"The hair stood up on the back of my neck"

Jo Francis
Friday, June 19, 2015

Jo Francis has a new book on her reading list, and reckons lots of print bosses should do likewise.

There’s a new book out that will surely be a must-read for Gerold Linzbach, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Christian Reinaudo and Jeff Clarke.

Hey, maybe even Antonio Perez will buy a copy.

The book in question is Innovating Out of Crisis by Fujifilm chief executive Shigetaka Komori. Or, to give it its full title, Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) as its Core Business Was Vanishing.

And yes, it is a bit confusing for us in the graphic arts business that the name of the bloke running Fujifilm is Mr Komori. As it happens, the other Mr Komori – Yosiharu Komori – chairman and CEO at Komori, will probably have this book on his reading list as well.

Anyhow, in his book the Fujifilm boss charts the company’s reinvention. Just like Kodak, its core film business was rapidly going down the tubes. Unlike Kodak, Fujifilm successfully reinvented itself and took its know-how into new areas.

Which reminds me, I must slap on some Astalift Jelly Aquarysta ASAP.

Back in 2012, just a few days before Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The Economist ran an insightful article exploring the differing fortunes of the two companies, and now we can hear the Fujifilm side of the story from the point-of-view of the main protagonist.

Innovating Out of Crisis looks compellingly candid, with a touch of the thriller about it. I love this extract from the author: “I was sure that something could be done to save the day. The whole of Fujifilm was depending on my managerial skills to make it happen. I was gripped by a strong sense of mission. ‘Maybe I was brought into this world to overcome this crisis,’ I thought at the time. The hair stood up on the back of my neck.”

To go back to my original point, it should actually be a must-read for all print bosses. Suggestion to Fujifilm UK team: how about a special promo edition printed on the world’s first Jet Press 540W up at Bell & Bain?






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