Strategic Diversity: What It Means and Why You Should Care

The Purdue Agile Strategy Lab has rolled out a new tool: Strategic Diversity. Strategic Diversity builds on the idea of the S-Curve. As we talk about in our workshops, an S-Curve is a useful model for thinking about change. One example we frequently use is “your grandparents’ economy” (eg, the heydey of heavy industry) vs. “our grandchildren’s economy” (eg, digital and whatever is next that we can’t see yet). Economies start somewhat slowly as a new technology is introduced, as in the Industrial Revolution, then grow rapidly (for example, the post-WWII boom). At some point, the technology and the economy are superseded by something new. We are currently in the midst of the transition to the new economy – we are between S-Curves. Our challenge in navigating this transition is to capitalize on the assets that we’ve accumulated in the old economy, and figure out how to migrate them (often in ways that we wouldn’t expect) to create new value in the emerging economy.

In addition to explaining how economies rise and fall, products take hold, or biological systems operate, there’s also an S-Curve that can be used to think about which part of the strategy planning/implementation process you’re most effective in. Your contribution to agile strategy may be best in the ideation phase. Or, you may play the role of helping to scale up. Or, you may be the person that builds systems and processes. All are critical parts of effectively using an agile strategy approach.

The implication: to get maximum impact, your team needs to include people along different segments of that S-Curve.

In partnership with Human Insight, the Lab is offering the opportunity to complete the AEM-Cube, an assessment that will tell you where on the curve you are. You can attend training sessio on April 16-17. Register here.


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Liz Nilsen