Steven Edwards, Ph.D., Distinguished Chair, Professor, and Director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, gives us an inside look at SMU and highlights a new executive program.
Tell us about SMU’s new executive education program and how it benefits our region.
Entrepreneurship in Dallas is catching on like wildfire. Even Fortune 500s like AT&T are seeking a start-up culture to drive innovation. Innovation is great, but must be managed effectively for business to succeed.
The SMU Accelerator is a new Dallas-based learning platform to solve business problems. What does that mean? Executives come together, share, receive coaching and mentorship, solve problems, and bring back solutions to their respective companies for immediate implementation.
Our purpose is to accelerate individuals’ careers with new knowledge while at the same time aiding sponsor companies in DFW with solutions to their most pressing business problems.
Our board members include representatives of Texas Instruments, AT&T, Brinker International, The Dallas Morning News, The Richards Group, and others. This group has identified topics of interest to their businesses. We have contracted with industry leaders to serve as coaches in the intimate setting of the Accelerator.
Our initial offering tackles Digital Disruption and Organizing and Managing for Innovation, with a focus on the Customer Experience and Design Thinking. The Accelerator provides a Digital Essentials Roadmap for Digital Marketing, Social Media, and consultation with working professionals actually implementing Big Data on a daily basis.
Many conferences offer wonderful speakers and best practices, but implementing these broad ideas is difficult. Getting answers to your specific situation solves problems. The mentorship of course leaders is a point of differentiation as they will contribute to building Dallas’ businesses.
The Digital Certificate runs November 14-17 at SMU. Register and read more.
The DRC’s strategic plan has a focus on talent attraction and talent development. Why do you think it is important to attract and retain talent for our region?
As a university, we always want to keep the best and brightest near. Developing talent is what we do and is what the Accelerator is all about. A focus on talent attraction and development fits nicely with SMU’s plan to engage with our broader Dallas community. From my perspective, quality mentorship is critical for future success. The strength and value of the various Universities’ alumni networks cannot be overstated and makes it attractive for our students to remain in Dallas. Retention of high quality graduates and those willing to mentor others creates a self-reinforcing system that powers growth in the area.
How has SMU changed over the last five years?
SMU is on a trajectory of constant improvement, in terms of faculty, facilities, students, and academic rigor. We are an entrepreneurial group and seek to impact the world around us. Our students are active in the community, and programs have been created to support applied work in engineering, education, and the arts, along with many other disciplines.
What is one thing most people don’t know about SMU?
SMU is welcoming, with many great speakers and free events open to the public. It’s also a great place for a walk! The Meadows Museum is a gem, housing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.
We welcome your questions and comments. To request more information about area businesses or to share an idea, contact us: