Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 48

FINAL THOUGHTS
Reassessing the WFH Movement:
Do Employees Want to Return to
Offices?
Business Intelligence,
not Commercialism
NSCA'S BUSINESS & Leadership Conference
(BLC) is truly like no other AV industry event. Yes,
numerous vendor and distributor sponsors - for
example, TD SYNNEX, Herman Pro AV, Kramer
and Lencore - generously supported BLC 2022;
in so doing, they empowered NSCA to stage it
at the Four Seasons and invite top-flight speakers.
However, the conference was almost entirely
devoid of commercialism. That's by design, and
it's also why integration executives return to BLC
year after year - and why they speak glowingly
of the event. Gina Sansivero and Michael Peveler,
friends from AtlasIED - their
company has sponsored BLC from
the beginning - took time to
explain to me why it's a different
sort of conference. The sessions
are about leading your team well;
exhibiting emotional courage;
fostering diversity, equity and
inclusion (DEI); building out your
talent pipeline; and other critical
components of running a business
well. Even the Excellence in
Product Innovation (EPI) Awards
- handed out on the first night - are about not
bells and whistles but, rather, about products'
impact on integrators' businesses.
I have no doubt that the sessions I attended
will boost the prospects of every single
integration executive who participated. For
example, economist Dr. Chris Kuehl's opening
talk on February 24 educated the packed
crowd about economic headwinds. His talk was
concurrent with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and
he acknowledged the probable ripple effects:
oil up to perhaps $150/barrel, nationwide
gas-price averages pushing $5.00/gallon and
further U.S./China relationship deterioration. He
also pointed to slowing GDP growth, marking
a reversion to historical norms of around 2%. In
addition, Dr. Kuehl forecast interest-rate hikes in
the coming months. Indeed, he expects at least
three half-point increases. Although borrowing
The sessions
I attended
will boost the
prospects of
every single
integration
executive who
participated.
will cost more, he said, the silver lining may be
liberalization of banks' lending practices.
Later that morning, keynote speaker and
bestselling author Jon Acuff explained the four
pillars of personal success: relationships, skills,
character and hustle. He explained that each one
is indispensable; then, he dove into the specifics
of each. In a talk packed with quotable nuggets
of brilliance, I scribbled down, " Read less minds;
ask more questions. " Acuff urged integration
business owners to lead their businesses with
empathy. His meaning, he said, amounted to
this: Care about what the people
you care about care about. That,
he said, is the foundation of strong
relationships. Likewise, Acuff
preached the gospel of acting like
a tourist - that is, not being afraid
to ask questions, not pretending
to be an expert and, indeed,
seeking the guidance of experts
who can help you.
Later, brand expert Denise
Lee Yohn argued that the fusion
of brand and culture creates
enormous energy, and savvy business leaders
can harness that energy to achieve higher productivity,
greater engagement and competitive
advantage. She emphasized that the " company
culture " conversation tends to be oversimplified,
however. Culture isn't about verbalizing or
writing down a goal; it's about business leaders
working hard to develop an ethos that suffuses
an organization. And, Yohn argued, a unique
culture is more valuable than a generic " good
culture " that leaves your firm indistinct from
thousands of others. Just as your brand should
be singular, so, too, should your culture be.
As you can tell, BLC 2022 was most certainly
not about specs and speeds. BLC was about
real, actionable business intelligence. And I
can almost guarantee that integration business
owners who attended will reap the benefits for
months and years to come.
Commercial Integrator, (USPS 005-160) (ISSN 2165-9850), Vol.12 No. 4, is published monthly by Emerald X, LLC., 100 Broadway, 14th
Amid the ongoing
COVID-19
pandemic, some
industry observers
have forecast
" the death of the
office. " Massive companies like Twitter
have instituted a permanent workfrom-home
policy for all who want to
avoid commuting. Even in Commercial
Integrator's own pages, we frequently
publish the views of articulate remotework
exponents who argue that the old
days are never coming back.
In this digital download, we ask a
provocative question: Are reports of the
death of the office greatly exaggerated?
If so, what kind of office is viable in 2022
and beyond? For these answers and
more, download this exclusive report.
It features insights from thought leaders
at HOK, a global design firm at the
cutting edge of integrated, out-of-home
environments.
Download at CommercialIntegrator.
com/download/reassessing-the-wfhmovement.
CI
and NSCA's DEIB Webinar:
'Amplifying Diverse Voices'
In recent times,
the commercial
AV industry
- nearly all
of society,
in fact - has had its consciousness
raised about diversity, equity, inclusion
and belonging (DEIB). Those in the
integration, design and manufacturing
communities have come to recognize
the problems stemming from insufficient
representation of females and people
of color at our industry gatherings and
in our corporate boardrooms. Although
we're seeing slow improvement, there's
still much more we can do.
Commercial Integrator and the NSCA
DEI Action Council seek to spur on this
essential conversation and underscore
the importance of DEIB in the commercial
AV industry.
Thus, we presented the most recent
webinar in CI and NSCA's Quarterly
Business Playbook Series: " Amplifying
Diverse Voices: Sharing Perspectives with
Industry Members. "
Watch it at CommercialIntegrator.com.
Floor, New York, New York 10005, 800-440-2139. Commercial Integrator
is a registered trademark of Emerald X, LLC. All reproduction, including photocopying, is prohibited without written permission. Postage Paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER:
send address changes to COMMERCIAL INTEGRATOR, PO BOX 297, Lincolnshire, IL 60069-0297.
48
Commercial Integrator APRIL 2022
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Commercial Integrator April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator April 2022

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