The Ohio State University And The Columbus Way

We completed our second-largest training in agile strategy at The Ohio State University. (Our largest was in Puerto Rico with the University of Puerto Rico-Mayguez).  Sponsored by Ohio State University’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, our training brought together the diverse class from across the university and the community. Participants included  professional engagement staff, professionals from the Office of Research, extension professionals, faculty from the Columbus College of Art and Design, and members of the nonprofit Alliance in Columbus.  The Alliance represents a wide range of nonprofit organizations within Columbus. The Office of Outreach and Engagement is a member of the Alliance and provides staff support.

Featured in the recent book by James and Deborah Fallows, Our Towns, Columbus is noted for its collaborative climate, what they call The Columbus Way. According to Brookings:

Several years ago, at the height of the global recession, Columbus’ business and civic leaders were seeking answers about where growth would come from within the coming decade. The community set bold goals in the development of the 10-year Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy. The plan set out to achieve unprecedented job creation, attraction of capital investment, and an increase in per capita income growth.

Columbus leaders knew that being open to growth and innovation, and to the diverse people that have the ideas and energy to drive the Columbus Region forward, would be key to imagining new goals and possibilities. In a young region with over 150,000 college students, a growing population, and a diverse industry mix, this openness is central to who we are. And it’s complemented by the knowledge that the Columbus Region’s preferred future depends on intelligent people, the prudent use of scarce resourcentional growth.

Stephen Myers, the head of the Office of Outreach and Engagement,  and the driving force between the Purdue-OSU collaboration, sees Strategic Doing as an “operating system” for the Columbus Way.