The future of the label industry is in good hands. That was how one delegate summed up the first ever Global YMC Congress organised by FINAT’s Young Managers Club (YMC).
Mike Fairley of Tarsus Group went on to say that the opportunities for the next generation of industry leaders to meet, network and discuss the industry’s challenges and opportunities will undoubtedly provide long-term benefit. The two-day congress, held in Berlin in close collaboration with TLMI (US), LMAI (India) and the hosting country’s national association VskE (Germany), covered a range of topics under the umbrella of ‘Young Managers, let's challenge the future’. It offered the young blood of the industry international networking opportunities and the ability to share experiences and obtain knowledge from industry experts all over the world.
It also covered a broad variety of topics from ‘Next Generation or New Generation?’, ‘Developing an Environmental Management Policy That Makes Economic and Business Sense’ and ‘Decision Making’.
Next generation thinking
The 'Next Generation or New Generation?’ presentation by Renate Kenter, strategy consultant, facilitator, and teacher with De Ruijter Strategy (NL) said ‘being stuck in today’s thinking can be expensive’. She described how sailing towards a desired goal, your chosen destination, involves a combination of looking back (using the experience and knowledge of the older generation) and looking forward. Beforehand, you must define what your core business is, and why you are successful in it. “If you cannot do that, you cannot look at the future,” she stated.
A workshop followed which saw delegates consider key uncertainties and their future vision which included globalisation, possible international alliances and partnerships; cost pressures, and the need to find cost-saving solutions and new technologies, developing faster than they are being adopted.
The importance of an environmentally conscious approach was outlined by label industry guru Mike Fairley, Director of Strategic Development, Labels & Packaging Group, Tarsus Exhibitions & Publishing. He set out in detail the options for creating and maintaining an environmental management policy appropriate for the packaging and labelling industry that also makes economic and business sense. It must also, crucially, partner the policies and published environmental aspirations of the major brand owners, 70-80% of whom rate environmental concerns ‘highly’.
An eye-opening interactive session, ‘Managing people -- leadership and decision making’, was led by Prof Dr Isabell Welpe, chair of strategy and organisation at the Technical University of München (DE). She explained how some wrong decisions are unavoidable, but others are definitely avoidable, and urged participants – as leaders in their organisations -- to fine-tune their decision-making processes to identify and eliminate any team bias, and to steer clear of any form of ‘group think’. Strategic leadership in a company is critical for its success, and is centred on matching company resources to market opportunities. "Leadership is influence," Dr Welpe underlined. "If you lead, others follow.”
There were also presentations on Strategic Planning, India: Opportunities and Challenges, Burnout: How to Recognize, Prevent and Deal With It and Collaboration.
Be flexible to change