Strategic Doing

Strategic Doing

Most communities and organizations do not suffer from a lack of planning, but rather an inability to implement the plans that they already have. Strategic Doing is an exciting new approach that helps local communities, regions, and organizations form the collaborations needed to address complex challenges and accelerate the implementation of plans sitting on the shelf.

About the Program

Challenges related to economic vitality; downtown revitalization; citizen health; education; and lack of citizen engagement are present in nearly every community, but why are so many plans gathering dust on a shelf rather than being implemented? Why are so many leaders and citizens frustrated with the lack of action and the inability to solve challenges in their communities or organizations? The reason is simple. Many of the challenges that organizations, communities, and regions face are rooted in a complex set of issues that no person, entity, organization can address on its own and unfortunately, the tools that are typically used to address these challenges are rarely successful. In order to mitigate these issues and put our exciting plans into action, communities and organizations must be able to collaborate with other groups rather than standing on their own. Communities and organizations must take a different approach if they want to take collective action and create a spark that will serve as a catalyst towards bigger change.

How Strategic Doing Works

The Strategic Doing process provides a framework to help various groups identify their assets; develop strategies to link and leverage those assets into new opportunities; and build trust between the groups by identifying initiatives that they can begin implementing immediately. In other words, Strategic Doing is a tool that enables groups to accelerate the implementation of their existing plans.

Unlike traditional approaches to planning and development, Strategic Doing allows civic leaders to design and guide collaborative teams that generate innovative solutions and work with relentless effort to implement those solutions. The key to this approach is that it helps build action-oriented collaborations quickly in order to address challenges that no single entity or organization can address on its own.

Who Uses Strategic Doing?

The Stennis Institute has utilized the Strategic Doing approach with numerous groups from across the Southeast and Midwest. These groups have included economic development agencies, municipal governments, chambers of commerce, private industry, higher education institutions, existing committees, and volunteer groups among others. These groups have turned to the Stennis Institute and the Strategic Doing process for:

Community Development Initiatives

Moving communities forward is a complex process involving multiple people and organizations. In these situations, the organizations, each with a unique set of assets, need a practical approach to designing and guiding collaborations.

Groups Frustrated by Inactivity

For organizations, communities, or regions that are struggling to move forward with existing plans, Strategic Doing can provide the initial "spark" to jumpstart community action.

Regions Struggling to Adapt to the New Economy

An increase the number of communities and regions are turning to Strategic Doing to identify strategies necessary to transition into the new economic world based on their local resources.

Organizations Looking for an Alternative to Strategic Doing

The top-down strategic planning approach does not work well for organizations and communities seeking to address challenges that require collaboration. Strategic Doing allows multiple people and organizations to share assets and identify ways to work together on a common initiative. Through this approach, the group identifies short-term doable initiatives that can be implemented immediately.

Who We've Worked With

The Stennis Institute has worked with these entities on projects that aim to rejuvenate their efforts of approaching challenges:

Mississippi State University’s Health Science Task Force

Capitalizing on health-science assets through Mississippi State University’s Health Science Task Force to serve as catalysts for new research projects and opportunities

Mississippi Development Authority

Developing a West Jackson Neighborhood with the Mississippi Development Authority to stimulate residential and business growth.

City of Corinth

Increasing tourism in the historic City of Corinth, Mississippi with a wall mural downtown.

Crossroad Connection Career Fair

Starting the Crossroad Connection Career Fair in Corinth, Mississippi to help high school students in Alcorn County learn more about college and career options.


Stennis Institute
(662) 325-3328