Small Business Owner Weekly Review (Week of April 22, 2013)

A Very Pleasant Afternoon –

Our April 22nd edition of Small Business Owner Weekly Review has been published.


I would encourage each of you reading this to take a few moments to stop by; review the content at your convenience; and share your thoughts and insights as appropriate.  I will also highlight each author within the next few days by providing a small biography and summarization, respectively.


Our subject matter and content discussion this week encompasses:

  • AACSB Annual Meeting (ICAM 2013)
  • Building Blocks – Paradoxes and Challenges
  • Business Branding
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Differentiation In Today’s Automotive Industry
  • Earning Trust
  • Expertise Establishment Using Writing, Case Studies, and Web Content
  • High and Low Involvement Premiumization
  • Increasing Business Market Value
  • Investment Strategic Advice
  • Link Building Strategies
  • Overcoming Small Business Price Objections
  • Physics of Investing in Expertise Markets
  • Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations
  • Speaking Truth to Power
  • Strategic Training and Management
  • Time Management Tips
  • Transformational Strategy
  • Workplace Inclusion Tips

We have featured the below listed authors and businesses, and we will highlight each of their contributions as appropriate throughout the week.

  • Andy Giles with MetaDesign
  • Becky Waller Bausman
  • Brendan Stamm
  • Carol Ruch
  • Don Shaughnessy
  • Evelina Silveira
  • Finance Circle
  • Gil Brindley
  • Gwen Higgins
  • Hippotential
  • Ian Dunaway
  • John Kelly with Kelly Business Advisors, LLC
  • Kathleen Beker
  • Lara-Lee Magnus
  • Mark Byrne
  • Mark Gilman
  • Marshall Atkinson with Atkinson Consulting, LLC
  • Mary Canty Merrill, PhD
  • Matthew Blagg
  • Mike Crape
  • Mitchell Osak
  • Narrative Communications
  • Nicole Denison
  • RNC Consulting Firm and Associates
  • Ryan Hajen
  • Sarah Ripley
  • Shawn Casemore
  • Sofia Casado
  • Stephen Dann
  • Susan Talbert Evans
  • Tara Cunningham
  • Tobias Carlisle
  • Tony Wagner


We truly thank each of you for your continued support and interest in our work and research.  We remain appreciative to each of you for taking a continued interest and support of our fellow business owners; writers; and their efforts.

Please do have a very enjoyable week and with the warmest of regards, we thank you for your kind and thoughtful considerations…



34 Responses to Small Business Owner Weekly Review (Week of April 22, 2013)

  1. Reblogged this on domenicmarchetti.

  2. Good Morning –

    MetaDesign San Francisco is a global branding and design consultancy that creates brand strategies, identity systems, and digital interfaces. They apply a customer and user-centered methodology to designing logotypes, packaging, collateral systems, websites, applications, mobile interfaces and other branded systems of communication.

    They believe good design should embody sound strategy and emotional appeal, intellectual rationale and tactical implementation. For over 20 years, they have working with global clients across industries to create elegant, user-centered design solutions.


    We have highlighted their editorial composed by Mr. Andy Giles entitled:

    “Getting To The Core Of Your Brand”


    Mr. Giles states, “…brands need to resonate with audiences in a way that is emotionally engaging and relevant to their lives. To do this, they need to consider their behavior as a brand, and learn to adapt and respond to their customers’ needs and desires.”

    He closes his remarks by saying, “If you don’t, perhaps it’s time to think about the essence of what your company stands for. Dig deep, and keep picking out the fluff, until you get to a core statement that embodies what your company believes in and guides your every move as brand.”

  3. Good Morning –

    SeriesC is a new management consultancy that helps companies bring innovation to market by providing executive leadership, generating momentum, and building the right ongoing marketing strategy and team.

    Their engagements are structured as missions to achieve a company’s sales goals and the means to get there. Engaging during a pivotal juncture in an organization’s lifecycle, the SeriesC formula for success is tailored specifically to each client.

    Team members have worked successfully together for years and have decades of experience in brand strategy, communications, product marketing and lead generation. Before they finish their missions, we build a company’s marketing function and leave in place a marketing machine designed for long-term achievement. The entire process takes a few months; yet the effect lasts for years.


    We have highlighted their editorial authored by Ms. Becky Waller Bausman entitled:

    “The Three Biases That Impact Your Investor’s Strategic Advice”


    Ms. Bausman highlights her discussion points by identifying the following points:

    • Bias 1 – The entrepreneur doesn’t want to reveal the “naked negatives” in the business to the investors. As HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah recently mused on his blog, among the top things entrepreneurs never confess to their investors is, “We had our management team meeting yesterday and we’ve determined that we’re kind of screwed.”

    • Bias 2 – Investors want returns. Yes, well, duh. Investors’ top priority is ensuring that their capital returns more capital. But, wait, doesn’t the entrepreneur want the same thing — for the business to take off and revenues to soar? Not necessarily. Not if it means abandoning a vision for where to sell or what to sell, in favor of a different path, before the entrepreneur is ready to abandon that vision.

    • Bias 3 – Investors want to be right, so they rely on what they know. Another no brainer, this one! We all turn to experience and background. Which, as Clayton Christiansen points out, leads to the Innovator’s Dilemma: what was right yesterday may not be right today.

    She further comments that, “How does an entrepreneur best deal with this challenge? Day after day as we work with start-ups seeking much-needed strategic advice, the answer is obvious. Listen to the investors. Embrace their advice with gratitude and an open mind.”

  4. Good Morning –

    We are pleased to recognize Mr. Brendan Stamm, and we have highlighted his article entitled:

    “Differentiation – Today’s Automotive Industry”


    He shares his thought and insights stating, “Social media, however, is changing how the automotive industry presents itself and how it is viewed by the U.S. consumer. Take Kia and Hyundai – two Asian motor vehicle brands with headquarters and manufacturing facilities located domestically in the States.

    To put it another way, we have two foreign companies with strong American ties. Upon first glance at their corporate websites, there are no dedicated links or subpages highlighting the firms’ various social media platforms.

    However, what both companies have are small hyperlinked logos for their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. Unless a social-media savvy consumer knew what to look for, these small areas of real estate on the brands website can be easily overlooked.”

  5. Good Morning –

    Carol Ruch is a creative, adaptable professional with successful experience in Association Management, Building Partnerships, Marketing, Leadership and Organizational Development (OD).

    Accountable for $3.5M in P&L financials; for customer acquisition & retention, producing conferences and trade shows, and negotiating win-win models to bring together divergent groups to achieve a common goal. Produced comprehensive plans for Organizational Change, Diversity Value, Training & Development closely integrated with the organization’s strategic direction.


    We have highlighted her editorial entitled:

    “OD Experts Share How They Tackle ‘Speaking The Truth To Power’ “


    She came upon several excellent ”how-to” ideas from my colleagues on the Linked In Organization Development and Training Forum, who have graciously given me permission to pass on their wisdom to you. Her colleague contributions were from:

    Nicole Marchand (
    Peter Demarest (

    She states, “Speaking truth to power demands incredible finesse and courage. OD professionals regularly face this challenge in “many shades of grey” and in spades, especially when the dynamics of power in an organization interferes with effectiveness.”

  6. Good Morning –

    Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency.

    The Protector Group Insurance Agency is one of New England’s largest independent insurance agencies specializing in providing Risk Management, Property & Casualty Insurance, Employee Benefit Programs, Personal Insurance, Financial Services, and Surety to their clients.


    We have highlighted Mr. Shaughnessy’s article entitled:

    “Strategizing and Planning”


    He identifies the general process of Strategizing and Planning as:

    Priorities/policies -> strategy -> tactics -> execution -> review/revise.

    He comments that, “Tactics first usually is weak because inadequately developed strategy makes inappropriate tactical choices easier. They are, however the only way to define strategy as good or bad. The trick is to find out quickly where you are.”

    He also states, “Strategy includes defining purpose, timing, participants, limits, change, resources and so on. It also includes making policy choices, (things we must do or won’t do) choosing priorities and developing some sort of a tie breaking mechanism for when there are conflicting parts or a scarcity of resources.”

  7. Good Morning –

    Based in London, Ontario, Canada, Diversity At Work provides consultancy services, workshop facilitation and language lessons to organizations engaged in harnessing the competitive advantages of strategic diversity management.

    They are a diversity management business that works with organizations to realize the value of diversity in the workplace and in sales and marketing strategies. Companies and organizations hire Diversity at Work for diversity management workshops; elocution and pronunciation lessons; courses and seminars in multi-cultural marketing for small businesses, workplace accessibility, bias-free hiring practices, and cross-cultural communications; and corporate diversity consultation.

    They further assist companies maximize the competitive advantages of an inclusive and diverse working environment by offering Consultation in Diversity Management, Small Business Human Resources and Diversity Marketing, Workshops and Language Classes.


    We have highlighted their editorial authored by Evelina Silveira entitled:

    “Low-Cost and No Cost Tips for Workplace Inclusion”


    Ms. Silveira highlights a couple of easy low-cost and no cost actions an individual can take that do make a difference, including:

    • Make use of your existing resources
    • Learn a foreign language for free
    • Make your print materials easier to read
    • Save costs on advertising and pre-screening candidates

    She concludes her remarks by stating, “There are so many more ways to make diversity and inclusion a reality without breaking the bank.”

  8. Good Morning –

    Fincirc Corp / Finance Circle (FINCIRC) is a dynamic platform for all the students and the budding professionals to sneak peek into a financial database which can be used for Education and Knowledge Grasping.

    It is place where an individual can keep abreast with the market scenarios and the movements as well as get access to all the latest posts from the experts in the industry and excerpts from the students of various premier B-Schools.


    We have highlighted an excerpt from the book entitled:

    “Jeong – Do Management is the LG Way”


    LG as an organization has followed this style of management since its inception and continues to uphold the principles of this management style.

    Jeong – Do Management has (3) essential components including:

    • Integrity
    • Fair Transaction
    • Fair Competition

    They define Jeong – Do Management as:

    “A comprehensive behavioral mode which pursues the management principles of Customer Value Creation and People Oriented Management. It is a commitment towards becoming a contributing member to the sustained growth of the global market ecosystem.”

    We very kindly thank them for their contributions and are hopeful each of you has found this information useful and informative…

  9. Good Afternoon –

    H2M Melville ACE Team (H2M) is a multi-disciplined professional consulting and design firm, proud of their long history of client service and our consistent ability to meet tough architectural, engineering, and environmental challenges head-on.

    Since 1933, H2M has helped design and build many of their communities: from treatment facilities to firehouses, from land surveying to road reconstruction, from site assessment to remediation.

    Since their early roots, our focus has remained steadfast: to provide quality service with sound judgment and to serve as an honest professional resource to our clients.


    We are pleased to highlight their article authored by Mr. Gil Brindley (H2M’s Director of Marketing), entitled:

    “Making Your Fridays ‘E-Mail Free’ “


    Mr. Brindley states, “Email and texting make us lazy. We don’t have to explain things or use words we would use in conversation, like please and thank you. We forget those soft skills that are so important in our business. Skills like verbal communication, listening, encouraging each other, team building, and humanizing the coordination process.

    It’s easy to send an email to get a point across, but remember, email and texting don’t show any emotion. Experts say that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through voice inflection, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc.).

    That leaves only 7% for the actual words used and 93% for the presentation of those words. I’m sure you can recall an email or text that you sent or received that was misinterpreted because it didn’t include the inflection that a verbal conversation would.”

  10. Good Afternoon –

    Gwen Higgins is a writer with a background in professional chemical engineering and management accounting that specializes in technical subjects like engineering, accounting, and finance.

    She has worked in corporations for 10+ years and has written reams of business communications. Her industry experience includes pulp & paper, natural gas, and bitumen upgrading in the oil sands. In 2008 I won a speaker award at the PACWest conference in Jasper, Alberta. As a freelance writer, she had articles published on major U.S. websites like,,, and


    We are pleased to highlight her editorial entitled:

    “Establish Your Expertise with Professionally Written White Papers, Case Studies, and Web Content”


    When sharing her insights, Ms. Higgins suggests an individual should:

    • Keep Your Content Fresh and Up-to-Date
    • Develop and Fine-Tune Your Content Strategy

    She comments that, “Today’s website is much more than a virtual brochure. Business clients gather information online and compare options before contacting suppliers. I can help your company establish an expert presence by writing the content you need.”

  11. Good Evening –

    Hippotential is dedicated to helping business owners and their executive teams enhance decision-making and business growth. By analyzing behavioral intelligence, marketing ROI and the degree of innovative thinking, they establish a baseline for performance. A plan is developed to assist the client in realizing High Impact Performance POtential.

    We are pleased to highlight their article entitled:

    “Overcoming Price Objections In Small Business”


    They comment and ask, “Many the small business entrepreneur complains about not being able to charge enough to make good profits.

    Yet, in the business world around us, we all see businesses who seem to be doing very well and who charge the proverbial “arm and a leg” for what they do. Why is it that some niches seem more capable of avoiding price sensitivity than others?”

    They discuss the areas of:

    • What is often overlooked, however, is how and why people buy
    • Buying decisions are facilitated by removing the consumer from having to make a painful choice.
    • Even when alternatives exist, they are often not sought out

    Finding a way to address these three issues in your own business will pay off. As you are able to make inroads, you will find that your pricing becomes justified and that you won’t have to fight as hard to maintain price integrity.

