Print and the crisis (6): Don’t be afraid of digitalization
By Andreas Weber, Head of Transformation | German version
The articles in my ad hoc series “Print and the Crisis” serve as a guide: The print industry has to rethink radically and change IMMEDIATELY in order to adapt its “social culture” and its “skills” to the situation. Before the Corona crisis, there were opportunities and loopholes to compensate for deficits. And to conceal so that there is a gap between communication and action. This is taking revenge now.
Because: Highly ambitious innovators in particular – regardless of whether they are technology developers or printers – have been and are hardly able to present the added value they can (actually) provide clearly and comprehensibly. My analysis of how specialist communication is practiced makes me both angry and sad. And at the same time offers options to tackle this satirically. See: “No April Fool’s Day: The ‘K’ in crisis stands for creativity!”
The situation is serious. Very seriously!
If communication in companies, both internally and externally, is as miserable as before, it is a disaster. As stated, we need a new #debate culture; it is not just about critical questioning and certainly not about criticism.
It is about preventing absurd absurdity from becoming normal. If, for example, a CEO claims that his new strategy is not bad, and certainly not wrong, only communicated incorrectly and therefore misunderstood, it is a testimony to the poverty! For himself and for his management. Especially when attempts are being made to suppress criticism intriguingly and to be outraged if this is exposed by a third, independent party.
Because what the German Ethics Council stated at the federal press conference on April 7, 2020 is correct and expedient: In the #Coronacrisis times, apart from #solidarity and #responsibility, above all open #discussions are required. “You can’t regain trust without public debates!” Said Steffen Augsberg (source: German news by tagesschau.de). It is also possible to undo decisions without becoming unreliable.
Decisions need clarity
In order to make sustainable decisions in a targeted manner, you have to be clear without any ifs and buts. For the extremely innovation-driven printing industry, this means not following the slogan of the false prophets who “preach”: “Technology will do it!” Because technocracy is just as dangerous as technology ignorance.
My suggestion: Everyone for themselves and all of us together should collect and exchange ideas. To explore how we can benefit in the digital age despite all the turbulence. On the one hand for our communication, the go-to-market and networking. On the other hand for the ‘digital’ transformation of what we as #PrintLovers do with our work and our businesses.
The entry into #clarity when it comes to digitization & transformation in the digital age is provided by what Thomas Göcke has thoroughly thought through, internalized and published, and has already practiced in a team with many colleagues around the world: demystifying digitalization and transformation in print and making it clear what it is actually about deriving meaningful actions from it. And to clarify the complexity, the momentum and the dimensions behind it.
I mention Thomas Göcke because he, as a print technology specialist, is entrusted with #marketing and #digitization tasks and shows us what goes on, what needs to be taken into account, and for how long, beyond our own and company thinking You need breath to renew yourself and make yourself fit for the digital age. My POV: That helps us all in the print industry!
The following reading tips as a basis for discussion:
How digital transformation is leading the world of print into the future
Core message: “An essential part of the recipe for a successful digital transformation is a permanent look through customer glasses. Because we can only be successful if we make our customers successful.”
Preparing your company for digital transformation
Core message: “In contrast to digitalization – which only includes the use of digital technologies – digital transformation describes a process in which the emergence of new business models and a 100 percent customer focus is the focus. The result is offers for customers, new markets and a new culture.”
Those who feel inspired can actively participate in open discussions on all relevant topics related to print:
- Via online dialogue “Over the Skype” via INKISH.TV (in English, for a global specialist audience)
- Via INKISH.News with own blog posts (in English and via INKISH D-A-CH also in German).