The 2018 event, themed “Spying Into The Future,” kicked off on Sunday, October 14 with the Products and Services Showcase. The tabletop exhibition allowed suppliers to meet with their TLMI member customers and prospects while discussing how their machinery, supplies and technologies can help converters improve their labels and packaging businesses. Among the record number of tabletop exhibitors were Platinum Sponsors Mark Andy, Nilpeter, Domino and HP.
Craig Moreland of Coast Label Company and the current TLMI chairman kicked off the general session on Monday, October 15, with the business meeting portion of the event. He shared a rundown of the association’s progress since Dan Muenzer took over as TLMI president. Among the recent accomplishments are a rebranding initiative, a new website, and an overall new direction and strategic plan based on Five Pillars: Communication, Sustainability, Leadership, Workforce, and Finance. Moreland then introduced and recognized both incoming and outgoing TLMI board members, as well as announcing chair-elect Mike Ritter, and vice-chair elect Lori Campbell.
Muenzer expounded on the whirlwind of a year TLMI has experienced. He said, “We have launched our matrix recycling initiative and merged our LIFE certification with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership. TLMI expanded our government and regulatory and while sponsored our first congretaional fly-in in our nation's capital. Finally, our workforce goals have taken flight with the creation of our Collegiate Advisory Council, sponsorship of the Phoenix Challenge and partnership with the Affinity HR Group.”
Clauda St. John of Affinity HR Group was on hand to disucss workforce trends and how Affinity can help TLMI memebrs with their HR needs.
The 2018 TLMI Annual Meeting chair is David Ellen, president of Domino Digital Printing Solutions North America. He took the podium to present the meeting’s James Bond-inspired “Spying Into The Future” theme. He explained, “This meeting will incorporate some James Bond-style flair into an event that will deliver to attendees expert learning sessions, many networking opportunities and memorable experiences. Over the course of the coming days you will hear from four presenters who will discuss topics that are both relevant and essential to all of us – managing change, driving growth, leading by example, workforce development and seizing business opportunities.
Ellen continued, “Bond’s survival was dependent upon his ability to constantly adapt, apply new technologies and successfully navigate adversarial – and often dangerous – situations. While most of us in the converting industry aren’t involved in international espionage, our own success relies on many of the same conditions. I look forward to spending the next few days together with the hope that the future we spy may always be a successful and prosperous one.”
Author and entrepreneur Josh Linkner provided the opening keynote presentation titled “Harnessing Innovation.” Linkner drew upon his experiences as the founder and CEO of five tech companies and presented to attendees his thoughts on “harnessing the power of creative disruption.”
Linkner said, “Nearly every industry is a place of massive upheaval. We can no longer rely on the models of the past – we need a fresh and innovative approach to running our businesses. Think about your role and perhaps take on a secondary role – as an innovator. Harness human creativity to drive business results.”
After studying 200 people from the top of their fields, Linkner revealed what emerged as common mindsets of innovators from a variety of areas, including business, sports, entertainment and others. He detailed what he calls five core mindsets of successful innovators. They are:
- Every barrier can be penetrated.
- Video killed the star – a willingness to let go of the past in favor of the possible. “This all about challenging traditions and letting go of the past,” he said.
- Change the rules to get the jewels. “This involves Injecting change into business,” he said, citing the “Cheaters Edition of the iconic board game Monoply, which became the number one selling variation of the game.
- Seeking the unexpected. "The expected approach never makes history, while the unorthodox creative approach does," he said.
- Fall seven times, stand up eight – "Approach your business with creative grit and tenacity,” Linkner concluded.
Next up was Troy Hazard, a serial entrpreneuer who has founded and nurtured 12 businesses over two decades. There are few situations in business that Troy hasn't suvived, he said. His experiences in the global business landscape have allowed him unique and valuable insigts into working organizations as well as the minds of consumers.
He challenged the audience with the questions, "Is the customer you have the customer you want?"
Hazard emphasized one gem of wisdom in particular. He said, "There is one thing to change to catapult and grow your business – YOU have to change. The power of your peers will inspire you and help you change your future. Just change this one thing and it may change the rest of your life," he said.
Tuesday’s educational program began with Bryan Vickers – over breakfast – who provided an update on politics and the upcoming mid-term elections, and how these things will impact the labels and packaging industry.
Jim Carroll, a futurist, innovator and trends expert, presented the first keynote on Tuesday, October 15. Carroll's goals are to "help transforms growth-oriented compnies into high velocity innovation heros."
With references to the iconic TV shows the Jetsons and Star Trek (the original) – he provided examples of ideas that were once considered crazy, sci-fi pipe dreams that have now become a reality.
Carrol discussed how he he went back and watched every episiode of the Jetsons and uncovered countless instances of technologies the cartoon predicted, and how today they have come to life.
Among Carroll's insights:
- Pace of change is simply staggering.
- Every industry becomes a software industry.
- Science exponentiates.
- Packagong changes, and packaging connects.
- Attention spans collapse.
- Real time provides real insight.
- Disruption dominates – and strategies are scrambled.
- Gamers game, and virtualization emerges.
Up next was Cheryl Cran, author the creator of NextMapping, a proprietary business solution brand that teaches companies how to navigate change in the workplace. Cheryl advises companies on how technology in the workplace must be used to prepare for the future with a focus on exactly how that technology can enhance outcomes for business owners, managers and employees. Her life work is dedicated to a “people-first and digital-second" philosophy that creates a more humane future, helping companies build the leadership capacity needed to change the world through business.
Cran cited what she sees as the top three challenges businesses face today – recruiting, retention, and the speed of innovation.
"Technology is easy, people are the problem," she said. "Humanizing an industry that has often been equipment centric is the key element to the future of manufacturing. Leaders must make manufacturing a fun and engaging place to work."
Cran concluded, "We need to have progressive leaders. Today's leaders need multiple intelligences – emotions, creative, and generational with multiple perspectives. That's the key – for leaders to see every angle."