When I was little, my family would move from our Brookfield home into a cottage on Nagawicka Lake in Delafield as soon as school was out. I spent my summer vacation swimming, fishing, boating, butterfly hunting, annoying my four older sisters, and enjoying massive cookouts with our extended …

As a team full of active community members, we have been working hard to organize several vaccination clinics throughout our region to ensure COVID vaccines are available to all. We do this work on behalf of the Multicultural Communications Committee (MCC) that I started last fall. The goal …

We plan for so many things in our life. We have a retirement plan, health insurance plan, diet plan, workout plan, vacation plan, you may even have a plan for your day. Businesses may have a strategic plan, financial plan, sales plan and marketing plan.

COVID-19 changed the way we do business, but one thing that has not changed is the need for small business disaster plans and preparation. This summer, Wisconsin is already facing an elevated wildfire threat and severe storms could cause flooding and other damage. Cybersecurity disruptions a…

I t’s July of 2021 – 18 months of uncertainty, fear, upheaval, challenge, opportunity, and change, just to name a few of the emotions we’ve been experiencing on the personal and business fronts, are now in the rearview mirror. As we begin to see glimpses of normalcy starting to appear with p…

The military spends a lot of time planning, updating plans, scrapping plans and replanning. If you’ve ever served, you can attest to the amount of time and effort required to nail down every variable that is considered and planned for to achieve an objective.

While investing can be an intimidating topic for those just getting started, it doesn’t need to be. If you’re new to investing, know that it all starts with financial literacy – understanding the basics.

As a society, we have gone through a significant emotional event (the pandemic) that has likely changed “how” and “why” we work. Usually, we experience significant emotional events on an individual basis (death of loved one, a cancer diagnosis, major life change) but for the first time at le…

The time will come for most business owners when the lease for their building will end and they’ll need to make an important decision affecting the company’s future. Should your lease be renewed? Is it time for a move? What about construction of a new building? And given the current pandemic…

I believe we can agree that COVID affected every company, every industry, and every marketplace, so relying on your gut when the future is still unknown is not the best decision.

Growing industry concentration is a business reality. Most mature industries will have seen company counts shrink to the point where between two and maybe five companies account for seventy five percent plus of industry output. This is not all bad as economies of scale, access to funding, kn…

What are the top three areas you want or need to grow to live a better life — both professionally and personally life. I can guarantee you at least one of those growth opportunities is not an issue at work, but it comes to work with you every day.

I t was March 12, 2020, when a State of Emergency was declared in the State of Wisconsin, and the stay-at-home order was issued March 25, 2020, in response to the COVID pandemic. At that time, face coverings were required, and all gatherings were banned.

The old adage of it’s not what you know, but who you know, is as timely as ever. This has and continues to be the case in finding employment, but it doesn’t stop there.

Twenty to 25 years ago, many economists were questioning whether there were productivity improvements from the use of personal computers since positive results could not easily be found in economic statistics. However, we now know the changes driven by rapidly advancing information technolog…

Do your organization’s financial reports provide accurate, meaningful information necessary for decision-making? Do those who need the data understand it? While not always the case, I have seen a common gap within businesses of truly understanding financial performance and the financial heal…

For many people around the world, the coronavirus pandemic has meant a shift in where they work. Many are looking forward to the day when they will return to the office, but the pandemic may have a permanent effect on what offices and other workplaces look like and how they operate.

For a year now, we’ve heard the same message over and over; “Social distance, wear a mask and wash your hands.” Although it’s very important, and yes, you should follow those guidelines, the message has been conveyed so frequently that many have grown tired of hearing it — to the point of be…

As we begin the transition from pandemic to recovery, people will be adapting to some undefined combination of the changes caused by Covid 19 and the world we lived in as recently as the first quarter of 2020. For some, thoughts will turn to starting up a small business or nonprofit. 

The best business managers are those who are capable of effectively managing risk. They have a repeatable method of assessing risk that guides them in deciding when to act and when to wait. 

2020 has been an unforgettable year, especially for those of us who consider ourselves ‘road warriors.’ I typically travel out of state for business 20 times a year, attending industry events and making in-person sales calls. As Captain Obvious once said, “A virtual conference will never rep…

To say that 2020 has been a year to remember (or forget) is an understatement. A global pandemic, racial tension, a bitter presidential election, and virtual schooling are just a few of the things we've had to deal with.

