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Recent Blogs

Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Three Madison originals have left the building

Three Madison originals died last week — Leon Varjian, Uncle Rodney Kreunen, and Marty Beil.

Comments: 2

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.


Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

Building a sound investment strategy

Last month, I wrote in detail about why financial planning needs to lead the investment process. Once the financial plan is designed, it’s time to move on to one of the most important components of any long-term plan: development and ongoing maintenance of an investment policy statement (IPS), or investment strategy. It is the link between your financial plan and the ongoing work necessary to manage a prudent investment portfolio.


Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Shattering some of the myths about Wisconsin’s startup economy

All businesses must labor, to one degree or another, under a certain amount of mythology.

Comments: 1

Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Just talk

One of the situations I have observed in our training programs, especially in the last few years, is the inability or reluctance of some younger folks to have a real, live discussion. This observation comes from listening to hundreds of reports of real-world experiences in the realm of the workplace.


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.


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.


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.


The Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

14 proactive strategies to avoid workers’ compensation claims

Most employers are well aware of the taxing cost of workers’ compensation insurance and how this burden can increase exponentially with claims. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates employers pay $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs. When factoring in indirect costs, such as training replacement employees, investigating the accident, and taking corrective action, the cost to an employer is a staggering amount.


Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Boards make sense (and cents)

In the 1937 comic farce Topper, a young Cary Grant portrays George Kerby, a playboy attending the board meeting of his family’s bank.


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.


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

Lease considerations with small cell wireless technology

As the demand for wireless bandwidth continues to grow, wireless providers are increasingly turning to small cell technology to address gaps in wireless capacity. The use of small cells or “micro” cells presents many of the same issues from a leasing perspective as traditional “macro” cells installed on towers or other tall structures; however, several unique issues with small cells should be considered by both property owners and wireless companies.


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.


Open Mic

Send us your blog for consideration!

Sequence of returns – A significant risk that should not be ignored

Recent market volatility provides a vivid reminder that markets rarely go up or down steadily. And when markets trend down at a time when an investor is approaching or recently entered retirement, this can be cause for real concern. In fact, sequence of returns is one of the biggest potential risks to a retirement portfolio. Sequence of returns is the order in which investors experience returns.


The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Find more 'you' time by simplifying how you work

How did it get to be October already? At a recent networking breakfast, the conversation at my table was centered on two questions: How did summer go by so fast, and Why didn’t more of these people take time off to enjoy and appreciate life? There was a lot of grumbling about how busy everyone is these days, and how they need to be reminded to “have a life.” The word “stressed” was used several times. One table guest lamented that even though she was working more, she still went home at the end of the day feeling like she hadn’t accomplished everything she’d set out to do. Another told us that he has been known to find excuses for not taking a time out when he’s overwhelmed at work.


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.


Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

Alders, it’s no time to jump off Exact Sciences’ ledge

The Exact Sciences option for Judge Doyle Square was placed in doubt Tuesday by a federal task force, but it’s still too early for local leaders to join investors in jumping off the ledge.

Comments: 2

Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

Cost of doing nothing adding up

Here we go. The real life impacts of kicking the can down the road on transportation funding are now being felt. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently announced a several year delay of the five most significant improvement projects in Wisconsin other than the Zoo Interchange. Judging from the reaction, people do not seem happy.


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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