Blank Sheet of Paper

Well, 2014 is here and I wish you a happy new year. Let’s get rolling…

What if you could relook at all parts of your organization as a blank sheet of paper? Good analogy for this industry, huh? This means you can engage in “as if” thinking. This means thinking in a manner as if you could make the changes you need in your company right away.

We all know that with a new year comes ideas and dreams. However, the difference in the company with an idea and the company with a plan is the latter one has a strategy. I see far too many print related companies, most family run, that live in what I call “someday aisle.” They say someday I’ll do this or that. They say that they are “running ragged” and just don’t have time. They say they are not satisfied with where they are but maybe once they are not slammed in late 2014 or beyond they will do, review or get around to (you fill in the blanks)

Sorry folks this is no good. Top companies in this industry have two to three specific and well-defined goals they seek to accomplish. They know there is never a perfect time to work on bigger picture things. So, they allocate time to accomplish what needs to be looked at with the same matter of importance as a press going down. They are both important, albeit the press must be fixed first, just different in terms of focus.

The late Stephen Covey spoke of four quadrants of time we must review. Click here to read more about these quadrants. The premise is we need to spend our time on things that are important but not urgent. Planning, talent assessment, sales training, customer surveys, marketing research, social media connections, team building, coaching and more are all examples of very important things to your printing company but they are not urgent. And, thus many companies let them sit year after year.

Ryan T. Sauers is the president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with the front end of printing and related organizations across the U.S. Key focus areas include: sales growth, brand positioning, organizational communications, organizational strategy, and integrated marketing. Sauers is a national speaker and writes feature articles in global publications. He is also an adjunct university professor teaching leadership, communication, and entrepreneurship to business leaders. Sauers has been recognized as a thought leader in human behavior. He is a Certified Myers Briggs and DiSC Practitioner, as well as a Certified Marketing Executive. He is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and will achieve certification in Emotional Intelligence later this year. Sauers is author of the best-selling books: "Everyone is in Sales" and "Would You Buy from You?" Visit:

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  • Robert

    Wow. This has made me think through my 2014 plans or lack of. Thanks.

  • abc123

    Character is the following:

    Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country

    Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

    Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others

    Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly

    Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need

    Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer

  • DRS

    I was hired at a family owned printing company a little over 6 months ago as the Business Systems Support Specialist. I am here to improve our current MIS.

    I have been working hard to understand the inconsistent and very inaccurate data. One of the problems our company is experiencing is lack of communication. I try and get feedback from my co-workers, managers, and CEO but they don’t seem to know where they want to go or what kind of data they would like to see improve. It’s hard to improve when we aren’t even sure as to where we currently stand.

    Thank you for this article. It has given me motivation to try harder to push suggestions for increased business goals and strategy.