Archive for July, 2011

17
Jul
11

Change v. Persistence — Riding the Wave

The choice between change and persistence is one of the toughest decisions we ever need to make. Nothing difficult ever happens without persistence. It’s important to be able to stick it out through tough times. Still, there comes a time to cut losses and move on. It was an interesting week to contemplate the dilemma.

The OWM Himself!

My Dad (remember the OWM?) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination last Sunday. Dad is the model of persistence. He served causes and congregations his whole life. He made it through good times – and a whole bunch of bad times as well. No matter the situation, Dad stood firm, held the course, and made progress because he stayed persistent. He changed numerous lives and organizations all because he fought for his causes. 

Dad did a great job, but he might have more difficulty in the times that are evolving. Change continues to accelerate and all of us must adapt to those changes. Technology connects us all. Those connections make good ideas more visible, causing them to spread faster and easier than ever before. Ideas and information fuel change and make adaptation a critical skill. 

Persistence is critical, but it’s just as critical to be able to stay flexible and change when necessary. The old paradigms of persistence, loyalty, and perseverance fall short in this new environment. Those qualities take on new forms. Instead of building a firm, inflexible foundation, like a house; the new environment demands a more flexible base.  

The picture of a solid stance on a surfboard is more apropos: Standing firm to ride a wave, but able to adjust to changing conditions. In these times it’s important to find the right wave, ride it long and strong, learn from the ride, and find the next wave. The best progress will still be made by those who can show persistence, but now use that persistence to adapt and take advantage of changing conditions. 

Change versus persistence is still a difficult choice. Find your wave and give it a long ride, adjusting to conditions as they change. Change they will. Don’t be afraid to change with them! 

Oh…and enjoy the ride!

  

03
Jul
11

Change for the Change Catalyst

I’ve been away from the blog for awhile pursuing a new opportunity. I’ve moved to Madison and taken on a new challenge.

The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) is a 501 (c) 3 organization with the mission to make the Wisconsin manufacturing environment the best in the world. We help small and medium manufacturers stay competitive in a more demanding and global market. Our team brings a long-term perspective and great experience to everything they attack.  

It’s an interesting change for me. The WMEP’s mission and values align with my beliefs. It’s a true chance to make a meaningful difference. My whole career has been based on helping struggling manufacturers find new ways to profitability and competitiveness. These have always been single opportunities with minimal outside impact.  

This is an entirely different game. The MEP system has helped tens of thousands of organizations, while the WMEP has engaged over 35% of Wisconsin’s manufacturers to improve their operations. We have a tremendous opportunity to help these companies to grow their businesses and become more competitive – both in their present markets and creating future opportunities. It’s a great chance to test the skills I’ve developed. 

Buckley BrinkmanThe WMEP is a whole new game. My skills are being tested against the best talent in the toughest situations. The key requirements mean dealing with a whole new group of people: entrepreneurs, bureaucrats, politicians, and a variety of other people who can help the WMEP’s mission. It’s a much more public position than any I have had before; one that will make my moves transparent. The results expected are very clear: jobs created and dollars created for the economy.  

It’s a chance to grow and expand my capabilities in new ways. It’s a great new adventure and one I’m embracing the challenge and am looking forward to the new frontiers. How are you embracing the same challenges?




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