Yesterday, I wrote about 96 ways to share information electronically.  On the opposite side of that spectrum is communicating by handwritten notes.  An ad for one stationery firm calls paper “the original social media.”

It seems that more than stationers who are promoting paper these days. The Paper and Packaging board has been running ads in major magazines reminding people that “life’s greatest moments are celebrated with paper” (e.g.: birthdays and parties) and that “paper plays a key role in our education, right from the very start” (e.g.: flashcards, coloring, classroom aids).

Even a few years ago, who would have thought that paper would need to spend money (ironically in paper magazines) promoting the value of their product?  But apparently they felt the need to do so.

Is there something in your organization that you take for granted when you should be reminding people of its value?  Working in higher education, it feels like we should be running College Makes a Difference ads rather than assuming everyone still believes that. Do you have a product, service or core value that once was commonly accepted as the standard, but is now waning?  Think of all the products that were once packaged in glass that lost out to plastics. 

Spend some effort to identify the fundamental elements that you wish to preserve rather than assuming what is prevalent today will always remain so. Innovation is all around, thus you must also innovate to prevail.

Rock breaks scissors, but paper covers rock.

— beth triplett


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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