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Third FINAT YMC Summit highlights focuses on leadership and innovation

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Press release from the issuing company

“Family business entrepreneurship and continuous innovation have been key to the success of the self-adhesive label community since its early days in the 1960s and 1970s” says Jules Lejeune, Managing Director of FINAT. They remain of vital importance to business success, but these times of change also demand additional personal and managerial skills of the next generation now moving into company leadership. The YMC Summit is designed to guide and support the talent that these new leaders represent.  At the event, they have the opportunity to meet their peers, learn how their colleagues work, and gain insights that they can use to drive change in their operations… thus keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship alive and well.” 

The Hague, The Netherlands – At the end of April, next-generation leaders of label companies spent three days of learning and networking at FINAT’s annual Young Managers Club Global Summit in Budapest. The YMC was founded by FINAT, the European label association, to support the successors to Europe’s self-adhesive label print industry founders, owners and managers; to create a networking platform for the new generation of leaders; and to grow management expertise at all levels of the value chain. This year’s event addressed two specific challenges: winning the generation game and innovation.

The Summit began with a full-day workshop entitled Getting Promoted and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Leadership, led by Elaine Eades and Fiona McNamara, experts in management, careers, and interpersonal skills, who are from Liverpool, UK. The workshop lasted a whole day, delivering real insights into the way in which the core structure of a company – its people base – can be successfully and properly managed. 

YMC members assessed their current life status, and then discuss the pain points they are experiencing as successors in their companies. Topics such as the work/life ratio (the family = the business), managing expectations and priorities; and assuming a managerial role were raised, 

Success strategies and knowing yourself

The workshop went on to examine ways in which appropriate strategies and tactics for dealing with leadership and change in their companies. It begins with knowing yourself. Being aware of one’s personal ‘make-up’ is, said workshop leaders Eades and McNamara, of real assistance in life – in work situations, with family, and in managing oneself. Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), each delegate built a mind picture of the features of his/her personality. It can help to improve relationships, self-confidence, and personal effectiveness and growth and, significantly, change management and conflict management are highly-dependent on a knowledge of the personality types of those involved in specific situations. 

Label Academy

The opening session on the second day was dedicated to an update on a major initiative in the world of self-adhesive labelling -- the Label Academy.  Mike Fairley, label industry guru and a prime mover in creating this new opportunity to take part in ‘an organised education and training process’ for label printing, showed delegates how the platform is continuing to grow, with a number of specialist study modules now available. Students can work through these modules individually and take online examinations in their chosen subject, to gain formal certification. The Label Academy has been formally endorsed by FINAT, TLMI in the US, and LMAI in India, and there have been more than 2,000 registrations for the training modules.   

Brainstorming on innovation

As the label industry at large is challenged to deliver innovation in today’s fast-paced market, the final session was devoted to interactive brainstorming on this subject with practitioner and inventor Johannes Höfler. With his Patent and Founder Company, established in 2014, he and his team focus on out-of-the-box thinking within a disciplined format that can turn innovative concepts into successful business.    In an established industry such as labels, there are more opportunities for ‘intrapreneurs’ to innovate and refresh the organisational structure of a business than there are in new products. Mr Höfler emphasised that innovation is a process that continues from idea through implementation; and it actively involves the whole company hierarchy, from management on down. Lively discussions were held on all elements of innovation, from design to marketing, and creating/enhancing a company’s unique added-value offer. 

Lejeune concludes: “One or two generations ago, our industry embraced an innovative technology and turned it into a highly-successful arena for small, entrepreneurial companies and corporate suppliers. Today, thanks to its capacity to renew and innovate, it continues to grow at above GDP rates. For this growth to successfully continue developing, energised business leadership is essential, and this summit provided some of the industry’s leading talent with insight, knowledge and practical advice that they can immediately put into everyday use. A big thank you to the Young Managers Board who put together this programme.”

FINAT YMC President Dana Kilarksa -- herself the recently-appointed second-generation managing director of Slovakian label printers Purgina -- added:   “We are all the leaders of tomorrow – and our task is to be better than yesterday.”


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