Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City Needs Vision of Future, Says Stelzer

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City Needs Vision of Future, Says Stelzer

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City needs a "vision" of its future, says Mary Delle Stelzer, who is on leave as corporate advertising manager for Am erican Telephone & Telegrah and now lives in Oklahoma City.

In an environment where businesses are still failing or reorganizing, and the public is not interested in voting for bond issues to fund improvements to the city's deteriorating infrastructure, Oklahoma City needs an "articulation of the combined aspirations of the city's citizens for the city's future," Stelzer said as keynote speaker at The Journal Record Corporate Woman of the Year Award luncheon Wednesday.

Without a vision, there can be no coherent integrated plan for the city's future, said Stelzer, who has AT&T sponsorship of such major projects as the MacNeilehrer News Hour on public television.

"Speaking in a musical metaphor, the vision serves as the sheet music," she said. "We all know it is important to play the same music."

In outline her ideas for that vision, Stelzer said it must embrace the idea of stretch, and it must be realistic, integrated and shared.

"First, an effective vision contains a stretch quality," she said. "It describes a goal within reach, but just barely. It stretches our imagination, challenges our capabilities to achieve it and takes the long view."

The vision must be realistic and practical, and not operationally unobtainable, Stelzer said. It would recognize the city's weaknesses and compensate for them as well as recognize its strengths andplay off of them.

"Thus, for example," she said, "aspiring to be either the ski capital or the major deep sea port for the Midwest does not make much sense for Oklahoma City."

However, aspiring to be a commercial transportation center or the major health center of the Midwest is within the city's reach, she said.

The third characteristic of an effective vision, said Stelzer, is to be coherently integrated vertically, from person to corporate and city to national, and horizontally across all sectors of society, pulling all the goals together. …

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