Archive | May, 2013

Inside a regional innovation cluster

Clusters that accelerate regional innovation are not simply agglomerations of like-situated firms. Instead, regional innovation clusters form around an ethic of open innovation. With open innovation, the presumptions on information sharing are reversed. In the old world of our grandfather’s economy, regional actors presumed that information was confidential unless they took steps to release it […]

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Mapping and linking assets to find opportunities

Strategic Doing provides a discipline for thinking and acting strategically in open, loosely joined networks. Four questions frame the strategy process. On the surface, these questions are simple, but answering them is not easy. On the first question of the Strategic Doing cycle — What could we do? — participants explore their assets and the […]

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In a democracy, civility is not optional

In a democracy, civility is not optional. The reason is simple. Democracy describes the process of self-government. It calls for all members of the group to be equally represented in the making of collaborative decisions. Civility is critical to the democratic process, because it protects the conditions under which  we can make decisions for ourselves. […]

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Education, skills and employment

Over the past months, as the economy has begun to recover, a fog has slowly gathered over the issues of education, skills and employment. Some have begun to question the value of education and the connection of education to employment. They ask, for example, Why are our college graduates underemployed? Others point to the growing […]

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Are metropolitan business plans effective?

Brookings has discovered a new path to economic growth. Or have they? Their new tool: Metropolitan business plans. (Download a briefing paper.) Unfortunately, creating business plans for metropolitan regions is not all that new. In the spirit of sharing what we know, here is my take on metropolitan business plans. First, some background. In 1983, I […]

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A story of sustainable manufacturing

In 2007, a small group of no more than 12 people met in the basement of the White County courthouse, just north of Purdue. We came to explore what steps they could do to move their region of 14 counties toward a sustainable economy in energy efficiency and renewable energy. We started out with the first […]

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Thoughts on developing regional innovation clusters

Federal officials are increasingly interested in leveraging the value of universities and other economic development partners in regional growth.  At the same time, regions are exploring ways to transform economies made less competitive by global competition. Strategically focused regional innovation clusters can accelerate regional transformation. They promote transformation by “linking and leveraging” existing assets — […]

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What is the future for regional strategy?

Summary In this post, I explore how we could design the next generation of regional strategies using a set of interlocking tools and disciplines. These new approaches embrace the realities of continuous change and open networks. Unlike traditional approaches to strategy, this new approach is more agile, resilient and low-cost. Background Imagine the situation. You […]

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Investment priorities for innovation clusters

One of the major challenges in developing regional innovation clusters comes in defining and setting priorities for collaborative investments. Here’s a simple solution. Have participants in the cluster rank investment options according to two dimensions: one on return, one on risk. For each investment option, ask participants two questions: First, how big an impact is […]

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No room for compromise…When ideologues eat our politics

We are seeing what happens when ideologues chew up and spit out our politics: 24/7/365 electioneering has virtually destroyed our federal government’s ability to govern. (C-SPAN last week launched its Road to the White House 2016.) In a democratic system, the politics of governance — as distinct from the politics of elections — really matters. Through […]

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Developing a University’s Two Ecosystems

Universities can develop two distinct, overlapping ecosystems: one targets at start-ups; the second focuses on innovative companies. To date, most […]

Slowly Understanding the Impact of Globalization

In 1984, I joined a boutique consulting firm, an offshoot of BCG. We had two major clients: GE and Volvo. […]

Moving Toward Strategy as a Flexible Process

Strategy is dynamic. Different business units — positioned at different locations on the S-Curve — will face different strategic challenges. […]

Why Trump’s Talks with North Korea Failed

If you are familiar with the dynamics of collaboration, it’s easy to understand why Trump’s talks with Kim Jong-un failed. […]

What’s Next: Ecosystem Strategies

In the US, economic development over the last few months has focused on two big stories: Foxconn and Amazon. Wisconsin […]

Teaching Strategy Skills With Simulation Games

At our Lab at Purdue, we teach the multiple skills of complex collaboration with simulation games. Every organization is facing […]