Tessy Britton linked to an article on accelerating civic innovation through “Strategic Doing”. It reminds me greatly of her/the thinking behind the Civic Foundry she’s running here in Birmingham and will also help me articulate some of the ideas behind a community partnership we’re supporting in Birmingham. ON top of that it helps define some of the skills 21st Century Public servants will need. The essence from the article is that doing things is more productive than planning things and that doing works best if you apply these principles…
Now consider another really messy challenge: bridging the manufacturing “skills gap.” With the Advancing Manufacturing initiative in Lafayette, Indiana, manufacturers have joined with the community college and local government to strengthen the collaborations needed for more-productive job training. The initiative is now spreading across Indiana.
Craig Lamb, former executive director of the Corporate College at Ivy Tech, Indiana’s community college system, organized a core team to take on the challenge of filling the manufacturing skills gap. Advancing Manufacturing aligns several organizations (the community college, the workforce board, the city, the chamber, employers, and others) into a functioning unit under a single brand.
According to Lamb, “Strategic doing provided the framework for us to find common purpose. We developed a new program without adding any overhead—every resource came from linking and leveraging existing entities’ strengths.” For Lamb, strategic doing integrated simplicity, inclusion, and strategic focus.
This approach formalizes a set of seven factors that correlate with successful strategies we’ve seen in more than 100 communities across the United States—the more effective the strategy, the stronger the correlation. Successful strategies:
Build on existing assets
Operate with a network organizational structure that connected those assets
Use an iterative planning and implementation process
Decentralize implementation responsibilities among multiple organizations
Move forward with a progression of shorter-term goals
Use metrics to learn what works and make adjustments along the way
Demonstrate high levels of trust and a readiness for change among the those engaged