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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Donald Trump reads off Cliffs Notes

Your Humble Squire has issued a communiqué to the Donald Trump campaign, c/o Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Rick Wiley, or To Whom It May Concern.

Comments: 11

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: 3

Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

The world didn’t end in the first quarter of 2016

In February, I wrote about the bear market we were in and the fact there was little an investor could do about it that would be short-term exploitable. That doesn’t stop people from trying to do something about it and it doesn’t stop “experts” from making bold and extreme claims. In fact, many supposed experts were prognosticating that the financial world was coming to an end!

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Taking ownership of startup problem is first step to escaping cellar

Wisconsin has a business startup problem. Despite the buzz in Madison and a few other communities, there are far too many places in the state where entrepreneurship is still just a fancy word versus economic action.

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Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Principle number one: ‘Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.’

The title quote is the first principle out of 30 from Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. All of the other principles are positive: be a good listener; give honest appreciation; make the other person feel important; try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view — the list goes on. It’s interesting to note that the only principle that says, “DON’T,” also happens to be the first one.

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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

How to hire employees who will succeed

You may not have heard of a 19th century Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto, but you have heard of the theory that made him (semi) famous: the 80/20 rule. His studies of the distribution of wealth in a variety of countries around the turn of the last century led him to conclude that 80% of the world’s wealth is controlled by 20% of its people.

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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

Leading by example

As a business executive in senior management, you often lead by example. This even includes what happens outside the four walls of your office building. You’re probably on a board for a nonprofit, volunteer with your kids’ activities, and even donate resources to many different causes in your community.

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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

Cybersecurity insurance: Maximizing coverage to mitigate risk

By now most businesses understand that the question is not whether they will experience a data breach incident but when. Knowing how to mitigate the risks that flow from a breach is vital. In addition to implementing a program of administrative, technical, and physical control measures to identify and reduce the risk, cybersecurity insurance is a means of mitigating the financial risks to the business if those other control measures fail.

Comments: 1

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!

Saluting the unsung heroes of America: Small businesses

Every year since 1963, the president has officially designated a National Small Business Week. This is a perfect time for us to renew our commitment to America’s small businesses, the backbone and foundation of the strongest, most resilient economy the world has ever known.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Coping with change

There’s an old saying, “If you do not create change, change will create you.” I don’t know many people in business or in their personal lives who like change. Most of us resist change, although change itself is constant. No matter whether we resist or avoid change, it enters our lives just the same. It’s easier to adapt to change when you initiate it. According to Alan Deutschman, author of Change or Die, what really inspires positive change is hope, not fear.

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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

When did bipartisanship become a crime?

Judging by the rhetoric of the silly (political) season, the recently enacted tax bill shepherded by House Speaker Paul Ryan and signed into law by President Obama is yet another reason why Washington is out of touch. I beg to differ.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Common sense prevails

I thought the phrase “common sense isn’t so common” may be a bit tired. So, I did some online research about who first uttered these pearls. Apparently, Voltaire is credited with having said this in the 1700s, which in my mind makes it go from being tired to time-tested. Anyway, in politics especially, common sense can be a rare commodity indeed.

Comments: 1

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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