Generational Focus Group Paints a Complicated Picture

Posted on January 14, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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If we weren’t meant to compare apples and oranges, how do you explain the popularity of the still life with fruit? Perhaps you think Cézanne, Van Gogh, and the likes were all missing the point? The truth is, it’s good to see apples for what they are, be they McIntosh, Braeburn, Fuji, or my favorite (and the pride of my alma mater, I may add) Honey Crisp. But it’s also good to see how they compare and contrast to the other fruits on the table. That’s why painters love the still life with fruit. That’s why we find such images pleasing to the eye. It’s also why business leaders and managers should open their eyes to the very real differences between their employees. Continue reading »

Small Businesses Take an Artful Approach to Employee Engagement

Posted on January 3, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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The Twin Cities is a creative place. Folks around here are proud of the flourishing arts community. Bob Dylan, the Coen brothers, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Garrison Keillor, all hail from around these parts, to name just a few – does it get much bigger or better in the realms of music, film, literature or radio? Throw in one of the top five modern art museums in the country with the Walker Art Center, and the honorable distinction of ranking second in the nation in theaters per capita (behind only New York, of course), and well, we’ve got the goods to back up our claims of creative cachet. Not surprisingly, many area businesses employ creative people with creative ideas, sometimes manifesting in atypical work environments that take an artful approach to the fundamentals of motivating employees to give their best effort. Continue reading »

The Importance of Supplier Engagement

Posted on December 27, 2010 by Don MacPherson.

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During a recent trip to Serbia, I witnessed how critical it can be to create partnerships with your suppliers, not simply transactional interactions.  I had been coaching a first-time entrepreneur who had started a mattress manufacturing company.  I was able to visit with her one afternoon as she prepared for a trade show.  The show set-up was later that night and she realized that she had made an error in the specs she provided to the father/son team making the custom cases that would display her mattress samples.  She frantically called the team to let them know her dilemma.  They invited the entrepreneur to their workshop and said they would work until the display cases would meet her needs even though that meant working on their day off.   Continue reading »

Five Reasons to Recognize Your Employees This Holiday Season

Posted on December 21, 2010 by Don MacPherson.

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The holiday season is here and before you get swept away in all of the hustle and bustle, there’s one extremely important thing that you cannot forget to do. Luckily, you won’t have to fight traffic or get sucked into an online bidding frenzy in order to cross it off of your to-do list. All you have to do is think clearly, speak from the heart, and tell your employees how much you appreciate what they do. Continue reading »

Off to the Races

Posted on December 9, 2010 by abdiwakYo.

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This is a death knell to one of the longest streaks of stupidity I’ve ever been on. In this digital, on-demand age, where virtually anything and everything can be had by means of simple Googlery, it’s embarrassing to think that I’m just now blogging for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s stupid or embarrassing for others to not have blogs, but for me personally, it just makes no sense to have held out as long as I did. Just look at that phrasing, “held out,” as if it were some great moral conquest to resist adapting with technological innovation. Continue reading »

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