Philie Group Blog

Re-Start with New Goggles
By Mike Philie

Situation analysis is critical in establishing long-term relationships with customers and managing a sustainable business. Managers use it to analyze the internal and external environment of an organization and the firm’s own capabilities, customers, and business outlook. Your situational analysis will influence the performance of the business and the choice of appropriate strategies. As companies are reviewing their current situation, a question that comes up is, “will it be enough to get back to normal, or that our business merely survives this crisis?”


In General Stanley McChrystal’s “Team of Teams” he writes extensively on the need to adapt to a changing world that is more complex and changing at a rapid pace. He had to view his command through a new set of lenses. Does this sound like today’s world? He discusses the advantages of transitioning from a command and control organization to a team of teams in order to more successfully deal with the new challenges. Is this right for your business? Maybe, maybe not, but what’s clear is that tackling today’s issues in the same manner as you have in the past may not be your only option and may not be good enough.


Where is your world going, and how are you anticipating the needs and opportunities of tomorrow? We have discussed how this health crisis has not affected all companies in the same manner, so the prescription for continued success will not be the same for all. There will be a few things, however, that will be beneficial for all companies to work on and to improve. Now is the time to be developing the new skills that your customer facing teams will need to remain relevant as your customers re-start their business with new rules in how they engage with you. It’s also the time to select two or three internal areas that you want to improve on. For example, determine how to take at least three touches out of your order entry process. Or, what are the best practices that will shorten a press makeready by 10% or increase the average hourly throughput by the same amount.


Based on your circumstances, put yourself in a position to take advantage of this inflection point in our industry. The changes you’ll deal with are not only internal, but in how customers will use print to drive their business. Understand which customers will still be standing, when they plan to re-start, and what deliverables will you bring to the table to make a positive impact going forward. Don’t wait until the all clear signal has been given to begin this process. This is something that needs to be worked on now so that when your customers are ready to re-start, you’ll have already been part of the conversation and part of the planning to get them back in front of their target markets.


Getting back to normal may be OK for many, but for some will not be good enough. As an owner or CEO, your situational analysis will help to determine your options. After reviewing your capabilities it may be time to double down on your strengths, or look for new strategic alternatives or partners. Fine-tune your plan, making sure that it is relevant to your current situation and what you see ahead, and finally, execute better and more consistently than anyone else! 


If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approach these issues, please send me a note or include them below.


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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