KEYNOTE SPEAKER BILL Taylor urged attendees to stand for something special at the seventh annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference.
“We are now in a world where ordinary is not an option,” said Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company magazine and best-selling author. “You can’t do big things anymore if you’re content with doing things a little bit better than everybody else or a little bit differently than how you’ve done them in the past.”
Taylor shared stories from his most recent book, “Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways.” Those included Pal’s Sudden Service, a Tennessee fast food chain that sets itself apart with its speed and accuracy, and DaVita, a health care company that reinvented itself and came roaring back to success.
Most people, Taylor says, feel the pain of losing more intensely than the joy of winning, meaning most play not to lose versus to win. He left the audience with a call to action: outthink the competition, get comfortable learning from failure and learn as fast as the world is changing.
The two-day event drew around 1,000 people. In addition to the keynote speech, it featured informational breakout sessions, an appearance by Gov. Scott Walker and an expo floor with nearly 200 exhibitors. About 500 students from around the region also attended, touring the expo floor and hearing a special presentation from Taylor.