Agile Strategy Moves into Main Street

The Lab is building an international network of practitioners skilled in the disciplines of agile strategy and collaborative leadership.

Built on the frameworks of Strategic Doing, this network is expanding into new areas such as health care, community development, and ecosystem development for innovation and entrepreneurship. One member of this international network, Darrin Wasniewski, introduced Strategic Doing to about 100 practitioners at the 2018 Main Street Now Conference.

Darrin leads the Main Street program for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Darrin’s talk introduced his audience to “Community Engagement through Agile Strategy”. Before making his presentation, Darrin reached out to the Lab to get some guidance. Here’s how we suggested the structure is narrative:

  • Main Streets many things to our communities
    • To visitors, they are a welcoming front door to our community
    • To residents, they are our shared commons, where we can come together
    • To entrepreneurs, they provide our best platform for an authentic locally owned business
    • To our children, they are a storehouse of stories and history, a map to our past, and a pathway to our future
  • We all know that in the wake of highways, suburbanization, and sprawl, many communities allowed their main streets to decline.
  • And for over thirty years, since the founding of Main Street, we have been struggling to bring our Main Street back.
  • Part of the problem is that many of us have been using the wrong tool: strategic planning.
  • We in Wisconsin have been applying a different approach: Strategic Doing
    • A strategy process specifically designed for open, loosely connected networks
  • Transforming a Main Street is a messy, complex challenge
    • The expertise for meeting this challenge is in the community
    • Our challenge is to inspire and focus this expertise through expanded collaborations
    • Strategic Doing enables us to design and guides the complex collaborations we need by following some simple rules
  • Case Study 1
  • Case Study 2