The emergence of Strategic Doing: Strategy for open, loosely joined networks

C onventional approaches to strategic planning do not work well to meet the complex challenges we face today. The reason is simple. Strategic planning does not work in open networks. Traditional strategy practices emerged from large hierarchical, “command and control” corporations. A small group of people at the top of the organization did the thinking, while rest of the people did the doing.

In our civic spaces, there are no hierarchies. Yet, we still need to do strategic thinking. And now, more than ever, we need to act strategically. So, how do we focus our limited resources where they are likely to have the largest positive impacts?

In this paper, prepared for an academic conference in Australia last week, I outline the “back story” of Strategic Doing: how it came to be, and where it might be heading.

You can download the paper here.

Ed Morrison is Director of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. For the past five or six years, he has been developing new, agile approaches to strategy in open, loosely joined networks, a discipline he calls Strategic Doing. Prior to starting his economic development work, Ed worked for Telesis, a corporate strategy consulting firm. In this position, he served on consulting teams for clients such as Ford Motor Company, Volvo, and General Electric. He conducted manufacturing cost studies in the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Sweden, and France. Ed started his professional career in Washington, D.C., where he has served as a legislative assistant to an Ohio Congressman, staff attorney in the Federal Trade Commission, and staff counsel in the US Senate. He holds a BA degree cum laude with honors from Yale University and MBA and JD degrees from the University of Virginia.

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