Every once in a while you will hear a country, a politician or a company described as “playing the long game.” Urban Dictionary defines the phrase as “active participation in achieving goals which may take some time.” Other sources add that those playing the long-game may pass over short- or medium-term gains in order to reach larger and more beneficial long-term goals.
Economic development is a field where winners learn playing the long game produces more benefits. Economies rise and fall over decades so strategies work best when they address long-term opportunities and challenges and answer questions like:
• What are our unique competitive advantages and how can we capitalize on them?
• What new industries are emerging that are right for our region? How do we attract them?
• How do we preserve viable segments of declining industries?
• What infrastructure, sites and buildings need to be in place 5, 10, 20 years from…