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Running a 21st Century Operation

I’ve heard a handful of businesses in our industry talk about competitors poaching their talent–a situation that leaves owners frustrated, to say the very least.

I’ve heard a handful of businesses in our industry talk about competitors poaching their talent–a situation that leaves owners frustrated, to say the very least. After all, they’re the ones who have put the initial investment in this person. It takes time to train employees and really get them up to speed, and all to have them leave?

According to management guru Peter Drucker, the most valuable assets of a 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, business or nonbusiness, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.

Maybe this mindset does not surprise you. It’s probably not that hard to see employees as valuable assets, especially when you are looking to hire and fill necessary holes in your team.

But when you think about your company and how you’re operating, the real question is: Are you functioning like a 20th-century company or a 21st-centrury company?

The challenge comes in creating a company culture based around the mindset of people as assets. In a recent survey of millennials conducted by, 39 percent of respondents said their company suffers from poor leadership, citing managers’ inability to develop others, and ineffective communication as the main problems.

How do I develop my employees? What constitutes good communication? Where do you even begin? You’re not alone. CEDIA has found some of the best people to help you answer these questions. Jana Anders of Career Systems International is one such expert, and she will be bringing her insights to the CEDIA Business Xchange.

Jana Anders, Career Systems International

Anders, a certified executive coach and leadership development consultant, will be teaching a workshop at this year’s Business Xchange, titled “Getting Good People to Stay,” which will focus on identifying what matters in today’s workforce, overcoming barriers, and building a winning culture.

Not only is this year’s Business Xchange going to provide valuable insights on getting people to stay, another key workshop in this year’s program focuses on “Hiring for Attitude.” Mark Murphy, who wrote a bestselling book on this very topic, will help attendees learn how to become a master interviewer who can easily spot a good or bad attitude.

CEDIA recognizes that most integrator businesses don’t have a dedicated human resources staff person, and for many of you being a small-business owner means you wear many hats. With that in mind, we’ve also planned a short and informative session on employment law and how to avoid common mistakes.

So what comes next?

Check your calendar, register, pack a bag, and take two short days away from your everyday schedule to take advantage of a business event that has been designed specifically for you, with your needs as an integrator in mind. Not only will you have an opportunity to hear from business experts, you’ll have time to network with peers who understand what it’s like running a business in this industry.

This year’s Business Xchange will take place at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa in San Deigo, CA May 11-13. Visit to register and learn more about this year’s speakers.