Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Governance is the process of governing over a social system – like a rural broadband provider. Both of those skills sound easier to implement than they can be, so I’m really excited that we have transformed with the times here at NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and transitioned away from our long-held regional meetings to a new format focused on director training (for both commercial companies AND cooperatives) that highlights both of these skill sets.
We kicked off our new Summer Symposiums last week in Bloomington, Minnesota and I was really proud of our members and how they embraced this new learning opportunity. We pondered key topics like strategic thinking, board policies, cybersecurity considerations for broadband boards, DC happenings, economic development and the role that the local broadband provider can play, roundtable discussions and how to have more productive board meetings. There was even a post-con that allowed folks to come together with their fellow board members to “bring it all home” and share together with a facilitator how they were going to practice what they learned over the course of the two days.
I so appreciated the support of NTCA’s Board of Directors to adapt and shift to meet the industry needs and current Chairman Kevin Beyer (CEO of Farmers and Federated in Minnesota) to be game to travel a little bit this summer and kick off these meetings with me.
There are so many things happening in this industry – never-ending regulatory proceedings (each of which feels critical these days!), interest in rural broadband deployment from policymakers, state initiatives and new board members with more diverse backgrounds – that taking a few days to focus on being a good board member makes perfect sense. For the executives traveling, we also held special executive forum discussions on the industry in general and on the policy front – a little something for everyone! We even had Senator Smith from Minnesota stop in to share some of her thoughts on what is happening in DC these days.
While Savannah in August is unlikely to be “suffering” from an unseasonable cool front when we head there next weekend, the content will keep everyone in the wonderful air conditioning during the day and in time to release folks to explore beautiful Savannah when the sun is setting. Can’t wait!