Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who YOU are

In our last post, we talked about an incredible little neighborhood in a little micro-city that produced an entire generation of remarkably successful leaders. They achieved levels of success and influence well beyond what would logically be expected.

How did they do it? What were the conditions that helped create a culture of greatness? And how can you reproduce those conditions to create a similar culture in the business eco-system?

One of the most important conditions? Proximity. Not just proximity for anyone. Proximity of people with similar goals.


Though from vastly different backgrounds, the neighbourhood families we talked about in our previous post were moving in a similar direction in terms of goals for their children: 1) arts exposure & competitive athletic experience 2) a university education; and 3) global career ambitions. Their proximity meant the experiences and successes of one child opened the doors of possibility for the others.

In a business eco-system, small and micro-cities need to create proximity for entrepreneurs with similar goals. The budding entrepreneur trying to establish a local retail store is not going to learn much from the scientist trying to commercialize his latest research for arctic oil exploration. And vice versa. Both are great businesses and equally worthy of support—but not the same kind and not in the same space. Proximity, in their cases, could be more of a distraction than a benefit.

Here’s one of our proximity spaces for one of our priority growth sectors. Knowledge Park campus provides 180,000 square feet of Class A office space in 5 buildings for knowledge and technology-based companies seeking or expanding in a global marketplace. Planet Hatch, located in the Knowledge Park, provides both programming and 8000 square feet of physical space for business operations, learning, mentorship and socializing for start-up companies.

Similar industries, similar goals. It’s an environment where like companies feed off each other’s ambitions and successes. One company’s success validates the ambitions of the next company.

Check back for our next post about one of the most critical aspects of building a culture of greatness.