It Takes A Team

Posted on Jul 1, 2011 :: Editor
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Margaret LeBrun

Once upon a time, a couple of people had an idea. It was an idea bursting out of its box. It pulled them.

The idea was much bigger than they could handle alone. Sure, it was possible to hunker down and do it all themselves. But it would not have been as much fun. More importantly, they knew that alone, the results would not be nearly as good as they envisioned.

So they surrounded themselves with people who were smarter, and sometimes more creative, about certain aspects of their idea than they were. Some were former employees or co-workers. At least a few entered into the idea through sheer serendipity.

Many of them were sounding boards. Some were devil’s advocates.  As the idea took shape, some were enlisted to roll up their sleeves and help make it happen. Some were contributors, some were contractors and some were partners. Everybody worked long and hard. They shared a passion for the original idea. And when the business born out of that idea began to show signs of success, they celebrated together. For clearly, what they had accomplished was a team effort.

If this story sounds familiar, you know it could apply to just about any startup business that hit a landmark success. It could be yours.

As members of the media, we at Insight enjoy the privilege of visiting businesses of all sizes and industries throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Whenever I encounter a chief executive or president who insists he or she does not deserve the limelight – but rather, the credit belongs to the team – it’s a signal to me that the business is doing something very right. (After all, without an orchestra, a conductor is only waving his arms in the air.) So we dig in and do whatever we can to bring you their story.

In Northeast Wisconsin, it seems such modesty is widespread. Surface Mount Technology, this month’s cover subject, is an example of a company quietly, successfully going about its business. Here’s a company with a 98.89 percent retention rate that puts 90 percent of its profits back into the company. It doubled its manufacturing capacity when it expanded last year. With its focus on adding value to products with electronic components, it’s poised to add employees, particularly engineers, to its current team of about 135.

Team effort is precisely what New North, Inc. is working to foster in Northeast Wisconsin. Led by Executive Director Jerry Murphy with just two staff people, volunteer co-chairs and well over 200 volunteers serving on multiple committees, it took the “village” of New North to help reel in a new company to the region last month. Most encouraging: The out-of-state company that chose to locate here, in the Town of Menasha specifically, inquired about what the “New North” had to offer. Read about the team effort describing how it all came together in the New North Mid-Year Report with this issue of Insight. Then check out our “Face Time” with Murphy on page 23.

You could say the idea for Insight came to us not long after the launch of New North. We sensed a strong need for communication among people across all 18 counties in the region. People wanted to know who were the movers and shakers, what other businesses were doing and how they might collaborate with each other. We thought that whole notion needed a platform for communication and sharing great ideas. It needed Insight.

We at Insight Publications were honored to accept the 2011 Rising Star award from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry last month. It goes without saying we could not have done it alone (what fun would that be?). From the start three years ago, this has truly been a team effort. We rely on our staff, business partners, vendors and clients to help create our monthly magazine, our quarterly Insight on Manufacturing, our websites, our events such as InDevelopment and the custom publications we also produce.

To all of them – and to you, our readers: Thank you! We look forward to sharing our success with you for many months and years to come.


Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →