In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, change and transformation consulting firm North Highland and Telefónica, one of the world’s largest telecommunications network operators, sponsored a joint Innovation Sprint, bringing together their respective teams to look for new ways to contribute towards the crisis. Following is a Q&A with North Highland Group President and Managing Director Alex Bombeck and Telefónica Connectivity Innovation Director Juan Campillo discussing the Innovation Sprint and the findings. Additional information can be found in the whitepaper, available to read at the end of this interview.
How did the idea for the Innovation Sprint and whitepaper come about?
Alex Bombeck: Telefónica and North Highland have a long-standing partnership, working together for more than 10 years on a range of market-leading, innovative projects. As organizations and our communities started to experience the impacts of COVID-19, we recognized there was a unique opportunity to respond to this crisis by leveraging a bespoke approach to innovation.
What did you learn during the sprint?
Alex Bombeck: We recognized that change and uncertainty will be inevitable, but we have an imperative to begin designing for the post-crisis world today and not wait for all the answers. We need to access understanding and knowledge to build for a better future, now.
Juan Campillo: We are deliberately looking beyond the immediate crisis into the opportunity we see to drive positive change, specifically around the potential of connectivity where Telefónica has deep expertise. Together we believe connectivity is critical to delivering our vision for a post-crisis world, not least because the crisis has shown the need for ubiquitous, reliable and accessible online products and services.
Why should we read the whitepaper?
Alex Bombeck: In the whitepaper, we outline a joint perspective on the unknowns facing us and the opportunities we have to improve the world in which we live. The goal is to inspire innovation in these uncertain times.
Juan Campillo: This white paper combines user insights and deep technology knowledge to describe an optimistic new normality. This has inspired exciting innovation opportunities for organizations ready to embrace the future with us.