Philie Group Blog

Playing To Win
By Mike Philie

The rules of the game have changed. You need to take a hard look and evaluate your playing field, or markets that you are in. What’s different? What’s the same? Like a coach on the sideline, or a general in a battlefield, you’ll need to make an analysis of the situation and position your unique competitive advantage in a way that will be relevant for the situation you find yourself in.

Review Your Team

You’ll have to ask yourself, “is what got you here going to get you there?” As many organizations wade through this latest business transformation, you may find that not all of your staff is willing, or capable of making the journey. Many who have been contemplating retirement are calling it a day. And others quickly realize that the rules will be so different that they may not be up for the challenge. And there will be those that you may need to point out those issues.


You’ll be left with a team that is up for the challenge and ready to play. Bring them together to help build your go-forward strategy. The key point here is to have a team there’s not only up for the challenge, but is prepared with the right tools and skills necessary for the business to move forward

What Do Your Customers Want?

You will have some customers who have not missed a beat and continue to rely on you to provide the products and services that you have always delivered.


There will be another segment of your customers who just aren’t really sure how to reconnect with their customer base and the appropriate approach they should use. This is where you will be most helpful by providing ideas and best practices and become a strategic resource to their business renewal. And while these types of conversations may be different than the ones you had in the past, these are the type of conversations that will help your customers the most today.


Going forward, you may find some of your customers may never require the types of services you provided to them in the past. Their business model has been disrupted, and in fact, they may even be out of business. Until the point that they determine what their actual business model will be, there may not be much you can help them with. This is a segment of business that you will need to replace with new business just to get back to your past revenue levels.

How Will You Deliver — And Win

Winning, in this case, is not a zero-sum game. Winning is continuing to be in business, and even better, creating a thriving enterprise. What’s your plan, how will you deliver? The answers go back to evaluating your team and what your customers really need today. Assuming that business will just return to normal will not be good enough for most companies, and is a risky bet.


These challenges allow those willing to work at it to thrive, and the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the pack. Expectations for your team need to be clear so they can execute like a well-oiled machine. Uncertainty leads to distractions and drama, and at the end of the day will impede your progress.


If your team works well together, gets along, and is knocking it out of the park for your clients — congratulations. When some struggle, pull them aside and find out what’s going on. Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror if you have several folks that are trying to find their way, , as the problem may be the coach.


During times of transformation, all ideas should be on the table. Please reach out with any comments or questions.


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, LinkedIn or email at


The blog originally published in Printing Impressions



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