Strategic Doing

Many of today's social and economic issues can be addressed best from a regional perspective. This can be a challenging proposition, as it often requires new ways of thinking and acting.

The Purdue Center for Regional Development, established in 2005, is a nationally recognized center for developing leading edge tools for building competitive regions.

For more information, please contact Peggy Hosea at 765-236-0955 or

What is Strategic Doing?

Regions will transform their economies through innovation, but how can we guide these innovations strategically? Conventional strategic planning does not work well. The process is too rigid, too costly, and too tightly tied to a “command-and-control” mindset.

Strategic Doing enables people in loosely joined, open networks to think and act strategically. Instead of broad visions, they pursue measurable strategic outcomes. Instead of focusing on problems and deficits, they define new opportunities by connecting their assets. Instead of looking for a visionary leader, they recognize that leadership in open networks is a shared responsibility.

Regions take time to learn these new approaches. Old habits, born in a silo mentality, fade as civic leaders practice the common sense disciplines of collaboration. As civic leaders learn how to cross old boundaries, they come to understand the power of “linking and leveraging” their assets to define new opportunities.

Innovations emerge that transform regions. Civic leaders focus their energies on initiatives that are replicable, scalable and sustainable. In Strategic Doing, metrics take on new importance. In order to “learn by doing”, civic leaders use metrics to measure progress and figure out what works. They focus more on facts, and less on politics and personalities.

Perhaps most important, Strategic Doing emphasizes the importance of civility as a strategic asset. Without civility, citizens cannot do the complex thinking needed to innovate. The Purdue Center for Regional Development has developed a full line of workshops and webinars designed to teach Strategic Doing to regional leaders determined to guide their economy to the next level of prosperity.

How can Strategic Doing support regional innovation?

Strategic Doing can ignite the spark of regional innovation. We are in the midst of a major economic transformation...We cannot approach strategy with the same old mindsets. Strategy answers two questions: “Where are we going?” and “How will we get there?” In the past, economic and workforce development professionals relied on traditional strategic planning to answer these questions. The problem is that conventional strategic planning does not work well. It is too slow, inflexible and expensive. That should be no surprise.

Traditional strategic planning was designed for “command and control” hierarchical organizations. We now live in a world of open networks, where no one can tell anyone what to do. Yet, how do we think and act strategically in open, loosely joined networks? Strategic Doing answers that question. Developed by Ed Morrison, Strategic Doing provides a simple set of rules to guide the complex conversations we need to design and implement innovations quickly.

The approach works with groups large and small. Most important, civic leaders do not start over again. Rather, using Strategic Doing, they learn how to move their strategies to the next level. Strategic doing workshops and webinars translate thinking into action. Civic leaders learn that in open networks, sophisticated innovations emerge from following simple rules.

The Purdue Center for Regional Development provides a range of workshops and webinars to share this exciting approach that can build the next generation of strategy for your region.

Who is using Strategic Doing?

Civic leaders across the country are discovering that Strategic Doing provides the ideal platform on which to develop and guide collaborations.

In Maine, the Department of Labor is using Strategic Doing to design new career pathways for high demand careers.

In Brevard County, Florida, civic leaders turned to Strategic Doing to manage the large scale adjustments as the NASA Space Shuttle concludes its mission.

In rural regions across the country, civic leaders are learning that Strategic Doing provides a valuable framework to reposition rural communities in the global economy.

Strategic Doing is easy to learn. Yet, like any discipline, it takes some practice to master. Workshops accelerate this learning. The good news: Strategic Doing is fast and fun.

By guiding complex conversations with simple rules, Strategic Doing provides a pathway to results. You will learn to discover opportunities by "linking and leveraging" your assets; define clear outcomes that you can measure; and keep your strategy on track with simple action plans and regular follow-ups.

Strategic Doing White Paper

Strategic Doing Brochure

You can view videos on the Strategic Doing channel:

Sample Presentations by Ed Morrison:

Please contact Peggy Hosea at 765-236-0955 or to receive additional sample materials.