You're Invited to the Book Burning Party
How creative thinking can help you burst through any barrier.
I had the privilege of attending Daikin’s 2019 Group Sales Meeting in early October in beautiful Marco Island, Florida, which afforded me the opportunity to see some of the manufacturer’s latest and greatest innovations — including the new Daikin Rebel Applied rooftop unit — as well as network with some of the industry’s brightest engineers and contractors.
Josh Linkner, an entrepreneur who has founded, built, and sold five companies for a combined exit value of more than $200 million, presented his “Five Core Mindsets of Innovators” keynote speech during the event’s morning session.
Save the Books
While introducing his first core mindset — Every Barrier Can Be Penetrated — Linkner shared a story about the public library in Troy, Michigan, which, coincidently, is where BNP Media, the parent company for this magazine, is headquartered.
In September 2009, Troy voters were presented a 1.9-mill initiative in support of roads, public safety, and the library. If the millage failed, city council announced it would be forced to permanently close the library in May 2010 due to a lack of funding.
In a special election held in February 2010, the millage failed. Miserably. This was largely due to a strong national anti-tax movement that localized itself under the name Troy Citizens United (TCU). Utilizing the financial support of this national movement, the group convincingly changed the conversation from “save our library” to “no new taxes.”
Given just enough money to function as a glorified storage facility, the library was slated to close on June 30, 2011.
Desperate to change the outcome, a group of dedicated citizens, identified as Save the Troy Library (STL), pressured city leaders to present a third and final millage, a 0.5-mill levy, that would fund the facility for five years. The city obliged.
Ain’t No Party Like a Book Burning Party
While the grassroots STL and nationally funded TCU continued their political posturing, a third group emerged — Saving American Families (SAF). SAF began posting hundreds of signs around town that proclaimed, “Vote to close the library on August 2nd — book burning party on August 5th.”
Angry residents uprooted the signs by the dozens only to find they were replaced days later. SAF created a Facebook page, initiating multiple debates amongst residents on the merits of libraries and the audacity of burning books. The hashtag #BookBurningParty was born. Over time, the event evolved into a full-fledged hootenanny, complete with live entertainment and food. The local news media picked up on the campaign, followed by the national news, and then the international news.
Once the crusade reached a fever pitch, global advertising agency Leo Burnett emerged as its brainchild, revealing that the last thing it wanted was for the community to burn books. Leo Burnett’s campaign creatively changed the conversation by publicizing the notion that a vote against the library was a vote in favor of burning books. This triggered voters into action, and turnout for the third and final library vote was more than 300% higher than anticipated. On Aug. 10, 2011, the millage passed with 58% support.
Ram Through Your Barrier
HVACR engineering is chock full of barriers. Whether it’s a lack of qualified employees, design challenges, budgetary issues, security concerns, etc., there’s seemingly always something in the way, throttling your progress.
Perhaps you could benefit by flipping the script. Instead of complaining about the price of that BIM system or the cost to attend that conference, consider the expense your firm may endure by not making those investments.
Register for our free webinars at http://webinars.esmagazine.com, where users can also view any webinar from the last year on demand in our archive. Here is a look at some of our most recent webinar events.
Which Comes First: Comfort vs. Efficiency?
Presented by Robert Bean, president of Indoor Climate Consulting Inc., and sponsored by Uponor.
Saving Energy and Improving the Healthcare Environment: A Case Study
A collaborative effort between JB&B Engineers and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, sponsored by Carel, that answers all the questions on adiabatic humidification application and maximizing the newest ASHRAE 170 Standards.
Society of Women Engineers 2019
New Orleans, Louisiana