Friday, August 27, 2010

Keeping in Mind What Really Matters

In the end, it’s about family, friends and community.

But how often do we reflect on these foundations in the midst of our busy days? Sometimes it takes a personal struggle to put it all in perspective.

Jay Williams talked about his own such journey this week at the annual meeting of the newly renamed Waukesha County Business Alliance.

Jay had a long, successful career in banking, most recently at the helm of The PrivateBank – Wisconsin. Then cancer blew in like a tornado, taking the life of both his father and son and threatening his own. Through this adversity, Jay saw what many would miss: an opportunity to reevaluate what’s most important in life. He thought a lot about what he wanted his legacy to be.

As a result, Jay is now devoting himself to something he’s long been passionate about: the Milwaukee community. Today, he’s president and CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum, a vital and historic community institution. He’s applying his experience to advance a cultural asset that can benefit greatly from his financial and business management expertise.

Jay sets a fine example for many business leaders, who have so much to offer nonprofits like MPM. While not everyone can dedicate all their time to their favorite cause, every business can do its part.

Leaders can lead by example in their charity work, while providing opportunities wherever possible for their employees to do the same.

I believe we all do better work when we keep in mind why we’re doing that work in the first place. That’s why being a force for good makes good business sense. Ultimately, it truly is about family, friends and community. Thanks, Jay, for reminding us.

Friday, August 20, 2010

American Manufacturers Must Band Together

"We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin

American manufacturers can be proud of their resurgence. This blog posting from one of our clients, Dave Lawrence of Milacron, underscores the importance of American manufacturing and its leading role in assisting our country’s future. As Lawrence states, “It will take collaboration, advocacy and a renewed commitment among manufacturers,” to lead the way into a stronger economy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Manufacturers Must Capitalize on Current Momentum

While the rest of the economy rides the roller coaster, American manufacturers have been on a strong, steady climb.

Here’s some of the latest evidence that manufacturers are leading the way out of the recession.

It’s been a long time since our country’s factories have been at the forefront of positive economic trends. And we hope the public is taking notice. But the reality is, manufacturers can’t simply hope that people are aware of their successes.

No, the manufacturing industry has spent too many years burdened by bad news and perceptions of impending doom to suddenly expect opinions to change. Meanwhile, many of these companies have been too busy just trying to stay afloat to bother with branding, marketing, advertising, PR and all the other pursuits that could help turn the tide.

But now we arrive at this crossroads. It’s a perfect opening for manufacturers to use their momentum to their advantage, and get out in the marketplace with a forceful message about what makes them unique—the exciting work they do and the extraordinary value they provide to customers every day.

Manufacturers have proven themselves up to the challenge of an incredibly difficult economic environment. Now is the time to leave all that behind.