Merry Christmas from Fislisbach

«Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier’.» What the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson expressed some 200 years ago is what we all wish for, every year. And yet we must always reckon with unexpected surprises and changes without losing our optimism.

After numerous restrictions caused by the Corona pandemic, it looked as though our lives would go back to their usual pattern. And then something happened that most of us would not have thought possible: A war began in Europe.

And it continues. But that is not all. In retrospect, developments around the world have presented us with major challenges: Further conflict hotspots, starvation, waves of refugees, energy shortages, raw material shortages and new pathogens have characterised the past year. The world seems to be turning in the wrong direction.

It is precisely at such times that it is so important for our society to stand together, to reflect on its basic social and humanistic values and to draw new hope.

We would like to share this hope with you and send our New Year wish that the good may remain in your life or return to it, so that we may all celebrate happy moments again. Thank you for your loyalty to our company.

Monopol Colors as guest at the “Coatings Summit” in Miami

The Coatings Summit takes place every two years. It is jointly organised by the World Coatings Association and Vincentz Network and brings together the top representatives of the global coatings industry. It is held alternately in Asia, Europe and America.

In December, it happened again: this time in the USA, in Miami. The theme and content of the policy paper presented by the World Coatings Association was “Sustainability in the Global Paint & Coatings Industry”. This was also the subject of most of the lectures and statements.

Monopol Colors CEO Lionel Schlessinger was also present, but he spoke about a somewhat different kind of sustainability. Against the grain of the general tenor that one had found good ways to act in conformity with the environment and sustainability in the shortest possible time, Schlessinger spoke about a learning process that had hurt, but was unavoidable to get a company back on track. The fact that this learning process is Schlessinger’s own story and that the transformation relates to himself and his own company made the audience sit up and take notice.

Who likes to put their own misjudgement up for discussion?

Schlessinger’s sovereign lecture began by enumerating the difficulties and dangers of modern industries that exist everywhere and can be perceived with an alert eye and ear. These include possible disruptive innovations, the consequences of the Anthropocene with its climatic effects, the challenges of Industry 4.0, the metaverse, lockdowns and supply chain disruptions, the facts of the energy cost explosions as a result of the war of aggression in Ukraine and the dangers of overregulation in Europe and deindustrialisation.

How did Schlessinger meet these challenges? Like many company captains, he tried to react quickly and forgot about his company crew. As analogue people with brains 1.0, we are slow to get involved and enthusiastic about technology 4.0. The fast-acting company boss also had to learn this. Input had to come from the grassroots, the employees, and Schlessinger had to accept and embrace that. First of all, a vision was needed, then clearly defined and implementable corporate principles, on the basis of which the corporate culture then grew. A very communicative time began between boss and staff, which continues to this day, Lionel Schlessinger tells us.

The implementation lasted 2 years and was a prerequisite for being able to tackle changes in the product portfolio, which not only initiated new developments, but also successfully realised them. One of these projects and products has gone down in company and paint and lacquer history as “The Coolest White”. This is a paint that sustainably counteracts the heating up of cities by solar radiation.

In the end, Schlessinger says both modestly and optimistically: “We have not achieved everything we wanted. We have to keep changing and not lose sight of our vision. But we are well on the way to achieving it.” And with this he found the understanding agreement of all participants of the Coating Summit, from whose ranks one or the other might well have thought of their own experiences.

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