Tammie Calys – President – Transformation Management Consulting, LLC
I read Elizabeth Gooding’s article earlier this month on The Inkjet Career Path and thought about how much additional pressure is on print executives now to think strategically. Companies are accustomed to making difficult decisions every day relative to business direction. Whether it’s launching new products or services, discontinuing products or services, merger and acquisition strategies or going public, remaining private, 2020 has turned even the most structured approach for defining strategies on its ear.
Coupled with the decisions that had to be made regarding organizational structure, alternate work options, and process transformations involving changes to the organization and the mechanics of how work gets done, “analysis paralysis” kicked in at a lot of printing organizations.
In talking with leaders across all industries, but particularly in the print industry, there are four main areas of concern:
- Employees – whether hiring, morale, productivity, or engagement, executives are concerned about their people – defining the right people for the job, getting the most from them, supporting them, paying for them – ensuring they’re working together cohesively toward the same goals.
- Strategy – given the realities of our day (and business in general), leaders are required to rethink and pivot strategies. Many leaders are seeking solutions to weather this current storm for the next 18-24 months of uncertainty as we look towards a worldwide recovery.
- Approach – leaders are looking to add clarity to the path ahead. They need to ensure that they have the team, processes and technology in place to tackle the realities they’re facing. They need to build the trust of their team, customers and investors to move forward confidently in the face of uncertainty.
- Future – whether maximizing productivity, pivoting strategic initiatives, or rebounding from economic realities, concerns about the future are valid. While a lot of the news these days has been pretty bad, the good news is – there is a path forward.
If executives are nervous, imagine how employees feel? Once you define the mix of business and market focus that is most likely to bring you stability, you need the resources to deliver on that strategy. Now more than ever, printing companies need a well-defined workforce strategy that considers all of the key stakeholders in your company – inside and out. There are 3 critical areas involved in defining a strong path forward and making sure that the entire company is prepared to tread that path. In my next post, I will cover those three topics and suggest areas for additional learning and guidance.