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.

What is your definition of leadership? Take a moment to write it down. Now, what are some traits of an effective leader? Jot these down as well.

Every day, leaders in the education profession and government roles are faced with facility or operational needs. Some communities need to update their middle school or expand the high school; some communities have run out of space for their fire department or public works operations. It’s o…

Long term business success often depends on having strong employees, so a strategic initiative for many small businesses should be building a great team.

Goals and expectations change over time, much like your Limited Liability Company (LLC). Similarly, your Operating Agreement warrants an annual review and potential amendment.

Every day, leaders in the education profession and government roles are faced with facility or operational needs. Some communities need to update their middle school or expand the high school; some communities have run out of space for their fire department or pub- lic works operations. It’s…

What are you doing to grow, change, learn and prepare for the future? Every business can benefit from a focus on value creation, that is, building both tangible and intangible assets to provide maximum value.Whether you plan to sell your business in the near-term or stay in the business for …

Aspirus has completed the purchase of WPS Health Solutions’ ownership stake in Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin, making Aspirus the sole owner of the Wisconsin-based health plan.Aspirus Arise was created in 2016 as a joint venture between Aspirus and WPS and has experienced strong grow…

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The No. 1 challenge I hear leaders talking about is having the quantity and the quality of talent to serve their customers and achieve the organization’s annual objectives. You have to recruit and hire the right person the first time but you also need to retain all team members.

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It’s been a year of transition for my busi- ness and our family. This time last year, the business hired its first employee. Now, almost a year later, we are in the process of hiring two, possibly three more to support the growth.In addition to the business growth and change, we married off …

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“...and I went to pick her up in the rain!” Many of you have no doubt heard David Allan Coe try to write the perfect country western song. I’m no country singer and certainly no song writer, but I am on a mission to create a leadership-development training program. For more than a decade now…

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It’s been a year of transition for my business and our family. This time last year, the business hired its first employee. Now, almost a year later, we are in the process of hiring two, possibly three more to support the growth.

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During Small Business Week earlier this year, Fox Cities Score and the Fox Valley Tech Venture Center co-hosted a program called Google Your Business Online. Forty small business people learned how an online presence helps their business and picked up tips on improving their businesses posit…