Planting the Seeds to Grow Innovation
The Center’s mission is connecting people and ideas and advancing innovation. 2017 was a year where The Cable Center planted seeds of innovation. 2018 will be a year of growth.
One way that we’ve been fulfilling our mission is through our legacy work, continuing to add to the Barco Library’s collection of oral and video histories. In 2017, we added 17 new histories to grow the world's largest collection of printed, audio and video resources related to the cable and media industry.
We enhanced our collection further by entering the podcast revolution with the release of our own podcast series, Stories from the Headend. This series, produced in-house in our TCC Tech Studios, creatively tells the stories of cable in thematic segments utilizing archival content. In 2018, we expect to release seasons 2 and 3, which will focus on industry innovation and will incorporate live interviews.
The key growth initiative of 2017, which embodies the Center’s mission to connect people and ideas and advance innovation, was the successful launch of the Community of Innovators (COI) pilot.
The cornerstone of COI was The Cable Center’s Intrapreneurship Academy (IA). This 10-week leadership program provided 17 high performing, newly-minted “Intrapreneurs”, from five industry organizations (Charter Communications, ARRIS, Cisco, Evolution Digital, and Liberty Global), with the processes and tools to help them drive innovation within their organizations. The overriding sentiment from the participants and their company executives is that IA’s curriculum is filling a growing need within the work place. Our plans for 2018 are to build on the program’s success, offering both a spring and fall session.
The pilot also included a reboot of the popular Maverick’s Lecture Series, featuring an interview with Julian Brodsky, moderated by Stewart Schley, in conjunction with the DU Reiman School of Finance. DU students and industry leaders were enthralled by Julian’s entertaining and educational stories about the founding of Comcast. In 2018, we will take this series on the road, aligning industry trailblazers with a variety of university audiences.
Another component of the COI pilot was our co-sponsorship of Denver Startup Week’s Pitch Challenge. 18,885 people registered to attend the 2017 Denver Startup Week, making it the largest startup event outside of Silicon Valley. The pitch challenge had more than 10,000 views of the semifinalist pitch videos on YouTube, 350 + attendees at the semifinals and finals; The Center garnered strong social media and logo prominence within the Denver Startup Week community. Judges from the Denver cable community, Rich DiGeronimo, John Gowen, and Tracy Winchester, all expressed enthusiasm for future participation.
Not to be outdone by presidents, comedians and celebrities, this year marks my foray into the world of Twitter. I’ve been using this medium to promote ideas about intrapreneurship and innovation and to tout TCC’s contributions to this effort. Though still a small Twitter player, my 2018 goal is to increase my follower base and contribute to the growing thought leadership around intrapreneurship. Please follow me on Twitter @janahenthorn (I’ll follow you back).
The accomplishments of 2017 were made possible by the support of our Board and the hard working TCC staff. My warmest thanks to all of you. 2018 is already shaping up to be stellar year. Onward and upward!
Jana. L. Henthorn
This winter marks the conclusion of The Cable Center’s first Community of Innovators Intrapreneurship Academy (IA). The Academy is a future-focused initiative designed to educate and empower the next generation of leaders to envision and effect change, to innovate, and to become intrapreneurs within their organizations.
The pilot program welcomed midlevel professionals from ARRIS, Charter, Cisco, Evolution Digital and Liberty Global at its launch on Sept. 11. The 10-week curriculum culminated in a capstone Nov. 13-15, where participants reviewed and processed the lessons they learned throughout the program and heard from several industry executives including, Peter Kiley, Evan Shapiro, Tracy Winchester, David Fellows, Jay Rolls, John Gowen and more. Seventeen participants officially graduated on Dec. 8 at The Center’s holiday luncheon, marking a significant step forward for The Cable Center’s strategically aimed future.
These graduates will play an ongoing role in shaping the Intrapreneurship Academy by advancing intrapreneurial leadership and inspiring innovation within their organizations. The program will, over time, build a community of new leaders who will encourage a culture of innovation that will continue to move the cable industry forward. The Cable Center will hold two Intrapreneurship Academy sessions in 2018; one in the spring and one in the fall. The formal application for participants will launch on January 2. Space is limited. For more information on the Community of Innovators contact Janice Silver, .
Edward D. Breen Technical Archives
On December 11, The Cable Center celebrated the official ribbon cutting of the “Edward D. Breen Technical Archives” and the “Breen Room” meeting lounge. The ribbon cutting was commemorated with a reception and celebration of the many improvements made possible through a generous donation from Ed Breen.
These improvements focused on enhancing the overall presentation of the collections, including additional displays and display furniture, digital and print signage, large prints of historic photos, monitors for educational slideshows, enhanced lighting, reorganization of the collection, and the creation of the Breen Room lounge.
This project would not have been possible without the efforts of our librarian, Brain Kenny, and Cable Center champion, Cathy Wilson, recently retired founder and publisher of Broadbrand Library, and with expert assistance from Ron Hranac, cable industry guru, Technical Leader at Cisco and active member of SCTE since 1979.
For 10 years, Ed Breen was the worldwide sales point person for set top boxes. His own history is tied up in these boxes and is now displayed in the technical archive’s set top box aisle, along with the rest of the engineering and tech side of the industry. The collection as a whole tells the story of the industry from a hands-on perspective, through artifacts, highlighting the prominence of innovation and creation. Ed Breen’s investment helps us to preserve, expand, and share the industry’s rich history.
Design Thinking: Searching for Solutions
The Cable Center created its Active Learning Lab, modeled after the growing Design Thinking methodology, as part of its Lower Level refresh. A concept gaining in popularity, Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving that is solution-focused and action-oriented, promoting creative thinking and iterative prototyping of ideas. In late September, The Cable Center in conjunction with its Senior Fellows Dr. Charles Patti, Dr. Ron Rizzuto and Dr. Maria van Dessel, hosted a five-day Design Thinking workshop with three teams challenged to find new solutions to customer experience (CE) related problems within the cable industry.
The teams went through the entire design thinking process and conducted interviews and tests as part of the problem solving process. By the end of the week, each team presented a project centered on ways they could solve cable customer experience issues during the “onboarding” lifecycle of the customer, using self-service solutions. These solutions were presented by Dr. Patti to The Cable Center’s Customer Care Committee (C5) group in early November.
Design Thinking is a useful tool that can help speed up development of solutions to long-term problems. The Active Learning Lab is available to rent for workshops. The Cable Center also has the expertise to collaborate on Customer Experience and Design Thinking projects. Contact the events department at for space rentals or Dr. Charles Patti at for facilitated workshops.
OUT AND ABOUT
A snapshot of a busy year for the Cable Center.
Mouse over or click images for captions.
The Center's Annual Holiday Lunch and IA graduation
Edward D. Breen Ribbon Cutting
Oral History Taping in NYC
Enjoy our WebVR Holiday Card with our staff represented as Peanuts characters. You can watch the 2D video (above) or view the VR/interactive version here. If you don't have a VR headset you can navigate the card using your mouse or the WASD keys on your keyboard (forward, back, left and right). Click on the people to make them jump!
Click here to view the card. From all of us here at The Center, have a happy and joyful holiday season!