Reinvention is Reaching a Tipping Point

November 23, 2020

By Marcus Timson, Director of FM Future Ltd.

It is widely accepted that the world we live in now is experiencing rapid change. Much of this is way beyond our control. It can be stressful, and confusing. But there are signs of normalisation, and there are certain things that remain the same. Innovation still drives progress – and according to our COVID-19 and the Future of Print Survey, 52% of respondents are innovating even more right now – and this is a key ingredient for successful reinvention.

Why is reinvention so important now? Because we have travelled through a time warp in the past few months. As Jonas Ridderstrale stated in the opening talk for the FuturePrint Virtual Summit, “COVID-19 has put us all into a time machine. We went to bed in 2020, and we woke up in 2030.” Consequently, to succeed in the recovery, we must reinvent ourselves. We must move forward. This will require us to take stock of our skillset and then try to develop something new that solves a key problem. This may feel uncomfortable at first but moving outside our comfort zone is required. But we do not have to do this entirely alone. I believe the best way to succeed is with partners. Humans have evolved successfully through collaboration. But to do so, you need the right partners, people who align with your values and have ideas and technology that can unlock new potential while solving important problems.

At the recent FuturePrint Virtual Summit, Memjet, Colordyne and Kao Collins presented “The Tipping Point for Inkjet.” The outcome of their collaboration has been super successful. To achieve this, they each worked with their strengths to deliver a solution that has compelling value. Check out the talk here. It is an inspiring story that may spark some ideas! Of course, taking a risk is an inevitable fact of reinvention. We need to be making mistakes, learning and adapting. Never before has there been a better time to try new things. Toleration of failure right now is higher than it has ever been. According to the same survey, short runs are increasing in demand and so is the interest in digital solutions to add flexibility and responsiveness. The previous barriers to change have been deconstructed by COVID. This is the silver lining. By exploiting the amazing tech and expertise of products such as those created by Memjet, I believe will best position your business for recovery. While some markets have suffered badly over the past few months, some, such as packaging and labels have been resilient and are expected to bounce back quickly. So, might there be a problem you could solve in this sector? The great news is that inkjet technology is still in an early market phase, but its quality and affordability are aligning. So, these amazing tools of innovation are ready and waiting primed by leading innovators such as Memjet. I think we need to abandon our old plans and our old thinking. We need to experiment and fail. We need to accept that the new paradigm is uncertainty. But as sure as night follows day, failure to do nothing at all will most likely lead to nothing at all. Of this, we can be certain! So right now, is the tipping point for reinvention. And my advice would be to explore the opportunity in adversity and take a measured risk. It could be the defining factor for your positive future.

For the past 20-plus years, Marcus has been a professional event organizer – launching a number of successful new shows and conferences including FESPA Digital, FESPA Asia and InPrint. In February 2019, he launched with Frazer Chesterman FM Future a strategic communications consultancy, and in June 2019 launched FuturePrint an online platform and community for advanced print technology. As well as sharing and creating useful insight and content, has launched the Future of Inkjet Survey and Report, hosts webinars, smaller events, keynote presentations and workshops, and thought leadership campaigns through our large following of print, manufacturing and technology professionals who are invested in the future of print tech.

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