By Dean Whittaker

For Your Reading List

Leadership is one of the keys to success for organizations. A humorously illustrated booklet written to emphasize this important topic is The Ten Commandments of Community Leadership by Maury Forman and Michelle Harvey. It is a good reminder to boards about the key role they play in their communities and how to improve their efforts. This would be a good tool to engage board members in the organization’s efforts and to orient new board members.  Copies can be ordered through the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development (

The Entrepreneurial Society by David B. Audretsch describes the shift that has occurred in the United State as we have moved from the model of large corporations employing thousands for a lifetime to more nimble (but less secure) small firms that now make up the bulk of the U.S. economy. The author goes on to point out that 85% of the new jobs being created in the U.S. economy are being created by small companies. Professor Audretsch’s view lends credibility to the “grow your own” strategy of many economic development organizations.

On the Web

Getting the “skinny” on demographic information by zip code is now much easier thanks to a new web2.0 tool. allows the user to quickly gather, display and analyze key demographic information by single or multiple zip codes (up to 20).  Take a look at education attainment by zip code to find where those holding advanced degrees live.

The role of iTunes and the iPod is changing the entertainment industry. Now it is impacting education, too. A number of universities including MIT and Stanford are now using iTunes to offer education content.  Take a look at Steve Job’s 2005 commencement address at Stanford University at iTunesU>Stanford>Campus life>Commencement video.  His remarks are fascinating, especially since he was a college drop-out.

For those of you who enjoy ideas, go to and watch the 20-minute videos of “big thinkers” discussing their concepts at the annual TED (Technolology/Entertainment/Design).  Be prepared to spend a few hours, as you will find the thoughts being shared intriguing.  Concepts such as the iPhone came out of the intersection of these three domains–technology, entertainment and design.  Consider the possibility of holding a local “TED”-type conference to focus on innovation within your region’s areas of expertise.