Romer: A bias toward action |

Romer: A bias toward action

Creating new solutions and powering positive change for everyone in our community requires that we seek out new paths and new partnerships wherever we can.

Communities and organizations cannot wait for “the holy grail of perfect,” meaning that it is incumbent on us to act now rather than waiting for the perfect moment when the stars align. This applies to issues ranging from sustainability to transportation, early childhood to housing, and health care to immigration.

Why focus on action? Because it is human nature to come up with reasons for not taking action. It is in our nature to be safe and to conserve energy. As a result, we are inherently programmed to look for risks and reduce the amount of work we need to do in order to survive.

Consider your individual decision making. When weighing any potential decision (action), we tend to first look for reasons that specific action or activity will fail. At the same time, we look for ways that we can get the same benefit from less effort.

Applying this logic to communities or businesses, those who are able to act in an incisive way and focus their energy have a tremendous advantage compared to their neighbors or competitors. Research shows that those who are able to develop the habit for action are many times more likely to be successful in business and in their relationships than people who describe themselves as procrastinators or are unable to take regular action.

This habit is called the “bias for action,” and it refers to the tendency to make decisions quickly and take action on them regularly rather than getting sidetracked by worry or doubt. We need to move from discussion to action as quickly as possible.

A bias toward action is required for communities to thrive. Action isn’t just a feel-good, it’s a strong and even essential business strategy. Community members and business operators must encourage, demand and/or require our special districts and municipalities to think strategically but act quickly.

Bias for action does not mean acting without forethought. Instead, bias for action means having an idea or premise, and understanding quickly what that market thinks of it. We need action around our big issues.

Action is occurring around health care. The Mountain Health Coalition is working closely with Vail Health to create sustainable relief to the high cost of health care in Eagle County by changing the way that individuals and employers negotiate, purchase and manage health insurance and by providing meaningful cost reductions to the local population.

Action is occurring around housing. The Eagle County Workforce Housing Taskforce is working to address the gap in the availability of ownership and rental housing that is affordable for local residents.

Action is occurring around air service development. The EGE Air Alliance is working closely with public partners and private businesses to negotiate with airlines to add new markets and new seasonal flights into the Eagle County Regional Airport.

Action is occurring around early childhood care. Our Mtn Families is working to inform Eagle County’s working families, residents and employers about the importance of safe, quality childcare and early childhood education; the need to create more affordable accessible early childcare education options in Eagle County; and the positive impact that doing so will have on the future success of our families, children and local businesses/economy.

A bias for action is needed and is occurring locally. We do this so our businesses can grow, and our community can thrive.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at

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