IPMA 2000 Texas Roundup
In-plant managers from all over the country traveled to the Lonestar State to learn about leadership, technology and in-plant survival.
by Bob Neubauer
More than 500 in-plant managers gathered in San Antonio recently for the 41st International Publishing Management Association (IPMA) conference and exhibit. Attendance was up 20 percent this year, with supervisors from some of the largest in-plants, like Allstate, USAA and Wal-Mart, mingling with managers of medium and small shops.
Aside from the numerous networking opportunities and educational sessions, attendees enjoyed evening strolls along the city's famed Riverwalk and several Texas-themed evening activities organized by IPMA. The conference was capped off with a memorable awards banquet at which the In-Print awards were presented..
Throughout the four-day event, talk of e-commerce filled the air. In-plants whose print management system vendors were recently taken over by a dotcom expressed worry about the privacy of their customer information. Others decried the impersonal nature of bidding jobs out via the Internet. But the overriding message brought to light by these e-companies was that in-plants, if they want to survive, have to make printing as easy for customers to access as these Internet companies do.
Leadership Through The Ages
The first day's keynote speaker, Bob Gaylor, entertained and informed attendees with a look back at changing leadership styles over the past half century. He examined the authoritarian style of leadership that typified the '50s—where power and fear were used to control employees—then discussed '60s leaders, who employed empathy and sensitivity, and looked at the quality circles of the '80s. Today's leaders, he said, should orchestrate the talents of their work forces.
"Probably the leader's finest act is to allow followers their potential," he said.
Another keynote speaker, Rick Butts, declared that the transfer of enthusiasm is the foundation of leadership. He offered his often humorous look at survival in the 21st century, stressing three essential focuses: