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Recent Blogs

Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

3 tried-and-true tips for handling job stress

Being in the business of coaching people and organizations to higher performance levels for over 30 years, I have seen a multitude of changes over the decades. One of my more interesting observations is that as technology has advanced by leaps and bounds (supposedly to make our lives easier), the professional and personal pressure to keep up with life has never been greater.

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Forward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

What are the new religious exemption rules for contraception coverage?

The Obama administration has published new regulations to address recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning employers who have religious objections to offering health coverage for contraceptives.

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Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

‘The [Democratic] Senate leader didn’t like leaving anything to chance or … to the voters’

It is a most beautiful part of the state, especially at this time of year — the farm and hill country of southwest Wisconsin. But the stench arising from the 17th District state Senate primary on the Democrat(ic) Party ballot may reach across the state.

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Taking Stock

with Nathan Brinkman

What should I do if my credit card information was part of a data breach?

Now more than ever, consumers are relying on the convenience of credit and debit cards to make everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries, and to make online purchases. With this convenience, however, comes the risk of having your account information compromised by a data breach.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Top Mech: Why can’t the trades become as popular as the culinary arts?

When I was young I got a summer job at a French country restaurant in New England. The idea was to live at the restaurant in an effort to make big bucks and sharpen my French. The days were incredibly long. Breakfast at 7, serve coffee and pastry to the owner and the chef for their working meeting at 8, vacuum the dining room at 9, fold napkins and polish silver at 10. Lunch service from 11:30 to 3. Our dinner of leftovers at 4:30, followed by more folding, polishing, and vacuuming.

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The Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

How to use the growing power of Instagram to boost your business

Instagram is among the fastest-growing social sharing platforms, with more than 200 million users, 1.6 billion daily likes, and more than 60 million photos posted per day. Instagram is a mobile photo and video-sharing platform that was launched in 2010 and was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

History of venture conference reflects growth of Wisconsin’s tech sector

Thirty years ago, a smart young entrepreneur stood up in front of a group of investors at the first Madison Venture Fair to talk about a company that was selling molecular biological products, such as enzymes and nucleic acids, to researchers and laboratories.

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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.

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Legal Login

with contributors from Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek

Where should your business store its data?

Businesses of all sizes, at all stages of growth, and across every industry struggle with the same question: Where should we store our data? Emerging companies usually deal with this question early on. More mature companies have existing data-storage practices already in place but, given the growth of “big data,” are often forced to reevaluate.

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Open Mic

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What’s more valuable than free beer?

Ya gotta love fall in Wisconsin. The leaves are turning, the “W” is flying, and the Better Business Bureau is hosting its biannual free document-shredding event. All right, I’ll concede that free shredding is not as exciting as a pregame tailgate with free beer. However, it can be far more valuable to you and your customers.

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Mind Your Business

with Corey Chambas

For best results, know yourself

A few years back I went through a coaching experience that was both interesting and productive. As is typical, the first step was an assessment of my strengths and “opportunities for improvement.” Although I thought I was pretty aware of my “opportunities,” I really benefited from the chance to fully understand them.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Power networking a key part of business prospecting

This coming Thursday at 8 a.m., I will have the pleasure of presenting a mini-seminar on power networking at Madison Nonprofit Day at Monona Terrace. Many of you already know how much I enjoy meeting and connecting people. I think it’s part of my life’s mission because connecting people is so second nature to me.

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Smart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner

How to make a profit while making a difference

How do you solve society’s most vexing environmental and social issues while becoming more profitable at the same time? Collaboration. Sound too hard? Shift your frame of reference in order to view communities as partners, not just resources. Shift your frame of reference and treat employees and customers as multifaceted humans, not just as worker bees and consumers.

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Small Business, Big Ideas

with Jean Willard

Developing a strategy for collecting sales taxes away from home

If you have a thriving small business headquartered here in Wisconsin and want to begin soliciting business from out-of-state clients, you need to know about what lawmakers refer to as nexus.

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Left Business Brain

with Tom Breuer

Scott Walker’s benefits trickling down unevenly

In a recent TV ad, Scott Walker claims that the average Wisconsin family has received a big windfall as a result of his reforms. Cue the all-you-can-eat disinformation buffet.

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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

Can cash really be an ‘investment’?

Cash or cash equivalents like money markets or savings accounts are occasionally considered money “not doing anything” for you. And I don’t blame folks for thinking this way, given that yields on cash are essentially 0% to maybe 0.75% (judging by a cursory review of FDIC options via various online banks).

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The Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

3 steps for maximizing voluntary benefits’ return on investment

Offering voluntary benefits is great way to provide employees with a wider set of options and position yourself as an employer of choice. However, just offering voluntary benefits may not be enough. Employers should take the following steps to not only manage costs but also increase overall program value.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

One issue we can (almost) all agree on this November

This November we will have the opportunity to vote on more than just candidates for federal, state, and local races. We will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment that would require that gas tax and vehicle registration fee dollars remain in the transportation fund to be used to pay for the transportation system we use every day.

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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

An ode to October, the most gorgeous month

Every year at this time, I vow to enjoy the month of October and not let those beautiful, cool, and crisp 31 days pass me by, and every year I allow myself to be buried inside with work and not take full advantage of the colorful splendor this month offers. This time, it will be different.

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It's All About Content

with Thomas Marks

When it comes to Google, it’s Page 1 or bust

I’ve been reviewing the report issued by the online ad network Chitika regarding its latest findings on Google’s organic search results pages. Here’s the gist: If you want to be present and unaccounted for, be satisfied with your Page 2 or Page 3 placement on Google.

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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.

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