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Your Adaptation to 2022

Jan. 13, 2022
You need to realize you are growing legs in your new environment and you are into the next stage of your rapid evolution.

How you Adapt, Navigate, Embrace, and Connect Virtually in 2022 will define you. Even if you do nothing, not adapting to the rapid change sends a clear message.

You need to realize you are growing legs in your new environment and you are into the next stage of your rapid evolution. You need to walk out, or else become a fish out of water or dive back into an ocean of obscurity. Understanding how you have changed and how you need to change is cardinal to your survival.

When we started 22 years ago it was the start of a new millennium and the new and shiny internet era. Everything had changed or was about to.

The adaption to all this was a mind-blowing experience of navigating this new business model; of collecting our industry information, formatting it, linking to more information while virtually hosting one of the first social media blogs. Then, finally, giving it all away free to everyone, everywhere. The financial model to pay for this new service was to sell virtual holes in this virtual media to sponsors/advertisers, who in became more of our online content. This was an incredible adaptation from my previous life career as an Automation/Energy Consultant.

The concepts reminded me of the fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes."They said that they knew how to weave cloth (virtual holes) of the most beautiful colors and patterns."

Is that what I was selling? The Emperor's New Clothes? Once I adapted to this new thinking it seemed that the concept actually worked and those virtual holes could indeed be seen by people with their magical devices. The selling of virtual holes evolved rapidly to drive an advertising industry that sold its services on the number of hits with no apparent relationship to the content. This started the decline of the paper magazines and control subject content.

Why am I telling you all this at the start of 2022? 

We are at the start of a new era. This Forbes article provides some insight into The Metaverse, Digital Twins, And Leadership Development:

Mark Zuckerberg announced last Thursday that Facebook’s new name will be Meta, thrusting the word—and concept—"metaverse” into headlines and social media feeds around the world. Zuckerberg’s definition of metaverse is an “embodied internet.” And Facebook is not alone. At the 2021 Microsoft Inspire partner event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced the concept of an enterprise metaverse, complete with simulated environments and mixed reality. But before there can be a true metaverse—enterprise or otherwise—there must first be “digital twins”.

I am just an old guy trying to keep up, but I’m hoping to catch hold on this start of a new era with the definition of metaverse as an “embodied internet.” 

We all need to get on with our rapid evolution and the task of  "Defining You in 2022"  

This is not 2020-too or a remake of that year, or even 2021, it is a new year, a new era, a time to champion your change based on what you have learned about survival and adaptation in the last few years.

Adaptation and Navigation are our new superpowers as I explain in  this interview  on the blog page of

The pandemic has caused us to question why and where we have large buildings. What can be done remotely, shifts our original purpose for the building’s “collaboration, communication, community,” forcing us into an online anywhere, anytime, cyber world where everything is done differently. And about the next new; Whatever that is, I use navigation rules to suggest how we navigate the unknown.

What have 50 years in the industry taught me? The more I learn the less I know, but “Adaptation” is our survival superpower. According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself. The adaptation process is a critical part of cognitive development. Through assimilation and accommodation, people are able to take in new information, form new ideas or change existing ones, and adopt new behaviors that make them better prepared to deal with the world around them.

The building automation industry has seen growth changes, not so rapid yet significant. Today, we are at the cusp of a “perfect storm” of smart systems innovations and software-led transformations.

Marc Petok of Lynxspring has written this insightful article, 21 Lessons Learned During the Pandemic in 2021:

It was a year that forced us to reconsider assumptions and expectations for our lives, the way we conducted business and the way we communicated with each other.

I think we all can safely say that 2021 was most interesting indeed. It was a year that forced us to reconsider assumptions and expectations for our lives, the way we conducted business, and the way we communicated with each other. We continued to blaze fresh trails in our lives and find work that felt right and sustainable amid the ongoing pandemic. We redefined the way relationships look with family, friends. We modernized our views on work separation and decentralization; we embraced different ways to do our jobs, we updated the ways in which we made and distributed our products, and yes, we incorporated innovative ways to manage and operate our buildings. And, without any doubt, we succeeded!

Scott Cochrane of Cochrane Supply writes The Race is on for Cloud Building Control:

Let's not kid ourselves. As we know, on-prem BAS will continue to be the solution for many sensitive building types, but the majority of systems we provide in the next years will be cloud-based.

The year is ????... I walk into an office building, with a new Building Automation System (BAS) that resides in an off-prem server... no controllers on-site... just smart devices on an operational technology network securely connected to an offsite cloud which the owner and tenants use for everything as it relates to their personal relationship with the building. The vision, which was a dream, can now be a reality. In the LinkedIn version of this article I added a few comments:

I added these comments to Scott's LinkedIn post:

Great discussion for sure at Monday Live! we are struggling with what part belongs in the brick and mortar spec for the building and what part of what it is we do has separated and migrated to off-prem distributed intelligence? If large buildings are to survive they must allow the new control fabric of community-driven innovation with people first mindsets, and Open-Sourced Smarter Buildings.

