I think that sometimes the toughest part or writing is the first sentence.
Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to introduce myself.
My name is Andrew Tyne, I’m an Event Planner from Halifax Nova Scotia and I work for Trade Centre Limited at the Halifax Word Trade and Convention Centre. I currently hold the CMP designation and I’m about to start working towards my CEM. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia as well as an Honours Diploma in Audio Engineering from the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology. I’m also the 2015-2016 President Elect for The Atlantic Canada Chapter of MPI. I’ve had the profound luck and pleasure of having a number of really interesting jobs over the years, I’ve worked as a Theatre Production Manager with Princess Cruise Lines, a Project Manger with FrischkornMEDIACO and a number of years ago I actually played music professionally with an extremely talented group of people and in 2007 Our debut album was nominated for Roots Traditional Group Recording of the year at the East Coast Music Awards. To paraphrase Pictou County musician Dave Gunning, I’ve been living a very Forrest Gump-style life. (if you’re not familiar with Dave’s work, you really need to check him out here.) When I’m not working at the greatest job in the world, I love to speak to groups and associations about being smarter about using smart technology, how mindfulness can help improve your business and how meeting professionals can navigate the constantly changing and oft overwhelming world of social media. I love to help business and associations learn how to leverage the ever growing options presented by Mobile Event Apps, and talk about how AV, Attendee Management Systems and Event Social Media Integration can make for an outstanding attendee experience. When I’m not doing any of those things, I like to run, cycle and if I’m really on fire, I’ll attend a yoga class or two at the Moksha studio here in Halifax. I love dogs, cooking and really strong coffee.
The Art of Why…
The first question that most people ask themselves when starting on a new job or project is, why? In the June of 2015 I had the pleasure of attending the Annual CAEM Conference in Ottawa, and heard Heath Slawner deliver an amazing talk about discovering your ‘why’ and in many ways, that talk was the impetus to start this blog and begin speaking so before I tell you about my ‘why’ I’d like to tell you all about why finding your ‘why’ is so incredibly vital to every single facet of your life
* for those keeping score at home I used why 5 times in that one paragraph
In an amazing book called The Art of Why (and subsequently in a fantastic TED Talk that you can view here), Simon Stenick unveiled what I believe is a truly breakthrough thought. A company (or person) can ask themselves what it is that they do, they can ask how they accomplish it and they can ask why they chose to do it. Typically, the what is the easiest question to answer by virtue of the fact that we all know what it is we do. Even for a huge complicated corporation, “what is it that we do here” is a pretty easy question to answer. Acme Widget company makes, widgets, that’s what they do. I’ll never forget a story I heard a long time ago. The Cape Breton Development Corporation colloquially and locally referred to as DEVCO was the company that ran all the mines in Cape Breton. They were such a fixture in the community that even now, decades after they finally shut their doors, you’d be hard pressed to find a single person, of any age in Cape Breton who doesn’t know what the DEVCO acronym stands for. Although geographically quaint, you’ve got to appreciate that kind of brand recognition. The story goes that one day, the CEO of the company entered an elevator at their main office building in downtown Glace Bay and much to his chagrin, noticed that some forward thinking HR rep had posted a very long winded and well meaning mission statement. I’m not sure what it said, but we’ve all seen enough corporate mission statements to piece together the likely verbiage. “To bring about economic prosperity to the people of the communities in which we operate while being responsible members of the corporate citizenry and gentle stewards of our fragile environment” or something along those lines. Legend has it that the CEO immediately ripped the mission statement from the wall, walked angrily to his office, printed a new version and affixed it to the wall. The new mission statement read
“To mine coal, at a profit”
DEVCO didn’t seem to have much of a problem with their what (make money) or how (by mining coal).
Apple knows what their why is. Apple does what they do, to change the way that we all live, Apple does what they do to literally change the world.
Harley Davidson knows what their why is. Their why is freedom. Their why is that feeling you get when you’re on an open highway and the wind is whipping past you and you feel truly alive.
There’s nothing wrong with having a how and a what, you obviously need to have both of those questions figured out before you start any venture or project. Apple makes sleek and sexy phones and computers and they’ve hired innovative designers to make sure their products are instantly recognizable. Harley makes motorcycles and uses factories and supply chains to deliver them. DEVCO also had their what and how, but that’s all they had, they had no why.
Understanding your why allows you to make products that people want so badly, they’ll camp out on the street to be the first to buy a phone they could have just as easily pre-ordered on line during their lunch break. Understanding your why gets you a fanbase so incredibly loyal that they’ll literally tattoo your logo on their bodies even if they don’t have one of your motorcycles. Think of any company that’s achieved that level of customer loyalty and you’ll see that the driving force behind their success is that they’ve figured out, and committed to always staying true to, their why.
So I’d like to share with you my why.
I do what I do because I want to help people find success in an industry that I truly love. I love technology and I want to to bring other people to a place of understanding that they can love it to. The tools that we have at our disposal today enable Event Professionals to do some amazing things and that makes me giddy, but you can’t be giddy about the possibilities if you don’t understand the tools. I want to make people giddy. I’ve found mindfulness to be an incredibly positive force in my work and home life and I want other people to experience that joy. The insanely quotable Carl Sagan really summed up my why when he said, “when you’re in love, you want to tell the word” I want you to be excited, informed and empowered so you can wake up every morning and honestly say that you’re going to the best job in the world.
That’s my why. Let’s find yours.