A newsletter is now up on the site with a short report about my keynote in Tahoe last month for this group. [ link ] Here’s what it had to say:
“The sessions started up early the next morning. The first speaker was futurist Jim Carroll, who discussed Innovation and Strategies for the Future of Rural Telcos. He gave everyone a lot to think about with a number of insights into our generation, the next generation and innovation. Read more…
He pointed out that the attendees were part of the only generation not to grow up with computers at birth, but to have to deal with them. He discussed the fact that our faith in the future has been shaken by the challenges we have experienced in the telecom industry. We’re no longer excited about developments like distance education and telemedicine. It’s difficult to have the courage to go forward in today’s business climate.
This has led to new business realities:’ Aggressive indecision – it’s easier not to make any decisions than to worry about making the wrong one; ‘ Shorter payback expectations and short lead times to alleviate the risk ; ‘ Rapid product evolution (like Wi-Fi); ‘ Hyperinnovation (shorter product life cycles)
All of this has led to a corporate innovation gap. People are no longer willing to stick their necks out with innovative ideas. Carroll emphasized that it’s important to bring back the courage to innovate and think strategically about our companies and communities. The telcos are the folks defining the future of the community by virtue of the infrastructure they put into place. They need to be innovative to provide the best opportunities for our kids and for our community economic development. He noted, “Communities that don’t solve
the broadband divide will find increasingly negative implications.”
He suggested the following steps:
#1 Manage Your Attitude, #2 Accept Inevitability, #3 Anticipate – don’t react, #4 Experiment (again), #5 Take risks (step outside your comfort zone and plan to make a reasonable number of mistakes), #6 Restore your courage, #7 Take it one step at a time, #8 Innovate, #9 Make do and #10 “Just do it.”