Open for Business

with Jody Glynn Patrick

April 2013

How NOT to start a business

04/25/13

How NOT to start a business

I could preach about the value of a business plan, but that would be b-o-r-i-n-g, so instead let’s dissect a true, local example of one enthusiastic start-up entrepreneur who jumped into business without one. We’ll call the business owner “Lydia.” I met Lydia when she appeared as a radio guest a couple years ago when I was hosting a nightly business talk radio program for WTDY, and I’ve never forgotten her or her experience.

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Can bonuses actually be demotivating?

04/17/13

Can bonuses actually be demotivating?

IB completed annual performance reviews in March, during which we also evaluated the entire operation, from mission to process to outcomes. I scheduled at least an hour for every employee to sit down not only with his or her manager, but also with me or Jon, the associate publisher, for a one-on-one conversation about successes, challenges, opportunities, and suggestions for overall company improvement.

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The nesting doll theory of managing business(es)

04/03/13

The nesting doll theory of managing business(es)

I have a set of Russian nesting dolls (“Matryoshka”), a series of wooden figures in a nested hierarchy that can be pulled apart to reveal another figure with some resemblance or common motif inside. Sets typically contain as few as five dolls or as many as 30. I sometimes think of each of our employees as a Russian nesting doll, a discrete and complete unit that is also part of a larger system. (The entire set of dolls comprises the company.) On a micro-level, every employee fits into a specific role that is necessary to the overall nesting quality, yet each is a unique size and holds a singular place in the organization.

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