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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

The secret vendetta is over: Free speech wins!

The last echo of the liberal-progressive-socialist intifada against Scott Walker and Act 10 is over. When the vuvuzelas and the recall elections could not undo the will of the people, the Left resorted to using the police powers of partisan prosecutors who employed the intimidation of secret investigations, pre-dawn raids of private homes, and the confiscation of political correspondence.

Comments: 45

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.

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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

Life insurance rules of thumb usually don’t apply to real life

In my experience, many folks do not have adequate life insurance. Most insurance rules of thumb that calculate needs don’t do a good enough job of pricing on this one.

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Wisconsin tribe’s efforts to diversify offer example for Indian Country

A trip to the Lac du Flambeau Reservation west of Minocqua produces the expected in some ways: a gleaming casino operated by the tribe, a stunning natural setting, and mixed evidence of prosperity and poverty.

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Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Be a new leader, not an old doer

The trials of being a new supervisor are many. Some new leaders have all their former colleagues now reporting to them. They have received little, if any, training to be a leader; while they are experts and know the specific job inside out, they have no idea of what it takes to get others to perform at their own high level. And they love doing “it,” but that love diminishes when trying to get others to do the same.

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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

Ask, listen, and look — how to make better-informed decisions

Okay, I admit in some ways I'm a dinosaur. I thought I was with it and hip … wait, is “hip” still hip? But I've been a banker now for 30 years. When I first started and had to wear a suit and tie, I absolutely hated it.

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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

#GotTalent: Leveraging mobile recruiting strategies

As unemployment ratings improve and the hiring pendulum begins to swing back to pre-recession hiring demands, employers of all sizes are having to rethink their recruiting and hiring strategies. This is compounded by the changing workplace demographics as Baby Boomers plan for retirement and Millennials enter the workforce. As a result, employers are searching for effective strategies to recruit, engage, and retain their organization’s most valuable resource — employees.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Love for sale — by the airline

I am a frequent flier. Usually a trip a week, with average distances of 700–1,000 miles flown. I am loyal, pay my bills, and keep my mouth shut. I would think that I would be a prized customer.

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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.

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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

Social media contests — creative marketing tools, but beware the FTC

Social media contests, sweepstakes, and promotions are great ways for companies to promote new products, engage with customers, collect data, and enhance online branding. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun increasingly scrutinizing these practices. Before launching a social media promotion, companies should take steps to ensure that their promotion will not run afoul of FTC requirements.

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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!

Individual work pays off for team

Here at the Koss Agency we started off with a team approach to losing weight and being healthier. It worked right out of the gate but has transformed over the last few weeks into a more individualized effort.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Finding the motivation again

Motivation can be defined as the momentum that spurs us to action. I call it “mojo.” It drives us to our goals. It’s what keeps us going “when the going gets tough.” It’s the excitement and the reason we get to work early and stay late during a busy season. Motivation is within us. No one else can “make” us motivated. It’s totally up to us.

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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

The new abnormal and its seismic shifts

Investment outlooks come and go, but trends are, well, trendy, and the global economy features plenty of them. Dave Heidel, regional investment director for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, says many of the factors affecting capital markets are not just transitional, they are serious, long-term shifts.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Can our bad roads be good for tourism?

As the debate over the transportation fund continues to hold up passage of the state’s biennial budget, one is left to wonder if we are indeed through the looking glass.

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: 3

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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