  12. Good Evening –

    We are very pleased to recognize Ian Dunaway and we are highlighting his editorial entitled:

    “The Business of LifeGroups”


    He shares his thought and insights pertaining to some incredibly valuable lessons that every Small Group leader needs to know, including:

    • Cold Calls are Warmer Than the Saying Implies
    • Satisfied Customers Bring More Business than Charismatic Salespeople
    • Continual Care Means Repeat Business
    • Relationships Build Lasting Business

    They close their remarks by stating, “Groups that exist to build relationships grow in time, but groups that exist to simply grow numbers fail quickly because they have no foundation!”

  13. Good Evening –

    Kelly Business Advisors, LLC is a coaching, consulting and training company; they work with business owners, one on one, to define and achieve their goals; and they helps meet their challenges with leadership, management, finance, strategy, business planning, marketing, sales, customer service, human resources and operations.

    We have highlighted their editorial entitled:

    “10 Time Management Tips”


    They have been kind enough to share their thoughts pertaining to 10 tips to help an individual make the most of their time any time of the year, including:

    • Know your priorities
    • Get your appointments and to-dos out of your head
    • Choose your yeses carefully
    • Know how to say no
    • Make sure you have some fun-stuff on your to-do list
    • Give yourself permission to quit
    • Tap into the power of completion
    • Minimize the little time wasters
    • Tackle your highest priority task first
    • Understand what time management really is

    They conclude their comments stating, “In the end, how we spend our time is how we spend our lives. Are you making the very most of your time?”

  14. Good Evening –

    As is our honor to recognize students, we are pleased to recognize Kathleen Backer – a Marketing graduate with a big interest in Digital Marketing.

    We have highlighted her article entitled:

    “Website Competitor Analysis – Why And How To…”


    She has referenced Ian Creek – Marketing Director at Rokk Media Ltd (a guest blogger at Econsultancy and can be credited for this handy outline on the basic steps in a competitor website analysis).

    They focus their discussion by asking the question, “What should you compare in your website analysis?”

    Their discussion points revolve around:

    • Who should you compare against?
    • How to structure your analysis spread sheet
    • What tools can you use for website competitive analysis?

    They comment that, “This will differ from one business to the next. However, there are a number of common measurements that are relevant for most sites.”

  15. Good Evening –

    We are happy to recognize Lara-Lee Magnus and we have highlighted her article entitled:

    “Blend In or Stand Out”


    She asks us a basic question, “Why on this beautiful earth would you want to do exactly what your competition is doing, if you are in fact competition?”

    She raises a few discussion points pertaining to:

    • The market is saturated, and no matter what your industry is, or what your offering is… there are people doing exactly what you do.
    • Refresh your branding, make it different.
    • Think about ways that your consumer can access your service or product with more efficiency and ease.
    • Think about ways of making contact that is refreshing and different.
    • Play on platforms that are right for your company/brand, for where it’s at, and more importantly, for where your market is at.


    So don’t wait for competitors to take risks and innovate, or bravely embrace what it means to be a social business. If you want to be remembered, do it first, and do it differently.

    We kindly thank her for her contributions and we appreciate her sharing her insights…

  16. Good Morning –

    Another one of our recognized students is Mr. Mark Byrne.

    He is a sophomore at Creighton University and studying Informatics and Computer Science, and Digital Design and Development. To that end, he is undertaking work in iOS Application Development, Java Programming, Web Design, WordPress Theme Development, and Graphic Design.

    His blog has specifically been created as an outlet to write on Social Media Topics for a Journalism course he is currently enrolled in, JRM327 Social Media.

    We have highlighted his article entitled:

    “Social Media and the Nebraska Humane Society”


    He talks about his visit to the Nebraska Humane Society with his Social Media class to learn about how they have gone about creating their very successful Social Media campaign.

    Among the aspects her learned, he shares his thoughts regarding:

    • Being successful on social media is all about fostering relationships and building a community with your audience;
    • Learned about the value of using multimedia to drive your content and message.
    • Planning posts, and the algorithms behind Facebook fame. Basically, I now realize how important likes are on a post (and more importantly, shares) when a page is looking to be advertised.
    • Learned the value of simply asking people to “like” or “share” to help

    He remarks that he found the trip to Nebraska Humane Society, “…to be incredibly educational, and he will be incorporating a lot of the campaign strategy they employ in my own Social Media strategy.”

  17. Good Morning –

    Before founding Decus Strategic Marketing and Communications in 2006, Mark Gilman, President, has enjoyed a rich and varied career which spanned many states and leadership opportunities.

    He launched the PR aspect of his career while serving in the Navy and studying Journalism in the exclusive Defense Information School; served for six years as a self-described “Propaganda Specialist” before shoving off for a civilian career.

