Text: Jaroslav Drahoš
30 years ago, our printing company was founded on a green field. We have secured premises, machines, materials and orders. We also set the ground rules by which we would do business. Above all, ethical and moral rules were key for us. Simply put, what we want to do and what we don’t won’t to do.
Basically, these rules can be summarised in the following points:
- I build an atmosphere of trust and openness, I build a team that is strong. Its members help each other and can rely on each other.
- I am building a printing house in a family business atmosphere. Every leader is an example, is demanding of himself first and foremost.
- It is his responsibility to create a proactive atmosphere that allows us to succeed and be better than the competition.
- We are fair to ourselves and to those around us. We do not cheat and are always accountable for our actions.
- I can always look anyone in the eyes.
- We do not give bribes, we do not cooperate with anyone who does anything like that.
- Every job we produce is tendered and its price is defensible. That’s why, with few exceptions, we don’t produce for the public sector.
- We pay taxes, we don’t do any fraud.
The personal commitment I made was that every employee would always have their salary paid into their account by the due date. We’re just never late. It may seem ridiculous now, but at least in the early days it was sometimes a superhuman task for me. Thanks to covid, postcovid and other actions of the EU and also the Czech government, it is not easy even now. Despite all the obstacles and problems, next year it will be 30 years, or 360 months, since I (we) managed to fulfil this commitment.
Why am I writing about this?
It’s not nostalgia, it’s not just the past. It’s also the present and, I believe, the future. The basics on which FINIDR was founded are still unchanged. They are the same, and we still have to rely on them.
FINIDR has grown in these 30 years. It has many wonderful customers and suppliers. It has an excellent team made up of a lot of big-hearted people. But as we grow in size, there are also problems that we have to solve at different levels. That’s why we have a defined strategy, mission and values that we work together to deliver. Strategy is something that helps us, sets the direction and gives us confidence that we are going in the right direction.
Everything we do should make sense. I am convinced that if work is to be meaningful, openness in communication must be part of the company culture and there must be a high level of mutual trust. That’s why I’ve introduced a new form of communication to the standard forms of communication, “Coffee Talk”, where you can talk openly in a smaller team about things or issues that are bothering you. I am grateful for the time I can spend with you in this way and thank you for your suggestions, which are a huge inspiration to me. I learn things there that aren’t work – like communication, which is never enough of that, or a reluctance to solve issues openly and responsibly.
It’s perhaps a standard tax on our growth. But it doesn’t mean that I’m willing to accept or identify with this state of mind. I am aware that production brings a lot of problems. But we must address these problems, and preferably resolve them before they happen. That is the job of the leader, including open and trustworthy communication. If the leader is not trusted by the team, it is a big problem, and we need to ensure that it is repaired.
A good atmosphere is crucial for the company. It’s very hard to build and we can lose it very quickly. I am aware of that. For the next year, this will be one of the main topics we will focus on together, and it can certainly take us far.