After Eurovision, which country is best at the LIME test?

Print LIME or Leadership, Innovation, Marketing and Evolution is a session that Marcus and I have developed as a way of introducing the ‘need to innovate and be creative’ to our print community. The session underlines our thinking with our own print events and transfers some of those thoughts into something of a short learning experience for printers. As you know we have often tried to be at the ‘leading edge’ of our markets with events such as EcoPrint and now the exciting new event alongside Hannover Messe, InPrint. We have tried to identify tipping point trends within the market and offer something different, innovative and leading to printers and manufacturers alike who join us.

The main focus of our LIME session is on managing change. It feels as though the last 5 years have been a period of dramatic change, but actually since the 1980’s we as businesses have faced continual change and are constantly having to manage external factors that we have no control over.

We all know that this is something we struggle to get to grips with, probably based upon the natural inertia that lends itself to sticking to ‘what we feel comfortable doing’.  We know our events try to adapt to these changes by challenging the status quo and embracing disruptive technologies, rather than continuing to offer events that stick to the same format and subject already available in the market.

Part of the opening 5 minutes of the presentation, I perform a short experiment with the audience and this is quite interesting as a measure socio-geographic behaviour. Marcus and I have done LIME or something similar in many different countries and I have observed different behaviours amongst different groups of print professionals.

This task challenges the group to tackle a task that takes them out of their comfort zone. I start by declaring to the group - do what you’ve always done, get what you always got!!

I ask a group of around 15 people to make a circle standing together as a group. This occurs naturally and the group quickly falls into place. I then challenge them to make a square. A more difficult shape, but still pretty straightforward.

Now, they have the hang of this, so now comes the tricky bit. I ask them to make a more complex shape – a star. The following minute or two now becomes far nosier. Communication is required and some display their natural leadership, but there is always laughter, communication, debate, disagreement and differing levels of collaboration and teamwork.

In my international experience, Mexico proved to be the best – the group, of mainly males, immediately held hands and created a perfect star – simply and easily. The Mexicans also seemed to really enjoy it. The French group started to argue amongst themselves, the Italian group were noisy and talkative, but creative and a mixed group of German and English worked remarkably well together!

Yesterday, I worked with a Polish group. Immediately, one guy took command and a star was formed with 15 seconds (the quickest ever). What does this say about Poland, who knows…?? What we learn by this experiment is that doing something more difficult or more complex takes; leadership, courage, creativity, communication and team work.

It is all too easy for us to carry on doing what we’ve always done: going to the same events, producing the same products, working with the same customers, employing the same people… But our world changes all the time. Our ability to manage change comes from our ability to adapt.

Our InPrint event is all about adapting to the changes in print by offering the print industry a new market – an industrial Print market. The companies who have already joined us a year out from the show – the likes of Canon, Durst, Fujifilm, INX Digital, Marabu, Mimaki – all understand that the print market is evolving.

And it is a fact that it is not the biggest, the richest or the strongest who are most likely to thrive , it is the ones who are most able to adapt to change – think dinosaur v birds!

Our next workshop is at IMI Europe in Barcelona. We look forward to presenting at this event and working with another group of print professionals to tackle leadership, innovation, marketing and evolution. We hope that this helps people to put the zest back into themselves and their businesses!

If you would like to know more about LIME or would like us to present it to your team?