Adhesives Magazine

Our Cheese Is Moving

November 27, 2000
If you haven’t already read it, you’ll enjoy the number-one best seller, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. The book deals with how companies and individuals can take charge of change in the workplace and in their lives. With all the self-help books on the market, I think this one has outsold many of the other ones because it is so right for these transient times.

For example, Al Stroucken, CEO, H.B. Fuller Company, St. Paul, Minn., recently talked about how we respond to change in the workplace. Stroucken gave the keynote address at the Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) Fall Convention in Minneapolis in October.

Stroucken explored the concept of change and what it means to us as an industry, as individual organizations – offering H.B. Fuller as a case study, and as an association.

Stroucken pondered the many forces at work in our industry, including the almost-daily waves of consolidation and its flip side, globalization; technological advances; and changing attitudes about society and the environment.

Stroucken pointed out that “We must respond to the pressures for change, or we will risk having others seize the opportunity from us – and we, too, will face extinction. Consider the consequences: Our customers may seek – and find -- solutions to their manufacturing needs that use less adhesive, different adhesive or simply no adhesive at all.

“Equally possible – our customers may continue to use adhesive, but decide they don’t need a middleman to manufacture the product. And never forget the power of public opinion, which can – and will – dictate our actions.”

Here at Adhesives & Sealants Industry (ASI) magazine, we are making changes faster than we ever have before.

In October, we initiated our e-mail newsletter, ASI Insider News. I think it is a real service to our industry. We can get the kind of information that appears in our Industry News, People and Company News sections to you fast. The newsletter is free . . . no strings attached. Just visit our Web site, www.adhesivesmag.com, and sign up.

In February, we are initiating a new department on e-commerce. We see adhesives manufacturers and their suppliers becoming more sophisticated in handling transactions on their own Web sites, as well as building alliances with dot-com companies.

Finally, in June, ASI magazine is partnering with the ASC to offer up a symposium on Adhesives for Product Assembly, including tabletop exhibits. We are holding the symposium on June 18-19, 2001, at the MSU Management Education Center near our corporate headquarters in Troy, Mich.

I would encourage you to visit the ASC Web site, www.ascouncil.org, and read Al Stroucken’s speech in full. There is a wealth of information about our changing industry that, like the characters in Dr. Johnson’s book, “may help us sniff out change early,” “scurry into action,” and “learn to adapt in time to something better.”