Monday Mornings with Madison

Yearly Archives:

It’s a Wrap: What To Do Before The Start of 2020

There are 22 days left in 2019. As companies look to wrap up the last quarter of 2019 and usher in 2020 and the start of a new decade, planning should be well under way. No matter what kind of business or what industry, every company should take time to strategize and chart a course… at least for the immediate future. So what exactly should department managers, division execs and top leadership focus on to prepare for a smooth and strong 2020? Here are six things to consider and a dozen things to do. Continue reading

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Slugs vs. Caterpillars: How to Spot Good Ideas that can Turn into Great Ideas

It behooves every organization to improve its ability to elicit, sort and spot the good ideas… the kind of ideas that can transform into great ideas with the proper space and support. While it may sound easy to do, evaluating ideas is a process that requires careful handling as there are several common pitfalls. However, there are three approaches a company can take to become better at spotting the ideas with the greatest potential. Continue reading

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Improving the Quadruple Bottom Line

As year-end nears and 2020 approaches, business managers, leaders and owners are actively planning the long-term direction and goals of their businesses. However, that kind of master planning should focus on more than just improving the financial “Bottom Line”. Leaders should consider how to grow their Quadruple Bottom Line. What is the QBL and how is it different — better — than just the traditional financial Bottom Line used to measure business performance? Continue reading

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Are Trademarks and Patents Worth It?

Most businesses never bother to trademark their name, logo, slogan, tag line or any other aspect of their business identity. And, many companies that create a new product, process or software never bother to patent their invention. Even companies that have successfully been in business for decades make no effort to protect any aspect of their business’ unique characteristics. As brands become increasingly important to business and global competition scales up, is it wise to do business without even the most minimal intellectual property protection? The simple answer is…. Continue reading

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An End to the Great Logo Debate

Should a logo include a graphic of the product or service it represents? Entrepreneurs, marketers and graphic designers have debated this issue for ages. As company leaders have become increasingly aware of the power of brand — and begun to infuse it into every aspect of business — differing points of view have emerged regarding how a company logo should look. But, this is not a matter of opinion. Finally, research has tackled the question about product or service placement in logos. Here’s the right answer. Continue reading

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Writing Tips to Help Struggling Business Writers

Many people in business struggle to write well. They know what they want to say, but somehow it just does not come out right when they try to communicate their thoughts in writing. But, one need not be a novelist or poet to write messages that are clear and easily understood by the reader. It helps to follow a few simple strategies to ensure any memo, email, or article makes sense and connects with the target audience. Here are some tips that can help struggling writers to improve their written communications. Continue reading

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The Problem with Groupthink in Business, Part 2

Groupthink is a plague that stifles creativity to the point where companies become stagnant and stop being innovative. Management experts warn leaders to avoid it as much as possible. So, how does a company stop Groupthink from permeating employee interaction and killing the company’s creativity? Continue reading

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The Problem with Groupthink in Business, Part 1

Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of businesses today. Fresh ideas and approaches are needed for every facet of a company. But, Groupthink – the tendency for groups to make decisions that preserve the status quo rather than take into account dissenting opinions – stifles innovation and makes employees feel pressured to conform. Groupthink inhibits business ingenuity and diversification. And, it is a problem plaguing most organizations. However, the best companies do not
So how does a company determine if Groupthink has permeated employee interaction? And, if so, how does it stop it from killing the company’s creativity? Continue reading

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How Selective Blindness Can Affect Business

Have you ever looked for your house keys but didn’t see them even though they were in plain sight? Or ever been so focused on your phone or computer that you didn’t see something else that moved directly into your line of vision? Or have you reviewed an email you wrote but did not catch an obvious, embarrassing spelling error? These are forms of selective blindness; things that the eyes perceive but the mind does not receive. Most people experience these mental blind spots. But, why?

More importantly, how might ‘not seeing what’s right in front of you’ affect leadership and business decisions? Continue reading

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How to Manage Business during a Crisis, Part 2

Knowing how to manage business during a crisis is best learned BEFORE there is a crisis. Given how many different kinds of situations can potentially develop into a crisis for any business, from weather and strikes to ethics violations and tech glitches, it’s important to prepare for and know how to handle the metaphorical hurricane before being caught in the eye of the storm. So what are the 10 best practices for managing business during a crisis? Last week, we looked at five. Here are another five. Continue reading

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