We know there are growing pains in Industrial Print, but can Innovation really help?


Frazer Chesterman

Our recent research highlighted some of these key growing pains for Industrial print companies.

The idea of the survey initially, was to give us some insight on the state of the market, to measure the pace of growth and the areas where we could perhaps see opportunity. On top of this, the idea was to give us a clue as to what the key issues are. Of course, it is nice banging the ‘growth drum’ whilst crowing about the potential of industrial print. However, it is somehow more useful to discuss the challenges. Because where there is growth, there are growing pains. It is clear that industrial printing clearly also has some issues of its own. Here are some of key growing pains we identified:

·         Demand for Digital is high but growth is still difficult/challenging

·         Not enough entrepreneurial/commercial people in the sector. Who are needed to open new markets – often employes are too technology focused

·         Too many NDA’s – secrecy holds us back – No case studies or best practice – not enough sharing of experience

·          Not enough collaboration – pooling of resources

·         Not enough leadership or the right kind of Leadership

·         Still a young market, so not enough competition

·         Greater knowledge in market is needed for what is takes to integrate inkjet

·         Difficult to access ‘finance’ for continued growth

·         Recruiting the right people both technical and soft skills. And a lack ofLeadership skills that encourage innovation.

So can Innovation help ?

Let us start by considering what we mean by this over used term – Innovation

‘Nova’ – Latin for ‘new’

‘Creativity x Risk = Innovation’ as Joseph Schumpeter defined it.

Or in modern parlance, a willingness to adopt new ideas, to fail fast, to adapt and to learn

Research shows that innovative leaders have this in their DNA

The bottom line is that leaders of innovative companies consciously set the example by modelling innovation behaviours—and imprinting those same behaviours as processes within their organizations.

A CEO’s personal actions send a serious signal that innovation must matter to others. if company leaders don’t “get” innovation by doing it themselves, the rest of the organization doesn’t stand a chance.

In the Amazon example – Jeff Bezos (CEO) surrounds himself with people at Amazon who are inventive.  He asks all job candidates: “’Tell me about something that you have invented.’  Their invention could be on a small scale – say, a new product feature or a process that improves the customer experience, or even a new way to load the dishwasher.  But I want to know that they will try new things.”  When the CEO asks all job candidates whether they have ever invented anything, it sends a powerful signal that invention is expected, and valued. It is a taken-for-granted element of Amazon’s corporate culture.  Bezos himself is also a great experimenter (with multiple patents to his name) and claims that, “I encourage our employees to go down blind alleys and experiment. In fact, we have a group called Web Lab that is charged with constantly experimenting with the user interface on the website to figure out improvements for the customer experience.”  The point is that leaders like Bezos do not just do innovation themselves; they systematically replicate their own innovation skills throughout their companies

·         Clayton Christensen in The Innovator’s DNA, are five “discovery skills” that distinguished innovators from non.

·         Innovators ask provocative questions that challenge the status quo.

·         They observe the world like anthropologists to detect new ways of doing things.

·         They network with people who don’t look or think like them to gain radically different perspectives.

·         They experiment relentlessly to test new ideas and try out new experiences.

·          Finally, these behaviours trigger new associations, which let them toconnect the unconnected, thereby producing disruptive ideas.

But how can this help us in the Print world?

On the afternoon of Thursday 17th November, we will hopefully give you some of the answers. Starting with an exciting session at 1.00pm on ‘How to manage growing pains of business with creativity, innovation and leadership’ Hosted by Frazer Chesterman And Roland Biemans, with special guests who have all experienced ‘growth’ and ‘innovation’ in different forms.

Then at 3.00pm we will be again hosting the ‘Great Innovations’ competition.

As previously, we wanted to continue to recognise true ‘Innovation’ in our exciting industry.  So, when we launched the show in 2014 we also began the ‘Great Innovations award’. The objective of the competition is to award a worthy winner with the prestigious mantle of ‘Great Innovations award winner’ and we will be doing it again at InPrint 2016. In 2015, Italian innovators Kuei won the prize for their Haptic inks.

This year, Frazer Chesterman will host the competition

The panel consists of Mike Willis (IMI), Sophie Matthews- Paul and Marcus Timson

Each contestant will give an elevator pitch style presentations that convey the unique innovative attributes of their particular product or service and will answer questions from the panel. At the end of the presentation sequence, the panel will whittle the field down to two and then the audience decides the overall winner.

If you’d like to be part of this decision make your way to the Showcase Theatreon November 17th 3.00pm at Mico Congressi , Milan.

Great Innovations promises to be informative, inspiring and entertaining. And hopefully we will learn more about innovation. Hope you can join us.

If you are interested in entering the competition then go to the following link:


#InPrint #FrazerChesterman #IMI #MikeWillis #SophieMatthews #MarcusTimson #GreatInnovationsCompetition