Philie Group Blog

Halftime Is Over. What’s the Next Play, Coach?
By Mike Philie

The players and spectators stare at the scoreboard during the game. Some hope that the clock slows down as they are behind, and need more time. The team that is ahead hopes the referees let them play so that there are no whistles and the time moves on without stoppages.

Coming back from a long Independence Day weekend is like emerging from the locker room after the half time of a game. The first half of the year is behind us and now we need to finish the year strong. Finishing the year strong can mean different things to different teams, depending on your status going into the locker room. Whether you want the clock to slow, or speed up, your next set of plays can set the stage for the remainder of the year.

I’m reminded of the chasm that separates those within the industry each week as I speak and meet with owners and CEOs of print companies. The divide is not a reflection of who these folks are as individuals, rather, it’s the operational performance of these businesses in their respective markets — the score of their game.

Different teams have different playbooks. Beginning with their core strategy, and their identity. There are those who are all things to all people, while others have identified a sector(s) that they can excel in and become a leader. The strength and depth of their players is another key differentiator. Everyone strives to have a loyal and quality focused staff. But, there are those team members who are enabled to innovate and lead in a manner that makes them all-star selections, and those that just are not ready for the major leagues.

The leaders try hard to leverage their customer wins. As they experience growth and success with a type of client, they focus on finding and attracting others like them. These efforts allow them to scale and increase their operational effectiveness in producing that work. They are also very clear about the clients that they don’t want. The leaders also seem to place more emphasis on the results and actionable items generated from internal team meetings vs. just having a meeting.

Leading companies view the supply chain issues, workforce recruiting and training, and the uncertainties of the economy through a different lens. While they certainly are headwinds, the leaders view these as opportunities to further separate themselves from their competitors.

As your team emerges from the locker room, consider this time as an inflection point for your business. Update your playbook and regardless of your score, choose something that you can improve on, to be better at than you were during the first half of the game. It may include doing more of the same, or a team rebuild. Either way, take the time to formulate your strategy and gather everyone to share your plans for the future, and the role they can play in the success of the business. Good luck and get to work on this.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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