February 2015
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Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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AHRExpo 2015 Chicago Takeaways

People are our only asset, technology may come and go but at the core of the industry is the same people that have been there for years.

Comments by
Ken Sinclair,


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Distech Controls

It was an amazingly well attended AHRExpo 2015 in Chicago  http://www.ahrexpo.com/

Ahr Logo

This record breaking show of over 62,000 attendees, 10 acres of exhibits from over 130 countries all flies in the face of the digital world and the Internet of Things replacing good old face to face interaction and networking. So what was my take away from this massive show?  People are our only asset, technology may come and go but at the core of the industry is the same people that have been there for years.  The problem is these core people are growing older and much of the discussion at this record breaking event was that we all need to plant new people, nourish them, and help them grow.

All of our education sessions also returned the conclusion that people are the only assets. Your company and industry  technologies may come and go but the people are our only true asset that remains, recreates, and keeps the industry strong.

This greatly increases the importance of the induction of new blood, younger folks with IoT smarts into our industry. If we are to build on our existing asset "the people", then we need to invest in education and transfer of the knowledge of our assets.  We need to look at new talent as an investment that can greatly increase our existing assets.

These new folks to our industry will likely not have the necessary training and will need to quickly jump the skills gap; a lot of discussion occurred about this in Chicago. The general conclusion is that the requirement of incoming folks is that they need to be curious, have an unbridled desire to learn, and are prepared to fail early, and relearn quickly.  The word younger implies that they have grown up in an IoT world which gives them a different view on how they will learn. They need access to our existing assets, the valuable knowledge locked in the older minds of our industry but we yet have not devised the best method for this knowledge transfer.

Our education sessions were well attended with our first session having standing room only How the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing Building Automation

Our next session on bridging the skill gap created great discussion and this discussion reoccurred in our fourth session our Third annual Connection Community Collaboratory meeting.

From above - The general conclusion is that the requirement of the incoming folks is that they need to be curious, have an unbridled desire to learn and are prepared to fail early, and relearn quickly. 

Some of my takeaway questions are;

Best compliment of my life was, “U R amazing at fixing what you did wrong….that is your gift”.

I was very pleased to be asked by Fred Turner, Editor, High Performing Buildings Magazine and ASHRAE Journal
to prepare a column for each day of the
Show Daily linked here.

Reliable ControlsThis is Fred's last year as he is retiring which adds credence to this statement;

People are our only asset, technology may come and go but at the core of the industry is the same people that have been there for years.  The problem is these core people are growing older and much of the discussion at this record breaking event was that we all need to plant new people, nourish them, and help them grow.

Please read my review of the Control Trend Awards in Chicago and you will also see the pinnacle event of the evening — Michael Newman, the Godfather of BACnet, and George Thomas, industry master of all networks were both inducted into the ControlTrends Awards Hall of Fame.

These are real examples that the core of our industry is changing rapidly.

The highlight of the CTA awards for me was that they also recognized 2014’s seven Young Gun Awards, the youth of our industry.

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