by Van Carpenter, Chair of the DANC Innovation & Leadership Forum
The words “Innovation” and “Leadership” are both used frequently in today’s business environment. However, the scope of their meaning and application are as wide and diverse as the people and organizations using them.
For our purposes we will define Innovation simply as the process of creating something new that has significant value to an individual, a group, an organization, industry or a society. An Innovation thus is a creation that has significant value. Global innovation guru and best-selling author Robert Tucker contends that Innovation is “Everybody’s Business” and is the key ingredient to making yourself indispensable in today’s hypercompetitive world.
Leadership has even more variations of definition. In order to focus the subject, we will be dealing with topics on how leaders can get extraordinary things done in their organizations. It’s about the best practices leaders can utilize to turn challenging opportunities into satisfying success. It’s about how to embrace and lead change. John Kotter, the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School advocates that we should be “Leading Change”. He says in his book by the same name, that “the rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.”
As the Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC) continues to shift and grow in its mission within the state’s defense economy, it is imperative that we as members of this state’s defense economy and of DANC continue to collaborate for innovation results and to become the leaders of change. The Innovation and Leadership Forum will serve as one avenue available to DANC members and guests that will showcase new trends, best practices and useful tools in those areas.
Mission of the Innovative and Leadership Forum
The mission of the Innovation and Leadership Forum (the Forum) is to provide a networking and information platform and discussion groups to empower our members. Within the Forum, participants will learn from expert practitioners and case studies how to best collaborate, communicate and create innovation and provide leadership in our changing NC defense sector environment.
The Forum topics will be driven by our DANC members and what would benefit their particular segments and business. The I&LF will be interactive and consistently striving to utilize innovative communication techniques and mediums to ensure that we get the vital messages of current innovation and leadership thought and practices to our members and our State.
What to Expect
There has been change. Van Carpenter (see short bio below) is assuming the Chair of the I&LF from Susan Bales. Susan has provided strong leadership and has grown the Forum in both form and function for many years. Her expertise and network have been a valuable asset to DANC and specifically to the I&L Forum. Although she is moving on to larger challenges, she will still be available to us for advice and guidance. Thanks for your service Susan…well done!
Going forward, you can expect to see value-driven topics, speakers, experts and deliverables that help us all to deal with the daily reality of integration of Innovation and Leadership into our respective organizations. You can expect lively engaging forums that are worth your valuable time. You can expect downloadable presentation and checklist deliverables for your ongoing reference. You can expect to be polled for your desired discussion topics, for identification of potential speakers and experts that you may have within your network. You can also expect and participate in consistent interactivity on the web and other mediums to further our discussions started in the Forum. Finally, you can expect some informative fun and learning as we explore and develop these topics together.
Specific Areas of Focus
We are still forming up the agenda for the remainder of the year. Your input is needed in the following initial topics. Some of the discussion points being considered are:
- Innovation Trends and Best Practices in Defense
- DOD innovations – What’s down the road?
- Innovations in Contracting and Procurement
- Growth Innovation – both business and personal
- DANC Member Innovations – case studies/presentations on current projects
- Leadership Trends and Best Practices
- DANC Leadership Experiences and Goals – Fireside chats with the Executive Board Members
- Leading Change
- Agile Leadership Techniques and Value
- Leadership throughout the Organization – growing your leadership culture
We Need You!
The DANC Innovation and Leadership Forum cannot succeed without you!
You are the entrepreneur in the Service sector. You are the DOD Prime Contractor. You are the supporting Sub contractor. You are the consultant, coach or procurement specialist. You are a legislator or local government executive. You are a corporate Executive. You are employed in a supporting State agency or Board. Whatever your position or industry, you are a vital member of the North Carolina Defense Sector. Your ability to lead and innovate is the key to solving problems, creating new ideas and processes, collaborating with other businesses, and adding your unique value to DANC and to the Defense economy in North Carolina. Innovation and Leadership are “Everybody’s Business!” Won’t you take action today and join our efforts at the Defense Alliance of NC? We are ready to help you maximize your expertise, time and impact.
Van Carpenter is a global business change agent, advisor and communicator. He regularly advises, coaches, speaks and trains on innovation, creative change, catalyst communications & marketing, and adaptive leadership. Van has over thirty plus years of entrepreneurial and executive experience in corporate, government, military, marketing, agency and entrepreneurial sectors. He brings his unique blend of diverse experience, business acumen, humor, and real-world perspective to both his advice and communication.
Van is a retired Commander in the Naval Reserve. He lives near Clayton NC with his wife Deborah and is currently hanging out in the “basement office” while managing his business consulting and innovation group – Van Carpenter Innovative Solutions. Contact him anytime at 919-539-3499 or email him your topic suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.