One way or another, many of us have been through some type of
business transformation; and in the printing/publishing industry, it is
inevitable. You have to reinvent and innovate or you will drift into
obscurity. I think for those of us with any longevity in our industry,
we have inherent traits that probably go largely unnoticed by us in our
day-to-day, but it’s who we are and we don’t give those traits a second
A good friend and colleague of mine and a friend of the industry
recently used an analogy comparing my absolute single most favorite past
time/hobby with how I approach professional challenges. Elisha
Kasinskas, Marketing Director with Rochester Software Associates, made
the comparison between my love for restoration and the renewing of old
cars, re-purposing the abandoned and giving life to old rides. Elisha‘s
observation that my love for the restoration of old cars and trucks is
simply rebuilding something old and making it new again.
some of my more recent presentations, I refer to the transformation of
the State of Colorado shop as the decade of evolution. Although I would
not change how I refer to the transformation, I can very easily make the
connection with my love for restoration. My predecessor had all but
given up on the print side of our state shop, writing it off in 2002 as a
lost cause. When I hired on with the State, he made continual
references to a dying industry and the paperless age. Believing now as I
did then, I see a bright and largely unwritten future for our industry.
With strong innovative leaders redefining contributions to our industry
and specifically the value propositions we bring to our parent
organizations, the sky is the limit!
Elisha’s comparison noted that I know how to put the pieces together,
understanding the intricacies of technical systems, understanding the
implications of choices and directions, the nuances of the journey, and
then appreciation of the efforts when a project is complete.
with any project, you need to make sure you have a solid foundation.
With cars, you are looking for a solid body and frame or at least one
that is repairable; that same holds true in business. Do you have the
equipment and staff? Can you sell buy-in to the doubters? Do you have
the drive to see the project through? These are just a few of the
questions you need to ask yourself before you start the renewal efforts.
In 2003, after getting the “lay of the land” and understanding the foundation that existed in the State of Colorado,
we embarked on that “decade of evolution.” The renewal effort and the
restoration of confidence proved to carry its challenges. Some parts
needed to be discarded in favor of more modern replacements, other areas
needed to be re-tooled, but the foundation was sound and the people
that needed to make the magic happen pulled the vision on their backs,
and the result is an operation that mirrors the outstanding efforts of
all of those involved.
the journey continues, like any automotive project, you are never
really done. You have to touch-up areas exposed to the elements. You
need to maintain the inner workings to ensure smooth operation and you
need to look for the proverbial “what’s next”; that can be the exact
opportunity you have been waiting for! Complacency is not an option. So
best of luck on your upcoming projects! Focus on renewing, reinventing,
and staying observant of the environment. There are just as many allies
as there are foes, so align yourself and your operation with a strong
foundation and you cannot lose!