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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Alds. Phair and Cheeks: Put the crayons away and hire more police

Madison cannot solve its crime and quality of life issues until it overcomes its progressive blind spot on race. My “white privilege” is not littering the parking lots of Madison with chalk body outlines.

Comments: 8

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

Stopping the slide: Wisconsin’s higher education system helps economy

It would be a mistake to believe higher education’s financial woes in Wisconsin began the day Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011.

Comments: 1

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

Four essential HR technology trends for 2016 and beyond

Many employers are operating with legacy HR technology systems that have not been revised in several years. This can be a disastrous oversight in the war for talent, especially with the time- and cost-saving technologies that are readily available.

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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

So you didn’t win the lottery …

Sure, there are some lucky people who do get rich quickly. People do win lotteries, hit the jackpot on the slot machine, and even pick the “right” stock at the “right” time, turning their investment into a potential fortune overnight.

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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

Handicap-accessible websites: Ensure your website is ADA compliant

Almost all businesses are aware of the need to make their physical locations accessible by those with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, many companies are unaware of the importance of ensuring that another crucial aspect of their company complies with the ADA: client-facing websites.

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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!

Overtime rules are just government interference in the workplace

This week, President Obama’s Department of Labor moved forward with extensive changes to the nation's overtime regulations. The stated intent of the new rule is to raise the wages of approximately 4 million workers. But in reality, the Obama administration’s latest fiat will not be good for employers, workers, or the economy.

Comments: 1

The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Don’t let ‘relax’ become a four-letter word

Planning a vacation for the end of a busy season helps to stave off burnout and stress. The challenge for professionals, especially small business owners, is finding the time to plan the getaway, let alone actually getting away.

Comments: 1

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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