Archive by Author

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 lured Foxconn with a . Virginia and New York City lured Amazon also with heavy incentives. Opposition in New York led Amazon to pull out.  Meanwhile, the real story in economic development is happening elsewhere. […]

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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 complex, wicked challenges. We are unprepared. Traditional management practices do not work well. We do not yet have the skills or the light weight collaborative processes we need to do deep, shared, strategic thinking quickly. […]

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By Embracing Complexity We Find Simplicity

We’ve grown up with a mechanical worldview that is now getting in the way of our ability to adapt and survive. With this mechanical mindset, we think of the world as a machine. We can analyze facts and execute plans toward a predictable future. We can measure and control outcomes. Traditional strategic planning embodies this […]

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Forget Vision, Coherence and Direction Matter More

In this engaging post, Greg Satell talks about the evolving role of leadership. Facing moribund or dysfunctional organizations, leaders confront the challenge of adaptation. Unless the organization transforms, it will likely die. But how do leaders change direction and establish new, shared values? How do you open the door to new possibilities? In my experience, […]

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Agile Strategy at the North Carolina Research Campus

For the past decade, the North Carolina Research Campus has developed the infrastructure to support innovation in plant nutrition and human health. Now this loose confederation of entities — 8 universities and a private research foundation — is developing a path to move to the next level of its development. You can read more about […]

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The Story of Strategic Doing in Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan continues to struggle through a challenging transformation. For the past seven years, we have been working in Flint, supporting a remarkable core team. Recently, we learned that Bob Brown, our colleague from Michigan State, will be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the university.  The Excellence in Diversity Awards recognize and reward the efforts of […]

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Strategic Doing: Handling Dancing Landscapes

Over on our massively open online course (MOOC) introducing Strategic Doing, a student pointed to the work of Herbert Simon an economist and political scientist. I responded: “There is a lot of Herbert Simon’s work underlying this approach to strategy. As you know, Simon challenged the idea of rational economic behavior. He argued that in […]

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Confusing Technical and Adaptive Challenges

Companies get into trouble when their managers confuse technical and adaptive challenges. A technical challenge has a right answer. It involves linear thinking, root cause analysis,  and straightforward trial and error.  Fixing the bad carburetor on a car is a technical challenge. In contrast, adaptive challenges  have no clear solution. There is no protocol to […]

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Diversity Drives Innovation: Here’s How

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 […]

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Designing platforms to design ecosystems

Ecosystems form on top of platforms. Ecosystem design starts with platform design.  By designing the platform and guiding interactions on the platform, ecosystem builders can encourage the formation of productive networks that link and leverage assets across the ecosystem.  Collaborations self-organize on the platform. Platforms provide a valuable approach to convening willing participants in a […]

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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 […]

By Embracing Complexity We Find Simplicity

We’ve grown up with a mechanical worldview that is now getting in the way of our ability to adapt and […]

Forget Vision, Coherence and Direction Matter More

In this engaging post, Greg Satell talks about the evolving role of leadership. Facing moribund or dysfunctional organizations, leaders confront […]

Agile Strategy at the North Carolina Research Campus

For the past decade, the North Carolina Research Campus has developed the infrastructure to support innovation in plant nutrition and […]

The Story of Strategic Doing in Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan continues to struggle through a challenging transformation. For the past seven years, we have been working in Flint, […]