“We naturally become protective, complacent, and repetitive at anything that we’re good at,” the CEO of Trendhunter.com told the audience at the Raleigh Chamber’s 130th Annual Meeting. “But, by being those things, it means that you will miss out on opportunities.”
Gutsche, the keynote speaker at our Annual Meeting, is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas, which focuses on ways to adapt to change, be disruptive, and out-innovate the competition. Trendhunter.com has more than three billion page views. Gutsche also is an innovation advisor to more than 400 CEOs, billionaires, and big-name brands, including Cisco, Coca-Cola, Hughes Aerospace, IBM, Sony, and Victoria’s Secret.
You can take Gutsche’s Better & Faster Innovation Assessment to discover your innovation archetype and specific tactics to realize your potential faster. Also, you will find out how to maximize your impact on the innovation potential of other colleagues, coworkers, and clients.
“Fight complacency by being insatiable,” he said. “Instead of being repetitive, be curious. Instead of being protective, be willing to destroy.”
The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting also was Better & Faster. Gutsche challenged the audience that, “Everyone wants to get better and faster. It’s just that not everyone puts in the effort.”
He pointed out how smart teams consistently have missed great ideas that were right in their grasp. Gutsche said 52 percent of Fortune 500 companies from 2000 are gone or have been replaced.
But he said your next breakthrough is closer to your grasp than you might think. “Opportunity is everywhere,” said Gutsche. “You need to be able to connect the dots.”
He discussed the importance of aligning yourself with tiny trends that are emerging.
Gutsche’s overall message? “There’s never been a better time to be innovators, creators,” he said. “Now is the time for action. Now is the time to take risks and push your team because nobody else will.”
Gutsche ended his keynote by telling the audience, “Be revolutionary!”
Look to the Future
Gutsche’s address was the culmination of a very successful Annual Meeting. This year, we honored Dr. Stephen Scott, the recently retired president of Wake Technical Community College, with the A.E. Finley Distinguished Service Award.
A true visionary and innovator, Scott made it a priority to cultivate new degree options and, in his 15 years at the helm of Wake Tech, he helped grow it to the largest community college in the state. Wake Tech now serves more than 74,000 students, has expanded to six campuses and training centers, has added competitive athletics, and has increased its total budget from $60 million to $279 million. One in 10 adults in Wake County is served by Wake Tech.
Scott graciously accepted the honor and told the audience, “You, the Greater Raleigh Chamber, are the secret sauce in this community to help grow existing businesses and attract new businesses. You are our past leaders, current leaders, and the future leaders of our community.”
He also encouraged the audience to support the $349 million Wake Tech Bond Referendum, which would fund new healthcare programs, a building and lab space for the automotive and collision repair program, a law enforcement simulation and tactical response center, along with college-wide infrastructure improvements.
That message went hand-in-hand with the Better & Faster theme. Speakers discussed the importance of planning ahead.
“We know the growth is coming, no matter what,” said Jimmy Goodmon, the outgoing chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, and the president and chief operating officer of Capitol Broadcasting Co., Inc. “We can plan for the growth or just leave it up to luck.”
“What we do is not business as usual,” said Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber. “We are driven by innovation and collaboration. From supporting infrastructure and business creation to recruiting new businesses and jobs and developing our region’s talent pipeline, our fundamentals are strong. Our focus and drive to be forward-thinking is what moves us ahead. It’s a pleasure to celebrate the accomplishments we’ve achieved together.”
Goodmon talked about those accomplishments, including announcing nearly 8,000 new jobs and $377 million in investment in the past year, launching the equitable economic development program with the support of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, accelerating the completion of 540, successfully advocating for the 2017 Raleigh Transportation Bond referendum, and forming a new partnership with Innovate Raleigh.
Jim Hansen, the new chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, and the regional president of PNC, discussed how exciting it is to live and work in Raleigh and Wake County, and be a part of the Raleigh Chamber.
“Together, we are charting our future, leading innovation, and creating a region that is prosperous for everyone,” he said. “We are committed to supporting our members by providing programs that foster leadership and offer resources to help your business grow. Whether it’s at C-Suite Perspectives, Coffee with Leaders, or the Young Professionals Network Conference, be sure that you and your team are engaged in your Chamber.”
Hansen also announced that the 2019 Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. Our 2018 ICVLC trip was to Seattle, Washington.
The Chamber also announced that, in lieu of attendee gifts for the Annual Meeting, we are making a donation to the Red Cross Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief fund.
“We are all North Carolinians,” said Cole. “When some of us are hurting, we are all hurting.”
We want to thank all of our sponsors and everyone who helped make our Annual Meeting such a success. We generated a lot of interest and discussion on social media, as well, as our official Twitter hashtag, #AnnMtg18, was the top trending topic in the Raleigh market for much of the day.
Please join us at the Elected Officials Holiday Reception on Nov. 29. We will gather to thank our elected leaders for the work that they do and connect with other Chamber members. Attendees include our U.S. Congressional delegation, N.C. Council of State, members of the N.C. General Assembly from our 13-county region, Wake County Board of Commissioners, Wake County Board of Education, mayors of Wake County municipalities, and Raleigh City Council.
We hope to see you there!