Ayear ago, many businesses were struggling just to stay afloat, focusing on managing employee and customer safety and their cash flow. Long-term strategy was rightfully a secondary thought. Now, with the end of the pandemic in sight, it’s time to take stock and develop strategic initiatives …

Wisconsin is currently facing a huge workforce shortage. The inability of employers to find workers has reached a crisis level. This threatens the viability of thousands of businesses and the jobs they provide for workers. If immediate action is not taken, there is a great likelihood that lo…

During a virtual Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) conference, I attended a session led by Spanx founder Sara Blakely and her husband Jesse Itzler. During the Q&A, they were asked, “What is the biggest characteristic that contributes to future success?”

There’s light at the end of tunnel and, thankfully, it comes in the form of a vaccination and not a freight train. After a year filled with tragedy, concern and uncertainty, COVID19 cases are trending down, and the number of people receiving vaccinations continues to increase, raising hope t…

The latest estimates of U.S. retail sales growth for the 2020 holiday season are around 3 percent. For the same period, large retailers such as Target, Amazon and Walmart have been reporting more than 30 percent growth in online sales. The end result is rapid digital transformation and what …

On Wednesday, Jan.27, I got my COVID-19 vaccination. Yes, I had my concerns about getting the shot, but within hours of hearing that I could make an appointment to get the vaccine, I did so. My healthcare provider was one of those providing the shots, and I was able to immediately log into t…

With 2020 finally in the rearview mirror, let’s hope for a better year ahead. The world, though, still feels like it’s turned on its head right now. People continue to be anxious about the ongoing virus crisis, with good reason. Even with vaccines starting to be administered, there’s still s…

Happy New Year! The turn of the calendar is an opportunity to start fresh and try new things. For individuals, that may come as a New Year’s resolution or setting aspirations for the year ahead. For businesses, the start of the year is a good time to set company goals and reevaluate efficien…

We’re soon about to experience the holidays in a way no one could have ever imagined last year at this time. Some of us will share Christmas dinner around a virtual table.

While it is too early to reach conclusions on the direction any business or the economy will take coming out of the pandemic, it is never too early to take stock of what has happened to date and think through potential long-term impacts.

You don’t have to look very far or listen very long before the tenor of divisiveness in our country becomes evident. In the midst of it all, I long for conversation, real conversation, to find out why we are at such odds. My premise is that communication — open communication with respect for…

This is interesting, and I can’t wait to see the results. I’m guessing all of you will be interested as well because with or without a vaccine for COVID-19, the results of the study outlined below could be helpful in deciding what we can and can’t do.

During the past few months, the pandemic has forced us all to change the way we live and operate our businesses. While “essential’ businesses forged ahead against the headwinds of the constantly spreading virus, food and drink, retail, leisure and other businesses still face many challenges …

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My parents grew up during the Great Depression and my father fought in Africa and Europe during World War II. My father actually was born a year before the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918.

Great leaders have used amazing one-liners during crisis. Straight talk with a call to action from the top has the power to inspire us. Calm us. And motivate us to be more than we thought we could be.

Papermakers and converting operations throughout Wisconsin continue to do their part to assist in the fight against this deadly pandemic. Papermakers and converters throughout the state are working diligently to produce and often donate critical medical and personal hygiene products for Wisc…

In March our world was turned upside down with this global pandemic and since then, we have only experienced more turmoil as our healthcare and economic systems work to adapt.  On the economic side, tens of millions of people are newly unemployed, many businesses are shut down or operating w…

The world feels like it’s turned on its head right now. People are anxious, with good right to be. There’s so much we can’t predict about the weeks and months ahead. When planning your response, begin with what you know and what you don’t know.

