Lynda Purser, the IOP's new ceo, says the Institute's radical re-branding this month is no mere cosmetic exercise

One day I shall write a case study about the turnaround of the Institute of Packaging. It might even become a classic in the world of business improvement. For now I must be satisfied with grasping the nettle of the need for change at the Institute and making a success out of its declining fortunes.

The packaging industry is a large amorphous, heterogeneous sector. It touches and mixes freely with many other sectors – where does polymers end and packaging begin; what are the specific descriptors of glass as a sector that overlay packaging? Who drives the agenda for safe, cost-effective, environmentally acceptable products?

This overwhelmingly disparate yet interrelated range of sectors is huge, but interestingly the Institute of Packaging has less than 1% of the total UK packaging ‘universe’s’ workforce in membership.

This is a concern because such a diverse, widely distributed industry needs a focus – a common purpose through which it can survive and prosper. What better than a strong, sound, dynamic professional institute to provide it?

“The IoP serving the packaging industry” is to become our mantra. We will serve and lead the sector’s workforce development, providing qualifications and structured learning programmes. We will modernise our approach to members, improving how we work until we are a force to be reckoned with.

We will no longer accept decline and mediocrity in the service provided to customers in one of the most important industries in the world. We will play a crucial role in strengthening that industry by being central to its economic wellbeing and its workforce development.

We have a huge challenge ahead, huge, but we have business acumen, strength of purpose and a determination to be at the heart of professional excellence in packaging.

So how will you know we mean it? Well, we have begun radical reform internally to increase our effectiveness. We have become more commercially focused and, since January, have been rapidly increasing the number of members. We have sold Sysonby Lodge to move to nationally accessible, competitively priced offices in Stamford, just off the A1.

To emphasise the breadth of the transformation we have also changed our corporate identity. The image of an Institute caught up in past times does not suit this era.

We have tried, as you will see above, to marry the wisdom of age with the vigour of youth and move our image to a bright new beacon of success for the industry and for our leadership role within it.