Growing our Business

Growing our Business

We grow and learn new things every time something changes. We discover new insights about different aspects of our business life. It’s like learning to ride a bike again! It will mean some grazed knees, but in the end we will learn and grow.

Business Flexibility

Is our business set up to be flexible, can we re-write the 3 year plan? Many big corporates find this hard to do this. Decisions are made at board level on an annual basis and department heads have to stick to plan. Companies are resistant to change because of a natural internal corporate ‘inertia’.

Are we able to change markets, work with new customers, change the way we produce, change the way we do what we do, constantly evolve and adapt?

Are we set up to easily adapt to new situations, new environments, and new people. We like looking new ways to manage your business, new production techniques and new opportunities. Launching exhibitions in new evolving markets is all about offering new routes to new markets. Are we open minded enough?

Incremental Improvements

All of us know that nothing will improve by itself. You are here looking to improve. So stage one of this improvement has started. But remember we may need to do things differently to make that happen. Without change, there’d be no improvements.

Business values

From time to time changes make you re-evaluate our business proposition and look at things differently. Changes in the world of business are all around us, do we evolve with them or stay static?

The Domino Effect

Often we give up because we cannot accomplish the difficult task of making a huge and immediate change. That is when experience becomes extremely valuable. One shift at a time, small changes will eventually lead you to the desired big one. We should be looking for incremental improvements in business. When we launched our new exhibition business, we felt sure we had all the skills to build a successful business, but one thing we forgot was patience. We came from a business that was very successful, but clearly had momentum on its side – momentum that we had begun. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to build a business that already has momentum than start a new business. Be patient and don’t give up, once new momentum begins with your new idea, then the dominoes will start falling.

Strength through change – opportunity in Adversity

The going gets tough etc .... Not all changes lead you to pleasant periods in your business life. The last few years have been tough for business and have been tough for us. Overcoming the tough period will make us stronger. The weaker tend to give up, the big boys 'hunker' down, the innovators innovate!

 

Risky Business!

Interesting that when you launch a new event or you come to market with a new concept, you tend to get two clear groups form around you.

There are the ‘believers’, the ones who get it immediately, who understand the need to take risks to learn and succeed.

Fear of Flight – Fear of Change

Fear of change – is the fear of imagined consequences.

 

Have you ever been on a flight and the plane begins to go through some turbulent air.

All you want is for the Captain to say something,  to tell you – What is happening, to reassure you it’s going to be alrightand to advise you how long it will last.

Or he doesn’t say anything – How do you feel?

 

It’s the not knowing what is happening or what is going to happen that makes you feel nervous.

All we ask is ‘Give us information what’s going to happen’…

 

This is the same with change.

 

We resent change particularly, if we cannot control it or know its consequences.

However, we know that we cannot stay still, whilst the world changes around us.

We know that loads of external factors are impacting on our business: Changing technology, demanding customers, new products, competition, globalisation etc…

So the key to getting your company to change is giving them ownership. Let them tell you how you can do this and let them design the way to adapt to change –

 

I am going to give you a tool to give your people.

 



1.     What would you Keep ? People, products

2.     Throw away ? Systems , Rules, red tape

3.     Change? Culture , Thinking

4.     Add Innovation , creativity,  Fun


If you let your people use this… they will come up with ‘Change’ they have created and own.


And don’t believe that People HATE change …this is just not TRUE?

Just ask the fashion industry and tourism industry … we all want new holiday ideas or new clothes to wear. They base their business model on our desire for change.

People all want change – but they just want genuine, real change, not fake change, and they want change that they feel part of.

Not incremental Change, not just changing elements of the structure,

We need change that REALLY changes to the culture the thinking…


What is the modern day equivalent of “Word of Mouth”?

We live in a world with an abundance of stuff & noise – We live in a world of ‘attention scarcity’.

How can we make a difference with our marketing in this crazy, noisy world?

In the past, your marketing was all about ‘interrupting other people’s data’. It was known as Disruptive marketing or interruption marketing – you took an advert on the TV or in magazines to get to their circulation or viewers, you were disrupting or interrupting their circulation/audience with your message.

Are our key motivators still Shelter, Food, Money and Sex?

I have recently be re-reading a book by Dan Pink on Motivation called Drive 

In this book he examines the ‘revolutionary’ concept that perhaps Money is not the most powerful or effective motivator for us, in a modern creative working environment.

This thinking started around 30 years ago when MIT ran an experiment showing how incentivizing students with money to solve puzzles - needing Cognitive thinking rather than practical piecemeal work practice - actually made them less interested in working on them after being paid. Meanwhile, another group of students who had not been offered money, worked on the puzzles longer and with more interest. This research uncovered the powerful and significant difference between extrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from outside sources, and intrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from within yourself, your personal DRIVE.

