The #1 Secret to Success for Private Companies

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In the 1937 comic farce, “Topper,” a young Cary Grant portrays George Kerby, a playboy attending the board meeting of his family’s bank: Bank Chairman (reading in a droning tone of voice): “Bullion abroad and in transit, thirteen million, two hundred and two thousand, eight hundred and fifty-four dollars and no cents.” George Kerby, (reclining, […]

The Economy in Three Clients

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I have been gratified to receive a number of inquiries.   “Where’s your blog?” The truth is that I received an offer to write for a reputable print magazine, which would have caused a conflict.  Then the offer…went nowhere. I have made an executive decision.  To heck with quality journalism.  I’m gonna keep writing for you […]

The Guaranteed Middle Market Employment Stimulus Plan

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Further stimulus of the economy is required. The 9.2% national unemployment rate, leaving 14 million able workers at home, demands it. But there is no appetite to revive the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus, which apparently intended to give states block grants to keep doing what they were doing, or to provide nimble political ear-markers with […]

Fast Growth for Slow Foods

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 Heather Hilleren has become known in ways that belie the size of her company headquarters — which consists of one single room in an attractive startup-incubator building. The founder and president of Local Dirt has been interviewed by national media, such as INC Magazine and National Public Radio, for providing a service to a previously-untapped […]

Succession Planning at Three

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I was recently in a client’s office, and remarked on the photo of his young family. “My boy is three,” the client remarked. “The dream is for him to take over this business.” This gave me pause. I work with a lot of family-run businesses, and have seen the best and the worst of succession […]

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 […]

Male Infidelity Explained, With Graphs

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I can explain Tiger Woods’ behavior in business terms. Or, more properly stated, in behavioral economic terms. Call it Freakynomics, the study of Homo Sapiens Super Res, or Man Away on Business. This explains why so many girls seem to be, excuse the expression, coming out of the Woods. It is not just because Tiger […]

Blue Collar Nation

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*Warning. True Story.** Well, the other day I awoke to find that the hockeymobile–an otherwise faithful companion and servant–had developed a flat tire during the night. I called AAA to see if they could provide some quick service and save my appointments for the day. They could. They sent a truck within twenty minutes, and […]

Venezuela and AIG

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Today the house has approved the retroactive tax on bonuses paid to highly-compensated individuals in companies that have gotten government stimulus money.   I understand that there are possible issues on constitutionality in such a bill, as it appears to approach “legislative punishment.”  (see for a layman’s view of the actual bill and its tests.) My […]