Australia is a land of opportunity but it takes more than good ol’ fashioned hard work to be successful. Ask yourself, is your thinking holding you back?
The Background to a “Thinking Big” example
Recently one of our clients, Plastfix, announced a collaboration with German multinational BASF, to deliver a simple innovation set to change how automotive plastic repairs will be handled. We’re talking about plastic bumpers and how to repair them. Every car has two of them and they tend to cop the brunt of our lack of attention in parking lots, low speed impacts and general scuffing which makes our cars look unloved. The current industry standard process uses fillers which are not environmentally friendly. Due to time and cost to repair, many repairable bumpers are sent to landfill, adding to the environmental impact of repairing a low impact collision.
So what has Plastfix come up with?
A simple tool called the PlastiPush which is produced on a 3D printer, comes in multiple sizes and allows technicians to repair bumper impacts using heat and manipulation to restore thermoplastics to their original shape. The tool allows a clean repair of a part that is usually discarded to landfill or repaired using fillers.
The collaboration with BASF comes after the Plastfix team researched the best material to use for the PlastiPush tool. Utilising 3D printing allowed the development of prototypes to happen much quicker than traditional injection moulding batch runs. The use of BASF filaments is the key to the tools’ success. Through BASF’s Application Technology Centre the optimal product was able to be produced.
Apart from a game changer in how an auto repair technician can do the repair (time and money saved) the environmental benefits are enormous. If a bumper can be repaired rather than sent to landfill, it’s a massive win for all of us, and generations to come too. As Mario Dimovski, a 30-year Master Plastic Repair Technician and owner of Plastfix Industries states “we not only bring these tools to the broader market, but also highlight the benefits of 3D printing. This allows a small company like Plastfix to launch an innovative solution, with the support of the material experts at BASF Forward AM. If every collision repair shop repaired one extra bumper bar per week, that would divert over 36,000 tons of plastic waste from landfill every year.”
What are the thinking big elements to look at in this example?
So we have highlighted four key elements to Big Thinking here. Passion, Expertise, Purpose and a Higher Purpose.
Firstly Mario has a passion for the industry he works in. After 30 years of being involved in the automotive plastic repair business, he is an expert. His purpose has been to develop better solutions for his business and the business sector that he has worked in for 30 years. In benefiting the entire industry, by raising its accepted norms in terms of the industry’s waste stream, he has developed his higher purpose. Looking after the environment, which is raising the standard for the industry as a whole.
How can you apply that to your business and think big?
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz states a few key points regarding thinking big:
- Be human / Thinking it’s possible has just made it possible / Ignore the downers or haters / One step at a time / Do more but take the time to think
Now David Schwartz is probably better read than I am but there are a few points to discuss from his summary.
We’re human to start with so…it makes sense to remind yourself that your people are critical in getting your dream to fruition. Your leadership is the reason others get behind you and support you.
Let’s move onto thinking it is possible.
In your mind’s eye if you can see the end result, that means it can be done. Even if the end result is not 100%complete, it is now possible to achieve it because you have created the vision. Once you have started thinking about it the action steps, information and insights will start to manifest. There is power in thought and science backs it up. (Baader-Meinhof effect – read why something new to you is now appearing everywhere in your life. Also referred to as “red car syndrome”). You will draw lessons from other industries and see relevance in concepts that are not apparent to others. `
Ignoring the downers is a natural course of action for people with big dreams. There will always be people not wanting you to rise up or chase a dream that is outside the norm, or their norm. Listening is a critical skill but don’t take on everyone’s opinion as gospel. As we know with opinions, , well, let’s just say that everyone has one. Take your counsel from trusted people, experts in the field or people you aspire to and admire.
Taking one step at a time
Taking one step at a time can seem good advice but it can also be an anchor to achieving rapid change over a short period. Let’s face it we are in a very, very fluid world these days. It is more pertinent to make sure you complete tasks. Having many tasks, projects and tasks on the go is pretty much the norm for business today and we’re very adaptable at juggling spinning plates. Be mindful that you need all steps completed at some stage before you push the start button. Nothing like getting to the start line of a race and finding the petrol tank is empty!
Taking the time to think is incredibly important in the thinking-big process. You are at least evolving, if not innovating. You will be busy, with tasks, deadlines and thousands of decisions to make to build your dream. Take the time to make sure that each day, week or month that you are still on track to achieve your goal. Make the time to review your plan regularly.
Like Mario and the Plastfix team, hard work is a key element to creating big outcomes from small beginnings. Use your passion to guide you to where you want to be. If you dream it, you can create it. Value adding can occur in any industry, in many different ways.
Dare to dream? Dare to act! Planning, hard work and resilience!
This is one we’ve added that wasn’t on Schwarz’s list. Look, the truth is that dreams are cheap. Anyone can wish they were BHP (BHP was once a small business too, you know). But few can articulate the plan to get there. Some even start the journey but “take the gas” as soon as things get tough. Not many exhibit the resilience it takes to execute the plan and that’s why there are thousands more small businesses than there are large businesses.
You know what? Staying small is easier than growing big! And there’s nothing at all wrong with staying small – if that’s what you want. Small can be beautiful.
But what we’re saying is, don’t let fear stand between you and growing big, if that’s what you want. Take “little ol’ Plastfix” and “big ol’ BASF” as an example of what’s possible when you dare to dream and dare to act!
If you would like to apply some of this thinking to your business, then reach out to the BridgePoint Group team. We can contribute in so many ways and at so many points in the journey, just as we have done and continue to do with Plastfix right now.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 651 141