Culture: The Print Industry Leader’s Best Growth Opportunity

Culture: The Print Industry Leader's Best Growth OpportunityWhat creates the greatest opportunity for long-term success for a print industry company?


Culture, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is, “the beliefs, customs, arts … of a particular group,” and, “a way of thinking, behaving or working that exists in a place or organization.”

It is the print industry leader’s responsibility to set the culture.

It is the responsibility of the other members of the team to support and propagate the culture.

Culture is critical to long-term success.

Because people come and go, having a strong culture that drives the way the company conducts its business is the best way to keep the company values strong. That way, even when people leave, the culture will remain.

Leaders in a print industry business can’t always be present. And when leaders are not there, it is the culture—the way a company does business—that keeps everything humming.

Here are a few ideas for establishing and continuing your company’s culture:

Establish the Vision, Mission and Values

Vision, mission, and values don’t just live in your head. It is important to write them down and then communicate your vision team members.

If you want your team members to treat customers a certain way, then you must have that discussion. You can’t take for granted that everyone has the same philosophy.

For example, if you want your team members to value productivity, then you need to write it down and communicate it to our team.

Engage Leadership

All leaders—in the print industry and beyond—need to buy in. They need to believe in what the company stands for, where it is going, and how it will get there.

All leaders need to continually live and reinforce the way the company does business.

The leaders carry the culture with them every day, in every discussion and every email. They also reinforce the culture by deciding where they spend their time and where they spend the company’s money.

Drive Empowerment, Responsibility and Accountability

Great cultures empower their people to get the job done. They  instill a sense of responsibility to carry out their assignments.

Accountability for the results and the way results are achieved is also crucial for reinforcing behavior.

If under-performers are not coached up or coached out, then the good performers who are sacrificing for the good of the team will be discouraged.

The accountability of under-performers must be sought by all leaders. That helps reinforce the desired culture.

Recognize Team Members

When team members conduct themselves in a way that the leaders want them to, then leaders must find ways to recognize them. This could be in front of the rest of the team. It could just be a memo to all team members or dinner with the boss.

The key is to pick something meaningful. Something that reinforces the culture as it builds on it.

Recognizing team members will keep them on the path of the culture desired. It will reinforce to other team members what is important to the company.

Commit to Culture for Printing Industry Success

Culture creation is hard work.

You need to accept this up front and be committed to creating the culture you want. The payoff will be sustaining and growing your print industry business in the long-term.

As a leaders, we want to see our companies continue beyond us. Culture is the vehicle to do it.

Do you see culture as an opportunity to grow your print industry business in the long-term?

What are some ideas you may have or implemented to create and sustain a great culture?

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1 reply
  1. Melissa Sienicki
    Melissa Sienicki says:

    “If you want your team members to treat customers a certain way, then you must have that discussion. You can’t take for granted that everyone has the same philosophy.” This is spot-on. Just because you establish a vision does not mean that everyone interprets that vision the exact same way. It has to be discussed and laid out in a way that everyone can follow it. Thank you, Bill!

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