This month I began learning more about Agile, which is the idea of frequent iterations and continually improving a process by quick turnaround times. As I was working my way through a definition of Agile, I suddenly realized that that is exactly what Ed Morrison has been talking about with his Strategic Doing™ approach.

“Teaching people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes, and make adjustments along the way. In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meet the complex challenges we face.” ~ from

Strategic Doing™, as the name implies, is 80% doing and 20% planning.  It can be applied at the individual, small group, or large organization levels to bring about change in the complex world in which we live. This agile approach to economic development is one of the most efficient and effective approaches to creating collaboration and getting things done. The ability to quickly change direction and pivot is going to become crucial as we face an increasingly dynamic environment in terms of economic, political, and social change.

The Russian war in Ukraine has upended multiple industries including steel, iron, energy and agriculture, as well as dozens more that I have no clue about. While talking to a commodity trader about the state of the economy, he said it’s difficult to predict war and that the amount of change going on in the marketplace is stunning because energy impacts agriculture. After all, energy is one of the biggest inputs in the agricultural sector. At the same time, we’re losing 20-30% of the wheat crop that was previously exported from Ukraine, and, as a result, we’re going to see increasing costs across the board for food products that contain wheat. In addition, those same food products are impacted by the increasing cost of energy for transportation.  An agile approach gives us the ability to quickly adapt, try a new approach, evaluate, and adopt it if successful, or quickly move on to the next iteration as necessary.

Strategic Doing™ is about working together to address the challenges before us through collaboration.  We ask ourselves four questions: 1. What could we do together? 2. What should we do together? 3. What will we do together? 4. When do we meet again? (Question 4 is important to hold each other accountable and adjust when necessary.

So, hang in there. By working together, much like sailing, we will continually adjust our course to arrive at our preferred destination.