We are working with the Purdue leadership to design and guide a set of strategies to support the explosive growth of our undergraduate student body. Today one of the work teams developed success characteristic and metrics for six different strategic opportunities and they did it in 90 minutes. Strategic Doing is fast and lightweight. A welcome alternative to longer more costly approaches to strategy.
Our colleagues in Rockford used Strategic Doing to design this innovative initiative to fill the aerospace talent pipeline. The Rockford paper ran a great article on their work. Read more here.
Rockford, Illinois is a global center of excellence in advanced manufacturing, particularly in aerospace. This critical sector of the economy is threatened by a looming shortage of engineering talent. In collaboration with industry partners and the local community college, Northern Illinois University (NIU) created a community-based, industry-integrated workforce developent solution to address the demand for engineers. Rockford area students can now earn bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and applied manufacturing technology without traveling to NIU’s main campus in DeKalb. Third and fourth year NIU courses are taught by NIU professors on the Rock Valley [Community] College (RVC) campus. Students have paid internships with area companies and are mentored by local NIU and RVC alumni.
Guiding a complex collaboration with simple rules takes practice. We have developed a Trail Map to speed the process. The Trail Maps provides Table Guides with step-by-step, rule-by-rule tips on how to guide a Strategic Doing conversation.
Practitioners will be able to get their hands on the Trail Map in June.
From April 23-25, we conducted our 2 1/2 day Strategic Doing training and The Hague. Fourteen professionals joined us, including four representatives from the library system in The Netherlands and three people who flew in from Beijing. We are conducting our training in The Netherlands with our partner Human Insight. We continue to integrate our work in agile strategy and teams.
Our colleagues from the library system are interested in Strategic Doing to accelerate the formation of collaborations across the library system. Here’s an example: the library partners with the railway system and a leading university to provide continuing education opportunities for commuters. If you go to the airport in Amsterdam, you’ll see another example. There, the library has a section of the airport where passengers can find a quiet, comfortable area in which to read.
Our colleagues from Beijing are working on a high school spin out from the famous Tsinghua University. They are looking to integrate Strategic Doing into that high school curriculum. This development parallels our work with the Purdue Polytechnic High School, where we are working with faculty to integrate the skills of collaboration into the high school curriculum.
You can see a collage from our training here.
Liz Nilsen and Ubaldo Cordova collaborated to create a powerful learning experience over the last week in Puerto Rico. Liz started by assembling a six-member Strategic Doing faculty team. The team included Rena Cotsones and Marco Lenis from Northern Illinois University; Janet Holsten from the University of North Carolina; Michon Hicks from the Department of Employment Services in the District of Columbia. Ed Morrison and Liz from Purdue rounded out the team.
For his first steps, Ubaldo lined up the support of the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust. He also recruited about 40 professionals to take the 2 1/2 day training. From April 5-7, these professionals went through our Strategic Doing 301 training. As a concluding exercise in our training, we jointly designed a one day workshop for about 70 civic leaders from across the island.
Then, a subset of our graduates served as table guides for the workshop on Monday, April 9. We designed the workshop around six strategic focus areas: economic development, community development, innovation, entrepreneurship, education and recovery. In a six-hour session that stretched from 9 AM to 3 PM, the civic leaders designed
seven nine complex collaborations, each with their own Strategic Action Plan. We will continue to work with our team in Puerto Rico to support their new collaborations as they spread the discipline and skills of Strategic Doing.
We have confirmed that we are heading to Puerto Rico for a week, April 4-10. We are working with our colleagues with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, a land grant university. We are providing free services as a contribution to help our colleagues in their recovery. Our host is the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust.
Liz Nilsen has organized six volunteer members of our SD faculty team; 2 from Purdue, 2 from Northern Illinois; 1 from UNC; 1 from Howard.
Everyone is paying their own way. NJIT has made arrangements to pay for food for the training and the community session. Here’s our schedule:
- On April 4, we are meeting with the head of the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust.
- We are doing a workshop from the 5th through the 7th. Right now over 40 people have signed up.
- April 9 we have a community meeting from 9-3:30 in which our trainees will assist. WE have over 100 people signed up.