    Mark’s penchant for traveling didn’t stop there – beginning as a television, print and radio reporter, stringing for CBS, ABC , CNN and Mutual Radio, this native New Englander eventually managed talk radio stations across the country as well as hosting shows in Boston, Detroit, D.C., Houston, Baltimore, Tucson and Albuquerque. In addition, he served as a Capitol Hill and Pentagon television news correspondent.


    We have highlighted his editorial entitled:

    “Break Down The Silos Between Sales/Marketing/PR”


    He states, “Sales and Business Development should be supported by marketing which is supported by public relations/earned media/social media/web, etc.”

    He further summarizes that, “No marketing or PR agency should EVER engage a company without first understanding the needs of the sales or business development efforts.

    And leadership should be telling the sales people they NEED the help of the marketing and PR team. If these units (sales, marketing, PR) are not aligned and supporting each other, you’re wasting everyone’s time (and money). It’s time to break down the silos – and develop a game plan you can all work with.”

  18. Good Morning –

    Marshall Atkinson is Owner and President of Atkinson Consulting Inc. – an organization to help apparel decorating companies solve their challenges and create new opportunities for growth.

    He has worked in the apparel decoration industry for over 19 years, as an Art Director, Vice President of Operations and currently as the Chief Operating Officer for Visual Impressions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; has built and created designs, website programs, production teams, training initiatives, obtained licenses and certifications, managed a host of third party safety and social compliance audits, produced Hot Market apparel orders, and was an integral part of the business development team.


    We have highlighted his article entitled:

    “Earning Trust”


    This article is one of my favorites this past week, and Mr. Atkinson shares some ideas that may help you build better trust with your existing clients, including:

    • Spend Time With Them
    • Be Honest
    • Add Value To The Relationship
    • Make It Easy For Them To Do Business With You
    • Do What You Say You Are Going To Do
    • Be Realistic and Know Your Capabilities
    • Do It Better Than Your Competition
    • Listen
    • Be Yourself
    • Empathize with Others

    He closes his thoughts by stating, “Earning trust is usually as simple as being yourself, being honest and doing what you say you are going to do. Extend that to your company, and that’s how you build your business.”

    • One of my favorites!

  19. Good Morning –

    Mary Canty Merrill, PhD is an Inside/Out (I/O) Psychologist; Entrepreneur; Educator; Coach; Facilitator; Writer; Provocateur; and Executor. She is President of Merrill Consulting Associates, LLC.

    We are very pleased to highlight her editorial entitled:

    “5 Ways To Increase Your Market Value”


    Dr. Merrill states, “If you do not have a measurable response to the question, “Why should we hire you, or keep you employed?” perhaps it’s time to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack by increasing your market value.”

    She describes (5) ways to strategically position yourself for greater success, including:

    • Reassess your value proposition
    • Take action over the things which you can control
    • Rebuild your capabilities
    • Manage your expectations
    • Maintain an attitude of gratitude

    As we understand, Dr. Merrill comments, “Life is full of choices and opportunities, if we have the courage to seek them.

    Starting today, consider yourself a brand. Seize each moment by expanding your focus and taking responsibility for your challenges and successes, one building block at a time.”

  20. Good Morning –

    Matthew Blagg is a contributing author for Criticaleye.

    Criticaleye was created in 2002 with the aim of helping leaders across industry sectors, business functions and geographical locations resolve business issues through peer-to-peer debate and discussion.

    Their Community works on the premise that business leaders and chief executives need a safe space to ask questions and discuss solutions without the threat of being held to ransom by employees, stakeholders or the media for not knowing the answer to every problem or challenge that presents itself.


    We have highlighted his editorial entitled:

    “The Curious Double-Act of CEO-CFO”


    Mr. Blagg states, “When the chemistry is right, the CFO will stand up to a CEO’s wilder flights of commercial fancy, while also having the ability to think like a leader who appreciates the need to take risks.”

    He references comments from his colleagues, including:

    • Rene Matthies – CFO at Energy Company E.ON UK;
    • Murray Hennessy – CEO of The Trainline;
    • Stuart Laird, COO of the Living Space Division of construction company Wates and a former CEO of support service concern;
    • Guy Strafford, Chief Client Officer at procurement specialists Proxima;
    • Alison Hutchinson, CEO of not-for-profit concern The Pennies Foundation, and a former CEO of financial services company The Kensignton Group;
    • Gavin Lewis, Finance Director of Royal Mail Estates, part of the Royal Mail Group;
    • Bob Emmins, Finance Director for The Silver Spoon Company, a division of Associated British Foods;
    • Bob Beveridge, Non-executive Director of mobile technology company InternetQ

    Mr. Blagg closes his remarks stating, “The best CFOs are now leaders in their own right. It can make for a powerful partnership, where CEOs appreciate and respect the opinions, insights and judgments of their second in command… even if they don’t necessarily want to hear them.”

