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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. Successful, enduring collaborations emerge from conversations with an underlying structure and trajectory. We have been studying and experimenting with the dynamics of these complex conversations for over a decade at the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Overcoming the tyranny of stakeholders

An academic leader recently connected with me, frustrated. After two years of trying to implement large-scale system change within her university, her team had little to show for it. A relatively small initiative involving 30 students was underway, but little else. When I asked her to describe this process, her strategy, she eloquently explained how […]

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Distinguishing innovation ecosystems from entrepreneurial ecosystems

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the challenge of improving the productivity of the ecosystem surrounding a research university like Purdue. There some interesting reading on the topic, but it appears to me that we are not carefully distinguishing between ecosystems designed to accelerate the formation of new companies and ecosystems designed to […]

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What makes good strategies?

To be effective should a strategy process be “open” with a lot of participation, or more closed to keep it focused? How can a strategy balance long term vision with short term wins? Are metrics important for control, or should we think of metrics more as a tool for learning? All important questions. Scott Hutcheson, […]

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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 […]