Vol. 1, No. 3                                      WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2016                     www.aimphotonics.com
Frank E. Tolic
CMO of AIM Photonics
American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics.
It has been just over a month since we've rolled out the official newsletter and social media.   

Since it feels like a short two weeks with everyone focusing on the LC and All-Institute meeting, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my own thoughts.
 
Since the beginning of May, I have been immersed full time in AIM activities. Following are some of my observations.
 
There are numerous activities, many events, and an exciting buzz in the air about our great institute.  Many have high expectations for Aim Photonics.
 
Individuals are working day and night to make it successful.  The turnout for this week's meeting is a perfect example, in addition to the recent membership drive.  We are now over thirty strong and adding new members weekly.
 
We've completed our first membership survey and received very positive feedback to enhance and improve the AIM Photonics membership experience. 

I've sat through a number of executive meetings, and spoken one on one with current and potential industry members, and university members.  In that time, I've heard a lot, learned a lot, and contemplated a lot.  

There is no doubt this is an outstanding institute with opportunity to do something never done before in photonics. T his will not be easy, and will involve work on some of the most difficult tasks.  Being able to listen, adapt, and compromise through challenging negotiations are the tasks at hand. 
 
I share some personal details on these tasks, in the newsletter, in hopes that we can reflect on these items as we meet this week.
 
There is still much to do. I know if we all work together, and keep an open mind, we will reach consensus.  

This is as a very special institute that will achieve many great things in the years to come.

RECENT EVENTS

22-25 May:  TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo (M. Liehr speaking)

5-10 June:   CLEO
San Jose, CA  
(T. Koch, M. Watts speaking)


UPCOMING EVENTS

9-10 June:   All-Institute Meeting, Rochester, NY

27-28 June:   Integrated Photonics Technology Roadmap meeting at MIT

12-14 July:  SEMICON West, San Francisco, CA
(M. Liehr, K. Patel , F. Tolic speaking)

19 Oct:   Photonics NESCO (North East Supply Conference)  at OSA FIO

25-27 Oct:   SEMICON EuropaGrenoble, France
(F. Tolic speaking)

28 Nov-1 Dec:  DMC 2016, Denver, CO

HIGHLIGHTS
LC and All-Institute meeting is this week in Rochester, NY.  We are signing new members every week since our membership drive push last month. Many more potential new members have been added to our member pipeline. 

Numerous companies, organizations, institutes, universities, and individuals have connected with our social media. Please visit at the bottom of this newsletter and connect and follow.

Our recent survey shed some positive light on opportunities for continuous improvement.  The goal now is to embrace these opportunities as a unified team, and move successfully forward.
NEW MEMBERS
American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites.
Major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics.
Professional home for a global network of scientists and engineers who represent the laser, optoelectronics and photonics community. 
Leader in optical technology, providing unique capabilities in high speed optics and high performance fiber optic test products.
Quatela Lynch Intellectual Property
Consultancy firm which evaluates patent portfolios, helps with IP strategies & licensing, and offers advice on monetizing innovation, among other services. 

There are number of other pending members being finalized to be announced at the All-Institute meeting and in our next newsletter.
COMPROMISE: 
LISTEN, LEARN, ENGAGE, NEGOTIATE, ADAPT, UNITE
Compromise: 
A n agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
"an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both"

I like to start with the definition, and point out a few phrases; "an agreement", "making concessions", "ability to listen", "acceptable to both".

And then follow it up with a quote from a non business source.

"It's not always rainbows and butterflies, it's compromise that moves us along."

This quote is from a famous  musician, Adam Levine.   I thought this appropriate, as often for me, it's what I hear/learn from outside my typical business or technical comfort zone, that helps me reflect on current situations, opportunities, and/or challenges.

Compromise is also one of the reasons I am not able to attend this week's meeting, for which I sincerely apologize to everyone.  I was looking forward to meeting many of you in person, but previous scheduled events did not allow.

As mentioned in my sidebar, it is clear we, as an institute, need to work on two main items; communication and compromise.  There is nothing wrong with this. We are a new institute, and there will always be bumps along the road.  

As simple as it may seem in this day and age of technology, twitter, facebook, texting, YouTube, etc., communication and compromise are still challenging. This is especially true in contract negotiations or agreements between two separate entities with very different core contract/legal structures.  This is evident in our institute which is made up of both university and industry members. 

I learned this myself over three years ago when moving from commercial to university institution.   Many terms and conditions I was used to as typical and acceptable for industry, were completely opposite for university. As a result, it was difficult for me, in the beginning, to close agreements which I could normally do in my sleep.  

What I finally realized, was that I was only willing to compromise on terms I was used to compromising.  All my years of sales and business development, compromise was something I had learned to embrace.  But as much as we say and believe we are willing to compromise, we find our compromise can often be non-compromise.   

Getting what you want or need with agreement from the opposing side, even if it is not in their best interest, and even if they do not agree,  is not compromise. In the definition, true compromise is when both sides listen, both sides give concession, and then both sides happily agree.  This brings me back to my most recent compromise.

As much as I wanted to attend this meeting and knew the importance, I had a previously scheduled event with my family.  I have had to reschedule similar events the past few years, because of business.  My wife has always supported my business even in times where it impacted important family events.   

It was the same this time.  She told me it would be Ok.  I thought, "Great, we've managed to compromise, and everyone is happy."   Everyone is happy, was not the case.  I realized that I believed it was compromise, because I was happy, and got what I wanted.

I reflected back on when we made the decision and if I really listened to her, not just in her words, but how she said them, and how she really felt.  I realized that I had not. I had not truly listened and had not allowed for open two way communication.  

I use the example of my marriage, because our institute is also a marriage. It is a marriage of industry and university. In order for it to succeed, both sides must be willing to listen, learn, and compromise.

These next two days, let's all try and keep an open mind especially when trying to find resolution together for both our industry and university partners.
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For newsletter feedback, edits, updates, and other information please contact:
Frank Tolic, Chief Marketing Officer AIM Photonics
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