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by James Roth in Human Resources and Personnel Management
I recently had a client ask me the following question:

“In the past several weeks, Pokémon Go has created a widespread distraction in my workplace. How may I legally reduce the negative impact that this game may be having with my employees’ productivity and, more importantly, their safety?”

I found his concerns to be well placed. With this game’s rising popularity are valid concerns of employee productivity and, yes, their safety.

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The Value of Testimonial Letters
by Andy Gole in Sales and Marketing
Why secure and use testimonial letters?

Consider the skeptic’s perspective:   
1)    You always pay 3 vendors, so they can serve as credit references
2)    I see testimonials the same way – you always take care of 3 customers, so they can stand as testimonials. Thus, testimonials are useless.

This can certainly be true in some cases. Is this the first and last word on testimonials?

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Leveraging Neuroscience to Improve Company Culture
by Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP in Organizational Behavior
Getting employee engagement right has always been a mixture of art and science.   

There are numerous research studies, models and frameworks that are crucial to operationalizing engagement initiatives, but when dealing with the beautiful complexities of human nature, we can’t underestimate the importance of the nuanced artistic touches needed to make those initiatives really click.

With so much to get right, and with so much at stake, leaders would be well-served to utilize every tool available, and neuroscience may prove to be a valuable additional tool for you.

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Today’s "Revenue Generation" is more Babylon than Bubble
by Rick McPartlin in Strategy and Planning
What’s the primary reason that Revenue Science helps companies predictably grow more profitable revenue? All the metrics along the Revenue RoadMap are based on measurable buyer behavior.

The 21st Century offers businesses the substantial advantages of predictive analytics and neuroscience. These advances sharpen our understanding of concepts like the impact of biology on behavior, revealing clear patterns.

And the more we narrow our focus, the greater clarity we get.

So what does all of that have to do with Babylon and Bubbles?

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The wild and wooly world of planning a successful exit!
by Ken Stiefler in Business Planning and Strategy
“The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.”
- Sir John Henry James

I have been using this quote in my Business Owner Briefings for over 15 years now, as it accurately describes many of the business owners that I have met over the course of those many years. In my opinion, this ancillary benefit of not planning should give business owners little, if any, solace.  

Every business owner will in fact leave their business, “one way or another”.  The question they all need to ask themselves is, “when that time comes, will it be an utter mess, or will it be in a way that I would want it to happen?” I think most owners intellectually understand that planning for their ultimate departure makes sense, but until they move that understanding from the head to the heart, nothing seems to happen.  

Once they connect with this emotionally, that’s when they know that not planning their departure can and usually does have a “snowball” effect.  Lack of planning can certainly have a negative impact on the owner, but that is typically where it just begins.  Not planning one’s exit from their business can have dire consequences for the owner’s family, the employees of the Company, and more times than not, the customers and suppliers to the business as well.

In other words, a lot of people can pay the price as a result of the owner’s lack of planning.

Ok, that journey from the head to the heart has taken place, thankfully!  Now what?  Effective planning can to done, but it is important for the business owner to know that planning takes TIME and that no one advisor can do it all!

I typically see that it takes a year or so to develop a comprehensive exit strategy, and then another three to five years to implement that strategy.  Unless your business is one of the very few lucky ones that is in fact ready to transition, it can take years to make it happen and a team of advisors to do it right.

If you are like many owners where your business represents the vast majority of your investible estate, if you don’t figure a way to get that value out of your business, that’s when I typically hear a business owner tell me that they can’t imagine ever leaving their business.  

What I am actually hearing them say is that they don’t know how to go about doing it, so staying is the only way they can continue getting the income that they need to maintain their lifestyle.  I like to ask these owners what would happen if someone came up to you and offered you a million dollars in cash for your business, what would you do? Typically the response is, “I would be out of here tomorrow”!

So, what does a successful exit look like?  It’s when an owner leaves when he or she wants to, for the amount of money they want and need, and transfer the business to whom they want.  As I said previously, it takes Time to plan that transition, and it takes a team of qualified advisors to make it happen.

The more time that you have, the more tools there are in the toolbox.  Without time, you are left with the task of building a successful transition, but finding yourself without a hammer or any nails.  In addition, it takes someone with the expertise to serve as project manager.

I like to explain this to owners using a construction analogy.  If you want to build your dream million dollar plus home, can you imagine first trying to find the qualified “subs” on your own, then if you achieved that small miracle, then calling them all together and asking them to figure out how to best work together.  

