TLMI chairman Dan Muenzer, of Constantia Flexibles, kicked off the event (and his shoes), by introducing the new association president, Mark Tibbetts, as the meeting marks his first since taking the helm as TLMI president. Tibbetts introduced himself to TLMI converter members and expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, emphasizing how he looks forward to advancing the association as well as helping members grow their businesses. He said, “My focus will be on adding ‘Member Value.’ The challenge will be prioritizing all of the exciting things we want to do.”
The 2016 Converter Meeting chairman was Dan Taylor of Taylor Made Labels, a division of Resource Label Group. In discussing the theme of the meeting, he said, “Over the course of the next two days, we’ll learn how to create the most effective ways to unleash powerful business strategies while fostering a culture of innovation.”
One of the meeting’s keynote presenters was Gino Wickman, creator of EOS, what he described as a practical method for “helping companies achieve greatness.” EOS stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. Wickman’s presentation, which was titled “Vision without Traction is Hallucination,” was focused on how the implementation of EOS can help label business owners become masterful problem-solvers, allowing them to get what they want from their businesses.
“I help entrepreneurs and leadership teams do three things,” he said. “I call those things vision, traction and healthy. I help them and their leadership teams all get on the same page with what their vision is for the business; traction from the standpoint of helping them become more disciplined, more accountable and execute on that vision; and healthy from a standpoint of helping them become a more healthy, functional cohesive team. As goes the leadership, so goes the rest of the organization.”
All of the converters in attendance received a copy of Wickman’s book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, and throughout his two-part keynote, he went in detail covering excerpts from the book. He also had the converters in the audience examine their own businesses, challenging them to answer tough questions regarding their respective company’s core values, processes, issues and personnel.
The EOS model divides a business into six key components: Vision, Data, Process, Traction, Issues and People. Wickman discussed the tools business leaders can use to strengthen each component. He said that most organizations have not defined their core values, which is something that hinders growth. “When your people don’t embrace your core values, their actions hurt your cause more than help it. By not defining what your core values are, you have no way of knowing who believes in them and who doesn’t,” he said.
Once a company’s core values are defined, he said, “you must hire, fire, review, reward and recognize people based on these core values. This is how to build a thriving culture,” Wickman explained.
He also touched on marketing strategy. He suggested focusing on the demographic, geographic and psychographic of ideal customers. “Not every customer is right for you,” he said. “You shouldn’t do business with people you don’t want to do business with.”
To determine your ideal customers, Wickman suggested picking your ten best, and ask, “Why do you love your top ten? Find three things that make you different for your ideal customers. It’s the combination of these three unique traits that set you apart.”
On the topic of accountability, he pointed to the three major functions within a business: Sales & Marketing, Operations and Finance. “There are the three areas that make every business go round, and they must be strong,” he said. “A fourth function is the integrator, the one who harmoniously glues them all together.” –Steve Katz