Secretary Gregory Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Scott Kirsner’s excellent blog post entitled “The Cultural Revolution” made a number of good points, but there was one in particular that I wanted to expand upon. Scott correctly observes that some of the many contributors to a new culture of innovation in Massachusetts are companies that (wait for it) have their headquarters in other states! Talk about a cultural revolution! For as long as I can remember, the prevailing attitude in our state has been that if a company is here, but its headquarters are not, then they are somewhat part of our business community, but not entirely so. I heard from a number of such companies that they feel that they are treated as second-class citizens within our business community and I have seen personally how that happens.
So here’s to hoping that part of our cultural revolution is a recognition that companies that have their headquarters in other states or countries can and do play an enormous positive role in our state, not just as major employers, but as contributors to our culture of innovation. In IT, we are lucky to have Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cisco and others here. In life sciences, we are lucky to have Novartis, Shire and others here. Back in February, a lot of people asked the Governor and me why we were going to the West Coast to visit the corporate headquarters of Microsoft, Google, Cisco and others. What did we think we were going to accomplish by doing that? Our primary objective was actually pretty simple: to convey in person the message that, as far as we were concerned, all of those companies were valued members of the Massachusetts business community