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Recent Blogs

Leader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Why bosses are crucial to employee engagement

Last year Dale Carnegie Training asked MSW Research to undertake a benchmark, nationwide, cross-industry study of 1,500 employees to explore engagement in the workplace. The study discovered that among the multiple factors affecting employee engagement, a manager’s personal relationship with his or her direct reports is the single most influential. What follows are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the study.

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Forward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

17 tips for being a great mentor

Have you ever had a mentor? Someone who took you under his or her wing to show you the ropes? Someone who freely gave their time and shared their knowledge and experience to assist you in your own growth and development? I can think of a couple of mentors I have had over the course of my career. These individuals helped shape my view of leadership and created my belief that a leader’s job, in part, is to develop future generations of leaders.

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Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Progressives move into Verona, run for office

“Verona has never seen an election cycle like this,” The Verona Press marveled after the April 2013 municipal election. No one could remember when all four incumbent aldermen in an election cycle had been challenged, much less defeated.

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Taking Stock

with Nathan Brinkman

How well do you understand the financial basics?

Working with a trusted financial professional is one of the best ways to help improve your overall financial situation, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Educating yourself about personal finance concepts can help you better understand your adviser’s recommendations, and result in more productive and potentially more prosperous financial planning discussions. Take this brief quiz to see how well you understand a few of the basics.

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Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Top Mech: Why can’t the trades become as popular as the culinary arts?

When I was young I got a summer job at a French country restaurant in New England. The idea was to live at the restaurant in an effort to make big bucks and sharpen my French. The days were incredibly long. Breakfast at 7, serve coffee and pastry to the owner and the chef for their working meeting at 8, vacuum the dining room at 9, fold napkins and polish silver at 10. Lunch service from 11:30 to 3. Our dinner of leftovers at 4:30, followed by more folding, polishing, and vacuuming.

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The Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

Pinterest: Developing your business strategy

It’s time for a refresher and some additional insights on how to use Pinterest as part of your social media marketing mix. Since I wrote a blog post titled “Pinterest — visual asset accelerator” a couple of years ago, Pinterest has continued to grow and offer marketing benefits for sharing visual media assets with a wide array of Pinterest users. On its fourth birthday this March, Pinterest claimed to have 70 million active users, with a growing number of them located overseas.

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Inside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Why ride-sharing apps frustrate government reach

In a city that prides itself on being among the nation’s most “techie,” there has been a decidedly un-techie reaction to the arrival of two ride-sharing companies that have challenged the status quo of traditional taxi services.

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Open for Business

with Jody Glynn Patrick

Shocking medical costs an eye-opener for this patient

This week I accompanied my Uncle Gene, 82, for his lab tests. He’d been feeling dizzy, and his doc suggested he wait three months to see if the symptoms disappeared of their own accord. The dizzy spells increased. The doctor prescribed a medication and changed the dosage of another medicine, but the spells continually worsened. In addition, he now has unpredictable stabbing pains in his head that stop him mid-step for a few minutes, until they disappear as mysteriously as they attack.

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Legal Login

with contributors from Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek

10 things you need to know about promotions and contests

Contests and sweepstakes are a great way to engage customers. They are fun, easy, and can have great reach on social media. But are you conducting them the right way?

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Open Mic

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Fleet Feet’s Get Fit team gets running start

I’m Matthew Reller, and I work at Fleet Feet Sports Madison. I’m sure a few of you are wondering why a team from a running store needs to be worried about its fitness, but let me be the first to say that I am far from where I want to be when it comes to conditioning. I know this may come across as lip service, but I am the newest full-time staffer, and I’m a novice when it comes to running.

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Mind Your Business

with Corey Chambas

The benefits of being a graybeard

I recently grew a beard for the first time since my freshman year in college. Back when I was 18, it was dark. This time it came in salt and pepper — okay, mainly salt. So I’m literally a graybeard. I’m sure you’ve heard the term. Someone experienced, seasoned, been around the block. It’s not all good getting old — just ask my achy knee, hip, or shoulder — but there are some benefits to being a graybeard.

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The Gray Area

with Donna Gray

The importance of taking the scenic route in business

I have a business friend who keeps telling me that we have to “take the scenic route.” I was recently thinking about this phrase, and I came to the conclusion that being part of a small business is like taking the scenic route. One never knows what’s around the bend.

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Smart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner

Filament Games takes time to play and wins big

Despite your best intentions, educating employees on workplace sustainability can be a groan-worthy exercise. “Turn off your computer monitor.” Yeah, sure. “Remember to double-side print.” Do I look like some kind of IT expert? “Recycle or compost your lunch.” Commence the synchronized eye rolling.

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Small Business, Big Ideas

with Jean Willard

Watch for tax-related phone fraud and email scams

The IRS will never call you to ask for your credit card number and never threaten to take your driver’s license, but nasty scam artists pretending to be from the IRS will — and are.

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Left Business Brain

with Tom Breuer

Walker can thank Obama for good news in governor’s ad

Gov. Walker has been bombarding his loyal subjects with a new strain of brain virus in the past week. It comes in the form of an ad so disingenuous it would make Karl Rove napalm his knickers. If you want to see it, you can go to ScottWalker.com.

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Financial Perspectives

with Michael Dubis, CFP

What you need to know about high-frequency trading

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a stock, bond, or other security algorithmic trading model that uses very fast (the fastest) technology to trade in and out of investments. So fast that an HFT model can go in and out of the same security in less than a second. So fast that some HFT firms actually have fiber optic cable connected directly to various market exchanges! I don’t think TDS or Charter offers that yet.

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The Bottom Line

with contributors from Associated Bank

Create a consumerism strategy to get the most out of your health plan

In the ongoing battle to contain costs, employers are always looking for tools, old and new, to help keep their health care spending in check. One often-discussed approach is health care consumerism — but too often consumerism is discussed as just another plan design option.

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Transportation Matters

with Craig Thompson

It may take a bus to bridge the skills gap

Bridging the skills gap has become a top priority for governors across the country, as well as the president and Congress. Even when unemployment numbers were at their highest, we continually read stories about companies in Wisconsin that desperately wanted to hire but could not find applicants with the necessary skills. While the unemployment numbers are thankfully coming down, that story is still all too prevalent today.

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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

Life goes on for Bobby Hinds, Lifeline founder

Eighty-three-year-old Bobby Hinds has sold his Lifeline, the company he built over the past 40 years, so now it’s time for the indefatigable fitness fanatic to retire, right? Wrong. Hinds has been the driving force behind Lifeline USA, acquired last month by Pivotal 5, not because he founded the business, but because he was in charge of product development. Develop he did, and develop he will do.

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It's All About Content

with Thomas Marks

Why this classic brand is greater than Apple, Nike, or any other

While preparing to speak at the American Marketing Association’s Branding Conference, one of the questions that was presented to me was, “Besides Apple and Nike, name a brand that you really admire and why.” Fair enough. Although that’s assuming that I really do admire Apple and Nike. I’d be hard-pressed to say I don’t.

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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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