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Contexting Our Value

May 12, 2022
Contexting Our Value has us focused on the fact that context may be more important than value.
We are all adopting technologies that help make smarter buildings healthier, safer, securer, more efficient, and improve ESG. The value of these collective technologies is embodied in the infrastructure we provide, but we find ourselves explaining and selling our infrastructure and not its value. We need to change our focus. We need to create context that will enable real communication.

Contexting Our Value has us focused on the fact that context may be more important than value.

This (somewhat dated) article from Norman Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Quantum Leaders, Context versus Values, posits that context drives behavior, not values:

There is a difference between Values and Context. Values are the attributes we choose to guide our lives. They are products of a conscious process. Values tend to be aspirational. We strive to live by them, to make choices based on our values. However, we often find our behaviors fall outside the boundaries of these values. That is because the choices we make in any given moment are driven by our underlying Context, not our values.

I was impressed with this research from IoT Analytics, the What CEOs talked about. It’s essentially a graphic presentation of keywords used in the Q1 earnings calls of roughly 2,500 companies. Some interesting results:

Inflation and increasing prices were among executives’ most-discussed themes in Q1/2022. Other important and increasingly common themes on the CEO agenda were the invasion of Ukraine, AI, SaaS, and the cloud.

The frequency of supply chain-related topics has decreased slightly but is stabilizing at a very high level.

As you can see, CEOs do not talk about infrastructure, only about the resulting value or loss of value to their companies.

IoT Analytics also produced this interesting study, 58 technologies that people working on IoT projects should have on their radar :

IoT Analytics identified 58 technologies that people working on IoT projects should have on their radar: 21 in IoT software, 21 in IoT hardware, and 16 in IoT connectivity.

Of the 58 technologies on the radar, only a few are classified as nearing maturity, fairly mature, or mainstream—many of them are still further out and will need time to reach mass-market maturity.

The radar helps anyone working in IoT environments and projects understand which technologies they should be watching, evaluating, and perhaps deploying.

These technologies need to be put in the context of our industry for the real communication of our change and value.

Block Energy by the Sea is an article in the May issue of, written and painted by our good friend, Contributing Editor, and “Grid God” of the Past turned artist, Jack McGowan, principle of the McGowan Group ( It provides a big picture view for our May Issue theme, “Enabling Values by Improving Infrastructure.” Jack and I have a combined 100+ years in the industry. Jack writes:

Since I am also an artist these days, my friend Ken Sinclair, suggested that I attempt to paint this energy future. The project, shown here in my painting, is on the Tampa Electric Company system and was approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in 2021. Block Energy redefines the term microgrid. It enables a complete neighborhood where each home is a nonogrid.

As you can see sometimes a picture is necessary to provide context. is deep into our own reinvention, trying to deliver that all-important context in our own words and in real-time.

I am very pleased with Our LinkedIn group. It was back in 2010 as the Online Magazine Forum, and now it has over 4742 members and has taken on a life of its own. I read the group with the same interest as a new visitor to see what folks want to share, and what is trending.

We all need a place to tell our story in our own words with its valuable context, so the world knows who we are and why they need to know.

Here's a quick sampling of the feature articles in our May issue of

Answering the "Why" in a Value-Driven Age by Marc Petock Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Lynxspring, Inc.

Trust and delivering value are the most important aspect of any customer engagement and relationship.

Organizations—no matter the business or industry—can no longer afford a reactive approach to value. The value must be the focus and organizations must concentrate on their value and the propositions that support them continuously.

While knowing what value an industry or company brings, what value they deliver, and how they deliver it are all equally important, however, the most critical part of the value is the “why.”

It’s Time That Our Building Systems Interoperateby Marc Petock & Anto Budiardjo.

When systems can interoperate, owners and operators can truly realize the outcomes and value of a smarter building with minimal effort, both today and in the future.

To help understand what interoperability is in the context of a smarter building, a group of industry leaders has come together to develop a framework and a set of requirements and specification language that owners and engineers can access on an open-source basis. These requirements will push the ecosystem to adopt proven standards and methods for representing and communicating information, so that system integrators, facility engineers, consultants, and application providers can quickly and easily set up their solutions to enable interoperability.

The New Professional Service for Buildings,  by Scott Cochrane, President & CEO, Cochrane Supply & Engineering and Contributing Editor.

Often, owners ask for ROI from an MSI for their services, and while that’s like asking a consulting engineer the same question. The real return comes from the consultation resulting in huge avoidance costs with better technology collaboration that lowers the large direct costs and time commitment required to stand up 10 software platforms instead of one. Savings, YES! We have MSIs who have documented millions in savings on a large-scale integration. Justifiable—Absolutely! Owners know it and MSIs are in huge demand because of the financial successes from this new method.

There are no direct degrees or certifications for people and companies that do MSI work. As the industry develops and we look at the successful MSIs there are many unique skills, degrees, and certifications from multiple fields that make them great. For instance, having Mechanical Electrical Engineers working with Full Stack educated computer science majors is pretty common in these companies. It’s the combination of skills and experience that really creates the magic an MSI can bring to a project.

How can we create value together? By Nicolas Waern, Digital Twin Specialist.

Buildings exist in every part of the world. And I quite quickly realized that if we could create better buildings faster, it would resonate well across the energy side of things, operations and wasteful ways of working, and of course indoor air quality, well-being, and productivity.

I don’t get that we continue to stare in the rear-view mirror, utilizing the tools of the past. When we need to accelerate into a better future by utilizing modern tools to get us out, away from the very past.

A LinkedIn post took me to this GitHub article which speaks to the ontologies used to create context, Google's Digital Building Ontology:

The Digital Buildings project is an open-source, Apache-licensed effort to create a uniform schema and toolset for representing structured information about buildings and building-installed equipment. A version of the Digital Buildings ontology and toolset is currently being used by Google to manage buildings in its portfolio.

The Digital Buildings project originated from the need to manage a very large, heterogeneous building portfolio in a scalable way. The project aims to enable management applications/analyses that are trivially portable between buildings. This goal is achieved through a combination of semantically-expressive abstract modeling, an easy-to-use configuration language, and robust validation tooling. Digital Buildings work has been inspired by Project Haystack and BrickSchema, and maintains cross-compatibility and/or convergence as a long-term objective.

Let all spend more time Contexting Our Value, as our context defines our value.  

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