When doing business in Boston, Cambridge and the rest of Massachusetts, you can win big. But here are three things you need to know:
Don’t rely on posted signs – you need a guide.
Literally this is true. There are at least three different Cambridge Streets in Boston and Cambridge, and no sign in the big tunnel for how to get to the Convention Center! And there is no square in any of the big Squares either. But I also mean metaphorically. Inside tracks are everywhere but hard to find. Once you are on them, the region has many powerful forces leaning toward being helpful to newcomers - despite all of the other things you hear.
Adopt a giving, sharing, contributing stance.
This area runs on a conversation about what you can contribute to the wider purpose of the region. Business leaders are civic leaders. Don’t think for a moment that this means conventional measures of business ambition and success are any less important. But the conversation and the collisions that happen among and between the players are about the big picture. Your force multiplier is your ability to articulate your presence in terms of what you bring to the party. Your ideas, initiatives, choices, policies, points of view, products, practices, etc. There is a thriving culture of public-private partnership and sector specific initiatives from Life Sciences to Clean Energy, Advanced Manufacturing and Regional development – you can find a niche that makes you a familiar face and a player quite quickly. Consider starting with the Boston Foundation to get your civic bearings. They always have something relevant going on that connects to doing business here.
Sports are like Glue Here – Find Yours
I wanted to write Sports and Arts but I think it is really sports. More than most cities I have been to and worked in, this one ties its identity close to the teams that wear the B or the Patriots, who used to wear it (feel free to ask me about that one…). So a piece of advice that might seem super trivial is to find a way to connect to the conversation about the hometown teams. And not just their games! They all have busy foundations sponsoring all sorts of initiatives. Getting involved rapidly accelerates city-wide and region-wide connectivity. The Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins all have active Charitable Foundations with ways to get involved.
Emblem Strategic and Going Local
One of the great strengths of this City is its close-knit fabric. Many mistake that for a lack of interest in or access for newcomers. Understandable. We are a bit reserved and parochial here. But the paradox is that we have been reinvented over and over again now by new Bostonians who came from up the road and all over the world. You might be next. Let us know if Emblem Strategic can help you with a strategy that works and then help you put it into action. We help visionary leaders and innovators with all kinds of footprints all over the world to make their mark here - and we help them do it right.
Emblem Strategic is a business advisory firm that specializes in public affairs and civic leadership strategy. We help exceptional leaders align their values and their value proposition so the business can achieve impact... and advantage.