Collaborate to Build an Industry

I have had the privilege of participating in some inspiring collaborative efforts.  From 1989 – 1996, I worked at Austin-based SEMATECH, a consortium of large semiconductor manufacturers (including arch-competitors such as AMD and Intel) who engaged in what we called “pre-competitive collaboration.”  These competitors joined forces to help improve the quality and capabilities of the entire domestic supply base.

While living in Austin, I also enjoyed being part of the Greater Austin Software Council. It was a voluntary association of technology entrepreneurs and industry supporters pulling together to develop a robust innovation community.  If you’ve been to Austin lately, you probably noticed the results.

The Idaho Technology Council was formed to provide similar help to the innovation community in the Gem State.

I have also been gratified by people coming together to help grow the supply bases for the Aerospace and Construction industries in Idaho.

Lee Clark, William Partridge, and Patrick Gaasch are the founders of the Idaho Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (IPASC). They are very intentional about creating and leading a collegial group of business owners and industry mentors.

I encourage everyone reading this post to spend some time today thinking about an industry that has an important presence where you live.  Especially if you have heard stories about how important the industry is, or that the industry is struggling in a particular way.  For example, construction contractors in Idaho express frustration about a shortage of skilled workers to hire, and a shortage of specialty subcontractors available to help them complete all the construction projects the GCs have been awarded.

Think about specific ways you can help.  For example, I just attended a meeting of IPASC and led a discussion on the subject of employment law risks. You might be able to help a group apply the lessons you have learned in sales, safety, or supply chain management.

Is there already an industry association in your area?  If not, find a way to form one!

Michael Oswald

Please note: the above post contains educational information. It is not intended as legal advice. Engage an attorney who is licensed in your state to get advice on dealing with any specific legal issue.

© 2018 Michael S. Oswald


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