• Michelle Molina

Strategic Action Planning - Strategic Doing



Strategic Doing provides an alternative to the traditional strategic planning process. Strategic planning usually involves a lot of thoughtful conversations about where the group stands, but they often fall short on the implementation piece. Strategic doing focuses on considering what partners can do together and quickly moving forward with a pilot.


I like to think of the Strategic Doing process as similar to a process you may take when developing an action plan for a project. However, it does involve a little more. In this video, I overview the steps in the Strategic Doing process.


  1. Create and maintain a safe space for deep, focused conversations

  2. Frame a conversation around an appreciative question

  3. Uncover hidden assets that people are willing to share

  4. Link and leverage your assets to create new opportunities

  5. Rank all your opportunities to find your “Big Easy”

  6. Convert your Big Easy into an outcome with measurable characteristics

  7. Define at least one Pathfinder Project with guideposts

  8. Draft a short-term action plan with everyone taking a small step

  9. Set a 30/30 meeting to review progress

  10. Nudge, connect and promote relentlessly to build your new habits of collaboration


You can use these steps to quickly get your multi-stakeholder initiatives thinking strategically while developing an action plan. It would be a good fit for coalitions, collective impact initiatives, or networks. Any nonhierarchical group working on a complex issue.


Resources and sources:

Morrison, E., Hutcheson, S., Nilsen, E., Fadden, J., & Franklin, N. (2019). Strategic doing: Ten skills for agile leadership. John Wiley & Sons.


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