Detroit's comeback has been hard-fought and very public. The city's reinvention has great potential to serve as a real-time case study for other cities, businesses and organizations facing decline and a strong need to innovate.

In this episode, Mike Bills interviews Mike O’Callaghan, chief operating officer of Detroit Metro CVB and Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association board member, about his observations on Detroit’s reinvention.


“Fortunately now, there has been some excitement about the city and there’s reason to come back here.” (3:50)


“The city was so heavily dependent on the auto industry. When things are good they’re great, and when things aren’t so good they’re really terrible.” (5:37)


“At the end of the day it’s all about choice. Deep inside of us we know where we want to go, and in some cases it’s a matter of being brave enough to do it, because there’s always risk.” (15:50)



Around 10:00 O’Callaghan talks about the opportunity in having diverse industries for the City of Detroit, much like associations, that allows for balance when one industry fails.


At 16:20 the topic of PureReinvention’s fourth fundamental - Connect - comes up. Listen as O’Callaghan explains why connection is critical to Detroit’s past and future success. Keep listening through 20:45 to learn how that same fundamental is being applied in the design of the upcoming ASAE annual meeting happening in Detroit in August.



1 - Don't rely so much on just one thing. Like Detroit’s mistake of placing too much emphasis on the auto industry, associations need to step away from the outdated model of having one or two primary offerings for members.


2 - Adding diversity to your offerings provides a greater chance for success and creates possibilities where none have been identified before. 


3 - Seek answers to your problems internally - within yourself and within your organization. It’s the people closest to the process that can help you find strengths and build upon them.

4 - Connecting ideas, needs and opportunity is necessary in any reinvention. For Detroit, connecting goods and services to other communities and industries has opened doors to a more comprehensive experience for visitors and residents alike.
Direct download: Mike_OCallahan_Part_1_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT






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