- April 8 is a day off. 🙂
We’re finding more and more value in the concept of “strategic diversity” – that is, the way in which team members’ cognitive preferences shape their roles on the team. Learning how to optimize that diversity can take your team from average to a true “innovating network” that can solve the toughest challenges.
The AEM-Cube(TM) – developed by our European colleagues at Human Insight – is an assessment of those cognitive preferences. Individuals taking the assessment will learn about how they can best contribute to a team; even better is a whole team taking the assessment and adjusting their assignments and self-management accordingly. Struggling teams will understand why they’ve gone off the rails, while already-strong teams will understand what they need to do to reach their most ambitious goals.
The AEM-Cube has been a valuable tool in Europe for some time – we’re excited to be bringing it to the US for the first time.You can explore the assessment by registering here – take just the assessment, or augment your assessment report with an individualized debriefing session.
Consultants will find particular value in using the assessment with their clients as part of a larger strategy development/execution engagement. “Personality profiles” aren’t enough for a group that wants to achieve transformative results – the AEM-Cube is designed for these challenging contexts. The Agile Strategy Lab can certify you to administer the assessment to your clients – join our first certification workshop April 16-17.
Questions? We’d love to talk with you.
The Purdue Agile Strategy Lab is launching an experiment with “pop-up” classes in agile strategy. A pop-up is an informal class of about 90 minutes in which students engage in interactive learning experience. Working in collaboration with The International Student Peer Coaching Program within the College of Engineering, the Lab launched our first pop-up class on agile strategy Friday, March 30, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
In this pilot, over forty undergraduate and graduate students participated in an overview of Strategic Doing. Using a simulation game, we introduced the process of answering 4 questions by following 10 simple rules. nIn the picture to the right, students are receiving their instructions for the simulation.
The Lab is interested in exploring the idea of pop-up classes with other campus partners. These pop-up classes can expose students to as range of collaboration and communication skills valued by employers. They include:
Agile Strategy.— How to design and guide complex collaborations with Strategic Doing.
Strategic Diversity.— How to assemble a cognitively diverse team.
CommPlexity.— How to communicate complex ideas simply.
Here’s a good example of Strategic Doing put right to work.
Gloria Putnam, with North Carolina Sea Grant, North Carolina State University, attended a workshop we conducted in Delaware With Sea Grant universities in the fall of 2017. This spring, she worked with her colleagues to organize the Debris-Free NC Collaborative Workshop held in February at the NOAA Fisheries Beaufort Lab.
From this starting point, the team is expanding their network and putting ideas and action quickly. By mid March, the news was spreading. See: Groups Try New Strategy on Debris Problem. The article points out: “[T]he benefit of using Strategic Doing for a loosely connected network, like the one in place for the marine debris workshop, is that stakeholders come together and move forward to get more done while paying attention to time and resource limitation.” The article continues:
“The challenge with loose networks implementing jointly prepared strategic plans is that there are often not enough volunteers or needed resources to implement the actions when the plan is complete but with the Strategic Doing approach, ‘you can get started taking action, using assets (strengths or resources) group members already possess, hopefully get some successes early, and build over time.’
“During the workshop, the half-dozen groups came up with 17 ideas, Putnam said, that could help prevent or reduce marine debris. Some of the projects included plastic bottle regulations, public service announcements about marine debris that features children, better marine debris data collection, educating underserved communities on marine debris, expanding ocean-friendly establishment efforts and educational programs.”
We are building an international network of practitioners skilled in the disciplines of agile strategy and collaborative leadership.
Built on the frameworks of Strategic Doing, this network is expanding into new areas such as health care, community development, and ecosystem development for innovation and entrepreneurship. One member of this international network, Darrin Wasniewski, introduced Strategic Doing to about 100 practitioners at the 2018 Main Street Now Conference.
Darrin’s talk introduced his audience to “Community Engagement through Agile Strategy”.
In an upcoming presentation, Kim Mitchell ind Scott Hutcheson will be introducing Strategic Doing to the American Planning Association in their annual conference in New Orleans. You can learn more about this presentation here.