This week, Anne Hazlett, special assistant to USDA Secretary Perdue, traveled many miles to share some of her key and timely insights with NTCA members in Idaho for our second regional meeting of the “summer tour”. Her timing was spot on with the NOI being released today for the RUS pilot program included in the Omnibus legislation earlier this year. She shared key insights as she and her team work toward crafting rules that make sense and encourage broadband deployment in underserved areas. I enjoyed pulling some small groups of NTCA members over meals to have a more in-depth discussion with Anne, who is extremely passionate about her work and mission of improving rural prosperity.
Add in some really fun, robust discussions on IoT – particularly focused on precision ag, data management and whether or not Alexa really is listening in and if she should ever come out of her box!
A panel of members also kicked around trends and lessons learned from the field – services that didn’t work, ways to extract from markets and how to create interesting new business models. However, one of my favorite “lessons learned” came from GM Charlie Cano at ETEX in Texas (who is one of the funniest engineers who I know!) who shared his staffing formula for success…
Charlie’s point is that the value factor of an employee is tied to their performance, attitude and potential and all of those amazing traits can be obliterated by the resistance to change in this ever-changing, competitive environment…a great perspective from a “doer” on the ground. Change is hard but is certainly never going to be “low key” again.