Archive for April, 2015

Accountability: The New Body Odor

Posted: April 26, 2015 by Tom Heuer in Culture, Leadership, Operations, People, Startup

Tom Heuer, Miami University Center for Entrepreneurship

During my college days, I remember that hygiene often became an afterthought. Showering, washing clothes, having clean sheets and towels were not on the priority list. It just wasn’t that important to us. Rolling on the ban deodorant took care of everything. This one daily activity allowed us to attend classes without being repulsive. Working together was not inhibited by a foul, distracting odor. Our interests were not derailed by anything that distracted us or tempered our thoughts about the situation or individual. Ban deodorant always did its work.

In today’s business community, accountability seems to have become the new “body odor.” Whisper the word “accountability” and people run away and hide. Obviously, it isn’t the smell that turns people away – it is the personal commitment that is required. (more…)

Why I Hate Brainstorming

Posted: April 19, 2015 by Jim Friedman in Culture, People, Startup

JimFriedmanI hate to say hate, but … how else do you describe that nails-on-chalkboard spine shivering shrill chill reaction? I’ve stopped ignoring it. I vow to stand alone, if necessary, to right this creative wrong: I hate brainstorming.

It’s a daily occurrence. We have a problem to solve. The challenge has been identified. The project begins.

“Where do we start?” Someone always suggests brainstorming.

“Great, who has an idea?”

“How about this….” A couple of ideas are suggested… or, as is often the case, one idea is suggested.

“Good… let’s do that.”

Brainstorm completed. Meeting adjourned. Team moves forward ready to make an un-creative idea happen.

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jerry-malsh-2015It’s 6:00 AM and 7 below zero as my wife and I get into a cab headed for CVG on our way to some Southern warmth.   At least once every winter we stay at a Northern Kentucky hotel to avoid the ‘wintry mix’ of chaos guaranteed to occur the night before and the morning we’re scheduled to leave.

Our cab is a late-model Audi. Since we’ve both owned Audis for years, I’m already feeling comfortable as our driver asks us which airline we’re flying.

I notice his accent but can’t quite place it and ask him where he’s from.

Serbia.

Serbia. That bombshell of a word explodes in my mind, spewing out its shrapnel of hellacious images: Civil war, ethnic cleansing, mass graves and countless other unspeakable atrocities committed by man against his fellow man.

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Creating Value Out of an Internship

Posted: April 6, 2015 by Bill Cunningham in Culture, People

bill-cunningham-sc“An apprenticeship is the most logical way to success. The only alternative is overnight stardom, but I can’t give you a formula for that.”            — Chet Atkins

Interns will begin to descend upon companies in just a few weeks and many companies are ready and many may not be. We just launched an organized internship program this year rather than have individual managers hire their own interns. First, we interviewed all of the managers who would have potential internship slots: Operations, Marketing, Quality Assurance, HR, Safety and Supply Chain. The intern program wants to achieve these three goals:

  1. Provide a meaningful work experience to give insight into our business and our industry so that the intern may decided to join us fulltime after graduation
  2. By providing a meaningful work experience, we hope to get value out of the internship by the work that gets completed, but also innovative ideas that will be generated by a fresh set of eyes on our business.
  3. Transform the interns into ambassadors for our company when they return to campus to recruit new management talent for the future. Because we are a B2B company, our profile is not on a lot of college student’s radars when they are looking for a career – yet we have many opportunities in marketing, supply chain and operations.

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