No, this isn’t something that I recommend that business owners take on themselves, unless you also have a history of performing surgery on yourself. I also am often asked by business owners why a team is needed?  Going back to the construction analogy, you certainly wouldn’t ask the plumber if he wouldn’t mind also doing the electrical, dry walling, painting, etc.  That would be crazy!

Successfully leaving one’s business involves integrating business plans, with estate plans, with personal financial plans, etc., as well coordinating the various people with expertise in those specific areas.  I know what you’re thinking!  

To get out of my business is going to cost me a bunch of money.  Yes, it can, but if you don’t spend the money how many dollars will you be leaving on the table?  Exit planning is an investment in your business.

The fact of the matter is that much of what you will spend you should have been spending incrementally over the years, as most if not all of exit planning is just plain good business planning.  Successful serial entrepreneurs always tell me that they would never buy or start a new business unless they knew how they were going to get out of it. Successful entrepreneurs are simply wired that way.

Ok, so now you understand both in your head and in your heart that you need to do planning in order to leave your business in style. So what do you do next?  In the words of Lao Tzu – “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  I encourage you to take that first step!

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Understanding the Millennial Generation
by Paul Gordon in Human Resources and Personnel Management

College graduations are over, the cap and gowns have been put away, and another wave of young professionals are entering the workforce.

These grads are just a portion of the millennial population, those born from 1980 to 1995. These young professionals will greatly affect labor demographics, which will shift by the end of 2015 with millennials as the dominating group.

As a young generation, millennials are often misunderstood. They are associated with constantly being tied to their phones, tablets and app-driven communities, and are often labeled with a reputation of arrogance.

But according to a study conducted by MTV Insights titled "No Collar Workers," what could be interpreted as self-importance is more accurately the drive to contribute meaningful ideas.

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The Circle of Leadership
by Marin Bright in Leadership
I love to learn! Some believe many good leaders are born not made, yet not many can remain strong leaders unless they constantly sharpen their skills and look for ways to grow. Any chance I get, I listen to TED Talks to watch great speakers share their knowledge, and I gain great inspiration. I am constantly looking for ways to keep my edge, whether it is reading self-help and leadership books or taking classes to keep me on my game.

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Three Things You Need To Know About Millennials Who Manage
by Chip Espinoza in Management and Leadership
Did you do a double take on the title—Millennials are already managing? Millennials are not only the largest age cohort in the workforce today (over 55 million) but they make up twenty-percent of the management population. Every day ten thousand Baby Boomers become eligible to retire and the management ranks are loaded with them. Whether you are a large corporation or a small business it is important to understand how to help Millennials transition into management. Here are three things you need to know when it comes to helping Millennials manage managing:

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Sales Down? It May Not Be Your Salespeople
by Jeff Goldberg in Sales and Marketing
I often meet with companies that tell me, “Sales aren’t what we want them to be so we want you to train our reps.” While training sales reps is a large part of what I do, I often find that the biggest problem lies somewhere else…with the sales manager.

Part of the problem lies in how we create sales managers. Sometimes the president, CEO or business owner manages the reps directly, even though they have little or no experience managing salespeople. In larger organizations, typically a sales manager used to be a top producing rep.

You’ve paid them all you can pay them, commissioned them through the roof, they’ve won every award, received every accolade and there’s nothing left to do but promote them.

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Why Millennials Are Out-Selling Boomers and Xers
by Tom Silk in Strategy and Planning
Much has been written about the annoying habits of millennials, and I myself have been known to tell my 20-something reps to get off Tinder and pick up the phone. As the head of a sales and marketing team that is mostly millennials, I’ve had my fair share of the well-documented annoyances of the younger generation, but I’ve also noticed something else. My millennials are selling better and smarter than many of our company’s older, more seasoned sales partners.

The Sales Landscape Has Changed!

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Advisory Re New Employment Regulations
by James Roth in Human Resources and Personnel Management
As most California employers know, the complex snare of laws that control employment in the state is broad and constantly expanding. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) it has become even more complicated.

Employers with 5 or more employees are subject to the new FEHA regulations. These new regulations now apply if you collectively have 5 or more employees located anywhere in the United States, one of which is located in California. This means that if you have 1 employee in California and 4 or more employees somewhere outside of California, the new FEHA regulations discussed below apply to you and you can be sued for failure to comply. Moreover, if you have any employees who are out on leave (such as medical leave), they also count toward the 5-employee requirement as well.

