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Commentary & Analysis

The Importance of Thinking Differently

By Guy Broadhurst Here I am once again surrounded by a different perspective,

By WhatTheyThink Guest Contributor
Published: February 21, 2008

By Guy Broadhurst

Here I am once again surrounded by a different perspective, ever happened to you? I was in Europe a month or so back with a group from our sales organization. We were combining European input with our U.S. perspective, and the results are a dynamic list of out-of-the-box thinking mixed with real life solutions. It's a refreshing change of pace and an important part of our own growth to look at another ideas or solutions building a different dimension to what we do every day!


Rather than the safe bet, doing what you know or have done in the past, have you ever considered another perspective?

Asking Questions

The dialog that's generated can be thought provoking and it reminds me to ask you this: Rather than the safe bet, doing what you know or have done in the past, have you ever considered another perspective? Ask your self these questions:

  • When was the last time you asked a person from another department to listen to a meeting you conduct and give feedback? What do they find you have in common, but also what are they doing differently? Is information and knowledge shared better or more effectively? Are communications in one department better than in another?
  • When was the last time you collectively asked for opinions and then asked everyone to comment on them --before you do? Remember, there is no reason to beat up other's ideas, because they all may have value. A friend of mine who worked in a mar-comm firm told me once about their creative process where all the ideas and opinions on a new project were thrown out in what they called "ideation sessions." Then each one was evaluated by the group, without egos being attached to any of them. He said it took new people some time to get used to, but the company often won awards for the resulting programs and campaigns which were really shared efforts.
  • How about "another country" view? Maybe a sister organization can listen to your meeting/training sessions. No one really has a corner on the market for new ideas and approaches. And I find that it's easy to think the usual way of doing something is the best because "we've always done it that way."  But of course that's not always the case, and someone else from a different culture might just have a fresh perspective that is worth considering. Let them listen in! And tell you what they think. They may just pick up some new ideas, too.
  • Have you brought in someone from outside your company for a candid review of your policies, procedures, marketing messages, collateral materials? Consultants do this all the time and it can be a great way to gain a fresh perspective. Any company large or small can get in a rut or do things in ways that limit their perspective. This is corporate culture in action. It happens everywhere, so don't feel bad if your operation is in a rut. Getting an outside view is a sanity check on how you work, how you present yourself and your company  to the world. Listen! You may come out with a fresh approach to your business, operations, etc.
Why do you print jobs the way you do? In our business there are many ways to begin thinking differently.

Why do you do what you do?

In our business there are many ways to begin thinking differently. For example, Why do you print jobs the way you do? In some cases it is habit. Sometimes it's production requirements. But as technology has changed, there are new options to consider and they may change the way you do business. For example:

  • Consider the choice of cut-sheet versus continuous feed. It used to be that the most efficient way to produce applications such as books was using a continuous-feed device. But now books can be produced quickly and cost-effectively using a cut-sheet device such as the VarioPrint 6250, which delivers excellent print quality and virtually perfect front to back registration because both sides of a page are printed simultaneously using Océ 's patented Gemini duplexing technology.
  • The shift to color, especially in direct mail and transactional documents. Color adds value for your customers, and it no longer has come with a 4 or 5X increase in cost. The flexibility provided by adopting Océ 's Job Appropriate Color technology delivers the color you need when you need it, while only paying for the amount you use. And how about using that color in books? Again, it's a different thought that can add value to your work and help differentiate you with your customers.
  • Highlight color used to be limited to just a few shades but now there's a huge palette of colors available, including the CustomTone colors we offer at Océ . And machines like the Océ VarioStream 9230 have the unique ability to blend toner on press expanding the range of what can be done with highlight color.
  • Reduce stock weights. Lighter paper has a number of advantages, not the least of which is lower cost. But with digital printing it wasn't always an option: digital print engines, especially cut-sheet machines, just couldn't run the lighter stocks many jobs required. But with the new VarioPrint and VarioStream systems this is no longer the issue, which lets you choose from a wider selection of substrates.
  • Consider new software options for workflow The old programmer's adage of "software makes hardware work" is ever more true today. The latest PRISMA software for digital printing expands the scope of virtually everything you can do and adds substantial efficiencies to your operations. But you have to get ready to leave some of your older, outmoded processes behind and get your staff to commit to a new way of thinking. But the change can transform your business.

Finally, it is important to always be open to examining and considering new technologies as they are introduced--and doing so objectively. Ask questions about how a new technology can fit your operation, expand your capabilities, let you serve your customers better, and help bring in new business. About the time you read this, Océ will be introducing new printing systems that will significantly change the playing field in high speed digital printing. These systems not only deliver what our customers have been asking for, they respond to broad market needs for efficient and economical production of a wide range of documents. I'm really looking forward to telling you about these machines, and helping you think about all the different ways you will be able to use them.

Give your feedback to Guy. He can be reached at guy.broadhurst@oce.com.



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