CableFAX Editor in Chief Amy Maclean

The big picture is critical, but anyone who has ever spent a Saturday trying to piece together an Ikea desk only to discover after two hours that the peg holes weren’t drilled deep enough into the wood for screws knows that the details are pretty important too. The key is to find a way to juggle both, but that’s usually easier said than done. Can a big picture thinker succeed without having some minutia-obsessed members on their team? In other words, is it OK sometimes to get a little lost in the details?

I don’t have the answers, but thankfully, I’m going to get the chance to pick the brains of some women who do at WICT’s upcoming Leadership Conference. Bright House pres Nomi Bergman, HGTV gm Kathleen Finch, Turner svp, strategy dev Jennifer Dorian and Discovery Nets Western Europe pres Dee Forbes will discuss big picture thinking in a session Mon afternoon that I’m moderating, and boy, do I have a lot of questions for them.
In preparing for this, I’ve been thinking a lot about cable’s ever-expanding big picture—and I’m not talking about those giant plasma screen TVs that get larger each year at CES. When I started in the industry some 12 years ago, the big picture was primarily linear television. Over time, it expanded to include broadband, HD, DVRs, VOD, telephony, home automation, authentication and the list goes on.  While no one besides Steve Jobs may have seen an iPad on the horizon, the industry’s big picture thinkers were able to quickly understand the potential and implications.
Big picture thinking isn’t always easy. Do you sacrifice some revenue now for the long-term vision? How do you get others—especially those likely to get bogged down in details—to buy in? What sort of trees are getting in your way of seeing the entire forest? Share your questions below, and I’ll pump our panel of experts.

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