In Part 1 of this interview held by Maren Lesche, Carla Penedo explained why Celfocus supports intrapreneurs and what are her motivations behind embracing Celfocus’s Intrapreneurship Program.
Now, Carla reflects on the Telco market evolution, tech companies’ focus on training and innovation, and the future of intrapreneurs at Celfocus as a conclusion.
Maren: How has the Telecommunications market changed in recent years from your insights so far and looking ahead? With the above program in mind, how do you see Celfocus’s vision in accelerating start-ups and the local startup ecosystem? What’s the future of such programs?
Carla: Telecommunications has been one of the most dynamic industries. With the paradigm shift to 5G, IoT, and cloud computing, Telecoms will need to adapt at an all-new level and pace. Celfocus is building the right vision to cope with such a challenging future. By embracing the intrapreneurship spirit and boosting the creation of ideas, new solutions, products, or even something else, may emerge. I truly believe intrapreneurship is the future of large corporations. In fact, continuous innovation waves create the culture and the opportunity to enable creative thinkers to drive growth over time. Ultimately, I think success comes down to the ability to embrace change and flourish in the corporate world.
Maren: Many tech companies adopt an agile mindset as the key focus and have strong data scientists within the team. Can you explain why there is a shift in thinking more about training – and basically, getting back to the roots? Why do you think this is so important?
Carla: People often say that a company is only as good as the quality of its talent, I totally agree. The new corporate world has never seen such a generational diversity. New graduates are working side by side with people who have decades of business knowledge. This means that many companies are embracing a real mix of skills, experience, knowledge, and even stamina levels.
People are key assets in any business, consequently, organisations are investing more in training for knowledge updates and even profiles conversion. Hence, it’s crucial to create more agile and flexible roles to cope with such diversity and to get the best out of teams.
Maren: As a leader, you would often deal with topics focused on innovation, culture, and future trends. However, working in innovation is often different from the actual execution and “doing” entrepreneurship. What challenges do you face, as a manager, especially with taking on an “agile mindset”? From the outside, it looks very innovative, yet what’s the reality inside?
Carla: I can say from experience that innovation is a must-have for competition and survival in the telecommunications industry. At Celfocus, we are often “forced” to rapidly innovate with the creation of the best solution for a given Telecom business problem or goal. Besides, clients are more demanding than ever and aware of the future trends keeping the pressure very high. An “agile mindset” provides the opportunity to quickly test, evaluate and react effectively.
Nevertheless, it’s by no means an easy or straightforward task. I firmly believe the biggest challenge is helping the client’s organisation put the practice of innovation in context. Often, it’s associated with transformational processes with cultural and organisational impacts. Therefore, creating barriers that can jeopardise the success of the entire initiative. The struggle is real, especially when people are still concerned about the impact of new technologies introduction – such as AI, may have on their daily jobs.
Maren: Lastly, how do you see your future at Celfocus? And the future of intrapreneurs at Celfocus in 3 words?
Carla: I expect that my future at Celfocus will continue to be related to data-driven business solutions creation, in supporting companies in fact-based decision-making. Analytics, in particular, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are here to stay. And the truth is that data has a key role to play. It will, without a doubt, continue to change our daily lives, opening doors to new business opportunities and keeping us busy in the years to come.
I believe intrapreneurs are the future at Celfocus. The key to succeeding and survive in this technological world lies within our ability to innovate and quickly adapt to a continuously changing environment. Intrapreneurs are the pioneers who have an innate curiosity and creative mindset to explore the unknown and create the future as they go. Celfocus fully understands the need to have this intrapreneurial mindset. In 3 words, I would say the future of intrapreneurs at Celfocus is real, challenging and exciting.