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Colorado Workforce Strategic Doing Pack

Ed Morrison Linda Fowler Denver, CO May 12-13, 2009

This Strategic Doing Pack is designed to guide discussions in your regional meetings. It represents a set of exercises that can help you keep the discussion focused. These exercises are tied to the Strategic Doing Cycle. At the end of the day, you should have touched on all of the topics needed to compile a strategic action plan. Before you begin, you should pass around a sign in sheet to make sure that you have captured all of the participants and their e-mails. You should also designate one or more people to take notes. Capturing the key points of your discussion is vitally important to moving the conversation forward. As you put these notes on the web, it enables people to reconstruct the history of the conversation and to join the conversation at any point. Use workshop exercises as a guide, not a recipe. Modify these exercises as you see fit to fit your circumstances.


The Strategic Doing cycle


With Strategic Doing, you manage collaborations.... Managing collaborations is about managing conversations


Strategic Collaborations are defined by four key questions... To keep your collaboration focused and moving forward, you need to ask and answer these questions... continuously


What could we do together?

How will we learn together?

What should we do together?

What will we do together?

To keep your conversations on track and focused... Use workshop exercises and time limits Here are examples of these workshop exercises... We compile them into a “Strategic Doing Pack”


Decide on a process of coming back together in 30 to 90 days to evaluate your progress and make adjustments

Define one to four areas of Strategic Focus: These become the chapters in your Strategic Action Plan

For each area of Strategic Focus, draft at least one Strategic Outcome

For each initiative, define a clear action plan to define who will do what by when.
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For each Strategic Outcome define one Strategic Initiative (project) with SMART goals to achieve your outcome

What could we do together?
What are our assets? How can we connect them in different ways? What new opportunities do we see? How can we characterize our new opportunities into focus areas? How can we describe them simply?


Define areas of “strategic focus” in general terms Where will you focus your efforts?

Strategic Focus simply helps you organize your Strategic Action Plan. Your plan should have between three to five areas of Strategic Focus. Each area of Strategic Focus can (and probably should) have multiple outcomes. Areas of Strategic Focus are typically broad. Examples: Developing Talent with 21st Century Skills; Developing Entrepreneurship; Supporting High Growth Clusters Strategic Outcomes describe a destination. Descriptions of your destination should include a handful of critical characteristics that define your outcome. What will our region look like, feel like when they get there? What will people be doing? How will the world be different? For example, a Talent outcome could be increasing educational attainment with the following characteristics: 1) Dramatically reduced high school drop-out rates; 2) Post secondary plans for all high school graduates; 3) Expanded internships for all high school students.

Within each area of focus, define one or more “Strategic Outcomes” What is your destination? Where do you want people to go?


Strategic Focus

Strategic Outcome Characteristics

Certified STEM teachers Develop Talent with 21st Century Skills Project based learning in STEM disciplines Pipeline of technicians trained in biosciences Support high growth companies in high growth clusters Skill assessments to identify solid prospects Skills-based training in regional leadership

Strengthen regional leadership and collaboration

Workshop Exercise 1 (Page 1 of 3): Explore Focus Areas and Outcomes Fill out up to four opportunities on this page and the next
What are the assets we can connect? What are the opportunities we What is a “short hand” see when we connect these description of this opportunity? assets? Opportunity 1

Opportunity 2


Workshop Exercise 1 (Page 2 of 3): Explore Focus Areas and Outcomes

What are the assets we can connect?

What are the opportunities we What is a “short hand” see when we connect these description of this opportunity? assets? Opportunity 3

Opportunity 4


What should we do together?
What has the highest potential payoff? What is the easiest to achieve? Which outcome can create the most excitement? Which outcome has the best chance of attracting other partners?


Pick one focus area to complete the Strategic Doing Cycle Our Focus area is:


Workshop Exercise 2 (Page 3 of 3) Define Outcomes in terms of characteristics
Characteristics of your Outcome What can we measure? What does success look like? How will things be different?

Possible Strategic Outcomes for your Focus Area Outcome 1:

Outcome 2:


Workshop Exercise 3 (Part 1) Connect Outcomes to Initiatives

Copy your your most promising Strategic Outcome from the previous exercise here:

Describe one strategic initiative (project) for your outcome Example: Increase the number of teachers with STEM certifications What is the project?



Initiatives need to be defined in term of SMART Goals Simple Measurable Aggressive, but Achievable Relevant Time-sensitive


Workshop Exercise 3 (Part 2) Define Initiatives with SMART Goals (or project milestones)
Name of the Initiative: For this initiative by this date.... Example: September 2009

We will do this....

We compile a list of the number of STEM certified teachers


What will we do together?
What are the most critical action steps in the next thirty days? Who will commit to doing what? Who will commit to putting this work on line?

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Workshop Exercise 4 (Page 1 of 1) Connect Initiatives to an Action Plan for the next 30-90 days
Name of the Initiative: Action step Responsible By When


How will we learn together?
What steps will we take to get connected on line? When will we next meet to revise our work?

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Workshop Exercise 5 Connect Your Work to a Process of Continuous Learning
Date of our next review of our Strategic Action Plan:

Learning Step


By When

Summarize our work from these discussions and put it on the Web (one line)

Set time and place for our next review (face to face) Other steps we can take to stay connected:



With this network form of organization, we are overseeing 50+ initiatives in four areas of strategic focus with a full time staff of 2 people...Our approach is to transform the existing systems through “swarm innovation”