I recently came across one of the most exciting business plans I've read in my 11 years at Inc. It's well reasoned, impeccably researched, and comprehensive, and it features a clear and compelling vision of the future. What's most unusual is that the future in question belongs to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The document's author is Harvard professor Michael Porter, who uses the four-part methodology he developed in his book The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Titled Toward a Shared Economic Vision for Massachusetts, the plan should be required reading for anyone involved in local, state, or federal policy-making. You can get a copy by sending a check for $7.80 to the State House Book Store, Room 16, Boston, MA 02133 (617-727-2834).
Whether the plan gets implemented, of course, remains to be seen. The public-sector process of debate, consensus building, and compromise often seems to guarantee that a plan such as this one emerges bearing no resemblance to the original. The Clinton administration would do well to watch closely what happens to Massachusetts's "shared vision." We'll do the same.* * *