Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

3.Moving from Ideas to Actions - Strategic Doing™

Several approaches, techniques, methods for helping a group move to action were included in the “What Is a Forum” section of this how -to guide. Our community issues forums were designed for collaborative group action. To move toward action, our team decided to use the Strategic Doing™ process that engages community members in resource sharing, brainstorming short term actions, and prioritizing to move forward in creating change. Using the Strategic Doing™ process, participants quickly focus on the “doable,” using step -by-step guidance and well-defined timeframes per step. They will walk away with simple action steps they have the capacity to complete

immediately or in the short term. After the report-outs, all the participants walk away with new collaborations that strategically connect existing resources and assets to address the sub-topic area. See Appendix 9: Strategic Doing Flyer that you can use to help explain this process to your planning committee members. What you’ll need: You will need to identify four to five sub -issues based on your research. An audience of at least 20 (for, say, five groups of four), a large group facilitator, small group facilitators (one per group), note takers (one per group), a step-by-step guide/process to lead groups to actionable outcomes using the Strategic Doing™ format.

Timeframe : 2-2.5 hours, including time for group report-outs

What is Strategic Doing™?

Strategic Doing™ is a problem -solving process developed by Ed Morrison at the Purdue Center for Economic Development. It is “fast, iterative, and learn.” (Morrison, 2018). It uses appreciative inquiry as a foundation and formalizes seven successful strategies for community impact:

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 adjust along the way.  Demonstrate high levels of trust and a readiness for change among those engaged.

The Strategic Doing™ process focuses on participants identifying existing assets and creating shared goals. Using a constrained time frame, individuals then focus on doable actions (individual and collective/collaborative). A trained Strategic Doing™ facil itator(s) should be part of your team. This will help you implement the process correctly and allow access to the copyright materials. You can find facilitators at Strategic Planning Consultants: Guidance with Strategic Doing ™ .


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