UNA Pressroom

Strategic Doing Event Hosted By Una College Of Business Sparks Ideas For Region!

Oct. 30, 2014

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Bryan Rachal, Public Affairs and Media Relations FLORENCE, Ala. - Strategic Doing has been the topic on most minds at the University of North Alabama. The UNA College of Business hosted Ed Morrison, thought leader and preeminent expert on regional development and civic collaboration, on campus so he could hold workshops and discuss Strategic Doing with regional leaders from a 75 mile radius of Florence. As part of the event, Morrison led an interactive talk on the topic of "Strategic Doing" and how it coincides with regional development in northwest Alabama, southern Tennessee and eastern Mississippi. "The future of the region depends on whether civic leaders can guide conversations in new and different ways. The University of North Alabama is partnering with The Purdue Center for Regional Development to support civic leaders interested in forming new collaborations. As we cross the traditional organizational and political boundaries, we will find new opportunities to build prosperity in the region. We are excited about the prospects," said Ed Morrison, Regional Economic Development Advisor at the Center for Regional Development at Purdue University. "Strategic Doing," a process developed by Morrison, enables civic leaders to form collaborations quickly, guiding them toward measurable outcomes, and making adjustments along the way. The process is being used to reinvent and revitalize many regions. "The response to the strategic doing process that was introduced to the region and on the campus has been outstanding. More than forty leaders from the Shoals community have begun working on pathfinder projects which will impact economic development in our region. UNA has also facilitated this process with leaders from Corinth, MS. We look forward to expanding the reach of Strategic Doing and the University's role in building the economic wealth of the region," said Dr. Greg Carnes, Dean of UNA's College of Business. Around 125 people from the tri-state area attended the events which consisted of an interactive talk and then workshops the following day. Part of the interactive talk included each attendee participating in a strategic doing role play called, "The Game," which provided them with experience in collaboration and moving strategy forward. Florence City Councilman and former UNA professor, Dr. Barry Morris, was just one of the many local regional leaders who attended the event. "This seems to be a very creative way to organize the energies of all those who are dedicated to insuring that Florence and the Shoals continues to be an excellent place to live, work and play," said Morris. ED MORRISON Ed Morrison is the Regional Economic Development Advisor at the Center for Regional Development at Purdue University. For over 20 years, he has conducted strategy projects with economic and workforce developers in the U.S. His work emphasizes the strategic value of focused regional collaborations and open innovation, and network-based models in today's global economy. Morrison developed a new discipline called "Strategic Doing" to accelerate these collaborations. It is now widely used across the U.S. and is gaining attention internationally. His work won the first Arthur D. Little Award for excellence in economic development presented by the American Economic Development Council. STRATEGIC DOING Strategic Doing enables people in loosely joined, open networks to think and act strategically. Instead of broad visions, they pursue measurable strategic outcomes. Instead of focusing on problems and deficits, they define new opportunities by connecting their assets. Instead of looking for a visionary leader, they recognize that leadership in open networks is a shared responsibility. For more information: http://www.pcrd.purdue.edu/What_We_Do/SD/ PURDUE CENTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT (PCRD) The Purdue Center for Regional Development will foster Indiana becoming the nation's leader in supporting creative, regional approaches to development, that build on three core values: A voluntary approach; the power of data, analysis, ideas and information; and the importance of dialogue, social capital development, and collaborative partnerships. The P CRD supports collaborative regional and multi-institutional approaches to problem solving and development. For more information: http://www.pcrd.purdue.edu/Default.aspx UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA also operates a renowned collegiate athletic program in NCAA Division II's Gulf South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin. For more information: http://www.una.edu/