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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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Comparing Strategic Planning and Strategic Doing

Strategic Doing represents an agile strategy discipline that is distinctly different from how most of us learned the basics of strategy. Traditionally, strategy in organizations depends on a mechanistic, linear process which we have come to call “strategic planning”. This approach does not work very well in complex environments that are continuously shifting. Strategic Doing […]

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Leadership skills for guiding regional innovation clusters

Over the weekend, I began thinking about the new skills that civic leaders need to guide regional innovation clusters. Here’s my list so far. Crossing boundaries and integrating diverse people and activities in a team.– On a personal level, the skill involves thinking outside your box and working in a team with people from other […]

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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 […]

Start-up and innovation ecosystems: Testbeds

It’s no surprise that academic research often lags behind market developments (Brown & Mawson, 2017). What if, to help us […]

The shiny attraction of tax cuts

Years ago, as I was working on consulting teams, we helped companies like GE globalize their production. That meant moving […]

Our out-dated thinking about communities

Our traditional approach to community development no longer works. Consider these facts: The opioid crisis is overwhelming our capacity to […]

To go quickly, go slowly (at first)

I (re)learned a valuable lesson this week. We design and guide new networks to move quickly, to be come more […]

Rebuilding our civic economy

Our future prosperity depends on developing new, collective habits of complex thinking together. At the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab, we […]