March 2018

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Transforming HVAC & Control beyond  IoT.

Everyone has unique Skillsets, Passions, and Experiences.  With a good attitude and strong leadership, a Culture of Continuous Change emerges.  Everyone who’s ‘found their home’ with a company has found a suitable-match of Core-Values based on Performance, Transparency, and Accountability. 
Aaron Gorka
Aaron Gorka,
Innovation Manager,
ANT Technologies  –  AIRON Group of Companies

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Hello there!  I’ll begin by Setting-the-Stage, then roll-into my Main-Points, and conclude quickly. This is a wild-industry, the rare spare time that you’re donating reading this article is appreciated!  Thank you.

Driving home, I called Ken Sinclair to apologize for missing his already extended Noon deadline for the March article; I just wasn’t satisfied with how it was laid-out, it wasn’t read-able and had no flow.  He shared ~15 minutes of collaboration to reshape my confidence towards what I wanted to communicate.

In-the-end, he encouraged me to roll with my Heart and share my passion and energy.
“So, here I go it’s my shot, feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got …”


To assure effective communication of any message, it’s vital for everyone to be on the same page.  Not just working towards a common-goal; but a transparent understanding of each other’s Skillsets, Passions, and Experience.  Skillsets are those actions one performs; Passions, things of interest; and Experience is the combination of lessons learned and changed behaviour from those lessons.  All are intertwined.

My Reality amongst those three:  Communicating, People, and Hard-Knocks + Formal Education.  I was fortunate to leverage my Dad’s HVAC & Control Contracting Business throughout Post-Secondary; my Professors allowed me to study, do cases, and complete projects on AIRON.  What’s your reality?

The exercise of self-awareness is vital to improving one’s self.  You must be honest about your strength and weaknesses, never be ashamed; they’re guided by your passions and encapsulated by experience.  Though pivotal to success, this isn’t only for Leaders, everyone should feel comfortable in Transparency.

My Point:  Everyone has unique Skillsets, Passions, and Experiences.  With a good attitude and strong leadership, a Culture of Continuous Change emerges.  Everyone who’s ‘found their home’ with a company has found a suitable-match of Core-Values based on Performance, Transparency, and Accountability.  If you understand yourself fully, you can understand where you best fit in any Team.

My Advice:  Be mindful of different Personality Types when Communicating. Mutually respect everyone; Big-Boss, Managers, Tradesman, Engineers, Admins, Technicians, Apprentices, and especially; HELPERS.


For-the-record, Millennials are those currently between 21 and 37 years old.  The upper-end have been in the workforce for ~17 years already. Let that sink in for a moment.  This is old news we’ve already been managing Millennials.  As a tough-industry; we wean out those unsuited for Contracting.

I believe the chaos roars from those near the bottom, 21 to 29.  This is a wild-age at this point in history; we’re highly stimulated and hardly regulated.  Although, it’s not too tough to manage us: Remember, it’s not what we know that gets us in trouble, it’s what we don’t know, remind us of that.

Think-back … Were you really so different at the same age?  Will we really be so different at-your-age?  Let’s not generalize a demographic; some Millennials are just as driven, focused, motivated as you.  We’ve witnessed that this industry only retains the strongest candidates anyway.  Finding the best Millennials is fairly simple too; connect with them in High School, Trade School or Post-Secondary.

My Point:  If we can all come together around similar Core Values, grow as a Team and as Individuals, and have some fun-along-the-way … Inevitably, we’ll deliver exceptional value to our Customers and revolutionize how the world understands our HVAC & Control industry.  If we communicate openly and more so than ever previously, we’re going to do some amazing things together; this is about Teamwork.

My Advice:  Understand modern-HR-strategy.  Hire a recent business-Grad with expertise and begin-the-process of learning the new-ways.  There’s strange and simple modern-tactics to motivating employees.


Think back to your start, the days you were overwhelmed with curiosity, part numbers, and newness.  Feel nostalgic and smile at your inexperience.  What sparked your interest in this crazy HVAC & Control niche?  Who were the people that inspired you?  Think of your most influential mentor/mentee.

What did Technology look like then?  Visualize the methods you used to do your job.  It was all brand-new then too!  Pagers, Corded Phones, Fax-Machines, Dial-Up Modems, Gauges, Multi-Meters, Pneumatics. The first-batch-of-computers and the-rise-of-DDC.  Remember the original operating software we clunked-along-with … MS-DOS!   Honestly, most of you remember it clearer than I do. 

Perhaps some of us are discounting all that Experience we’ve gained?  It’s easy-to-forget how hard those lessons were to learn.  It’s easy to brush-off the wisdom we’ve each earned. I reach-out to those most-experienced, those the Young-Guns sponge-up.  We yearn for what you know; we yearn to improve everything we see and every process/experience we come across; that’s what we do.

My Point:  STOP BEING SCARED.  You’ve handled all the change-to-date, it’s not happening any slower/faster, it’s barely happening differently. It’s all been a progression to the current state of Technology.  In fact, it’s less risky, you won’t even get your hands dirty!  It’s been built to be used; most of it has been tried-and-true by now.  Play-with-it, just like you’ve done throughout your career.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]My Advice:  With Technology.  Work with someone you can have fun with; it’s a long-journey-to-cool.  Don’t discount all your experience, have some patience like back-in-the-day; I promise it’ll all be OK! 


My hope here is to inspire a new perspective for industry Veterans and the Rookies just getting started.  This HVAC & Control / IoT world is full of opportunity to learn, grow, expand, program, automate, simplify, optimize, improve, and innovate!  Ultimately, that’s what we all want, and I believe that’s what keeps us together in this crazy-niche.  We want to help people and profit from our commitments.

We’ve opened a discussion on industry innovation and how we can best facilitate it within organizations.  The key, it’s happening anyway; everything will become simpler because smart people want it to be.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Hopefully you’ve learned something new, feel more confident with change, or confirmed you’re on-the-right-track.  I’m always happy to help, that’s what I’m here for!  You’ll find me Speaking at the 2018 Niagara Summit in New Orleans, April 15-17; looking forward to it.

“… if you had one-shot, or one-opportunity, to seize everything you’ve ever wanted, in one-moment …

Would you capture it?  Or just let it slip?”

About the Author
Aaron Gorka is the Innovation Manager for the AIRON Group of Companies; an HVAC & Control installation, integration, and service Contractor in Toronto.  Aaron from AIRON worked with his Dad, Rick, the Founder and President from the moment the business began in 1993, he was three-years-old.  A Trade-Helper experienced from sweeping the shop floor, supporting Installation and Service Tech’s, through Operations Management and landing in People, Growth & Change. The best part about building ANT Technologies is working with Independent Contractors and Distributors, all over the world …  “We’re building a Colony, and the ANTs are marching.  It takes time, and as we move-in-synch, awesome things happen!”



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