The Story of Strategic Doing in Flint, Michigan

F lint, 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 MSU faculty, staff, and students to create and support an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued.

Here’s some background on our work in Flint.

  • We have been working in Flint for 7 years. We have a core team that started rebuilding neighborhoods using Strategic Doing. You can see a short video of our core team here.

  • It started with a partnership between Purdue and Michigan State in an effort to reduce teenage homicides. That work in reducing violence continues with WOW Outreach and Neighborhoods Without Borders.
  • In the time we have been working there, our core team was also led by Tandaji Ganges.
    • Sadly, Tendagi died rather suddenly. To honor his memory, we now have Tendaji Talks, designed to address racism in Flint.
    • Tendaji Talks are led by Donna Ullrich and Bob Brown.
  • Our core team continues to build out our work in Flint. Artina Sadler at the Community Foundation has been building out a new food system in Flint.
    • Learn more about Artina’s work here.
  • Hubert Roberts continues his work with Flint’s youth. Hubert is another powerful civic leader in Flint. You can read about Hubert’s work here.
  • We continue to conduct Strategic Doing training in Flint. Bob Brown leads this work. Recently, Bob recorded a short explanation about how Strategic Doing is transforming lives in Flint. Link.

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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