White Space

There’s a new phrase I ran across in an online article from Andy Plata’s Output Links – White Space Management.  Not one to get carried away with wonky management du jour philosophies, I started to ignore it and go back to aimlessly deleting emails.  Then, I thought, “What the heck is White Space Management?”

Per the article, “In business management terms ‘white space’ is a process management concept. It was described by Rummler and Brache in the 90’s as the area between the boxes in an organizational chart where no one is in charge, and yet is the place where an organization has the greatest potential for improvement.  In essence, manage the white space effectively and you can improve an organization’s overall performance!”

Okay.  It’s an interesting concept but given the size of most companies (small) in our industry, I don’t see it as a crucial management topic.  Then I continued to read the article, which was written by Crawford Technologies and directed readers to their blog – Reducing Document Production Costs is So Last Decade.  That got a bit more interesting.

Although the article is directed at corporate communication/inplant operations managers, and it’s a bit of an infomercial, there’s a lot of fodder there for folks in the commercial world.  It reflects the continual challenges large companies have with internal communications as well as messaging to their clients via transactional printing.

It brought to mind what a consulting friend of mine (non-print) stated in a recent conversation.  In a commoditized business (yes, that’s us), differentiation is crucial, and the role of consultative selling is vastly important, which means we need to know more about a client’s business than they do.  And more the reason to read this article, and peel back the onion.  There are potential nuggets of opportunities for a print provider if they expand the way they look at the world of print/paper.

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