How well do you really listen to others when they are speaking? In today’s fastpaced world, we are often distracted with everything we need to get accomplished, the alerts coming from our devices, and impending deadlines. I’m sure we can all identify phone calls, conversations, and meetings …

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an immense toll on Americans across the nation. Beyond the immediate health concerns the virus presents, this year has caused a level of economic stress not seen in decades and put significant strain on Americans as they navigate the new, unfamiliar challenges…

Most will agree that measurement and a simple performance dashboard are critical to effectively running a business. The challenge is finding a way to keep it simple.

With Election Day almost here, investors are understandably wondering — and maybe even anxious — about how the U.S. presidential election will affect the stock market. Election years often come with increased market uncertainty. And this year, COVID-19 and a fragile economy have added new di…

I grew up in a small rural county known primarily for growing tobacco and, occasionally, hockey players. However, its most famous export was the economist John Kenneth Galbraith almost 100 years ago. He wrote dozens of bestselling books on economics, many of which are still referenced and qu…

Intellectual Property (IP) is commonly defined as a group of legal rights that provide protection over things people create or invent. It might sound straightforward, but there is a lot of confusion over what can actually be protected and what can not.

You and your board have decided it’s a perfect time for strategic planning. To help you get the best response, here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing a Request for Proposal (RFP). 

Every January, I go to the talent conference in Arizona and I always look forward to it. Not just because of the warm weather but because it is my individual time to look back, and most importantly, look ahead.

I nteresting times! That’s what we are all experiencing during this pandemic, along with the recent social unrest. If there is ever a time to plan for the unexpected, now is the time.

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While you should always be analyzing risk, there is a heightened need with the recent pandemic and the ensuing fallout. Assessing your business risk and making appropriate improvements will help your organization minimize, or even prevent, the impact of time-consuming and costly situations, …

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Most business owners are well aware that 90 percent of companies fail to achieve the performance objectives established in their strategic plan. Most will tell you the primary reason is “failure to execute.”

The year started out strong with the economy projected to have slow but continued growth, continued low unemployment, and overall, 2020 looking like a fairly good year in all respects. Then, COVID-19, or better known as the coronavirus began impacting the global economy. Starting with intern…

“In the Chinese language, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity.”

Does the CFO or Controller at your company complete a customary month-end closing process and then issue a large packet of financial information to the business owner and the management team? This process is followed by most companies as standard practice. What happens after that says a lot …

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do, it is the thing that drives our business.” This quote speaks to a significant shift in mindset that has been taking place during the last 10 to 15 years in the field of Human Resources.

I t’s hard to imagine that your work environment, and in particular, the nature of your leader can have an impact on your mental health, but it does. In our western culture we’re prone to spend more time at work than in our homes. The consequence is, for better or worse, the work environment…

How was your 2019? Was it what you had hoped and expected? Did you accomplish the goals that you set out to achieve?

Employees ask for many things, but one nearly everyone asks for is to be empowered. For most, the request is simple and requires no investment. And yet significant productivity and retention is lost because people don’t feel empowered and engaged. We often hear this as an expectation of mill…

A strategic plan is about building for the future, a future that is unknowable. Forecasts about business or the economy over coming quarters or years are really just guesses. Hopefully, an educated one but a guess all the same. Any one person is bound to get a forecast right and even a few i…

“People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.” This quote was validated recently when a woman spoke of lingering issues from her past employer.

My wife and I recently were watching a show on television where the younger, clearly more talented leader, got promoted to a leadership position over the older, more experienced employee. In good TV drama fashion, the more experienced person confronted the young leader saying they didn’t des…

Short term pain for long term gain. We have all heard this saying, but in this strong economy we are seeing the inverse of this saying come true right now: Short term gain for long term pain. Right now, things are looking good. Economic indicators are positive. The stock market has been sett…

I hear this often from other advisers and business owners, “I thought you were an accountant. I didn’t realize you did all of this other stuff.” What they mean when they say “other stuff ” is the people, the process and the messiness of emotions that go far beyond the business.

Business leaders often talk about creating a culture of innovative risk taking but many fail in accomplishing the goal. Most struggle to understand why so few people are willing to challenge the status quo or think beyond well-established boundaries. The key question to ask is, “How do you p…

While I sit in Detroit airport on a Sunday afternoon after being delayed out of Green Bay at 7 for more than 6 hours, missing my connection to Washington D.C., Dulles Airport, and missing many of the conference activities I was planning on attending, I can’t help but think about Grit.