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Mar 21, 201911:00 AMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

Optimism meets reality

(page 2 of 2)

Exponential change provides new opportunities to succeed, especially for a place like Wisconsin. Many experts agree that the next major computing wave will center on insights provided by big data. This wave will not depend on the location of programmers but will be centered on the largest caches of available data. Manufacturing creates over 90 percent of that data and Wisconsin’s solid and growing manufacturing base puts us in a strong position. Applied solutions will thrive. That's pragmatism in action, a quality I still believe resides in our DNA.

Are you ready to embrace your inner pragmatist? If so, here are some challenges for you. Catch yourself before using labels to describe an opponent. Words like idiot, socialist, or fascist are rarely accurate and never advance the dialogue. Make sure you understand the other person’s logic before engaging. Then engage to gain full understanding, not to win an argument. Finally, do the hard work necessary to find facts and be informed. Enjoy the entertainers and their opinions but rely on your own efforts to build your personal view of the future.

In any case, be courageous! It’s hard work to search for truth and just as hard to take the high ground. Be principled about your debates — demand the best from yourself and others on your side of an issue. Use precise language that describes situations clearly and factually, rather than relying on someone else’s soundbite or characterization. Live up to your higher ideals and become a bridge between factions. We desperately need more people crossing these divides.

Wisconsin faces a crucial time. No one has all the answers. The solution is not strong business or great education or social justice or capitalism — it’s all of these things and more! We need people who connect and collaborate to build a future that benefits all of us and puts our state in a leadership role for the next generation.

Our future depends on it!

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About This Blog

Buckley Brinkman is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity and writes about the manufacturing sector in Greater Madison and throughout Wisconsin. He has a breadth of experience in helping companies drive growth, world-class competitiveness, and performance excellence, and has led efforts to save dozens of operations in the U.S. by finding new ways for them to compete. A Wisconsin native, Brinkman holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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