The rapid development of open source software and IT technology, developed by technology ‘wizards’ for free to share is an example of this - Wikipedia probably most widely recognized

Reward and punishment work with mechanical tasks, but something different is required where cognitive or thinking skills are needed.

Daniel Pink, in his book, Drive, lists three elements of the motivation formula: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. In situations where people are paid fairly (As being underpaid is a de-motivator) , this threesome drives, engages, and motivates us to do our best creative work.

 

Autonomy - Self-direction, freedom and engagement

 Our self-direction is a natural inclination. Pink points to the simple example of how children play and explore all on their own. We all have inner drive. Researchers discovered in a study of workers at an bank that managers who offered “autonomy support” — which means helping employees make progress by giving meaningful feedback, choice over how to do things, and encouragement — resulted in higher job satisfaction and better job performance.

To encourage real creativity and freedom to try, explore and progress we need autonomy from control and constraints. By giving people real control over various aspects of their work — whether it’s deciding what to work on or when to do it – we encourage productivity  


Mastery - Challenge, mastery, Progress and the urge to contribute

Why is it that we want to learn to play the Violin? It is difficult, complex and frustrating, but we do it.

We want to get better at doing things. It is why learning a language or an instrument can be so annoying at first. If you feel like you are not getting anywhere, your interest drops and you may even give up. A sense of progress, not just in our work, but our capabilities, contributes to our inner drive.

So, Pink concludes that we should work on ‘Goldilocks tasks’, which are neither too difficult nor too easy. The trick is not to give tasks fitting a person’s exact capabilities, but to give them space and support to reach a little higher to improve, continual mastery, and growth. To challenge themselves.

This also means the work culture is really important.  Are we allowed to make mistakes? We need to be able to get things wrong, to allow for us to adapt, evolve and improve.

What this requires of employers is paying more attention to how employees are doing and feeling about their tasks.


Purpose - Part of something larger than ourselves , be part of a community

Why is it that people join clubs or attend conferences. People want to be part of something greater than themselves, they want to learn, enhance their knowledge and skills. People who find purpose in their work unlock the highest level in the motivation game. Pink says that it is connecting to a cause larger than yourself that drives the deepest motivation. Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning and into work without groaning and grumbling.

That also means people who have purpose are motivated to pursue the most difficult problems.

According to Pink, the old-school model of carrots and sticks is becoming increasingly outdated, and according to lots of research, just plain wrong. It makes sense that old-school organizational and personal frameworks of productivity just don’t cut it in this age when knowledge work, creativity, and problem-solving are required to stand out and succeed.

So I recommend building a business and work culture that is based on more autonomy, mastery, and purpose to produce not just a more productive and effective workforce, but a happier one! -

Show me the culture!

Show me the culture!

Culture is directly linked to the rate and quality of innovation in any society or organisation.

If you don't believe this, think about the pervasive culture of the place you live.

How to excite your customers!

How to excite your customers!

Whilst researching 'Innovation', I came across an article about a hotel in New York that now gives each customer a Goldfish for their stay. I liked this innovative idea of the ‘Goldfish’ as it did something different in a crowded space, and it generated a sense of fun and excitement. It got me thinking about other ways we could excite our customers.

Great leaders eat humble pie

Great leaders eat humble pie

Leaders could do worse than listen to Simon Sinek. In his presentation based on his book 'Why leaders eat last' he expresses the problem of working in a culture where the leaders focus more on gaining recognition for themselves and as a by product create a culture of fear.

Debunking myths of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship

Debunking myths of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship

A myth of leadership has built up which suggests it is the responsibility of the leader to also perform the role of chief innovator. We at InPrint believe that one of the main roles of a leader is to create a business culture fertile enough to create new ideas utilising the greatest resource any business has. It’s people. The effective leader will then be able to marshal these resources to best effect to create new value and drive the business forward.
 

Why is Industrial Print Booming?

Why is Industrial Print Booming?

The successful launch and establishment of the InPrint Show proves that industrial print is key growth sector for the development and integration of print technology for manufacturing.

But why is the timing right for industrial printing? What trends are assisting this growth and optimism? What we believe to be the main trends are laid out here.

How to Get Great Ideas

How to Get Great Ideas

Over a coffee I was wondering, where do the greatest ideas come from? And it's not a straightforward question to answer.

Some would say necessity provokes new ideas. This is true, but I think that negates humankind's ability and want for the creation of new value.