When I joined Océ, I was intrigued by what Océ had to offer. Here was a fantastic company known for its customer-first ethos, exceptional product innovation, and an outstanding service organization. And yet, in many ways, from a marketing perspective, Océ has remained the best-kept secret in the industry—particularly in the graphic arts sector. As a professional marketer and someone who has built a career on helping the print industry, it’s a dream job. Océ has a tremendous opportunity to move the industry forward—with incredible products, solutions, consulting and support, and a message that should be shouted from the mountaintops. My involvement with Océ provides a real opportunity to help the industry—whether it’s customers in in-plants, print franchises, or commercial printers—especially now that we’re part of the Canon organization.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in this market?
A: That’s a great question and one I think I’m going to answer in two parts. When it comes to contributing to this market, there are two achievements of which I’m really proud. One is external and one is internal.
Externally, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to work with a group of people who share the same passion I do for helping the print industry grow by establishing print communities that encourage collaboration. Dscoop is a shining example of what can be accomplished in a collaborative environment that encourages the open exchange of ideas and experiences. Dscoop was an idea hatched by seven of us several years ago after a meeting in New Jersey. Six months later, we had 200 members. Today, the count is in the neighborhood of 6,000 users in four countries. I’m also very proud of the work I’ve been able to do with NYU and the PRISM committee, helping guide the program, raise money, and encourage students to enter our industry; fostering the next generation of graphic arts innovators.
In terms of internal achievements at the companies where I’ve worked for the last 20 years, I’m proud of the time I’ve personally spent helping customers grow, succeed, and achieve their goals. By the same token, as a part of a corporate leadership team, there’s nothing more rewarding than inspiring the people who work for or with you in an organization to achieve things they didn’t think they could on their own; giving them the freedom, tools, and accountability to do things that help them recognize their own strengths. When someone walks into your office and has done something that really helped the business—something they didn’t know they were capable of—well there’s no feeling quite like it.
Q: If you could change anything, either about your career, your company, or the market as a whole, what would it be?
A: Another thought provoking question. Change is something that can be terrifying to many people, but when it is embraced, managed, and executed in the right manner, it is one of the most powerful ways to move an individual, organization, or industry forward. You know, we can look to the natural world for the perfect example—where you’ve got complex, adaptive systems that survive or perish based on their own ability to cultivate variety. Failure to do so results in an inability to cope with change when it is introduced externally.
In the business world, especially today’s print industry, organizations that get mired in the status quo end up in the backwater of wealth-creating opportunity. And this is a powerful metaphor for the business world. Because we can change everything. Throughout my career I’ve been able to do that. Our careers, our businesses, our industry—they all have to constantly evolve if we are to survive, let alone thrive.