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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

What if they invaded John Nichols’ house?

Early this week, the National Review came out with an explosive cover story detailing the experience of three private citizens subjected to armed police with battering rams conducting pre-dawn raids of their homes, seizing cell phones and personal computers, and admonishing them to tell no one — even as the authorities apparently tipped off favored news reporters.

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Forward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

Why you should strive for integration, not balance

“Hi. How are you?” This is a pretty standard greeting as we acknowledge co-workers in the morning or begin a phone conversation. In fact, it’s become the kind of question that rarely, if ever, requires a serious response. If we do get a real answer, it often feels awkward or even intrusive.

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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

The long-term case for emerging markets

I received this question recently: “Remind me again: why are emerging markets in my portfolio?” A good question. Emerging markets aren’t doing very well lately compared to the U.S. and many other developed markets; it makes sense to wonder why we would want to be invested in them.

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Patent director’s visit to Wisconsin underscores value of innovation economy

When computer scientist Michelle Lee joined Google as its first head of patent strategy, the company held a few dozen intellectual property grants. When she left eight years later, Google’s portfolio spanned 10,500 patents.

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Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

8 entrepreneurial skills every businessperson should develop

Whether you’re a business owner, a future business owner, or an employee, you need to constantly develop your entrepreneurial skills in order to succeed. I mean consistently succeed. For some reason, we tend to stop developing many of the skills that got us where we are. Our motives change, we get satisfied, or we just get lazy. These skills apply to anyone, in both large and small companies, but successful entrepreneurs tend to exhibit more of these all the time.

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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

Evil Email: Go old school to communicate more effectively

You may get the impression from the title that I hate email. Actually, it’s a love/hate relationship. One thing that I get frustrated by, as I’m sure you do, is the sheer volume of email that I receive at work. If I’m not keeping up throughout the day, I’ll have about 75 to 100 emails — and I’m pretty diligent about unsubscribing and blocking senders, so there’s another 25-plus in my spam!

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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

5 tips for developing effective leaders

A winning team rarely comes together spontaneously. It takes hard work, discipline, and effective team leadership. More specifically, an effective leader takes responsibility for ensuring that each individual within the team is in a position to be a contributing member, that collaborative team dynamics are supported, and that the overall business unit achieves results.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Why project management is a key middle-market tool

To review, project management involves a few formal elements: a charter — what we are about to do; a team, given explicit roles, responsibilities, and authorities; a timeline — often in the form of a Gantt chart, showing what will be done by when; and a weekly meeting to go over the progress — and more importantly, the issues that the project is raising.

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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: 7

Legal Login

with contributors from Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek

Keeping IT simple: How to start an effective IT risk management program

Information technology has transformed the way companies conduct business. In most companies, key business processes are driven by IT ­–– from accounting to sales, project management, human resources, and customer relationship management.

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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!

Economic update: One-time events lead to soft 1Q growth

U.S. economic reports released last week indicate first quarter growth was soft, but this was likely the result of one-time events rather than pointing to a trajectory of weaker activity in coming quarters.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

6 tips to help you achieve total focus at work

With information overload and instant gratification being so prevalent these days, it’s easy to see why many of us have become addicted to multitasking. Like many people I know, I like to multitask on occasion. So far, multitasking hasn’t caused me any serious problems, but I know some folks who have messed up big-time by trying to do too much all at once.

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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

Washington, can we at least have more visas?

About this time last year, we reported about how congressional inaction on immigration reform is harming businesses. We wish we could say that things are different today.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Madison and D.C. not so different on transportation policy, unfortunately

The U.S. Capitol building and the Wisconsin State Capitol look very similar. The State Capitol is 284 feet, 5 inches tall from the ground floor to the top of the statue on the dome, making it 3 feet shorter than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

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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.

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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