When Deloitte Consulting LLPs John J. Namovic has a moment to spare, he heads for open water. John has been sailing for seven years, has attained multiple certifications, and takes his boat, Knot-a-Clew, out whenever he gets the chance. John describes this pastime as a multisensory experience. It requires the sight of whats happening, the feeling of force on the rudder in ones hand, the pitch of the boat, the direction of the wind and the sound of the crackle of a sail that signals a change in wind direction, he explains. John says sailing is a challenge because you cant control the wind or the waves. In how you handle your boat, you are telling the wind how you want to use it to accomplish your goals or objectives, John says.
He quips that sailing is much like working in the telecom and technology industries in that you are forced to understand and study an ever-changing environment and unpredictable forces. As in sailing or business, when the water gets rocky, if you panic or fail to take evasive action, you can get hurt, he says. In the telecom industry, not recognizing the little signs of shallow water or a sudden wind shift can have a profound effect. You essentially get hit by the boom and have to recover very quickly.
John explores the open seas.
When Johns weekends of sailing are over, he returns to work as a principal and the global head of technology at Deloitte where he focuses on helping high-tech and communications clients achieve dramatic improvements in performance. He assists senior management of his clients to design new growth and innovation strategies and also provides leadership to Deloittes technology account teams globally. Prior to joining Deloitte Consulting in 1990, John lived through the divestiture of AT&T as a member of technical staff at Bell Labs, designing and developing communication systems. He holds BSEE, MSEE and MBA degrees. John also co-authored the book, Corporate Kinetics, which describes the next-generation organizational model that enables organizations to operate in an increasingly unpredictable environment.
Johns first job: In high school, he spent an entire summer counting machine parts. In college, he worked at an electronics company that produced thick film semiconductors. John wrote a software program that ultimately drove the production processes for the company.
Frequent-flyer miles: 1.8 million.
Favorite book: Markings, by Dag Hammarskjold.
Words to live by: Always contribute, never consume.
Thoughts on telecom: While the world is uncertain, the telecom industry is built on uncertainty on top of uncertainty (on top of uncertainty). Thats why this industry is interesting and challenging. One never knows what will happen next year, next month or even tomorrow. Two things are certain innovation and advances in technology will continually be a major underpinning (smaller, faster, cheaper, better). For instance, the overall movement to IP as the underlying technology will enable new forms of connectivity, services and business models. Or that software as a service will provide greater functionality and use as we continually advance towards higher and more ubiquitous forms of bandwidth. The other certainty is that while technology is a critical underpinning to our industry, in the end its about technology serving people, and to enable them to better do the job theyre doing. Without that focus, we will become misdirected.
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