard-working volunteers and determined residents, but few observers saw the potential for New Orleans to rise again as a world-class competitive city.
But re-emerging as a world-class competitive city is exactly what’s happening. The spirit of Silicon Valley has left the shores of San Francisco Bay and deposited itself on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Jason Meyers, writing in this month’s Entrepreneur, observes that “thousands of new jobs to the tens of millions invested in business development and incentives” have descended upon a newly re-energized Silicon Bayou.
Companies such alternative energy providers, online business exchanges and movie studios are moving into renovated facilities downtown. There are startups, business incubators and venture capitalists everywhere. There is active government assistance. This is a shift for the area, which was dominated by the heavy industrial oil, gas, and manufacturing sectors.
New Orleans recognizes that the road to rebirth will be paved by entrepreneurs. Of course, you shouldn’t have to be a city ravaged by a hurricane to embrace this ethic. Does your company need revitalization, or need to be injected with a new spirit of innovation? Organizations struggling with flatlined growth and calcified corporate cultures can also experience rebirth and new growth by unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit.