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Recent Blogs

Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Will your business grow or stagnate in 2015?

It’s that time of year again, when people set new goals. For example, I am going to lose 10 pounds by working out four times a week and not eating after 8 p.m. I will spend more quality time with my family. I will read at least one business book per month. And the list goes on.

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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

A big-name Democrat defects from the teachers union plantation

Chalk up another Democrat(ic) convert to school reform. Few have better liberal credentials than New York’s big-D Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Taking Stock

with Nathan Brinkman

How your biases can affect investment decisions

Traditional economic models are based on a simple premise: People make rational financial decisions that are designed to maximize their economic benefits. In reality, however, most humans don’t make decisions based on a sterile analysis of the pros and cons. While most of us do think carefully about financial decisions, it is nearly impossible to completely disconnect from that nagging intuition that seems to have been deeply implanted in the recesses of our brain.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

What CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ gets wrong

A few years ago I received a call from a television producer who wanted to verify that I was, indeed, a well-known turnaround consultant. This took me back because “well known” was not necessarily in my marketing vocabulary. But I figured if someone from TV wanted to talk to me, I could at least become “less obscure.”

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The Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

10 tips for using Twitter

Twitter celebrated its eighth anniversary on March 6. Since its founding as Twttr, a name based on the popular photo-sharing site Flickr, the microblogging platform has continued to evolve. Today it has more than 271 million monthly active users who spend an average of 170 minutes per month on the site. These users send out around 500 million tweets per day.

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Coming debate over UW funding, structure deserves public attention

The stage is set for a state Capitol debate over the future of the University of Wisconsin System, from its smallest two-year campus to its flagship research powerhouse in Madison. Here’s hoping the debate is an honest effort to improve the performance, accessibility, and accountability of the state’s largest higher education system, not a political exercise driven by perception rather than fact.

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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

Addressing potential roadblocks to broadband expansion

When thinking about how to encourage broadband expansion — both in terms of geographic availability and level of quality — we often focus on funding. Particularly in rural areas, the cost of providing new broadband service or improving existing service can be cost-prohibitive because of the large distances between customers and the scarcity of customers who could be accessed by a proposed build-out.

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Open Mic

Send us your blog for consideration!

Super Bowl controversies have a familiar ring to business professionals

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, but much of the pregame media coverage has focused on topics unrelated to who will bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

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Mind Your Business

with Corey Chambas

A blog about creativity (this is my least creative blog title ever)

You may not have noticed, but I fell off the blogging grid for a while. A little over a month ago when my last blog was due, my dad passed away unexpectedly. It has been very hard for me. I became inwardly focused, and it totally sapped my creative energy. Ironically, over the past month I listened to a book called "Imagine" by John Lehrer that is all about creativity — the thing I was lacking. It’s a great book and I would highly recommend it.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

How to succeed in business through the power of attitude

"Popular … you’re gonna be popular." I love that song from the musical Wicked. Everyone who’s seen the show or listened to the lyrics understands that a good attitude helps make one popular.

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Smart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner

Have you asked your vendors what they can do for sustainability?

Organizations that focus on sustainability in the workplace regularly look for ways to reduce energy use and enhance employee health. However, if your company does not depend on the kind of global/national supply chains that Walmart and other large corporations do, it’s easy to overlook sustainability opportunities and forget to ask the right questions of your vendors.

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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

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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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

How did I do on my investment predictions for 2014?

It’s very easy for people to make predictions about the future, especially when they don’t look back to see how they did. At the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece titled “Potential investment themes for 2014.” Below is a recap of those themes, along with a report card on how I did.

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The Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

How to manage fiduciary responsibility as an HR professional

Growing regulatory complexity, scrutiny on compliance, and litigation cases have made it increasingly challenging to administer and manage qualified retirement plans. Additionally, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) has set forth rules to ensure the protection of plan participants’ rights. For HR managers and their organizations, falling short of these could mean corporate and personal liability.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

The impact of lower gas prices on transportation? We’ll see …

The dramatic drop in oil prices has widespread implications for everything from geopolitical relationships to the world economy to our domestic economy to whether a vacation may end up being feasible after all.

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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

The undeniable power of the emerging workforce

In San Francisco, employers with 20 or more workers are now required to state why they deny employee requests to work different hours, to telecommute, or even to share job duties. You heard that right — such work-life balance considerations are becoming a legally protected right, at least on the West Coast. But even if Madison employers never have to provide the government with such a note, they might want to make note of Spherion’s latest Emerging Workforce Study.

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It's All About Content

with Thomas Marks

How much website content should your business create?

Just how much is enough? That’s a really good question. I’d say eat until you’re comfortable, but don’t overeat and don’t think it’s okay to stand up at the table, unbutton your Sansabelts, and get ready for round 2. But hey, I’m not a dietician; I’m a website writer and strategist.

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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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