  21. Good Morning –

    We are happy to recognize Mr. Michael Crape, and we have highlighted his essay entitled:

    “Simple Business”


    Mr. Crape raises points of discussion entailing:

    • Work Environment Sophistication
    • Creating Work Environments Agreeable to Staff and Community
    • Customer Feedback

    He states, “To be sure the methods are about means and do not change the simple objective of business today to ‘make a profit’.

    This sophistication of the work environment seems to seep from business schools and their graduates as they offer competing methodologies intended more to justify their existence than to optimize a business that creates shareholder value.”

  22. Good Morning –

    Mitchell Osak is managing director of Quanta Consulting Inc. Quanta has delivered a variety of strategy and organizational transformation consulting and educational solutions to global Fortune 1000 organizations.

    We are pleased to highlight his editorial, which was published April 12th in the Financial Post, entitled:

    “Middle Managers’ Disappearance Can Be Remedied With Strategic Training”


    Mr. Osak observes that, “The kinds of skills needed by employers have changed from incremental new ones that can easily be learned on the job to those that require advanced technical and “soft” skills (in problem solving, communication, teamwork, and leadership, etc.) which cannot easily be learned in a workplace.”

    His discussion highlights the areas of:

    • Understand the problem
    • Address strategically
    • Rethink education

    He further comments that, “The scale and needs of the middle manager layer amplifies cost and compromises outputs (productivity and thinking). Because middle managers are numerous and expensive, their skills deficiencies will have a large and negative impact on financial and operational performance.

    Moreover, talent shortfalls hinder middle managers from problem solving, fostering innovation, and leading change, three critical ingredients for dynamic and globally oriented enterprises.”

  23. Good Afternoon –

    We are pleased to recognize Anders Kryger and we have highlighted his essay from his “Narrative Communication” blog entitled:

    “Telling Stories Saves Time”


    Last week, he facilitated the semiannual follow up on a department’s strategy and shared his thoughts stating:

    “The strategy was completely built on the employees’ stories about working in the department, in the company, with each other, with customers – and the derived successes, problems and challenges.

    These stories led to a fruitful discussion of what’s important to the department, i.e. values. The mission, vision and action plan for how to reach the targets all built on the values. The fact that the employees could work in accordance with their values, and were part of establishing the department’s goals, led to motivation and job satisfaction.

    This was measured in “360 degree surveys” before and after the first strategy workshop and two-three months after.


    His essay shares a story that consist of (3) main messages:

    • Strategy is dynamic, and targets need continuous grooming and adaptation to the current state of affairs (values and mission don’t, though).
    • Narrative communications, i.e. using real stories told by the employees for strategy development and communications, is a powerful facilitation method, and
    • Employees’ values are reinforced when they tell their stories, and it motivates employees to be able to work with integrity, i.e. in accordance with their values.

    Most of the content Mr. Kryger has composed for his blog will be relating to a book he is writing on narrative communications and how techniques from narrative psychology and coaching can be used in communications. Posts are reflections and ideas, things that I am contemplating and issues to consider for the book. Professional communications is also his daily job as Manager of Internal Communications at MAN Diesel & Turbo, where he is focusing on global communications that motivates and engages people.

  24. Good Afternoon –

    In support of our student authors, we are happy to recognize another editorial composed by Nicole Denison.

    She is finishing up her last semester in the MBA program at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a Program Manager at Microsoft Licensing, GP through her company Apex Performance Solutions, LLC.


    We have highlighted her article entitled:

    “Open For Business: What’s Your Strategy For Staying Open?”


    Ms. Dension raises a few discussionary points pertaining to:

    • Define a Clear Cut Strategy
    • Face Time
    • Develop ‘The List’

    She closes her remarks stating, “Remember, when opening a business it is important to take interest in the future of your business. Don’t walk into it with the mindset that you’ll deal with the future when it gets here, because time has a way of sneaking up on us and without a plan your time could be up before you know it.”

  25. Good Afternoon –

    RNC Consulting was founded for purpose of helping non-profit organization and small business.

    They take pride in aiding person to person and business to business in accomplishing their business goals when it comes to marketing and branding builder.


    We have highlighted their article entitled:

    “The Three Most Effective Strategies for Driving Sales Through Social Media”

    They begin their discussion by stating, “Social technologies provide a powerful collection of marketing tools, and they are inexpensive compared to other forms of marketing.”

