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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Is Bernie a communist, a demagogue, a race-baiter, or all three?

Some penciled notes from the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee Thursday night ...

Comments: 7

Forward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

Stop the mind reading — give candid feedback

Providing feedback (positive and constructive) is Management 101. Giving feedback to direct reports, coworkers, or team members is essential to success. Providing upward feedback, while sometimes tricky, helps contribute to a transparent environment focused on growth and development.

Comments: 2

Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

What 'might' be driving this bear market, and what can you actually do about it

Last week was another wild week. Over the past six to 12 months we’ve basically been in a bear market for most major equities. Perhaps you noticed.

Comments: 1

Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Immigration reform elusive in election year, but inevitable for economy

If the image of Somalis from arid East Africa working in a snowblower plant in Brillion caught you by surprise, join the club. Thousands of people in Wisconsin don’t know the full extent of how immigration is changing the face of the state’s economy.

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Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Put distractions on hold

My guess is that many of you have heard of the recent tragedy of a man who fell to his death off the scenic San Diego Sunset Cliffs while he was engaged with his phone. His mother said he had been taking pictures. If you do a search, you will find many other incidents of the negative results of being 100% engaged with a phone versus paying attention to the task at hand.

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Left Business Brain

with Tom Breuer

Handicapping Scott Walker’s potential presidential rivals

There’s something terribly revealing — and inadvertently uninspiring — about the Ready for Hillary PAC’s apt but deadly dull tagline, “Ready for Hillary.” It evokes a long-neglected, distasteful obligation, like going back to school after summer vacation or getting your first colonoscopy. It may very well be for the best but … hmm.

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Mind Your Business

with Corey Chambas

Keep calm and supervise on

The problem would have been averted if everyone just followed the rules. Unexpected behavior can lead to bad consequences.

Comments: 1

Smart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner

MPower Champions show Greater Madison businesses the meaning of sustainability

The MPower Business Champions were in a sharing mood at the Jan. 23 MPower Champion Public Showcase (video link). Reynolds Transfer & Storage and Shopbop shared their bike repair stand projects. Trek Bicycles and Aprilaire shared information about their sustainable food projects. And State Street restaurant Tutto Pasta shared its energy-efficiency projects.

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The Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

Harassment training: Is it really necessary?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), approximately 30% of all EEOC charges filed contain an allegation of “harassment.” Tens of millions of dollars are spent each year settling harassment claims at the EEOC. In 2014 alone, the agency reports approximately $35 million was spent resolving sexual harassment claims and more than $68 million was spent resolving non-sexual harassment claims.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

The checklist manifesto for business

Here’s a little survival tip for consultants. Do NOT suggest that a middle market company adopt a new procedure. No one likes new procedures. By extension they do not like consultants who bring up new procedures.

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Taking Stock

with Nathan Brinkman

When your child asks for a loan, should you say yes?

You raised them, helped get them through school, and now your children are on their own. Or are they? Even adult children sometimes need financial help. But if your child asks you for a loan, don’t pull out your checkbook until you’ve examined the financial and emotional costs. Start the process by considering a few key questions.

Comments: 2

Open for Business

with Jody Glynn Patrick

What’s your policy on hiring felons?

The least painful or expensive way to learn best business practices is not by making mistakes but rather by joining the IB family, where we highlight success stories and share cautionary tales about the missteps of others in workshops, in print, and online. Toward that goal, here’s another learning opportunity.

Comments: 12

Legal Login

with contributors from Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek

Bug bounty programs: Hacking for good or evil?

Obtaining cyber insurance, hiring trusted staff to ensure the safety of your information technology (IT) infrastructure, and adopting cutting edge security measures are just a few of the preemptive steps essential to preventing data breaches today. But even after these steps are taken, your company may still be vulnerable.

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The Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

3 tools to support your visual content marketing

2015 is the year of visual content marketing. A big reason why is the explosive growth of visual social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine. These networks allow for the distribution and sharing of a wide array of visual content, including slides, photos, videos, charts, infographics, and more.

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Open Mic

Send us your blog for consideration!

Labor market improvements temper negative economic sentiments

Negative sentiment continued to plague markets since most economic data proved disappointing. The U.S. employment report was generally cheered by markets but payroll growth did slow in January.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Good intentions

At just about every recent holiday event I attended, I heard business folks discussing how they find themselves trying to do it all while at the same time trying to find and maintain a good work-life balance.

Comments: 1

Small Business, Big Ideas

with Jean Willard

5 tax-planning opportunities to think about right now

As 2014 draws to a close, you have more tax-planning opportunities available to you than ever before, but you also face more tax challenges. More than 50 popular tax provisions expired at the end of 2013 (many are projected to be reinstated, but as of today they have not been), so some new planning techniques are going to be needed.

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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

Taking big steps to address worker shortage

One nagging worry of the construction industry is whether builders will have enough workers to meet demand if a moderately growing economy “takes off.” Construction has painstakingly tried to recover labor that was lost — in some cases permanently — during the Great Recession but more needs to be done.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Fixing Wisconsin's highways

The state of transportation in Wisconsin is not as strong as it needs to be.

Comments: 2

In Biz

with Bill Haight

A common-sense quiz about forced minimum wages

1) An appliance store sells a particular TV set for $500. A government tax or regulation requires it to raise this price to $600. The store will likely sell: a. More of these TV sets; b. Fewer of these TV sets; c. The same number of these TV sets.

Comments: 4

It's All About Content

with Thomas Marks

What your website’s ‘About Us’ page should say

Let’s talk About Us. Or we can talk about About, or even about Us. The point is, there’s some disagreement about About on your website. About how important About is, about if it should be About Us rather than About or even Us. But I’m stepping in to call a truce. I think it is important and it starts with some pretty interesting research.

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