Graduate Course: Collaborative Leadership & Agile Strategy

SPRING 2020: ENGT 507 CRN 15817 | Mondays 6-8:50pm | KNOY B029

About the course

Collaborative Leadership and Agile Strategy (ENGT 507) is offered both online and on the Purdue West Lafayette campus. Currently, the online version is only available to students in Purdue’s Masters of Science in Engineering Technology and Masters of Science in Strategic Communication programs. The Purdue campus version of this course is open to all Purdue graduate students.

Why this course?

Increasingly, organizations must rely on collaborations with internal and external partners, to both create and capture value. Innovation — the complex process of aligning product and market development — is inherently collaborative and experimental. Yet our traditional approaches to leadership development have been focused on equipping individuals to succeed within top-down, hierarchical, command-and-control organizations. 

Designing and guiding complex collaborations involves a different set of leadership skills. Students will learn and practice these skills in order to leverage the power of networks and manage scalable and sustainable collaborations. The course will introduce agile strategy, an approach to strategy that replaces traditional strategic planning. The course also offers a new set of leaderships skills to design and guide strategic transformation.

In this three-credit, course, delivered both online and on the Purdue campus, learners gain insights into how to apply the 10 Rules of Complex Collaboration and the science behind why they work.  They will learn how to guide groups, team, and organizations in addressing complex challenges.

Part of the content for this course draws Strategic Doing, a proven discipline incubated at the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab over the last several years. These same tools and insights have been taught to industry, government, nonprofit, and higher education leaders in all 50 states and over 140 different countries. The following are just some of the companies and organizations where former students who took this course are working – putting into practice the skills they learned in this course; helping their organizations grow, innovate, and tackle “wicked” problems.

What do learners say about the skills and insights taught in this course?

You can immediately put into practice the concepts you will learn in this course. When I took over a project from someone who left my company I was able to use some of these principles to jumpstart the project. In two weeks, the project team made more progress than they had in the previous two months.

Jon M. | Management

By quantifying the practices that make teams and organizations effective, the content of this course equipped me with the tools I need to succeed in any team environment. Practicing linking and leveraging my assets at my summer internship enabled me to join a more challenging project that aligned with my passions. I highly recommend taking this class and reading the Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership; both are invaluable for leading impactful teams and organizations.

Erin M. | Electrical and Computer Engineering

The approach taught in this course was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during my time at Purdue. It equipped me with a solid framework for working in teams positioned to solve and manage complex challenges. I would strongly recommend; it will serve as the cornerstone of your teams’ success and productivity.

Andrew S. | Technology

What do industry leaders say about the content of this course?

The convergence of the physical and digital worlds…presents unprecedented opportunity for the creation of transformational value…For organizations to take full advantage of the opportunities this convergence presents, they will need leaders with the skills and insights taught in this course. This would be a valuable course for anyone hoping to help companies and organizations chart a pathway forward.

Donald C. | Vice President | Manufacturing

Applying deep underpinnings in social science research, lean/agile experimentation, and refinement through rigorous practice, the skills and insights taught in this course provide a framework to define and execute strategy for our time. This is for any student who hopes to tackle ‘big hairy audacious” problems with effective, complex collaboration. Amazing and exciting learning that unlocks our human potential to grow and prosper!

Patricia S. | Agile Transformation Lead and Coach | Pharmaceuticals

As someone who leads a complex organization, I am always looking for new approaches to how I work. Learning to be proactive and truly collaborative is what you can gain from this course. These skills are not just for the workplace but can easily be applied to all areas of life that involve people coming together for a common goal. These are simple and well-supported skills that anyone can employ in their work and life to make a tangible difference.

Stephen J. | Senior Vice President |Healthcare

Here is some student evaluation data

  • Overall, I would rate this course a 4.9 (out of 5)
  • Overall, I would rate instruction of this course as 4.9 (out of 5)
  • The course explains difficult material clearly – 4.9*

*Responses: [SA] Strongly Agree=5 [A] Agree=4 [U] Undecided=3 [D] Disagree=2 [SD] Strongly Disagree=1

Course goals/learning objectives

By successfully completing this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Design and guide collaborations to drive innovation and address complex solutions.
  2. Apply an agile approach to achieving strategic outcomes.
  3. Clearly articulate the elements needed to create and maintain safe spaces for deep focused conversations
  4. Frame strategic conversations around appreciative questions
  5. Assist others in identifying hidden assets
  6. Surface new strategic opportunities by linking and leveraging assets
  7. Prioritize strategic opportunities using criteria of impact and ease of implementation
  8. Convert strategic opportunities to strategic outcomes with measurable objectives
  9. Define strategic pathways with pathfinder projects and guideposts
  10. Create shared strategic action plans
  11. Design short feedback loops
  12. Nudge, connect and relentlessly promoting ongoing collaboration

Course materials and the instructor

The textbook for this course is Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership, a #1 New Release on Amazon in six different categories: Business Management, Strategic Business Management, Strategic Business Planning, Systems & Planning, Strategy & Competition, and Project Management. In addition to the textbook, journal articles and case from the Harvard Business Review will be assigned.

Scott Hutcheson, PhD. is one of the book’s co-author. He also designed this course and serves as the lead instructor. Scott has extensive experience outside the classroom, working with over 500 clients from industry, the public sector, higher education, and nonprofits from across the U.S. and internationally. He has advised the White House, Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, USDA, and other federal agencies in the design and execution of strategies to help manage complex grand challenges related to economic growth, innovation, and public health. 

He teaches for Purdue University’s Purdue Polytechnic Institute and serves as a visiting faculty member at other universities, both in the U.S. and abroad. Scott designs and delivers courses and learning experiences that have a global reach. He’s taught thousands of learners from over 140 countries. You can learn more about Dr. Hutcheson here.

Need more information?

You can review a copy of the course syllabus here (this is for the online option, syllabus for the on-campus course is coming soon!

Interested, but not from Purdue?

If you have found your way here from another university and are interested in learning more about how you might make this course available to your students, we would love to talk with you. Connect with us here.