Institute for Innovation and Economic Development

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In today’s world the shift to complexity and need for rapid changes is all around us- in our corporations, institutions, and non-profit organizations. Finding ways to assist leaders to implement change and learn new ways of thinking, behaving and doing is what the offerings that Institute for Innovation and Economic Development provides. The chart highlights the areas of focus and the available programs. The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development supports students, industry, and government with university resources in four areas:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Economic and Community Development
  • Corporate Consulting
  • Collaborative Agile Strategy Consulting

•      Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Supporting the University and regional need for building a strong entrepreneurial and business creation culture the Institute hosts the Generator, UNA’s student incubator and co-working space. The Generator Student Club meets weekly during the semester. Students are mentored as they participate in startup competitions, launch their own startups and seek financial support. The Institute is a key collaborator on Shoals Shift , the region’s tech movement which includes startup competitions, mentorship weekends, pre-seed and angel funding, and meetups.

 •     Economic Development: The Institute prepares a variety of economic development reports to private and public organizations, including impact analysis, market assessments, feasibility studies, customer perception surveys, retail market analyses, geospatial assessments, and salary surveys.

•      Corporate Consulting:  The Institute provides experts in business services, including human resources, marketing, management, sales, accounting, finance, economics, business law, and information systems. The Institute can help solve real world business problems.

•      Collaborative Agile Strategy:   The Institute is the home of the Agile Strategy Lab and the Strategic Doing Institute which are at the forefront of research in agile strategy and the science of complex collaboration.  Our staff is certified/ trained in several agile strategy methods that can assist a community, organization or company to compete in today’s global world.

Strategic Doing:  teaches people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes, and make adjustments along the way. In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meet the complex challenges we face. Strategic Doing enables leaders to design and guide new networks that generate innovative solutions. It is a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile, and fast—just what organizations, communities and regions need to survive and thrive. The Institute offers workshops and practitioner training to private and public sector organizations.

Rapid Improvement with Lean Tools: is designed to assist institutions to provide better outcomes and reach higher levels of performance. The globally proven 8 step program is taught in two extensive days. The Training includes hands on exercises, case reviews, multimedia demonstrations, and classroom discussions in our instructor-led course. By the end of the training, attendees will be able to strategically implement the tools and techniques right away. Rapid Improvement with Lean Tools is specifically designed for service focused institutions, departments and businesses.  Attendees to prior trainings include Executives, Directors, Business Managers, Deans, Provosts, Administrative and Support Staff.

Innovation Engineering: is a groundbreaking program that provides a systematic approach to innovation.   IE allows you to build systems that make it possible, practical and easy for everyone to innovate, everywhere, in everything they do.  The fundamental concepts of the program include tools and methods for Creating, Communicating and Commercializing meaningfully unique ideas. Taught in as few as a couple of days to a full minor program there are many options available. Our certified black belt trainers can assist your team in using the tools to improve your organization’s results.

AEM Cubeis a cutting-edge management tool that identifies and aligns the strategic diversity within an organization so that performance is optimized. The program assists management to identify how teams interact and how to get the greatest contribution from each individual, team and unit. This in turn maximizes both productivity and profit. UNA is certified to use these 3D tools which visualize where individuals contribute optimally to overall team and organization growth. The AEM-Cube is delivered as an online questionnaire form that provides the an individual with a comprehensive report describing where they add value and what this means for them in a team and organizational setting. The acronym “AEM” is a derived from the methodologies three core dimensions - Attachment, Exploration and Managing contribution. The ‘Cube’ in the name refers to the fact that these three dimensions can be portrayed in a three-dimensional space. Our certified trainers assist your team to understand the AEM Cube report and the actions that they can take to improve results. UNA is the only University certified with AEM Cube in the state of Alabama.

Institute Fellowship:  Student fellows will work on independent projects that support regional entrepreneurial and economic development activity. Each project will be in partnership with a local company, non-profit, or governmental organization and will be mentored by a UNA faculty or staff member.

Smart Start: allows people to form teams, develop ideas into products and teaches innovation skills in a facilitated 1.5 day training program. Focused for students in higher education, high school and for use in a company the tools used are based on the internationally successful Innovation Engineering.

Strategic Foresight: uses six critical steps to develop the foresight you need to navigate in this rapidly changing environment: Framing, Scanning, Forecasting, Visioning, Planning, and Acting.

Strategyzer Business Model Canvas: The business model canvas is a tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. It is a shared language for describing, visualizing, assessing and changing business models. It also describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money. You can use the business model canvas to understand your own business model or that of a competitor!



Leading Experts Available at the Institute Include:

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