In his new role as Executive Director for the Digital Screenmedia Association, Paul Flanigan looks at where he's been, the DSA, and the future.
For the past 15 years, I have bounced among the rings of the digital signage and screen media circus. Check out my LinkedIn page if you're wondering, but I think I have the entire spectrum covered.
Now I am in the center of it. I have stepped into the middle of this universe, trying to get the planets to move in one direction to expand and grow. Or, as many put it, "herding cats."
In the past, I used to write blog posts on what I learned at certain shows I attended. For the most part, they focused on actual things I saw or experienced at whatever show I attended. In every situation, I learned something new.
This year's Customer Engagement Technology World was no exception. But I learned more from the people at the show, not the things on the show floor itself.
I learned about the human investment of digital technology. I saw emotions ranging from excitement on where this industry is going to frustration from some on where they think it should go.
My role as the new executive director for the DSA is probably the biggest reason for this. But, taking on this role coupled with my history puts me in a very unique position to get feedback from many of you who are not just business colleagues but very good friends. The conversations were candid. And welcome.
I sat in the DSA booth and met with two newcomers to the industry. Within minutes, I was off any kind of mental script I had prepared as the executive director. My own excitement at the potential of the industry was the fuel for engaging discussion. In other words, I saw my own human investment in digital technology.
There may have been jazz hands involved. I'm not entirely sure.
Leaving New York City, I thought about tomorrow, and the day after, and the future. I spent my time on the flights writing and rewriting in my thick notebook. Between trying to wrangle all the notes, and hashing out the next several months' worth of work, I saw things that we can do, actionable items that can and will shape the next version of the DSA.
What David (outgoing DSA Executive Director David Drain) left for me is a rock solid foundation on which we can grow this industry. I greatly appreciate all the work David has put into this, and the partnership he has already shown in helping me work with the organization. Thank you, David.
I could conclude these few notes here with some sort of goal, or promise, or conviction about the future of this industry and the DSA, something to pass on to all of you that would carry these notes in a tidy statement going forward. But I don't think there is such a thing. These types of statements are often grounded in the fact that they will be relevant every day going forward. But technology, and this industry, are evolving and moving at such a rapid speed that the best we can do is evolve ourselves, and embrace what the future holds for us.
I hope the excitement we all see as the future will be our conviction in doing great things for the DSA. It will be a fun ride, surely.
(This post initially appeared on Flanigan's blog on the DSA website.)
Flanigan is the former executive director of the Digital Screenmedia Association. You can also find him writing regularly at his own blog, Experiate.net.