    They outline and take a closer look at three techniques that can make an immediate positive impact on your marketing efforts:

    • Customer Intelligence
    • eWord of Mouth Marketing
    • Viral Video

    They also provide some guidance by commenting, “Don’t overlook these three marketing techniques. They have the potential to yield a huge return on investment for the savvy marketing team.”

  26. Good Afternoon –

    Mr. Ryan Hajen has presented a very interesting composition piece entitled:

    “What J.C. Penny Can Teach Us About Our Fragile Economy”


    He has presenting an insightful discussion pertaining to the collapse of J.C. Penny’s and shares his insights in the areas of:

    • Brand Redefinition Relative To Their Core Customer Base

    Mr. Hajen comments and advises that we should, “Act slow and carefully. Unemployment is still at a fragile level, the Federal Reserve is continuing to pump liquidity onto bank balance sheets, and household net worth is only now creeping back up to pre-Great Recession levels.”

  27. Good Afternoon –

    Sarah Ripley is a Marketing Consultant; Copywriter; Strategist; and Internal Marketing Specialist.

    We have previously mentioned Ms. Ripley and we again thank her for her contributions with her article entitled:

    “Are Your Customers A One-Way or Revolving Door?”


    She begins her discussion by stating, “A common misconception is that once a customer walks out the door, the encounter with that customer is finished.

    This may be true for some customers, (i.e. ones that you know cannot/will never use you again for varied reasons), but shouldn’t be for the majority. The initial purchase should form the base foundation of hopefully an ongoing relationship.”

    She further raises points of interest relating to:

    • The regularity of repeat purchase will of course depend greatly on your product life cycle.
    • There is a fine line between reminding and annoying.
    • Your contact should always serve a purpose for your customer
    • Like all kinds of marketing, (and remember – this is marketing we are performing here), this should be consistent.


    She closes her remarks by commenting that, “Your customers should not be seen of as a one-way door… once closed that is in.

    If you want to save money on advertising for new business, ensure your customers are seen of as a revolving door – continually coming around again and again.”

  28. Good Afternoon –

    Shawn Casemore is an expert in Operational efficiency and effectiveness, and he provides thought provoking insights and ideas on how to increase efficiency and effectiveness to improve profitability and reduce risk.

    We are very pleased to highlight his editorial entitled:

    “Are You A Business Owner or Employee?”


    The purpose of his editorial is to share some ideas on how to move the business to a more strategic level, providing more free time for the owner to pursue his or her passions, including:

    • Move your business strategy from your head to paper, and share it with everyone in your company.
    • Be unwavering in your pursuit for great people.
    • Taking Action.
    • Stop thinking you need to work 80 hour weeks to demonstrate to employees the type of work ethic you desire from them.
    • Treat yourself well.

    He observes and states, “…if you have difficulty with any of the above, get a trusted advisor. Outside perspective can make provide you with a gauge relative to how you are progressing relative to your goals.”

  29. Good Afternoon –

    Keeping with our theme of supporting graduate students, we are very please to recognize Sofia Casado and work for her final exam for Professor Valerie Patterson’s PAD 6417 Spring 2013 Course.

    Her goals are to provide new perspective on training and development in the public sector, and we have highlighted her composition entitled:

    “Building Blocks: Paradoxes and Challenges”


    Ms. Casado writes about (2) main paradoxes regarding training, development, and learning.

    • The Demands of Always Needing Training
    • Not Having Enough Personnel To Conduct The Training.

    Quite correctly, she observes, “…Companies, especially in the public sector understand the importance of training and developing their employees and no matter the amount of training they are able to provide to their employees, there has always been a demand for more.

    Yet, “…the responsibility for fulfilling the training and developing needs has shifted to the employee. Due to budget restraints, training staff and or training programs are typically the first to be eliminated. The company then relies on the employees who have been trained to train those we have not been.”

    We very much appreciate her efforts and we wish her the best in her education and professional endeavors…

  30. Good Afternoon –

    Stephen Dann is the Managing Director & Marketing Strategist for Business Impact Solutions – a firm specializing in analyzing business challenges in detail and provide their clients with a unique level of insight and clarity on the business issues and opportunities which their (sales and marketing) strategies needs to tackle.

    We have highlighted Mr. Dann’s article entitled:

    “How Do You Improve Belief In A Team?”


