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May 3, 201812:36 PMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

Serious message from the East Coast — engage!

(page 2 of 2)

Engaging the best Wisconsin has to offer is a terrific start, but it’s not nearly enough. Plenty of the knowledge we need lies outside the state. The HBS crowd still sees Wisconsin as the frontier, just barely a part of civilization. The best and brightest from the East Coast are not beating a path to our state to share their expertise. That means we need to reach outside our Wisconsin bubble and engage experts wherever we can.

Engagement is just one element of lifelong learning. Exponential change requires all of us to open our minds and thinking to new ideas and developments. Engaging Wisconsin expertise is only the first step. Reading is terrific as far as it goes. We all know “book smart” people unable to take practical action. That’s where face-to-face engagement with experts exploring the leading edge of technology, leadership, and collaboration fills in the gaps. Each of us should engage in a focused way that furthers our strategies and objectives while also helping others reach their goals.

I know this sounds like hard work — and it is. Still, we can make that work a source of joy and fun. We can all learn much more when we suppress our usual need to be the best or the smartest, or even just to be right. People love to talk about what they do and know. Take time to listen — really listen. Engage with interesting people not normally in your circles. Break out of your bubble and avoid the echo chamber. Leverage your expertise with theirs and you will both win!

It’s an exciting time to be alive. There’s much happening and great opportunities to learn more than ever before. Take advantage of the times and harness them to your advantage.

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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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