A headline in last week’s Boston Globe caught my eye: “Gathering of Captains to Ponder Civic Woes.” The story describes how 50 or so business, civic, and political leaders plan to gather at a wooded retreat to discuss tough social issues facing the state of Massachusetts. But will anything come out of this so-called Commonwealth Summit? Will solutions to rising health care costs, state budget deficits, and job losses emerge?
I applaud the efforts of the state’s leaders to explore joint solutions to social challenges. However, I fear the rustic setting and cocktails by the fireplace will not result in a common agenda and a clear action plan. What’s most likely is that these leaders will return to their day jobs with the best of intentions but without the necessary capacity, direction, or coordination to facilitate necessary change. So what’s missing?