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WhatTheyThink

Articles by Wayne Lynn

Wayne Lynn is an advocate of the adage that "you can't manage what you can't measure".  Combining his considerable strengths in leadership, economics, and strategy with broad experience in both public and private companies, he brings focus and discipline to the task of creating and sustaining success in today's chaotic environment.

Wayne has managed businesses ranging in size from $5 million to $500million in annual sales.  He has guided those organizations through a number of diverse market sectors including magazines, catalogs, inserts, direct mail, and general commercial printing.

A student as well as a practitioner of the fine art of business, Wayne's latest focus is on helping business leaders make their companies more viable economically, more relevant in the market place, more adaptive to constant change, and more durable in the long haul.  It's about people, what they know, and how well they execute on what they know.

Wayne can be reached at 704-516-7787 or at [email protected].

Displaying 1-31 of 31 articles

The Paradoxes of Stress

Published October 15, 2020

We all, at one level or another, understand that we live in difficult times. Never before have we expected, even demanded, so much from our leaders. Meeting those expectations is the most fundamental challenge for today’s leaders. Since leadership implies followership, if we don’t meet those expectations the best we’re likely to get is disinterested and disengaged followers. We must strive to be better.

Innovating the Proofing Cycle

Published September 17, 2020

Printers need to consider innovations that negate the need for proofs (hard or soft) except under exceptional circumstances. Hint: train the customer to submit print-ready PDFs that are truly ready to go. You will still need to do preflight, etc., but the emphasis should be on taking the time lag created by the proofing cycle out of the process.

The Impact of Remote Working

Published August 20, 2020

What potential business disruptions should we be thinking about post-COVID-19? There are several. Most of them, at first glance, seem inconsequential but, on closer examination, could have significant impact. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at changes in how we work and examines how they could impact the way we do business after the crisis has passed.

Good People, Good Teams, Good Strategy

Published July 16, 2020

Making good people decisions about whom to hire, develop, and promote can be devilishly hard. Building good teams of good team players is a roll of the dice without the right data. Wayne Lynn takes a close look at how good teams come together and how behavioral assessments can help pick the right people for the right team.

Investing in Human Capital

Published June 11, 2020

Many of you are worried if you’ve got enough cash and other forms of financial capital to get to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis. This is a short-term issue and, if you survive, maybe you’ll have more cash on hand next time we see a downturn. But what if the market and your business changes so much you have people who are no longer relevant? Wayne Lynn explores some thoughts that can help you plan for and be prepared for this issue.

Being Viable in a VUCA World

Published May 14, 2020

Wayne Lynn takes a deep dive into getting a clear understanding of your company’s finances and cashflow, a vital consideration even more vital in these volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times.

Where Is the Power in Your Customer Relationships?

Published April 23, 2020

Successful selling requires certain behavioral traits that, if they are present, dramatically increase the probabilities of success. When there is a strong balance between the “assertive” and “helpful” traits, a sales person is most likely to create a “win-win” relationship. Wayne Lynn explores how to develop a sales force that has these two traits well-balanced.

Managing Employee Stress During the COVID-19 Crisis

Published March 23, 2020

This is an unprecedented and chaotic time, the nature of business is changing rapidly, and everyone in the organization, from the top down, feels the stress. Wayne Lynn offers some guidance for business leaders to help alleviate employee stress.

The Economic Case for Employee Engagement

Published March 12, 2020

Having employees that are engaged in and satisfied with their jobs can give a business a powerful competitive edge. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at the positive impacts that engaged employees can have on a print business’ bottom line.

Triage for People Performance Issues

Published February 13, 2020

Every business has employees who don’t perform as expected, or even as well as you as a manager know they are capable of performing. Why is that? There are a number of reasons why employees underperform, and they aren’t all the fault of the employee in question. Wayne Lynn details four primary reasons that people underperform on the job, and what employers can do about it.

The CEO’s Perspective

Published January 16, 2020

Peter Drucker once wrote that the one contribution a CEO is uniquely expected to make is to give others vision and the ability to perform. Leadership in an organization is important but to succeed, it requires motivated, energized, and engaged followers.

What’s the Point of Behavioral Assessments?

Published December 12, 2019

We can have the best business model—i.e., value proposition, profit formula, conversion process, technology, etc.—but if we don’t have qualified people suited to the jobs they hold, it all falls apart. Is this the sort of risk you are willing to take? Shouldn’t you give as much thought to hiring decisions as you do to equipment and software decisions?

Are You an Entrepreneur or Just a Business Owner? And Why Does It Matter for Your Business?

Published November 14, 2019

What separates small businesses that grow and thrive and those that don’t? A large part of it is whether the business owner has an entrepreneurial spirit. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at the behavioral traits that make an entrepreneur, and the difference between being a CEO or a business owner and an entrepreneur.

Looking for Leaders: Planning for Talent Development

Published October 17, 2019

You probably have a sales plan, a profit plan, and a capital and cash management plan. But what about a talent development plan? Do you know how to grow your human assets, improve the culture, and develop both current and future leaders? In this article, Wayne Lynn explores the need to develop your company’s next leaders.

