Trading Cars for a Bike.

Trading Cars for a Bike.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Twin Cities visiting some customers. While there, my friend Randy Manthey and his wife Christine invited me to their new flat in downtown Minneapolis. Vélo North Loop, in the Warehouse District near the M River, caters to an active lifestyle, particularly those who bike. They have street level [Read More]

It’s Still About the Basics

It’s Still About the Basics

Another college football signing day is on the books. For coaches, getting there is always a long process. Throughout the year, coaching staffs scrambled to reach good prospects to fill the rosters. Sure, text messaging and social media conversations are a part of the plan, but a recent Wall Street Journal article reported that more [Read More]

Our Economic Life  (A couple of simple approaches)

Our Economic Life (A couple of simple approaches)

To me, newspaper coverage aside, the economic climate still boils down to what’s happening with the boots on the ground, to us. The big trends will be in the newspaper, and they are good national or global indicators. But this is really our neighborhood. Smaller companies make 99.7 percent of business transactions and 46 percent [Read More]

The Roots of Morality in Modern Business

The Roots of Morality in Modern Business

On the eve of D day, President Roosevelt led our nation in prayer. Every word was powerful, but the end particularly resonates with me: Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies…let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Regardless of which God you maybe [Read More]

Are We “Contractors,” “Connectors” or Both?

Are We “Contractors,” “Connectors” or Both?

I’ve found that networking and connecting are two very different things. To me, “networking” means interacting with your contacts, having a clear objective top of mind. “Connecting” comes from a genuine interest in people and creates a bond based on shared interest. Most people would rather talk to a connector. Through the experience of years, [Read More]

Those Who Work in Glass Offices…

Those Who Work in Glass Offices…

Might be over-exposed. That’s what the Wall Street Journal, “Indecent Exposure: The Downsides of Working in a Glass Office” says, anyway. With all the talk about the benefits of open design, no one seemed to consider the pitfalls. Here are a few the WSJ identified: Privacy on personal matters, where human resources or other private [Read More]

Lesson from Coach K: Leadership and Words Are Inseparable

Lesson from Coach K: Leadership and Words Are Inseparable

Over the years, I have learned that the just right word(s) at the right time can make a huge difference in people’s lives. At times this means motivating them to do their best, and at other times it’s helping them through a tough spell. Several years ago, I learned that one of our longterm customers [Read More]

Job Seekers: Hints from a Hiring Manager

Job Seekers: Hints from a Hiring Manager

Times are getting better, but still tough. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal compared job seekers now–often isolated and searching online–to those who were looking for work during the Depression. In the 1930s, folks were more likely to call  in favors to friends and family or knock door to door asking for work. [Read More]

Is Now the Time to Renegotiate Or Right-Size?

Is Now the Time to Renegotiate Or Right-Size?

Recessions don’t have many redeeming qualities, but they do create opportunities that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Let me explain myself with an example. During our current economic downturn, commercial and retail spaces have often been leasing at reduced rates. Many of the prime locations already have been scooped up by opportunistic businesses. There still are good [Read More]

Creating the Perfect Workspace

Creating the Perfect Workspace

When we built our corporate campus a few years back, we were thinking about how to create a better workplace for our folks. Our goal was to create an environment  to promote teamwork, break down cylinders and be fun. To accomplish this, I considered multiple designs: –minimum walls and many open work areas, our customer [Read More]