Making Madison


Give your company a little slack!

I’m concerned about our future because an important part of our economic and social systems is breaking down. Our relentless focus on efficiency, results, and profitability over the past several decades eliminated important slack in our systems, reducing our resilience and ability to respond to unexpected events.

Our future success requires leveraged learning

The stresses created by the pandemic, legacy problems, and accelerating change are creating a new environment where all of us will need to become lifetime learners to thrive. The complications created in this new world will also require a proactive learning approach where we lean into and learn through problems to create breakthrough solutions.

Struggling, manufacturers? It’s time to panic!

We are experiencing a bifurcated recovery, with large sectors almost fully recovered and others struggling to find any traction at all. The same is true within the manufacturing sector and that worries me. If you are a manufacturer that isn’t recovering, it’s time to panic!

Do we have real leaders ready to meet the challenges of 2020?

Back in early March, the most tumultuous things we all faced were accelerating change and living through a contentious presidential election in a battleground state. Now, the stacked disruptions of pandemic, economic collapse, and pervasive demands for equality turned our whole world upside down.

About This Blog

Brinkman ThumbBuckley 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.

In Business magazine