The new FEHA regulations now impose the following obligations upon affected small employers:

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The World of Talent Acquisition has Changed. Have You?
by Chuck Smith in Human Resources and Personnel Management
Finding top talent to give your company a competitive edge has never been more important to business leaders. But, what’s the best way to do this? Word of mouth, job boards, state agencies, headhunters, newspapers, social media. All of the above? None of the above?


While we’re at it, shouldn’t we be thinking about both quantity of and quality of candidates?

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​The 10 commandments of running a family business
by Dr. Mark Goulston in Management and Leadership

Running a family business brings special challenges.

Following these "10 Commandments of Family Business" will help ensure success:

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Product Detail? or 15 Minute Concept Commitment?
by Rick McPartlin in Sales and Marketing
“Let me tell you about my product.  It is fast, easy to use, large enough, while small enough, it is cheap to buy and high value to use.  My product  was years in development and used 3 different design process models that tested for compliance and security considerations based on cloud or LAN deployment.   There is very little user training required and maintenance is available 365 days a year and 24 hours every day.”

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Remote Control: The Art of Engaging & Motivating Offsite Personnel
by Rick Dandes in Management and Leadership


The number of remote workers and globally distributed teams is increasing in today's international working environment, and research indicates that within the next few years, up to 40 percent of us will directly answer to someone who doesn't work in the organization's central headquarters.

So while companies may reap the benefits of lower overhead costs with more and more work-from-home employees, as well as the benefits that stem from collaboration with across-the-ocean cross-functional teams, the challenges this phenomena represents for organizations are numerous. Employees working from home or distant peripheral offices can quickly become disconnected from a central office, feel demotivated and lose self-discipline.

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Brain Foods for Brain Power
by Ramona Fasula in Personal Growth and Development
CEO. Chief Executive Officer.  The CEO takes on many roles within a company: setting the strategy and direction of the company, setting the company’s culture and, building and leading the senior executive team. All of these roles require a lot of brain power. Unfortunately, for many CEO’s, their typical diet detracts from brain power instead of promoting it. 

Healthy food fuels our body, as well as our minds, nourishing cells within the brain that allows for cognitive functioning.  Getting enough nutrients supports cognitive functioning, while nutrient deficiencies decrease cognition. 

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How HR & Marketing Can Build a Better Brand Together
by Michelle M. Smith in Human Resources and Personnel Management
Enduring brands are built by people—not ads, clicks or views.

Marketing has traditionally taken the lead in communicating the corporate brand promise, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, it’s people from all around the organization who have to do the meticulous work of successfully bringing the brand promise to life. In fact, employees need to do many things (often behind the scenes) that are “on brand” across dozens of customer touch points. Ultimately, it’s the organizational culture—”the way things are done around here”—that becomes the true brand differentiator.

That’s precisely why HR has a significant role to play in the process. It’s time to recognize and leverage the critical role employees play in enhancing and delivering the brand promise.

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Celebrations as a Marketing Tool
by Dennis Conrad in Event Marketing
One thing that casinos don’t get enough credit for is their charity and community work. In the hundreds of casinos we have been privileged to work with, there hasn’t been ONE that didn’t have significant support for several charitable endeavors. And interestingly, most tend not to “toot their horn” very much about this philanthropy.

In my casino career, I have seen and been involved in hundreds of casino supported charities. Sometimes it involves only writing a check for a client’s Charity Golf Tournament.

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Attract & Retain Customers With New Strategies in Loyalty & Marketing
by Paul Gordon in Sales and Marketing

It's time to make serious considerations and focus on how to garner and retain customers.

Loyalty isn't a given; it's earned through trust and the appreciation you show for the customers and clients who directly contribute to your organization's success. Patrons need to find value in the product and relationship with the company.

An excellent solution to customer retention is a comprehensive loyalty program and corresponding marketing plan targeting consumer interests.

The social media age has greatly shifted the customer's power...

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Want to Be a Highly Respected Boss? 20 Things to Do Every Day
by Bill Murphy, Jr. in Management and Leadership
Think about the best boss you've ever had.

Maybe you're fortunate, and we're talking about the person you call your boss today. Maybe it's someone you recall fondly from years ago. (Maybe you don't have a boss--good for you!--but I'll bet you've had one at some time in the past.)

Regardless of who this person is, I'm confident I can describe him or her. That's because highly respected bosses often have a lot in common with one another. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day.

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