Fox File #82: Strategic Planning

As I have shared before, our executive committee and I recently embarked on a strategic planning process for EDCUtah. This process will be extensive and has included benchmarking against other organizations and a deep dive into our mission, business model, and program.

As part of this process we wanted to take some of what we learned on our recent benchmarking visit and test the priorities of our Board of Advisors on goals, scenarios and issues that we have been thinking about or that frequently arise in our partner communications across the state.

We had the chance to gather that valuable input at our recent Board of Advisors meeting. To give some background, our Board of Advisors is comprised of business leaders, Mayors, and County Commissioners. It’s a diverse group and representative of many communities and industries throughout the state.

I’m going to share the questions we posed, but I won’t share the responses. Why won’t I share? Because we’d love to hear from you on what you would prioritize! We’ll be sending out a more extensive survey instrument this spring, but in the meantime tweet at me to let me know where your priorities stack up amongst this list or what we may have missed.

Here’s the first question we posed to our Board of Advisors. Of the 5 scenarios below, what would you choose as Utah’s Mission Statement?


Make Utah the regional headquarters location of the intermountain west: a targeted approach focusing on white collar, high wage jobs.

  1. Significantly grow Utah’s executive talent pool
  2. Support the expansion of existing businesses to regional headquarters from strategic growth industries    

Unify the state’s economic initiatives: a collaborative, inward-focused approach to steady economic development success.

  1. Align state, county, and local motivations for job creation
  2. Maintain / develop competitive economic development tools
  3. Determine type and scale of possible tax incentives

Ensure economic opportunity for all individuals: a “people-focused” economic development strategy.

  1. Expand Wasatch Front prosperity into rural communities (rural / urban)
  2. Manage the rising cost of living in the state / improve wages (rich / poor)
  3. Improve ethnic diversity in the state (ethnic diversity)
  4. Empower women in business (gender equality)

Focus on the “future” economy: greater emphasis on technology sector recruitment and growth.

  1. Maximize commercialization and research partnerships
  2. Take sector-based approach to the next level
  3. Deepen Utah’s global attractiveness

Create generational opportunities: plan for the future through development.

  1. Realize Inland Port potential
  2. Develop the Point of the Mountain property, particularly as a tech hub
  3. Identify other generational real estate opportunities


We recognize that all of these are important, but nevertheless we wanted to learn what our distinguished Board members would prioritize. As I mentioned above, I’m not going to tell you which Scenario was the most highly prioritized, but I will tell you I was surprised. Gathering input in a structured way is fantastic; the exercise helps us test our own assumptions and hear many different perspectives. I appreciated the candid response from our Board of Advisors and the terrific dialogue in the meeting. Various board members eloquently described why they voted the way the did which expanded the way I was thinking of these Scenarios.

I will look forward to continued feedback and building out the role EDCUtah would play in supporting each one of these scenarios.

In my next Fox File installment, I’ll share the top 18 issues that arise and ask for you to weigh in on those too! In the meantime, reach out. Let me know what your priorities are. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


News tags 
EDCUtah Mon, 12/17/2018 - 19:31