Inspired to Invent Our Future
Jana Henthorn | February 3, 2020
Friends of The Cable Center,
It was four years ago this month that I took the helm of The Cable Center as president and CEO. The years have quickly passed, but the privilege and opportunity are as clear and present now as they were on day one. If you have been to The Cable Center, you know. From the moment you enter our physical space, you gain a sense of time and purpose. The Daniels Great Hall inspires and the view of the Rocky Mountains stirs our collective spirit. Yet, the real motivation comes from the stories of grit, determination, and independence shared by the original entrepreneurs who defined the way we connect, work, learn, and live.
Inspired by the Past to Chart Our Future
The Cable Center has earned an important distinction as our industry’s storyteller. We celebrate where we’ve been to guide where we’re going. From the Barco Library to the annual Cable Hall of Fame, we honor impact, achievement, and service. We boast an impressive collection of artifacts – from the first cable modem to Glenn Jones’ majestic dragon sculpture. That’s just part of our story. For the past several years, we’ve been driving an impressive and important shift at The Cable Center. We have invested in programs, curricula, and activities that empower today’s industry disrupters, innovators, and leaders to define our new era.
We can definitively say that no industry has as robust a history of entrepreneurship as ours. Iconic founders like Alan Gerry, John Malone, Kay Koplovitz, Ralph Roberts, and Bill Daniels, compel us to move fast, disrupt the status quo, and inspire a new generation of leaders. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we have now established the industry’s first and only Intrapreneurship Academy – an intensive innovation program that gives the next generation of leaders the tools, processes, language, and confidence to advance ideas at their companies. To date, more than 115 graduates are flourishing, generating revenue, and making impact with their innovations.
We continue to invest in programs to forge vibrant connections and conversations about important topics such as Customer Excellence via our C5 group. Through our Innovation Laureates and Mavericks Lecture programs, we are dispatching our industry heavyweights to college campuses to evangelize industry opportunities for new graduates. From IOT to cyber security to streaming to coding – we’re committed to making connectivity “cool”!
Vision 2025 in Focus
As we make strides in these exciting areas, we have embarked on an important organization planning exercise called Vision 2025, an in-depth initiative that allows us to chart our course for the next five years and beyond. We see our future centered on supercharging intrapreneurship, advancing innovation, and creating lasting impact within our fast-changing industry. We will draw from our robust past to inform a bold future. This is an important moment for The Cable Center. The choices we make now will ensure our fiscal strength so that we can serve as both the guardians of our rich heritage while investing in a high-impact future. I am eager to keep you apprised of our journey and the exciting things we have planned. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come!
President & CEO
Intrapreneurs in Action
Spotlight on Nicolás Ramos Maseras, Head of Finance, Discovery Networks, Argentina
Graduate of Intrapreneurship Academy, Class 6
How can a structured program empower a corporate innovator to catalyze the ideas of fellow disrupters without stifling creativity? Nico Ramos Maseras of Discovery Networks addressed this very question when he joined Class 6 of The Cable Center’s Intrapreneurship Academy (IA).
In the summer of 2019, Nico participated in IA’s eight-week course and leveraged IA’s applied learning model to advance a unique concept: a digital system designed to gather ideas and foster team innovation within his organization. This idea originated during Discovery’s Brain School (an internal program to encourage innovative thinking), where Nico’s colleague, María Jose “Majo” Pastore, presented it to the senior management team of which Nico was a part. Nico agreed to work on this project with Majo and bring it to IA as his innovation project.
Dubbed “Discovery Lab,” they created an innovation platform through which employees submit creative ideas for consideration. It was important that their tool inspire and collect ideas, as well as efficiently filter them so senior leaders could regularly evaluate them. Discovery Lab also needed to offer a collaborative forum and a space where employees could expand on their ideas.
Throughout the duration of the IA course, Nico and Majo tackled all aspects of the Discovery Lab platform. They worked with their internal IT team to design the platform user interface and experience. They developed the workflow, forms, and processes for idea submission and approval. They also integrated the capability for senior management to offer their guidance on certain strategic priorities, stimulate feedback, and gain creative input.
IA provided Nico with the tools, skills, and insights to move the platform from inception to implementation.
“We believed this was a good idea, but there were so many unknowns. IA helped me figure out a process, identify the right people, and ask the right questions. I learned how to create a comprehensive business plan and how to prioritize the execution,” said Nico. “It was helpful to get input on my project from fellow IA students, from other companies, and other parts of the value chain.”
Discovery senior leadership is fully behind Discovery Lab, and a test launch in one of Latin America’s regional offices is scheduled for March 2020. “If this works, Discovery’s scale can allow us to expand it to other territories. We can make ideas fly across the globe,” adds Nico.
Through IA’s structured program, Nico and his team have invented a creative solution that encourages others to innovate. What could be more intrapreneurial than that?