In times of challenge, change or crisis, research shows us that communication is key to keeping organizations and individuals on track. Right now, we are faced with ever-evolving conditions regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Anyone who has purchased healthcare services in Wisconsin knows that the cost of healthcare is high. Study after study verifies this fact. What individuals may not know, unless they spend some time shopping around the country for health care, is that the cost of healthcare in Wisconsin is ro…

Research and development is critical to the growth of any modern economy. It is how businesses stay ahead of their competitors, how new goods — and even whole new industries — are created. Whether the business is a start-up or a century-old company, continuous improvement — innovation — is n…

Success comes from opportunity and most industries have multiple options for a smart, adaptive business to be successful.

WMC was contacted by multiple media outlets in early October to get our reaction to a Bloomberg report that said Wisconsin lost 5,200 manufacturing jobs between August 2018 and August 2019.

This is not meant to be a complaint but a reflection of the reality facing our dairy sector. “We” means all of us.

Along, long time ago, a professor I did research for at college told me that I should learn all there is know about computers because — it was the future!

While checking some baseball scores online on ESPN, I ran across a story with this headline: “Kids aren’t playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost”

Afew weeks ago, our country celebrated the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. On July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket rumbled off the launch pad from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and headed toward the moon with three astronauts inside.

A combination of workforce challenges, inadequate Medicaid rates, and facility closures or downsizings are jeopardizing the future viability of Wisconsin’s nursing facilities and access to high quality care and services in Wisconsin. 

Small business owners all over Wisconsin recently learned from their accountants how much lower their tax bill was in 2019 as a result of federal tax reform.

The labor shortage is the biggest challenge facing Wisconsin businesses and, thus, the Wisconsin  economy. As a result, state business leaders need Gov. Tony Evers and the legislature to include tangible measures to address the problem in the state budget, which is the only piece of legislat…

Wisconsin’s business tax climate has seen marked improvements over the last eight years. Whether it’s CNBC (29 in 2010 to 17 in 2018), Forbes (40 in 2010 to 32 in 2018), the Tax Foundation (42 in 2010 to 32 in 2019), Site Selection Magazine (unranked in 2010 to 22 in 2018), or Chief Executiv…

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The spinning plates on the Ed Sullivan Show provides a great visual of a balancing act. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, search for it on YouTube.

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It’s almost December, and you may already have an unexplained, uneasy feeling in your chest. It’s coming, and whether you realize it or not, it can be very stressful for everyone at your company.

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Manufacturing is a big part of our area economy. We also know that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find workers to keep the manufacturing industry fully staffed.

As secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, I oversee the credentialing and licensing of more than 440,000 licensed professionals in our great state. Our agency provides administrative services to nearly 100 boards, councils, and advisory committees. DSPS is also the …

Every day I get emails from marketing and communication agencies around the country offering columns, articles and stories to run.

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When the economy tanked about 10 years ago, I filled this space by writing about the misery index. With today’s economy seemingly getting stronger, I thought I’d revisit the index to see if our misery has lessened.

Early last month, I watched my granddaughter walk across the stage and receive her high school diploma. It was in the same school my children received their diploma many years ago.

The grand bargain of worker’s compensation means that if a worker is injured on the job, the “exclusive remedy” available to them is worker’s compensation. Injured workers are guaranteed medical care and, if needed, payments for disabilities that stem from their workplace injury.

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Many years ago, I remember saying to my wife that I was worried about the future for our grandkids as well as our country because we were turning into a land of retail, restaurants and recreation with a lot of minimum- or low-wage jobs. “We no longer make things here,” I told her.

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A few months ago Kimberly-Clark announced plans to close two production facilities in the Fox Valley. This decision was unexpected and shocked many people from Neenah to Madison. Announcements that a mill is going to close, especially from a name as storied as Kimberly-Clark, cause a variety…

Things are looking up, according to a recent poll by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). Wisconsinites who participated in the scientific survey said they are more optimistic about the economy than they were last year.

There has been a great deal of discussion about ending trade deals that the United States has around the world. The Trump Administration has already backed away from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and has made pronouncements that they want to get out of the North American Free Trade Agr…

In 2016, Wisconsin exported more than $21 billion in products. Not surprisingly, Wisconsin’s biggest customers are its neighbors to the north and south, Canada and Mexico.