    The primary points of his discussion concern:

    • Personal Attitudes
    • Skills & Experience
    • Barriers & Constraints
    • Behavior
    • Leadership
    • Bold Motivating Goals

    Mr. Dann has 30 years experience as a practicing marketing professional across a wide range of sectors including food, agriculture, management consultancy, training & education, IT, eCommerce & Business Services; is a specialist in all marketing disciplines – especially direct marketing, the development of distribution channels & networks, e-business & website development, digital & social media, Customer Relationship Management & database marketing, strategic planning and branding; and his strongest interests are in marketing innovation and he was an early innovator in the creation of loyalty schemes in the 1980’s, in database / direct marketing in 1990’s and since then in web development, e-marketing and CRM.

  31. Good Afternoon –

    Susan Talbert Evans is a Senior Strategist at mStoner – a Chicago-based communications consulting firm that specializes in education.

    She leads one of mStoner’s consulting teams, taking the big-picture view and translating needs and ideas into vision, strategy and solutions for clients; oversees projects to ensure that they are completed on time, within budget, and in line with goals and objectives; regularly presents mStoner’s services to current and prospective clients and speak and write about communications, marketing, social media, leadership, and organizational development; and leads their social media and content strategy practice areas.

    We have highlighted her article entitled:

    “Web Strategy for Graduate Schools Part 2: A Potpourri of School of Education Websites”


    She has visited the websites of 15 schools of education, and similar to the approach she used for writing a post about schools of business and law, she started with a few assumptions about what she might find.

    She states, “…I had a general impression that school of education sites would be less corporate, using imagery with more faces (female) and less facilities (campus architecture). Here’s what I observed when looking at the 15 websites:”

    • Degree/Program Search
    • Audience Gateways
    • Event Calendars
    • Social Media
    • Faculty Experts
    • Centers and Institutes
    • Slide Shows
    • Look and Feel
    • Drake University’s School of Education


    She concludes her observations by offering a bit of advice:

    “As you are benchmarking your own site, embrace the potpourri. Don’t focus on finding one graduate school website to use as your inspiration for greatness. Learn from the pieces and parts you find on a multitude of sites.”

  32. Good Afternoon –

    Tara Cunningham is an internationally recognized, award-winning CEO and Social Entrepreneur with proven leadership in critical thinking, operations, innovation and strategic planning.

    She founded Ireland’s first Irish internationally recognized speech and language program, Release Speech Therapy; has been awarded the Ashoka Fellowship, and has been appointed to the Board of the National Disability Authority; sat on the Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative Advisory Board and was the first Social Entrepreneur Ireland Awardee appointed to sit on the SEI Board.

    She has also been invited to speak throughout Europe and the US, including meetings with President Obama’s Special Advisor on Disability Services in the White House, and US Senator Harkin’s Special Advisor for Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee.

    We have highlighted her editorial entitled:

    “Using Transformational Leaders to Implement a Transformation Strategy”

    Her editorial is quite thorough and will take a little time to read; however, I do highly recommend taking the time to review.

    Her composition attempts to link traits from the 5-factor model of personality or the Big 5 to the implementation of a transformation strategic plan through:

    • Description of personality traits necessary to inspire, create and maintain change;
    • The development of a living organizational mission, vision and values statement; and,
    • Organizational insights to transform an organization.

    Her talking points include:

    • The Need for Transformational Leaders
    • What Personality Traits Makes a Transformational Leader?
    • Development of a Mission, Vision and Values Statement
    • Insights
    • Risk Associated with Transformational Leadership
    • Key Learnings Through Transformational Leadership Reading

    She concludes her research by stating:

    “Transformational leaders have the abilities to articulate and act on a clear vision, they lead with charisma and empathy, they earn the trust of their followers, and they communicate effectively using every opportunity to communicate as an opportunity to bring about change.”

  33. Good Afternoon –

    We are pleased to recognize one of our reoccurring contributors – Mr. Tobias Carlisle with Greenbackd, and we have highlighted his article entitled:

    “The Physics of Investing in Expensive Markets”


    Mr. Tobias presents discussion and talking points pertaining to:

    • Explanatory power of valuation/future returns relationships
    • Factor Based Return Forecasts Over Important Investment Horizons

    He basis his research from Butler|Philbrick|Gordillo and Associates’ whereas they argue “…in Valuation Based Equity Market Forecasts – Q1 2013 Update that “there is substantial value in applying simple statistical models to discover average estimates of what the future may hold over meaningful investment horizons (10+ years), while acknowledging the wide range of possibilities that exist around these averages.”


    The conclusions of their research state that, “The physics of investing in expensive markets is that, at some point in the future, perhaps years from now, the market has a very high probability of trading back below current prices; perhaps far below.”

    For those individuals interested in this field, the aforementioned article is quite informative and insightful…

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