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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
process of planning, it is always helpful if you ask yourself the question, "If we are highly successful, what does that success really look like?" In order to develop an executable plan there are actually three questions you must address: Why? What? How? You really must be strategic about the decisions you are going to make and that requires engaging in a thorough discov- ery process requiring many members of your staff allocating time and energy to do the appropriate research. This research must be shared with the entire manage- ment team and serious discussions and brainstorming must take place. Based on the information you gather you should be able to make educated assumptions about what the future might look like. This discovery process not only looks at the external forces that are driving change but also the internal forces or strengths and weaknesses that exist within your company. And you must care- fully consider all of the significant factors, both inhibiting and contributing that you will encounter as you move forward with your initiatives. There are lots of ideas and business models that are being floated around that speak to the what segment of this process, so carefully study what your op- tions are and reach out to others that are perhaps a few steps ahead of you in the journey. The technologies that have cre- ated this environment are also the ones that will enable you to do a great deal of your research, while sitting at a computer. And it goes without saying that you must carefully "study the numbers" that drive the ultimate decisions. As you clearly define what you will do, develop an agreed upon set of goals and objectives, so that as you move forward, everyone can be held accountable for the tasks he or she is assigned. Any- time a major initiative is attempted, the entire team must be completely aligned with the end in mind. Don't assume that they are in alignment; over communication is the appropriate strategy. Once you have an agreed upon plan, your ability to ex- ecute will be dependent upon the talent you surround yourself with. You must carefully evaluate the knowledge/skills and behavioral competencies of those you will entrust with the transition of your company. There is a significant difference in managing an existing process and managing a transitioning organization. You may find that you have to reassign people and how you make those decisions will definitely influence your results. Do you have an effective process for reassigning/promoting staff? Have you been successful in the past when special proj- ects were assigned? If you are considering new technologies/ services you will probably have to search for new employees or outside contractors. How successful have you been in the past at recruiting and selecting the best people? If you are not utilizing an objective assessment tool for selecting, promot- ing and coaching, perhaps that should be one of your new strategies. Your team will be only as strong as its weakest link and, considering what's at stake, significantly improving your organization's competence involving selecting, coaching and developing talent is clearly one of those critical success factors. For many of us that have successfully thrived in the printing industry and seen the dramatic changes that are occurring, we also see wonderful opportunities for growth. Leveraging these conditions will require great leadership. For many of us, we must rediscover the entrepreneurial spirit that enabled our success in the past and we must carefully consider the motivating forces that affect today 's workforce. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerry Scher is founder and principal at Peak Focus LLC. Scher is known by many names---business builder, executive, coach, sales trainer, facilitator, mentor. Regardless of the title, the end result is the same: making people around him significantly more successful. His ability to identify growth opportunities, design a plan, build the team, design effective training and actually coach the success- ful execution of the plan is clearly a unique capability. Peak Focus is a training, coaching and publishing group dedicated to helping select entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners create sustainable businesses by coaching them to maximize their abilities, activities and aim. Whether they 're starting out with only a novel idea or they're responsible for a company reinventing its future, we work with people who are unwilling to settle for best practices and instead insist on transformative change. www.flexography.org JANUARY 2011 FLEXO 23 To learn more, call 704.588.3371 or Toll Free 800.438.3111 Harper has devoted an entire division to help flexographic printers and converters achieve unprecedented levels of consistency, quality and profitability. Using our exclusive SHarper SystemTM we eliminate variables that impact quality and increase predictability of press results. Call 800-438-3111 for a free copy. GRAPHICSOLUTIONS DIVISION HARPERIMAGE.COM Americas • Europe • Asia ©2010 Smart.
Sustainable Winter 2011