Philie Group Blog

Take Nothing for Granted – Getting Ready for the Pivot
By Mike Philie

Over the last several weeks as the COVID19 virus was making its way into and across North America, I was trying to relate it to the past times that I’ve experienced and the lessons learned. At times it’s akin to being in a MASH unit, a constant whirl of triage. We are also finding, that the rate and pace of how this is effecting our lives, communities, and businesses is not the same for all and is unprecedented. The one thing for sure is that we can’t take anything for granted.


Once we get through this, I don’t believe that it will be business as usual for everyone. For some, it may take a long time to re-fill the funnel and get back to where they were. A lesson learned from the past is that with change, comes opportunity. While our current situation is not a typical recession, the scars that it will leave have similarities.


What we saw from the printing companies that emerged from the last great recession as leaders is that they didn’t take anything for granted. During the downtime they re-examined their approach and workflows, they re-imagined what they could do for their customers, they trained, they “sharpened their saws,” and they planned their go-forward strategy. The net effect was that they pivoted from the recession fundamentally different, smarter, and more agile.


These are uncertain times for sure. But for those who prepare, and keep their heads up, there will be great opportunities on the other side. Begin by taking care of yourself and your people. Keep your team (internal leaders and outside advisors) engaged in all the what-ifs, and during these times remember that there are no dumb ideas. In a world full of change, there is no greater risk than doing nothing.


I’m happy to speak with anyone who is looking for ideas or validation of their plan. And if you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached 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 advice, 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


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