Great Things Often Right Before Our Eyes

So often, the treasures are right there for us to see—but we miss them. How often when we drive do we really see the landscape or the cityscape and think about what it means? I’ve lived in South Florida for almost 25 years, and I had no idea that all through our tri-county region and beyond, we have literally thousands of businesses that actually make things—right here.

They make bulbs and batteries, cosmetics and armored suits; they make packaging so others can ship and sell things; and they make molds so others can make things. They employ over 90,000 people, and almost half of those are in advanced manufacturing—building things that are about our future.

Six sponsors got together a few weeks ago to present the South Florida Manufacturing Association’s evening of connection and conversation about “Modernizing Manufacturing.” As sponsors, we were there to engage our guests in conversations about what is going on in the world of business that will help them grow—and modernize. And while it sounds like another boring industry networking dinner, it was a special evening, because we could not hear ourselves think during the dinner. The conversations were so active and engaged—sharing, laughing, learning from each other, and just creating connections that either were new, renewed, and/or deeper than before. We heard personal stories that made connections. We heard business battlefield stories that brought lessons to the fore. And we heard of inspiring and innovative solutions from the participants.

What can we all learn from this?

• A lot is happening in all industries that is transformative. “Tech” and “digital” are where we all need to become aware and invest, or the market will pass us by.

• Business is about people, process, customers and the strategies to rapidly align those. All of them are transforming at a super rate of speed. No matter how traditional or established your business may be, not modernizing is not an option. Continuing transformation is an ongoing requirement.

• There’s so much going on right in our own backyards that is making a difference to our economy and our communities. The expertise and experience are here. Look for it, listen to it and learn from it.

• The internal resources in your company are invaluable. They know what is working, and what isn’t. They have rich ideas—and resources in the community.

There’s so much more going on than meets our eyes and ears in our own businesses, in the local business community, and in the world of work. When we look, listen and learn, we are enriched and informed.

Hidden treasures, indeed.

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or

Stephen Garber
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