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CEDIA Business Xchange: It's About Design Thinking

Holly Keller
Jan 30, 2018

To Sharpen Your Business, Think Like a Problem-Seeker

CEDIA® Business Xchange
May 16-18, 2018
The Camby | Phoenix, Arizona
(Registration opens on Feb. 14. Find more details here.)



What’s the biggest problem you have in your business?

Maybe it’s a recurring project management challenge. Maybe there’s a communication breakdown when a client is handed off from sales to design. Or perhaps it’s that your customer and prospect data is a mess.

Whatever your challenge is, focus on that for a moment.

It’s impacting your business’s efficiency, and losing you either time or money or both. It’s probably not a new problem — and yet, it persists. Why? Well, quite simply, you haven’t found the solution yet. It never seems like the right time to dig in and troubleshoot, devise a fix, and realign all your processes — so you work around it, and you live with it.

Solving this problem will take some effort, and as a leader in your business, that work has to be done by you. But at the 2018 CEDIA Business Xchange, you can get a roadmap to building a solution — faster and more effectively.

That roadmap is a process called “Design Thinking.”

Choose your own adventure


Don’t let the word “design” throw you — Design Thinking is a process that was created by designers, but it can be applied by anyone to solve nearly any problem you can conceive of.

It’s a human-centered approach that’s used by the biggest companies out there — Samsung, Disney, and Apple, just to name a few. And it’s the main topic of this year’s CEDIA Business Xchange.

Every day, your company applies creative problem-solving to deliver great experiences for your clients. But not every business is applying creativity to their internal operations. To make that mind-shift, this year’s Xchange will welcome Michael Shanks, a senior faculty member at Stanford University in Technology Science, Urban Studies, and in the Center for Design Research, the research arm of Stanford’s d.school, where Design Thinking was developed.

Shanks will be joined by esteemed CEDIA members Rich Green and Peter Aylett. Through a blend of short instructional talks and facilitated, hands-on teamwork with fellow integrators, attendees will learn how to apply the Design Thinking approach to their business.

Green is fond of the observation that while an engineer is a problem-solver, a designer is a problem-seeker. By thinking like a designer, you’ll empathize with the end user — whether that is a client or your technicians or project manager — and learn to search out and crystallize your business process problems to ensure you’re driving at the right solution.

Sharpen your focus for better results

The best strategies come from sharing ideas, developing plans and interacting with people who know exactly what you’re up against. That’s the idea at the heart of Business Xchange. It’s not your standard management seminar; it’s two focused days of discussion tailored exclusively to residential installation company owners and executives.

And it’s different from big industry shows, where you’re often pulled in many directions, diluting targeted discussions about company management. Business Xchange is 100% focused on issues specific to running a systems installation business. It’s your opportunity to dive into the most pressing topics surrounded by a trusted network of leaders facing the same challenges.



Meet the Presenters

Michael Shanks
Professor of Archaeology, Stanford University


One of the most original and influential of contemporary archaeologists, Michael is a specialist in long-term humanistic views of design, creativity, and innovation. He is a senior faculty member in Stanford’s Programs in Science, Technology, and Society, Urban Studies, and in the Center for Design Research, the research arm of Stanford’s d.school. He has directed the Stanford Humanities Lab, pioneering innovative pedagogy in the arts and humanities, and helped found the Revs Program at Stanford, connecting automotive heritage with contemporary car design. He is a faculty director of Stanford Foresight and Innovation, and works with mediaX, the affiliates’ program that connects Stanford with industry through technology and innovation.

Peter Aylett
Technical Director, Archimedia


Peter has spent much of his career working for some of the UK’s most respected technology integrators. Formerly the Director of Professional Development for CEDIA EMEA, he is now Technical Director for Archimedia, a high-end residential integration company with more than 150 employees and operations in five countries across the Middle East. Peter is in demand as a speaker and lecturer in residential technology and has led courses in Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, North America, and the Middle East. Peter chairs the Applied Information Action Team within the CEDIA Technology Council and is a columnist for HiddenWires.co.uk.

Rich Green
President, Rich Green Design


Rich Green has been active in the AV design and installation industry since 1978. His system-integration company, Rich Green Design, serves the ambitious homeowners and businesses of Silicon Valley. His clients have included Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Jim Clark, Gordon Getty, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Luciano Pavarotti. Rich sits on the Advisory Board of CEDIA, where he served as a three-term board member and founded the CEDIA Technology Council. Rich travels the world as an instructor, consultant and public speaker in the fields of Future Technologies and Design. Rich is a CEDIA Fellow.




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