Some City Hall watchers have worried that Mayor Dan Horrigan has invited too many players to the agenda-setting table. They fret that in doing so, he risks a lack of focus and, eventually, disappointment. On Wednesday, in his State of the City speech, the mayor addressed such concerns, albeit indirectly, or without saying so. He reinforced that there has been purpose and coherence to his first two years in office.

The mayor thinks, and for good reason, the city must change “fundamentally” the way it operates. That view stems from decision-making at the state and federal levels, cities such as Akron no longer enjoying the partnerships they once did. Cities, and regions, must act more on their own.

It also is true, as the mayor reminded, that “we live in a shrinking world, where commerce, talent, information and culture are global commodities.” The competition is stiff. So, an Akron must raise the level of its game.

Don Plusquellic understood as much during his long run as mayor — to the city’s considerable benefit. At the same time, Akron needed a new approach, evident in the troubling numbers, such as fewer households, a higher poverty rate and more office vacancies downtown.

Horrigan has provided as much, in part, by enlisting the many eager to contribute who found little room in the top-down style of his predecessor. The change already has yielded progress, as the mayor recounted in his talk.

City voters approved an income tax increase to advance key services. Additional steps have been taken to improve the city’s financial position. Downtown has a strategic plan, integrated with other initiatives. The city has a housing strategy to hold and attract residents. It has pulled together its support for entrepreneurs and startups, and joined with eBay to aid the cause.

What the mayor unveiled in his speech are next steps. None is more ambitious or challenging than the creation of the Office for Integrated Development. That sounds bureaucratic, and it is. Yet it involves something as simple, overdue and crucial as coordinating the work of planning, economic development and engineering.

The mayor also announced a Great Streets Akron initiative, designed to bring new life to 10 targeted neighborhood business districts, the first full re-examination of city recreation programs in 50 years (!) and a process for the city, Summit County and the Greater Akron Chamber to find ways to work together productively on economic development.

All of that adds to the hard work, and it requires additional players, in particular, the Akron Public Schools and the University of Akron. Essential, too, is that stakeholders and the rest of us, inside and outside the city, grasp the narrative, or the purpose and coherence the mayor brought to the speech — making clear where Akron seeks to go and why.

In that way, those with the energy, interest and commitment are invited to join. Akron isn’t in position to turn away anyone ready to enhance our collective effort.