Friday, August 27, 2010

Where is BDPA When It Comes to Innovation? Todd Q. Adams (Cleveland)

Todd Q. Adams is a longtime member of BDPA Cleveland chapter. He shared his thoughts on the open-ended query, Where is BDPA When It Comes to Innovation?:

Ironically, I have engaged a few long standing BDPA members on this very subject. There is this undercurrent of members that believe that BDPA is entrenched in a paradigm that has come and gone. I tend to agree. The discussion of innovation usually takes place within a "technology vacuum"

First of all, the business and technology landscape is forever changed. It is no longer just about innovation. Public policy is changing the technology landscape forever. The Smart Grid, meaningful use of electronic health records, and interoperable public safety communications networks are being driven home by the Obama administration. Billions of stimulus dollars being allocated for technology, and I am astounded by the lack of awareness among black IT professionals. Yet, we can't get past discussions about resume writing and the next release of some vendor software.

Policy determines where broadband infrastructure is deployed, how funding is allocated, and public-private partnerships. The next generation of applications and services are going to empower the consumer in ways that we cannot imagine. BDPA can impact the quality of life for consumers of color for decades to come. The truth is that we are missing the boat.

As a business owner providing consulting services on a fiber-to-the-home initiative in Cleveland, I am the lone brother as usual. I am finding that among BDPA members in general that we are unable to "connect the dots". Verizon and Google are pushing fiber-to-the-home, Cisco is emphasizing home energy management, and IBM is constantly advertising about its Smart Cities initiative. There is a common thread to all of this stuff. Technology is these cases only serve as an enabler to finding more ways to get into your pockets. I am witnessing 20 something year olds of every other persuasion establish some entrepreneurial niche in these spaces. BDPA should also seek to foster such innovation.

I have a case of selective amnesia. All the traditional teachings of job search, climbing the corporate ladder, resume preparation, etc. - I have forgotten them all. If we are innovative, then we will begin to define the landscape. That means out of the box thinking, strategic alliance development, and truly embracing global opportunities.

Bro. Adams shared his candid thoughts on the issue of Innovation and BDPA. Can we have an online dialogue? What say u?

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