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  • Writer's pictureAthenaPSG

Parking Industry at a Crossroads Navigating a Necessary Paradigm

By Heather Matthews, CAPP

In a world that is rapidly embracing the collaborative ethos in every business aspect, the parking, transportation, and mobility industries find themselves at a crucial juncture, seemingly trailing behind in adopting a cohesive approach to innovation and growth.

our industry seems entrenched in age-old competitive narratives that more often focus on rivalry rather than collaboration

While various sectors have adopted the mantra of cooperation and shared success, our industry seems entrenched in age-old competitive narratives that more often focus on rivalry rather than collaboration. This scenario begs an imperative shift in perspective, urging industry players to adopt a more inclusive and forward-thinking stance.

The Pie Remains Unshared: A Call for Renewed Vision

In the broader corporate landscape, the spirit of collaboration has been heralded as the cornerstone of modern innovation, fostering environments where the 'pie' is not only shared but expanded through synergies and partnerships. Unfortunately, these industries, particularly the parking industry, seem to be lagging in this transition, held back by a reluctance to see beyond traditional competitive boundaries.

Instead of fostering a collaborative atmosphere, we continue to harbor an environment of skepticism and rivalry. This approach stands in stark contrast to the prevailing winds of change sweeping through the global business ecosystem, where there's a recognition that the 'pie' is not finite but can grow exponentially through cooperative efforts.

A Discordant Note in a Harmonious Symphony

My recent excursion into the realm of help desk software sourcing for a client, served as a vivid reminder of the disparity in industry mentalities. While I engaged with eight distinct companies, not a single one ventured to name, let alone demean a competitor. This exercise was a refreshing glimpse into an industry environment where the focus lay firmly on innovation and individual merit, a stark contrast to the somewhat discordant notes I have often encountered in our industry.

We seem to be ensnared in a web of negative dialogues that disparage competitors, a narrative that is not only outdated but also counterproductive in fostering a climate of innovation and growth. This disparaging tendency underscores a pressing need for change, urging stakeholders to evolve beyond these narrow confines and envision a future where collaboration is the norm, not the exception.

Bridging the Gap: The Imperative for Collaborative Innovation

As the world gravitates towards a collaborative model, the parking, transportation, and mobility industries cannot afford to remain on the fringes. The need of the hour is a concerted effort to foster alliances and partnerships that can break down existing silos and pave the way for groundbreaking innovations.

This calls for an industry-wide shift in perspective, moving away from a mindset of competition to one of shared growth and mutual respect. By engaging with technology companies, governmental agencies, and community organizations, our industry can begin to cultivate a landscape that embraces diversity of thought and innovation, steering the sector into a future marked by shared success and prosperity.

Charting a New Course

We find ourselves at a crucial inflection point. The global trend is unmistakably leaning towards collaboration, leaving sectors that cling to old narratives at a distinct disadvantage. It's a critical moment for industries to introspect and realign their strategies to foster a culture of collaboration and inclusivity.

As stakeholders and pioneers, the onus is on us to steer our industry towards a future where success is a collective endeavor, not a solitary pursuit. It is time to redefine the narrative, focusing on building bridges rather than barriers. By embracing the collaborative wave that is reshaping the global business landscape, we can all secure a position at the forefront of innovation and growth, proving that indeed, together, we can achieve so much more.

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About Heather Matthews

Heather brings a technical background and over a decade working in all facets of parking and transportation; primarily in the university (educational) markets. She is an accomplished executive leader, entrepreneur, project manager and tech-savvy professional with a wealth of experience managing clients and accounts. Heather has strong customer orientation and communication skills, and she is an expert in impacting business direction with successful leadership decisions and key plan development and implementation. Heather is known for her ability to create operational structures, core leadership teams, and her strategic decision-making and software systems management expertise.

About Athena Partners Strategy Group

Leveraging a specialized network of partners, APSG is a governmental relations and technology consultancy guiding organizations in developing new business and launching solutions across parking, transportation, curb management, rideshare, law enforcement, public safety and sustainability sectors. More at

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