Back in 2008, I attended the Course for Presidents at Aileron (a local organization dedicated to helping small businesses implement Professional Management). The course really helped me focus—it gave me a clear idea of what my priorities were and how Oregon Printing Communications should run.
In October, I decided to renew that focus. I attended a two-day workshop for alumni of The Course for Presidents program at Aileron, taught by the program’s longtime instructor (and Aileron Co-Founder), Dave Sullivan. Fifty-two presidents representing more than 1,800 Dayton-area employees were present. The course was a great chance to reconnect with fellow business owners and renew our understanding of old lessons.
Dave, a gold mine of knowledge on how to run a business right, delivered the hard truth: our industry, like so many others, is highly commoditized. There’s no process I can implement, no equipment I can buy that truly gives me a competitive advantage.
It’s true. On paper, impression for impression, Oregon is no better than anybody else.
Yet while other print shops have been forced to close down, we’ve stayed afloat. We’ve expanded our capabilities and grown our staff. It doesn’t quite add up, does it?
Dave pointed out the one thing that sets the winners, in any industry, apart from the rest: our culture. Understanding, really understanding who your company is and what it stands for, is what makes the difference. And it’s the one thing money can’t buy and fancy equipment can’t make up for.
Culture begins at the top—with a president’s own values and outlook. It’s both a product of and an influence on a company’s vision. And it requires constant attention and reevaluation over time.
Maintaining a strong company culture isn’t easy work—but to us, it’s worth the effort.
Oregon Printing Communications’ October open house was perhaps the clearest expression of our culture yet. I’m so thankful for the support from the Dayton community—and proud to see physical proof of how far we’ve come. It reassures me that we’re doing things right. And it reminds me that our culture is never done being built.
We’re glad to have you on this journey with us.