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Recent Blogs

Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Chasing your dreams in stressful times

In our training, we constantly coach our participants to have a positive vision of future success and a plan to reach it. You have probably heard that any road will get you there if you don’t know where you’re going. It’s all about leading an intentional life. Establishing a powerful personal vision is work. Following through on that work can be even more challenging.

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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

Mary Burke wants to lead, but just not yet

It is what’s called “posing for holy pictures.” With the election but one week away, Madison school board member Mary Burke voted against a 4.2% tax increase. But she voted in favor of a 2.4% increase in teacher pay. In other words, she was for the teacher pay hike before she was against the budget that would pay for it.

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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

10 nepotism rules to live (or die) by

If you own or run a company, you probably have been tempted by the siren song of nepotism. Nepotism refers to the high art and common practice of hiring your relatives. Interestingly, if you search for the terms “nepotism” and “rules,” you are likely to get a number of documents that purport to limit the practice or eliminate it entirely. This is not going to work. Nepotism, like hanky-panky and skipping your morning exercise routine, is here to stay.

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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

State’s economic development structure in place: Question is how best to use it

Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke have staked out major differences in their approach to job creation and economic growth, but the candidates appear to agree on one significant item: Reinventing the state’s flagship economic development agency was the right thing to do.

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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

The next big thing in technology: 3 top challenges of ‘The Internet of Things’

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to “smart” devices that transmit data via the Internet through both wired and wireless communication. These devices use sensors embedded in physical objects to follow programmed commands or to “learn” behavioral patterns through data collection.

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Open Mic

Send us your blog for consideration!

Market and economic update: Economic activity outside the U.S. continues to appear sluggish

Market attention remains focused on monetary policy authorities and the likely direction of policy. U.S. economic data have been modestly supportive of a conclusion to Federal Reserve tapering this week, with September consumer prices rising just 0.1% and year-over-year prices (excluding food and energy) rising 1.7%. Falling energy prices remain a drag on inflation, but rising home prices reflect strengthening domestic economic activity.

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Mind Your Business

with Corey Chambas

The value of relationships

Every weekend when I bike along a portion of the local trail, I get stopped and asked to show my trail pass. At first this was a source of frustration, as I am somewhat obsessed with tracking my average speed, and this slows me down.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

10 rules for simplifying your busy life

My husband, Dave, and I recently took a road trip to enjoy the fall colors. We began by hurrying down interstate roads to St. Louis, where we had some business, and then wound our way home through parts of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and then back to Wonderful Wisconsin, following the Great River Road.

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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

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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Left Business Brain

with Tom Breuer

Brett Hulsey a bigger threat to us than Ebola — seriously

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think “Ebola” was a hot new Miley Cyrus album that’s dropping later this fall in time for the holiday shopping season. Indeed, much like Cyrus’ career, it’s a frightening and off-putting phenomenon that has nevertheless killed very few people in this country and made a handful of others bleed out of their eyes and ears.

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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

Build a plan for making the most of college

College and tech schools just started a new semester. Seniors in high school, often with the help of their parents, are getting close to finalizing their post-high school plans. Many will look to college or tech school. Some college students are starting to think about grad school. Whatever the next step, this is a critical time for students to make clear plans about their future.

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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

Vote to protect transportation fund on Nov. 4

In my last blog, I talked about a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the state transportation fund. The headline was “One issue we can (almost) all agree on this November.”

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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

Don’t hesitate to put the ‘e’ in your next book

I like e-books. In fact, I’m about to start my fifth one. More importantly, our clients, followers, friends, and the general public seem to like them, too. How do I know this? E-books are analytics-rich, and that’s the first reason I’m down with them — or up, or both — depending on which generation you’re talking to.

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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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