Leadership and teamwork lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to today’s business challenges, a decorated retired U.S. Army general told attendees here Wednesday at CompTIA ChannelCon 2018, the technology industry’s premier annual education, networking and partnering event held in Washington, DC.
Retired General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, delivered the keynote speech at the annual conference held by CompTIA, the world’s leading technology association.
“In an increasingly complex world, adaptability is key, but it isn’t easy,” said McChrystal.
He related examples of how the troops he commanded in the Middle East relied on the agility, adaptability and cohesion of small teams, combined with the power and resources of a giant organization.
McChrystal described the practice as “empowered execution.” He encouraged his audience to apply that practice to their organizations.
“It is the ability for the people closest to the problem to make the decision,” McChrystal explained. “If the order we’ve given you is wrong, execute the order we should have given you. This is the outcome we want. Now use your best judgement to get there.”
Also Wednesday at ChannelCon, conference attendees heard from Pete Peterson, president of Xerox Channels at Xerox Corp. Peterson spoke on a range of topics impacting his company and the industry, including the need to attract more young people into the technology workforce.
“I’m a firm believer that you have to start early, to make sure we are developing and steering those students in the right way,” he said.
Peterson also spoke on emerging technologies that are gaining relevance in the marketplace.
“Artificial intelligence is a huge focus for us,” he said, noting that Xerox recently introduced Gabi Voice, a smart, intuitive voice command solution for some of the company’s multifunction printers.
Emerging tech was also the central focus of several breakout sessions Wednesday at ChannelCon.
Technology futurist Ian Khan identified the three biggest technologies that he believes “will take over everything” – artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things.
“Everything else falls under these three core technologies,” he said.
Khan also told his audience that the industry tends to make things more complex than they should be.
“We have to simplify the complexity of technology to really understand how to deliver value,” Kahn said. “IoT is literally about connecting things to the Internet. It’s not about an Internet-connected toaster. It’s about creating value for people and organizations.”
During a panel discussion on how technology solution providers can profit from emerging tech solutions, Robert Senatore, president and chief operating officer, Datat2Go Wireless, said there are many ways to ride the new tech wave.
“You don’t have to create the new technology,” he explained “Fast emerging technologies are a combination of things. It takes many parts, not just the actual technology. You can be part of the enablement of new technology, an integral part of the entire solution. You enable the cool stuff.”
For the latest conference news visit the ChannelCon 2018 Virtual Press Office.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $4.8 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 35 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce.