Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024 - 10

AV AS A BUSINESS
Our Industry's Generation Gap
Companies in the integration industry often enjoy great leadership, but they lack a pipeline of
next-generation directors and executives. It's time to close that gap. By Tom LeBlanc
WORKING AT NSCA and in my old
job at Commercial Integrator, I have
gotten a chance to meet countless
integration industry company leaders,
all of whom possess more tried-and-true
business wisdom than most of us can ever
hope to achieve. The companies in our
industry benefi t from strong leadership.
Here comes the " but. "
But... too many integration channel
companies have not done a better job of
creating a pipeline of next-generation
leadership. These strong leaders can't
stay at the helm forever; what's more,
they deserve to take their foot off the
pedal and not worry about the future of
their companies. It starts with identifying
rising stars within their organizations
and making sure they're nurturing those
future leaders.
In too many companies, there appears
to be a generation gap between veteran
leadership and up-and-comers. And that
gap does not exist for lack of eff ort or
concern. The integration industry is distinct.
For many of our company leaders,
it's sometimes diffi cult to envision even
the most well-schooled and experienced
professionals navigating the challenges
that are unique to running an integration
company. That's why, a couple of years
ago, leaders in the NSCA community
created Next-Gen Academy, a set of content
and discussion guidelines that foster
learning around business and leadership
challenges unique to our industry. NextGen
Academy is all about what veteran
company leaders in the NSCA community
wish they had known (or had thought
more about) as they were establishing
their leadership roles.
The goal of Next-Gen Academy is to
help close that generation gap by training
future company leaders and giving them
a great chance to succeed. What has been
lacking, however, is a platform for those
discussions.
Enter XBO Experience
NSCA is launching a very diff erent type of
integration industry event, and it's coming
Nov. 12-13 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Those attending XBO (Excellence in Business
Operations) Experience will be rising
stars and future leaders of their companies.
(This contrasts with the established
leaders who've traditionally attended
NSCA's annual Business & Leadership
Conference.)
BLC will remain NSCA's signature and
fl agship conference that best refl ects
the goals of the association. But primary
among those goals is to help integrators
with their businesses - and addressing
this leadership and generation gap is
something the businesses in our industry
very much need.
XBO Experience is all about the next
generation. The content is based on a
Next-Gen Academy outline. But, using
that as a baseline, it will be planned by
next-gen professionals for next-gen professionals.
The principles will be led and
taught in an innovative and interactive
way. Topics of discussions will include
the following:
■ Managing remote individuals
■ Better understanding personality
traits and not taking a one-size-fi ts-all
approach to management
■ Adapting quickly to changing situations
■ Customer-facing communications
best practices
■ Situational awareness, assertiveness
and diffi cult conversations
■ Problem-solving methods and documentation
best practices
■ Identifying constraints and bottlenecks
in general workfl ow/processes
■ Transforming big ideas into smaller,
executable steps and results
■ How we interact with technical and
non-technical team members
■ Using our strengths and personality to
gain trust and respect
10 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | April 2024
NSCA's BLC 2024, held in Dallas
from Feb. 27-29, seemed to attract
a larger-than-usual number
of next-generation attendees.
■ Issues and fears relating to overstepping
authority
■ The fear of making mistakes
■ Ethics, integrity and honesty
An overarching goal for the companies
in our industry should be for their next
generation of leaders to be as capable and
as successful as those who came before
them. That is not easy to achieve - especially
given the leadership in the industry.
The fi rst step, however, is to work toward
closing that generation gap.
A good goal for this year is to identify
the rising stars and future leaders within
your organization; then, make sure they're
getting the support they need to grow into
their leadership roles. CI
Who Should Attend
XBO Experience?
Identify rising stars at your
company and get them registered
for 2024 XBO, Nov. 12-13 at
Georgia Tech. Put those names
on the wait list! Email Teresa
Solorio at tsolorio@nsca.org and
put " XBO " in the subject line.
DAN FERRISI

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

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