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02-11-17 - Jules Lejeune, FINAT

The 6th Star of FINAT: it’s all about PEOPLE

We’re in the autumn of another full year of FINAT activity. With the peak of activities behind us, this end of the year is normally the period to evaluate programmes, take stock of achievements and unmet needs, and complete the planning for the next year.

Last week, the FINAT Board, committees, subcommittees and special taskforces met back-to-back during a 4-day retreat in Munich. Apart from the strategic and operational activities that came out of the many work sessions, the most remarkable overall element is the involvement and commitment of volunteers. Altogether, FINAT’s volunteer workforce brings together almost 85 professionals from almost 60 member companies and nearly 20 different countries. It proves how international FINAT is, how widely commitment is spread across different companies of all sizes and how many individual professionals are ready to support the industry with their time and talent.

At the end of the week, FINAT had ticked off no less than 13 meetings, in different settings, on which occasion a wide range of topics relevant to the FINAT programmes was covered, such as:

  • our events and webinars for 2018;
  • our marketing and communications;
  • our Radar market research programme;
  • our programmes on sustainability, compliance and recycling;
  • our monitoring and advocacy on regulatory affairs;
  • our expanding library of test methods;
  • our membership development;
  • and, finally, the necessity to develop a joint strategy on ‘employer branding’ of our industry across Europe.

About synergy

Logistically it can be a challenge at times, but having most volunteers in one place in the same week has several advantages:

  • It saves organizational time and resources, given the fact that modern technology reduced the need for physical meetings.
  • Having access to multiple disciplines makes it possible to weigh in all aspects of FINAT programmes before taking action.
  • The on-site interaction between different bodies of the association creates a better mutual understanding and alignment of volunteer work.
  • The fact that proposals and initiatives emerging from the committees can be vetted and approved by the Board within the same week increasesFINAT’s agility.
  • And last but by no means least, one of the most important side benefits of actively taking part in FINAT’s committee work is the ability tonetwork and maintain contacts across the value chain.

To a large degree, the success of member driven organisations like FINAT depends on the commitment of member companies, and their willingness to delegate members of their staff for the common benefit of our industry, and FINAT is grateful for their dedication!

Dealing with talent gaps

In spite of the continuous evolution of and media attention for artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotisation, workflow automation and the merger of physical and virtual reality: it IS and always WILL be about the people of our industry!

This not only concerns the role of active members and volunteer leaders in shaping the future of our wonderful association. In spite of FINAT’s already impressive volunteer base, initiatives are underway to widen our talent pool and engage a more diverse and younger generation.

But it is also about the availability of young and skilled talent inside companies to carry the labels and narrow web industry forward into the next generation.

It was recently reported that about two thirds of today’s school kids will end up in jobs that have not been invented yet. In the increasingly connected digital world of today, manufacturing is being re-invented and the demand for new skills and competences is insufficiently met by current supply in the labour market. As a result, industries are now not only competing for customers but also for talent. Within the printing and packaging arena, the labels and narrow web section has always been ‘ahead of the pack’ in terms of entrepreneurship, innovation and engagement with the big brands of this world.

FINAT60: upgrading to #6

Our industry has a lot to offer to young talent with career ambition. It is just a matter of branding it in the right way and to the right audiences. And this is why a 6th star, about ‘workforce development’, has now been added to FINAT’s ‘5-Star’ value proposition. After all, with our 60th anniversary around the corner it is time to ‘upgrade’ to the generation that will drive the future.

Photo caption: the FINAT Board (from left to right):

- Albert Feldbauer, Ilkka Ylipoti, Jules Lejeune, Alfredo Pollici, Georg Müller-Hof (Treasurer), Ralf Drache, Jan Hasselblatt, Aydin Okay, Jakob Landberg

- Ferdinand Rüesch, Thomas Hagmaier (Past-President), Chris Ellison (President), Francesc Egea (Vice-President), Chris Jones, Alex Knott

- Not present: Günther Dieroff