Strategic Doing—Putting Good Plans to Work

We all hove done strategic planning. Now it’s time to try strategic doing.

Ed Morrison is founder of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab. A one-time economic development consultant, like many of us one day Ed found himself in a public policy strategic planning exercise thinking There’s Gotta Be A Better Way. He talked to a lot of other people who cared a lot about all sorts of different public and private action, and a core group of practitioners and teachers started working on that better way.

This book is the result. Based on case studies steeped in theory, without coming across as a text book, Strategic Doing is about getting things done. Too often I’ve stared at the plans on my shelves, and wondered why they sit there gathering dust. Now I have some ideas how to focus my plans on implementation—strategic doing is one way to put good planning to work.

Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership, by E. Morrison, S. Hutcheson, E. Nilsen, J. Fadden & N. Franklin, 2019.

  1. Create and Maintain a Safe Space for Deep, Focused Conversation 
  2. Frame the Conversation with the Right Question 
  3. Identify Your Assets, Including the Hidden Ones 
  4. Link and Leverage Assets to identify New Opportunities 
  5. Look for the “Big Easy”
  6. Convert Your Ideas to Outcomes with Measurable Characteristics 
  7. Start Slowly to Go Fast—But Start 
  8. Draft Short-Term Action Plans That Include Everyone 
  9. Set 30/30 Meetings to Review, Learn, and Adjust 
  10. Nudge, Connect, and Promote to Reinforce New Habits 

This book review (minus Ed’s video) originally published in the APA Small Town & Rural Planning newsletter Summer 2019, and was briefly trending #StrategicPlanning on LinkedIn. I first wrote about #StrategicDoing back in 2015.


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