The heavy metal in our buildings (chiller boilers, pumps, hot water heaters, etc ) will come with their own controls with connections and interoperative standards to achieve distributed intelligence.

The light metal (i e. terminal devices, heat pumps, lights, etc) will come with either on-prem or off-prem controls with a failsafe backup and connection to community-driven innovation

Where and when will the separation occur? Join us on Monday Live! and share your thoughts.

How will this change the way we are Vetting Vegas? AHRExpo in Las Vegas will be the first F2F major event of 2022:

This evolutionary event is poised to change the industry no matter what happens. 

Cancellation in 2021 Chicago created a great hole in the industry that needs to be filled.  Their theme is "Ready to Rock"  This is your opportunity to interact 1:1 with the latest innovations and the people that are inventing them.

Anto Budiardjo, our “Facilities Evangelist” provides this big picture perspective, The Road to System of (Building) Systems:

I am anticipating 2022 with great enthusiasm. I feel that a great deal of clarity has emerged on many fronts for the smart building industry, though not quite on all fronts yet. Let’s work to clarify things in 2022.

So, how do we make buildings smarter?

The key here is to simplify, and for this, I find biomimicry an amazing tool to find solutions.

The most complex entity in the universe, where everything is a snowflake, and there is no integrator is the natural world. Specifically us, animals.

We, animals, have spent the last few hundred million years figuring out how to efficiently live with each other. Darwin explains that we survived because of our ability to adapt to change.

So rather than thinking of the systems in a building as static as the steel and concrete of a building, we have to look at them as flexible to change as we animals are in our environment.

Here's a  great summary with predictions and best wishes from the team at Monday Live!  a catalyst to identify, discuss and clarify relative topics that help drive buildings to be smarter

Nicolas Waern writes that most of the things that are happening are about power to the people, decentralisation and interoperability:

And moving away from the current data dark ages and into a more information renaissance. And that the people working in the metaverse space have more in common with the interoperability heroes in the smart building space than the existing giants dominating it.

It’s not so much how we react to things. As it is how we act once we are being confronted with something we do not know about.  

Here are Top 10 tech trends  that will shape the coming decade, according to McKinsey (and complied by Sean Fleming on the web site):

We’ll experience more technological progress in the coming decade than we did in the preceding 100 years put together, says McKinsey.

And 10 tech trends will dominate this shifting landscape…

Reach out and touch someone! Bill Lydon who I have known forever since 1970, is an InTech contributing editor provides this great advice on keeping connecting virtually:

The lack of informal interaction due to virtual symposiums and events has led me to think about the 1970s AT&T advertising slogan, “Reach out and touch someone,” encouraging people to make long-distance calls to friends and family. This campaign was highly successful, touching a fundamental need for human interaction not always possible at a distance.

Feeling the sense of loss of face-to-face events for several months, I started making a conscious effort to reach out and connect with people using emails, LinkedIn messages, ISA Connect, and phone calls to say hello, how are you doing, and what’s happening? The reception to these efforts has been very good, because I think people feel the same need to connect. Phone calls particularly have been well appreciated, with many resulting in serendipitous conversations about meaningful challenges and solutions.

Here is an example of the Defining of ControlTrends in a Letter to Industry from Eric Stromquist:

One of the hardest things to do is to let go and change…  especially when what you were doing worked so well in the past, it is risky and scary.

It is important to Ken and me to make ControlTrends cutting edge again, and the question becomes:  What does that mean?

The truth is we don’t know.

 Also worth looking at are adaptations from the past - from the "WayBack" machine comes these thoughts from 1999  JUST A SPEC ON THE NET:

"The Net" was chosen as the lowest cost, environmentally friendly method of disseminating the constantly changing information for their design consultants and BCBC staff. The purpose of the Design Manual is to assist Mechanical Consultants with the difficult task of specifying the Corporation’s high-performance energy management and client comfort systems.-

From our March 2021 column, Adaptation is our survival superpower:

The adaptation process is a critical part of cognitive development. Through the processes of assimilation and accommodation, people are able to take in new information, form new ideas or change existing ones, and adopt new behaviors that make them better prepared to deal with the world around them...

This may best describe my last 50 years. I can’t lay claim to being the most intellectual or the strongest guy around, but I’ve certainly tried to be one of the most adaptable. Growing up as a very small younger brother and with my all friends (and not-friends) who were all huge, I learned to be extremely aware of my environment. Agility, with the ability to go around unmovable objects, quickly proved to be a good life skill.

So get legs, and enjoy your adaption to 2022.

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