AVEC Preview: Are You an Egg or a Bird?

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Why should you go to InfoComm's AV Executive Conference (AVEC) in Scottsdale on September 17?

September is one of the busiest months in an AV executive’s calendar: it’s the first month of the final quarter of the year and there is a whole lot of business yet to be done. So why should you swap your spreadsheet for a plane ticket to AVEC, and your oxfords for golf shoes? Let me share some words from Narnia author and fellow Brit, C.S. Lewis: “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

Think of your business as an egg. If you are lucky, it will be a decent egg. Business is OK and you spend the majority of your time ensuring it remains just that — OK. But eggs, just like businesses, were designed to do one thing, and that is hatch at the perfect time and transform into a beautiful bird, liberated from the confines of its shell and free to fly in whatever direction it chooses. If an egg does not hatch, it will eventually go bad and all that wonderful potential will die with it.

Here are some questions for you: Has your egg hatched? If so, are you a beautiful bird? Or are you confined within your shell? Are you starting to smell bad egg? If your answer sequence is no, no, yes, something doesn’t smell right, then you need to register online today and book your ticket to Phoenix. If business is not going well and you are genuinely worried, don’t stay at home and try to sell your way out of trouble. Head out to Arizona; after all, it is Phoenix that is named after the legendary bird, reborn out of the ashes of despair.

So what’s with all the literature, philosophy, and typical European drama? This is just another AV conference where we get together with the good old boys and girls, moan about margins, IT guys eating our lunch, and have one too many mojitos, isn’t it? Well if that’s what you are looking for, don’t come, you might be disappointed.

The big theme at AVEC this year is “business model.” In other words, exactly what kind of egg are you? What kind of bird do you want to become? How and when do you break out of your shell before things turn bad?

There will be revered academics and business practioners assembled to help provide frameworks, perspectives, and experiences. You will be encouraged to think outside of your egg and imagine what it will be like to fly. It’s all about business transformation.

Don’t bring your laptop; bring the smartest and most challenging and therefore the most ambitious colleague you have. You can both start to work on the business, rather than in the business, and you will be in great company.

When I fly to Phoenix, I will have just celebrated my birthday and easing my way into my 50th year. There are times when I feel that living in a shell is a safe and comfortable place to be, and then I reflect on the words of C.S. Lewis again, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

So again, are you an egg or a bird?

Julian Phillips is Executive Vice President of Whitlock.

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