Widgets Magazine

Hey, Look! A Forest!

While attending the CI Summit in Orlando, FL, we were treated to a wonderful keynote presentation by Roy Spence of GSD&M. Mr. Spence’s presentation carried many inspirational concepts from holding on to the idea in the minds of children all things are possible to holding fast to the idea that you, and your company, need to have a purpose message.
For those unfamiliar with what a purpose message brings to you as an individual or company, it’s similar to the idea of a mission statement but shifts the focus to the actionable angle to emphasize what it is you, or your company, represent and look to do in the world moving forward.
In the AV industry, our purposes are generally very clear. We are solutions and service providers that help people and businesses use technology to the betterment of their lives. We are people that help improve leisure time by providing an immersive experience that brings media to people on a whole new level. We are professionals that assist businesses to improve the communication within their firm as well as with their customers. We are unifying the technological experience with the user experience; that is our purpose as an industry.
Do Good and Be Happy
The last part of Roy Spence’s presentation really struck a chord with my own personal experiences when he quoted Socrates that our goal in life should be to “do good and be happy.” It seems a simple concept but is not always the most attainable thing. All too often we find ourselves trying to keep up with the trials and needs that we might not be paying attention to whether or not we are ‘doing good.’ But as Mr. Spence closed out his thought on this quote, it can often be as simple as “if you think you’re doing good and you’re not happy, you’re not doing good.”
As an example of his own experiences, Mr. Spence talked about flipping through the television channels one night. As he did so he kept returning back to one channel where one of the political talking heads on a 24 hour news network was emphasizing all the negative things going on in the world. The issues weren’t being addressed to discuss resolutions for the problems, but just to call attention to all the issues that currently existed in the world. This sparked Mr. Spence to decide he was going to walk across the country and take a picture of something good every mile.
The following 22 day journey of finding something good, mile by mile, drove home the message in Mr. Spence’s life that the things that you seek are exactly what you’re going to find. This story was a shot to the emotional center of my professional brain because of how often I see stories being shared by professionals that don’t discuss the numbers and specifications of products, but instead look at the concepts and what these new technologies, ideas, and issues could mean to the future of AV, technology, and user experience as a whole, only to have them shot down, torn apart, or ridiculed by those consumed with the minutiae of what currently exists.
A Forest of Possibilities
Technology is the least stagnant part of the modern world. It is continually changing and adapting because it is something that is so easily accessible to people as individuals. That kind of innovation requires a certain amount of entrepreneurship and dreamer mentality that looks to take advantage of a passion in order to move an industry, or possibly the world, forward.
If technology requires a certain amount of dreaming to look to the future in the possibility of what could be, why is there so much focus on tearing down the possibility of what could be? The emphasis on the numbers and specifications belongs in the AV industry when it comes to projects, comparisons, and technological evolution. It is the tangible and measureable part of how we are certain that we are continuing to move forward. But moving forward requires ideas first. There has to be the ‘what if…?’ moment in order to look beyond where we are today.
These numbers and tangibles are the trees. They are what make the industry capable of providing what it is that we offer today. But that doesn’t mean that tangibles are all that we have. Sometimes you have to look beyond the numbers to see the concept of what could be. We are a creative collective of individuals that find back doors and alternate routes to accomplish our goals when road blocks exist. There is no reason to stifle that creativity when it moves beyond just troubleshooting and problem solving.
If someone presents a concept to you about what could be possible in the industry, take the time to absorb that and take that into account for the possibility that it is. That doesn’t it mean it will be successful or even come to fruition. None of us can see the future and we all draw on our own experiences to determine where we think the industry might be going. Let those dreams live large and we can use them to see the bigger picture of all that we could be, both as professionals and as a community.

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