Eat your heart out 5 in 5

I have been highly critical of these cheesy, PR-motivated, catchy buzzword, ‘plans’ such as the Prosperity Plan and the ‘5 in 5’ because they throw out these ridiculous objectives and then say nothing about how they are going to achieve them – not resources – not funding – nothing.

Then they fail (re: Prosperity Plan) and the roll out new plans (re: 5 in 5) and the public takes it all in stride.

Check out Kentucky.

I count over 70 different comparative metrics that they are tracking. Directly assessing where they stand against their target and the national average.

A few that I like include:

*Technology-intensive employment as a percentage of total employment

*Technology-intensive establishments as a percentage of total establishments

*Number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards per 10,000 business establishments

*Number of Inc. Magazine’s best 500 companies per 10,000 business establishments

*Industry-performed R&D per $1,000 gross state product

*Federally-performed R&D expenditures per $1,000 gross state product

*University-performed R&D expenditures per $1,000 gross state product

*Percentage of recent science and engineering Ph.D.s in the workforce
Number of patents issued per 10,000 business establishments

*Number of patent attorneys and agents per 10,000 business establishments

*Venture capital disbursements, in millions

*Foreign direct investment per capita

Now, the problem is that New Brunswick would score very badly on almost every one of these 70+ metrics. So, no government in their right mind would actually serve up the real data to the public and then ask to be measured against results.

Except perhaps Kentucky.

In my opinion, and maybe I am out of my mind, this would be a great tool for New Brunswick. It measures a wide variety of key themes from education to business investment to R&D.

Of course, we would have to actually do stuff to get the numbers moving in the right direction.