Executive Outlook 2013: All Of Us Have To Make Our Own Luck

EP Editorial Staff | August 20, 2013

0813eoflukeLooking back, we knew in mid-2012 that we were headed into some choppy waters. Still, I don’t think anyone knew that the global macro uncertainty would endure for as long as it has—or that its breadth and depth would be as significant as it has been. 

Overall, we feel that the U.S. is probably one of the most stable markets worldwide right now. The European economy may continue to struggle for some time, affecting its worldwide supply chain. The relatively new uncertainty around China’s growth, meanwhile, has just started to create ripples. Then you have sector-specific changes to consider, such as the continued investments around oil and gas in the United States and Canada. 

The other persistent change to consider is workforce demographics. I believe American industry is still compensating for an inadequate supply of skilled, experienced workers. Of course, we as an industrial culture are adapting, using Kaizen methodology to drive efficiency and productivity and continuing the decades-long application of new technology. However, I think industry could do more to support vocational and engineering education. 

Our own research here at Fluke indicates that when students graduate from American vocational technical programs, quite often they do not possess enough hands-on skills and field experience to be a match for industrial hiring needs.* In regions with particularly acute shortages, some manufacturers have taken the step of creating in-house apprentice programs. What if more industries, across broader sections of the market, took direct action? 

I encourage all employers to collaborate with their local vocational colleges to help bring hands-on training as close to market as possible. As we have found, it’s rewarding to leverage our core competencies in manufacturing excellence in ways that nurture the next-generation workforce. 

I’ve been with Fluke for just over a year now, and I believe in what we do. Fluke is a noble business and a brand leader for a reason. Our products lead in safety, and in the hands of our customers, they keep the world up and running. 

Ever since this most recent wave of economic uncertainty began unfolding, our mindset has been that we have to “Make Our Own Luck.” We may not be able to affect the health of global markets, but we are in complete control of our organizational health and our value to our customer. In other words, know your strengths, focus and deliver! MT

*Reference white paper at

More Executive Outlooks:


Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America


William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries


Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation


Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.


Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America


Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council


Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation


Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation


Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management


Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 





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