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June 04, 2010

The Last Word: Ride out the storm

The Great Recession posed challenges for all industries, but the construction industry has been one of the hardest hit. Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Co. has been in business for more than 100 years and has constructed some of the …
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June 01, 2010

Health Care Calculation for Businesses: Coverage Versus Paying the Penalty

Large and mid-sized businesses have some calculating to do regarding the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law, but that calculation will not be entirely monetary, according to Dr. Craig …
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May 28, 2010

Management: Employee engagement

Many businesses are leaner than ever, yet highly effective management is required to compete in todays world. It is imperative that effective management and management practices are consistent throughout your organization.Without consistency in …
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May 27, 2010

How to Prevent Hiring Disasters

Hiring someone can be a time-consuming and nerve-wracking task. In an ideal situation, you find the perfect person for the positionsomeone who hits the ground running, increases your unit's performance, and eases your workload. In the worst-case …
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May 18, 2010

Taking the Temperature of Business Executives

As the Memorial Day turn approaches, and the warm summer weather arrives (in theory and in hope), IB conducted a survey to glean what area businesses are still worried about, and what makes them optimistic over the next six to 12 months. Nationally, …
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May 18, 2010

Time Management: Technique or Attitude?

Time management has been and always will be an oxymoron. We have all there is, yet none of us ever seem to have enough. At best we can learn to work with the never-ending passage of minutes and hours. No matter how often we say there are "never …
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May 14, 2010

Leadership: Overwhelmed?

These are indeed strange and turbulent times. Health care reform has ushered in a whole new generation of unknown government policy. Unemployment remains high and isnt likely to subside anytime soon.Afghanistan can now be characterized as the …
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May 14, 2010

The Last Word: Work-life balance

The greatest struggle in my life the last 30 years has been balancing my work life and family life, striving to fulfill at the highest level my roles as employee, employer, leader, attorney, community contributor, mother, wife, daughter, sister and …
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May 11, 2010

Southeastern Wisconsin Q1 2010 Industrial Market Report

The Dickman Company of Milwaukee released Southeastern Wisconsin industrial market statistics for the first quarter in 2010 and noted some interesting trends. For the eight county area of Southeastern Wisconsin, the overall vacancy rate increased …
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May 10, 2010

7 Steps to Effective Delegation

A working definition of effective delegation for an individual in a leadership role: "The extension of oneself through another person/group." When done well, the manager enhances coaching skills, helps others along their career paths, builds a sense …
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May 10, 2010

Leadership: Reboot your creativity with a retreat

In the April edition of the Harvard Business Review, authors Heike Bruch and Jochen I. Menges offer the results of a nine-year study which identifies the increasing phenomenon of organizational burnout.They suggest that more organizations are …
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April 30, 2010

Communication: A healthy corporate culture

Question: I manage a team of three supervisors. Weve been having some difficulty getting the employees in our department to work together. Weve also had some ups and downs with other departments. Our charge from top management is to do more with …
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April 06, 2010

Tips & Techniques for Engaging Customers With Social Media

Many organizations have realized the importance of integrating social media tools into their online customer engagement armamentarium. Among the tools that are being adopted are Twitter Feeds, Blogs, RSS Feeds, Facebook Pages, Myspace Pages, …
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March 30, 2010

Money Managers Coax Tepid Investors Back into the Market

Don't let the stock market's comeback fool you, money managers say there still is a lot of wealth sitting on the sidelines due to a crisis of confidence in institutions like Wall Street and especially Congress. The stock market hit a low of just …
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March 29, 2010

SBA Recovery Lending Extended Through April 30

President Barack Obama signed on Friday legislation extending through April the U.S. Small Business Administrations ability to provide enhancements in its two largest small business loan programs. The enhancements, first made available under the …
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March 16, 2010

Lean and Green

The manufacturing industry has never had a glamorous public image, and to most people, it is not considered a green business category.Historically, many large manufacturing operations have been large producers of pollutants sending carbon dioxide, …
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March 11, 2010

Business inventory levels are kept low

Businesses trimmed inventories at the wholesale level again in January even though sales rose for a 10th consecutive month. The dip in inventories underscored that businesses remain cautious about restocking their depleted shelves. Read more at …
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March 10, 2010

Business Survey Shows Better Hiring Outlook

The outlook for hiring in the Madison area looks more promising for jobseekers, according to a recent survey of businesses.Many businesses have been cutting back to shore up their bottom line, but on Wednesday a Manpower survey asking businesses …
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March 05, 2010

Management: Thank your employees

During the 18th century, British sailors were rewarded with an extra ration of rum after a successful voyage. Now that your employee and management teams have successfully navigated the turbulent waters of the economic tsunami, how will you reward …
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February 19, 2010

Networking: Open your mind to social media

Are you tweeting, posting, linking in or blogging yet? If not, youre missing out on one of the most useful and inexpensive tools for expanding your business.These (and other) social networks are having a more powerful impact for small business …
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December 01, 2009

80/20 — The Big Picture for Great Big Pictures

Alice Torti knows that painful decisions are associated with it, but she would recommend the 80:20 principle to almost anyone. Torti, the COO of Great Big Pictures, a Madison printer that makes in-store graphics for large retailers, has not only …
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June 23, 2009

Reorganizations That Last

Four out of five organizations have gone through some type of redesign initiative over the past 12 months. This may not be big news since during the recession, many companies were quick to undertake reorganizations in order to reduce costs, improve …
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June 19, 2009

The Customer Satisfaction Survey Snag

Customer satisfaction has been a major business buzz phrase for more than a decade. In his 2001 book, The Loyalty Effect, Fred Reichheld claimed that customer loyalty is a dominant determinant of success in business. He purported, for example, that …
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January 12, 2009

Managers Must be Decisive in Handling Problems

Good managers don't clean up messes caused by their staffs. They prevent messes from happening in the first place.Division head Carl finally had to fix the problems in a department run by senior manager Brenda. He transferred one supervisor and …
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October 21, 2008

Why Traditional Recession Tactics Are Doomed to Fail This Time

Boardrooms need to recognize that the macro crisis requires decision makers to confront fundamental transformation on three levels, argues Umair Haque. How should boardrooms respond to the macro crisis? Is it just a case of recession-as-usual: …
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November 29, 2007

The Indispensable Succession Plan

Now that the dust has settled on the recent tumult in the C-suites of Merrill Lynch and Citigroup (BusinessWeek.com, 11/27/07), one thing is clear: Boards need to have a credible, specific, and actionable chief executive officer succession plan in …
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June 19, 2007

What Makes a Business Leader Tick

Anthony Smith is an old friend who has written a new book called The Taboos of Leadership. I love the title. In this interview, Tony shares some of his thinking on leadershipand some insights from the executives he has met over the years. Here are …
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May 12, 2007

Back to Work - On Their Own Terms

BROOKFIELD - Michael Gingras retired as vice president of M&I Bank in Brookfield at the end of January with the intent of taking 60 days to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.But within less than two weeks, three different …
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