On Topic: Do we know what Corridor residents think about regional collaboration?

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Observant readers will have noted we’ve been writing more about regionalism in Business 380 of late.

So we thought it might be a good time to bring back Ms. Trendingdata to learn what residents might think about the matter. We last spoke with the researcher-consultant back in November on the subject of chief customer officers.

(Attentive readers also will recall that Ms. Trendingdata is fictional. By which I mean I made her up. We’ve also asked her back to ensure satire is still a healthy contact sport.)

So, Ms. Trendingdata, from your focus groups, what do people think about Corridor cooperation?

“Well,” she replied, consulting her printouts, smartphone, laptop, tablet and iPad — and with a furtive peek at what appeared to be a paperback edition of “Fifty Shads of Grey” tucked in her backpack — “there does seem to be what we call a ‘mixed result.’”

Meaning not everyone agrees?

“Let’s not get ahead of our statistics, shall we?” she cautioned. “Approximately 38 to 49 percent think better together is a good idea. However, approximately 16.5 to 23.2 percent have, well, questions.”

Did you say 16.5 to 23.2?


Approximately. But what questions do they have?

“In that core group,” Ms. Trendingdata continued, warming to her numbers, “we found 46.7 to 51.9 percent were wondering what we might call such a region.”

We already have a name, I replied — the Creative Corridor. It’s the assertion that whatever sort of talent a company might need, we have the skills and know-how to make it happen.

“Yes, well, we found that 6 to 8 percent of Johnson and Linn county residents preferred something along the lines of ‘JoLinn.’ But then 5.3 to 12.4 percent wondered if they then would have to call themselves ‘JoLindians’ or ‘JoLinnites.’”

Ms. Trendingdata cheerily forged ahead: “In addition, in response to deeper questioning, 11 to 49.1 percent of respondents aged 16 to 29 suggested some slogans.

“Among the recommended slogans,” she continued, pausing to scan her printouts, smartphone, laptop, tablet and iPad, “were ‘Kernels of Corn’ and ‘Kernels of Knowledge.’”


“Yes, I see what you mean — too many K’s.”

By this point I wondered if Ms. Trendingdata’s firm has put in a good-faith effort. In response, she began to rummage through her briefcase, eventually pulling out an already opened bag of sunflower seeds.

Listen, I insisted, forget about JoLindians and corn. This is important stuff. Did you actually ask anyone about the idea of the Corridor communities working together?

“My firm has tried to stick to financial guidelines you set, so we couldn’t get to everything on your list.”

Is that the same as no?

“Well, yes. No.”

Did you, I continued, ask anyone who doesn’t actually work in your office?

“Well, actually, no.”

My head spinning, I got up to leave.

But Ms. Trendingdata had one more chuck of data to share.

“We did find a sizable group who had a different direction in mind,” she offered.

And what is that?

“It seems 4.3 to 6.1 percent,” she said, “strongly believe we should secede from the United States ….”

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