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Rebuilding our civic economy

Our future prosperity depends on developing new, collective habits of complex thinking together. At the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab, we have introduced the concept of a “civic economy” to explain the importance of civility to our future prosperity. We have found audiences remarkably receptive to this new thinking. Our civic economy supports our market economy. […]

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Is Collective Impact transformative?

Ever since its debut in 2011, the concept of “Collective Impact” has offered the hope that citizens, acting together, can productively address the “wicked problems” confronting our communities. As set forth in their Stanford Social Innovation Review article, Kania and Kramer explained that collaborative initiatives will yield the collective impact if they meet five criteria: A […]

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Agile Strategy is Like Ocean Kayaking

Today, organizations of all types are facing an uncertain future. While we hope for calm times in which we can make steady progress, we know that turbulence can arise at any moment and throw us off course. Our journey is not unlike the ocean kayaker. Offshore breezes can fire up at any time, and they […]

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Connecting Collective Impact and Shared Value

Are the concepts of “collective impact” and “shared value” connected? If so, how? Consider first the case of collective impact. In their article in the Winter 2011 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review, John Kania and Mark Kramer explained the concept of collective impact by introducing us to StriveTogether, and extensive, yet focused, collaboration designed […]

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Getting on with designing “What’s Next”

Sadly, the world is never quite so simple as politicians would have us believe. Our politicians have, for some time now, been failing to address the real challenges we face. Democratic capitalism involves continuously balancing interests. Governments help us do that. A government, well functioning, complements the market. It serves individual appetites, our shared interests (e.g., […]

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It’s time for regions to start jumping the curve

Most economic development organizations rely on a standard pack of traditional economic development strategies: real estate and infrastructure development, regional marketing; business retention and expansion; support for entrepreneurs; workforce development. Yet, these traditional approaches face limitations in terms of impact. Because these activities tend to be organized functionally – or vertically – within the economic development […]

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Networks: A promising approach to poverty

Across the country, we are dealing with the consequences of the growing disparity in income between the rich and poor. How can we use new thinking about networks and collaboration to address these challenges? A promising pilot project has been underway for some years in Shreveport, Louisiana. Community Renewal International takes a decidedly different approach to the […]

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Rebuilding our industrial commons

For over 30 years, U.S. manufacturing has been in relative decline in the face of relentless competitive pressure.  Rebuilding our relative competitive position in manufacturing will not come easily. Years of manufacturing decline have eroded the “industrial commons” on which globally competitive manufacturing depends. The networks within the industrial commons resemble an “ecosystem” that speeds […]

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Thoughts on the emerging practice of strategy

Strategy practices that emerged from WWII are increasingly inadequate to the task of guiding today’s organizations, communities and regions. Even when they are executed, the results from traditional strategic planning are not very strong. This is not a new insight. Noted strategy theorist Henry Mintzberg pointed this out 20 years ago in his book, The Rise […]

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Conducting strategy with difficult people

When we introduce ideas around agile strategy, some folks get stuck on how the jerks will react.  For example last week someone asked, “What happens when you encounter loud, obstinate people? Don’t they simply disrupt the process?” The answer is, of course, “Yes, if you let them.” One of the beauties of our democracy is […]

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Rebuilding our civic economy

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

Is Collective Impact transformative?

Ever since its debut in 2011, the concept of “Collective Impact” has offered the hope that citizens, acting together, can […]

Step 1: Creating new narratives

In the world of networks, narratives provide guidance. They convey knowledge. They generate learning. They create coherence. They reflect and […]

Agile Strategy is Like Ocean Kayaking

Today, organizations of all types are facing an uncertain future. While we hope for calm times in which we can […]

Connecting Collective Impact and Shared Value

Are the concepts of “collective impact” and “shared value” connected? If so, how? Consider first the case of collective impact. […]

Innovating in a world of complex networks

Betting against the U.S. economy has never been a smart idea. Time and again, our economy has shown remarkable resilience […]