What “Undercover Boss” Gets Wrong

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Reality TV and business doesn’t seem to be a good fit. The staged nature of the interactions—I am thinking of CNBC’s The Profit—are no more likeable than when non-business contestants are naked and on a beach. There are exceptions. A great show that touches on business is Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, which is now shown […]


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My son has a great manufacturing internship. He really enjoys it. In many ways, he is living the life that his Wisconsin schooling prepared him for. He sent out four e-mails requesting a spot, and got an offer after a few weeks. The family-owned company that made the offer is doing well, so they agreed […]

The Inflation 5cast

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 Years ago, the musician and comedian Victor Borge gave a monologue on inflation. He said, “Anything that has to do with money goes up … except the language. See, we have hidden numbers in the words like ‘wonderful,’ ‘before,’ ‘create,’ ‘tenderly.’ All these numbers can be inflated and meet the economy, you know, by rising […]

Consulting Career Change

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Dane County’s unemployment rate was a remarkable 5.5% in November — remarkable when compared to the nation’s 10% and Wisconsin’s 7.8%. But the county does not live in a vacuum. Many businesses are down in volume and some are struggling. What if you are a business person (or for that matter, a technical or non-business […]

How to Manufacture a Debt Crisis

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In my career I’ve been involved with the rehabilitation and rescue of everything from corner restaurants to whole governments.  In fact, at one point I was managing a debt renegotiation for $32 billion in sovereign credit.   This category of potential clientele is the most interesting, given their size as well as the social and […]