AS I SEE IT: Readiness and Alignment Are the Antidote to Risk, or, "Dirt is not a site!" and more Site Selector Truisms

By Janet Ady, President/CEO Ady Advantage


The minimization of risk is one of the key trends impacting site selection. For those of you who have been around for a while, you'll recognize this as a trend that's been around for a long time, and that's true. What's changed, though, is how broadly "risk" is being defined today, and in turn, the breadth of response that is required of successful economic development organizations (EDOs).

First, here is my perspective as to what's driving the requirement of risk minimization.

  • Time and certainty. Time is money, as the old saying goes, and if you can shorten timelines and provide greater certainty, that is obviously going to be more attractive than a competing location with longer timeline and less certainty.
  • Peer pressure. Let's face it: some EDOs are rock stars when it comes to minimizing risk (I'll give you tips below on how you can compete), and the bar is getting ever higher.

What are the implications for EDOs?   The short answer is, be more ready than your competitors, and better aligned among your stakeholder groups. More specifically:

  • Have a good understanding of your talent pool. Labor availability and productivity is at or near the top in most searches. Be prepared to quantify and qualify your workforce.
  • Make sure your "product" is ready. In economic development terms, "product" means available sites and buildings.  Mark Sweeney from McCallum Sweeney Consulting said it best: "Dirt is not a site!" (Read more)


How can we help you meet your goals? Contact Janet at

call 608.663.9218, or connect on LinkedIn


We look forward to hearing from you!

Ady Advantage Services


Ady Advantage (formerly Ady Voltedge) is a comprehensive and integrated economic development and site selection consulting firm. Our clients include more than 300 economic development organizations, for which we provide support on the full range of needs, including economic strategy, market differentiation, and implementation. Our corporate services focus on helping manufacturers and other sectors grow their businesses through an integrated solution set that includes various components, including facility expansion.

Our focus on both sides of the economic development equation is unique. It gives us important insight into the perspectives, challenges, needs, and sensitivities of site selectors and economic development organizations alike, bringing added value to both. 


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