• Print

    Editorial: New Memphis Institute

    The Commercial Appeal -

    What's in a name?

    Quite a bit, if you look at recent name changes by well-known brands and businesses.

    Apple dropped the world Computer from its corporate name in 2007 when the company introduced the iPhone. The name change reflected the company's move into products that weren't just machines on a desktop.

    More recently, Cellular South changed its name to C-spire wireless. This move alerted consumers around the nation that the Southern firm that pioneered cellphone towers was now expanding its role as a national wireless service company.

    A few days ago, the highly-successful Leadership Academy in Memphis unveiled its new name: The New Memphis Institute. This is another noteworthy example of how a good brand can, and should, look to the future and decide if its long-recognized name and all that is associated with it fits with the path ahead.

    The Leadership Academy, which itself grew out of an earlier group known as Goals For Memphis, has a 15-year history in Memphis of training up-and-coming-leaders. The academy's graduates have joined dozens of nonprofit boards and moved up in all kinds of businesses after their year-long stints as academy fellows who are steeped in Memphis 101.

    Yet when looking ahead at the next 15 years, The Leadership Academy concluded that it had all but outgrown its current name and the programming that initially went with it. The old Leadership Academy concluded its future would be built around a more intentional focus on a New Memphis.

    This means putting more attention on training leaders for new and emerging economic opportunities in the metro area. It means working harder to attract and keep innovative, creative people in the region.

    That will be the work of The New Memphis Institute.

    New name. Good move.