The Real Source of Competitive Advantage

Published September 19, 2019

Technology is easy to acquire—both for you and for your competitors—but for most companies, it’s your employees who provide a real competitive advantage. High-performing companies are winning the competitive battlefield by figuring out how to match their best talent with their best opportunities. Wayne Lynn offers some tips for getting the most out of your most productive employees.

Rules of Engagement: Meet an Employee’s Needs, Watch Them Perform

Published August 15, 2019

The average person uses around 70% of their available energy reserves to perform their normal activities, including meeting the requirements of their jobs. The remaining 30% is called “discretionary energy.” How can we tap into an employee’s discretionary energy and get them to apply it to their job? The key is engagement. Wayne Lynn explains how to measure and improve an employee’s level of engagement.

Making More Productive People Decisions

Published July 11, 2019

You know how it is: You’re looking to fill a position in your company. You find a prospect who has a great resume and interviews like a pro. They know the job and have the requisite experience, so you hire them, only to find their actual job performance lacking. What happened? Chances are, you only evaluated basic technical qualifications rather than behavioral traits that could determine if that employee was a good for for your company. In this article, Wayne Lynn explains why you should look beyond the resume.

Self-Improvement Is Business Improvement

Published June 11, 2019

What does it take to be successful as the leader of a business? It’s not enough just to be qualified to do the job. Are you behaviorally suited? Do you have the strong key traits that distinguish high-performing CEOs from everyone else? Determining how you stack up against the “best and the brightest” can identify areas in which improving yourself can help improve your business. Wayne Lynn of Lynn Consulting explains how.

Do Your Employees Work Well as a Team?

Published May 14, 2019

The printing industry is in the middle of a talent crisis. It’s getting harder and harder to find employees, let alone ones who work well on a team. In this article, Wayne Lynn looks at the three characteristics of good team players, and how print business leaders can help identify and improve these characteristics in their own employees.

What Advice Would You Give?

Published October 13, 2014

Wayne Lynn reflects a long successful career, the changing industry, and offers advice for future leaders.

Making the Choice to Lead

Published October 1, 2014

As humans, we are beings that choose. We have reached the point, because of technological advances, where we can literally choose the course of our own evolution. We are living in a time of rapid change and the ability to shape it through our choices is mind bending in its implications. We can literally choose our own destruction or the path to abundance and peace. That, in itself, may be the best definition yet of what civilization means.

Change, Choice, and Leadership

Published October 7, 2013

Half of the printing companies that were in business in 1995 are gone. We are losing 1,000 to 1,500 more per year. And…since those firms are gone, i.e., they didn’t survive; it seems likely that they failed to change in some way that might have led to their survival.

Moving From Marketing to Strategy

Published May 31, 2013

I started my last article with two questions. Does your company matter in the market? If your customers got up next Monday morning and discovered your business was no longer open, would you be missed?

Does Your Business Have A Magnet?

Published May 24, 2013

Does your company matter in the market? If your customers woke up next Monday morning and discovered your business was no longer open, would you be missed?

What Would Michael Porter Think?

Published May 17, 2013

I am naturally curious. I have always enjoyed learning and early in my career made a point of immersing myself in the work of some of the best thinkers in the business world. First, it was Peter Drucker whose writings are the foundation of what I know about management.

Is Strategy Necessary?

Published March 29, 2013

There has been much chaos and confusion in our industry in the past two decades. According to every credible source, collective industry sales are declining. Offset printing, which rode a 60 year wave of process dominance, has been declining since 2007. Digital print sales, as well as a variety of ancillary services, are growing but not fast enough to stem the tide of total industry revenue decline.

Strategies for Niche Players

Published March 22, 2013

In my last article I discussed the Rule of Three and how it appears to be playing out in the print industry. This article will review those strategies.

The Rule of Three

Published March 11, 2013

After What They Think published my article Survival of the Small and Mid-sized Printing Company in Today’s Chaotic Environment, Scott Johnson commented with some nice words and the question: Had I read the book The Rule of Three: Surviving and Thriving in Competitive Markets? I had not read it but out of curiosity I found it, bought it and read it.

Managing the life cycle of the business

Published March 5, 2013

It is amazing to me how many of us get a “deer in headlights” reaction to changes going on around us. The leaders of a business can take a business on the downside of its life cycle and reinvent it and create something new causing it to grow again.

The Four Attributes of Long-Term Successful Companies: VIABILITY

Published January 7, 2013

In “Survival of the Small to Mid-sized Printing Company in Today’s Chaotic Environment”, I talked about the four attributes of long-term successful companies, this article will address the first attribute – Viability

Survival of the Small to Mid-sized Printing Company in Today's Chaotic Environment

Published September 11, 2012

This white paper deals with some of the most immediately beneficial strategies that leaders can pursue in increasing their opportunities to survive and thrive. We show how to make an immediate impact and how to improve your long-term business fundamentals.