In this community, we are proud of our ability to collaborate and cooperate. Indeed, I believe those values are Utah’s calling card in the marketplace. But one of the things we don’t talk about all that often is our unique ability to “coopete.” 

 

Exhibit A: our friends in Utah’s tech corridor. Although Utah’s tech sector has a diverse product offering and individual companies may not compete head to head for customers, make no mistake that they compete fiercely for talent and capital. However, as pointed out in a recent Forbes article, those companies “lay down their arms” to strategize on how to ensure Utah’s tech boom doesn’t turn into a tech bust. 

That same coopetition is felt amongst those in the public policy/non-profit sector as well. The statewide economic development organizations are adept and finding ways to cooperate for the benefit of the State. EDCUtah receives a tremendous amount of support from our partner organizations in our day-to-day operations and in our larger initiatives as well. I have extreme gratitude for the level of support we receive for our Mega-Sites program, which has advanced significantly thanks to great stakeholder input. Further, we are proud to lend our support to, among other things, the Governor’s rural jobs initiative, the World Trade Center of Utah's inland port exploration, and the Salt Lake Chamber’s Economic Dynamism Blueprint. There is a longstanding understanding that all our efforts will be amplified if we cooperate. That sentiment is as true today as it has ever been. 

But we also “compete” with our friends in statewide economic development. Not for business, but for excellence. When I see the work product of my friends and colleagues I am proud that we have those resources in the state. I am also grateful because it pushes us as an organization to do better. It pushes us to be more efficient, effective, and nimble. And hopefully our work product is equally inspiring to them. So to our friends — thank you. Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration, but thank you also for pushing us towards excellence.

The Fox Files is a weekly message from EDCUtah President & CEO Theresa Foxley.