KAIZEN KORNER — III LEAD­ER­SHIP IN PRINT HOUSE

Stitch World - - NEWS -

You may well be able to re­call ev­ery­thing you know about print­ing, but if you do not un­der­stand man­u­fac­tur­ing, most of that print knowl­edge will go un­der­uti­lized. Fur­ther­more, know­ing ev­ery­thing about both print­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing but be­ing in­ca­pable of lead­ing a team to high-level suc­cess, doesn’t make for a very happy end­ing ei­ther. Great suc­cess in the print house de­pends upon your print man­ager and oth­ers hav­ing de­vel­oped some rea­son­ably high skill-sets in all three dis­ci­plines – Print­ing, Man­u­fac­tur­ing and Lead­er­ship. This third and fi­nal part of the Kaizen Korner se­ries delves into the syn­ergy cre­ated when com­bin­ing best prac­tices in the afore­men­tioned dis­ci­plines. In Part III of the se­ries, David Per­menter, Ed­u­ca­tional Di­rec­tor, DCC Print Vi­sion LLP, writes about Lead­er­ship in the print house.

You must have prob­a­bly heard about many dif­fer­ent catchy phrases and clichés over the years about what lead­er­ship is and most of them are prob­a­bly true. How many times have we heard that “the first re­spon­si­bil­ity of a leader is to de­velop more lead­ers”; “to truly be a leader, you must have fol­low­ers”; and “every­one is a leader, every­one is a fol­lower”…? How­ever, many peo­ple still con­fuse lead­er­ship with management.

Management is about do­ing things right. Lead­er­ship is about do­ing the right things. Lead­ers set a di­rec­tion, cre­ate a clear vi­sion and then in­spire their teams to achieve it. Lead­er­ship is ex­er­cised in the trans­for­ma­tional realm. This refers to cre­at­ing some­thing new and em­pow­er­ing the management with the free­dom and re­sources to get the job done.

What I ob­serve fre­quently is that the tex­tile and ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies that op­er­ate at a very high level, sup­ply­ing to the most no­table brands in the world, func­tion un­der superior lead­er­ship and with tremen­dously ca­pa­ble management teams in place. These com­pa­nies see pos­i­tive growth in size, ca­pa­bil­ity and ser­vices.

On the other hand, I will dis­cuss my ob­ser­va­tions about a print­ing house where var­i­ous de­part­ments, such as screen room, ink room, etc., and their skilled work­ers are do­ing things the same way their fathers did and per­haps also their fore­fa­thers. They may be equipped with newer tech­nol­ogy, high level of management, good level of ed­u­ca­tion, strong knowl­edge about work­ers and sev­eral years of de­vel­op­men­tal im­prove­ments, but they op­er­ate with the same method­ol­ogy and pro­cesses that they have been fol­low­ing for years.

“Lead­er­ship al­ways starts at the top. If you want to see your print house make great strides in qual­ity, ca­pa­bil­ity, cus­tomer fo­cus and prof­itabil­ity, start by as­sess­ing your own com­mit­ment to pro­vide the lead­er­ship nec­es­sary to achieve these things.” – David Per­menter

There­fore, in or­der to be­come the fron­trun­ners and keep pace with the rapidly evolv­ing global ap­parel com­pa­nies, these print houses need to learn and adapt Covey’s seven habits for re­mark­able lead­er­ship. These have been men­tioned as fol­lowed:

1. Be proac­tive: Don’t sit around and wait. Make it hap­pen. Get into ac­tion.

2. Be­gin with the end in mind: En­vi­sion clearly what it is that you are try­ing to achieve. Keep the first cre­ation in mind.

3. Put first thing first:

Do­ing the right things and know­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween ur­gency and im­por­tance is very cru­cial. The se­cond cre­ation must be in phys­i­cal equiv­a­lence of what you (only) first imag­ined.

4. Think win-win: Build au­then­tic re­la­tion­ships by seek­ing mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial so­lu­tions to chal­lenges and prob­lems.

5. Seek first to un­der­stand, then be un­der­stood: Be an em­pathic lis­tener and al­ways un­der­stand the other per­son’s par­a­digm and view­points be­fore shar­ing your own.

6. Syn­er­gize: Achieve higher re­sults through team­work than what can be achieved through in­di­vid­u­als work­ing in­de­pen­dently.

7. Sharpen the saw: Main­tain your ‘per­sonal ef­fec­tive­ness’ through good health, mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ships, men­tal clar­ity and a bal­anced spir­i­tual life.

Habits 1-3 speak about your­self and be­ing the best that you can be. Habits 4- 6 dis­cuss about re­la­tion­ships and how you work and in­ter­act with oth­ers. Habit 7 is about the need for life bal­ance and per­sonal re­silience.

Lead­er­ship al­ways starts at the top. If you want to see your print house make great strides in qual­ity, ca­pa­bil­ity, cus­tomer fo­cus and prof­itabil­ity, start by as­sess­ing your own com­mit­ment to pro­vide the lead­er­ship nec­es­sary to achieve these things. One great as­pect of lead­er­ship start­ing from the top is that it trick­les down. It will move down to your print man­ager, then it will pass down to your depart­ment heads and su­per­vi­sors till the end of the chain.

Management is about do­ing things right. Lead­er­ship is about do­ing the right things. Lead­ers set a di­rec­tion, cre­ate a clear vi­sion and then in­spire their teams to achieve it. Lead­er­ship is ex­er­cised in the trans­for­ma­tional realm. This refers to cre­at­ing some­thing new and em­pow­er­ing the management with the free­dom and re­sources to get the job done.

Think about the dif­fer­ences be­tween tex­tile op­er­a­tions such as in dye­ing houses and those in your print house. As­cer­tain and an­a­lyse why such a vast dif­fer­ence ex­ists and ac­cept that it is your lead­er­ship that is re­quired to turn things around and take it to a higher level. It all starts with you. The man in the mir­ror!

“You can’t solve to­day’s prob­lems with the same think­ing that cre­ated them in the first place.”

– Al­bert Ein­stein

David Per­menter, Ed­u­ca­tional Di­rec­tor, DCC Print Vi­sion LLP

Covey’s seven habits for lead­er­ship

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