Ever want to be a Shark on the popular reality TV show? Wish you controlled a billion dollar investment account? Wonder what it’s like? I’m here at Chicago’s 1871 incubator doing it. Emotions run high. Hey, mine are running away with me. That guy on the end keeps grabbing all the deals! Continue reading RAW TALENT
“Quit talking business! This is important!” A shocking pronouncement coming from one’s employer! I go mum. We sit behind thick glass, watching the Chicago Blackhawks clobber the Anaheim Ducks in the final game of the series. The Hawks will win this game and go on to the coveted Stanley Cup. That is correct, sir—an opportunity for a third championship in just a few years! Continue reading HAWKS
Weeks have passed since my last conscious memory. Weeks, I say! A man can lose his hat and perhaps even his pants, but to lose several weeks is inexcusable. Think what mischief might transpire over such a span of time!
I find myself crammed in the back seat of a slow moving vehicle on an unfamiliar and crowded freeway. How did I get here? I know the date by the prominent display on that infernal wireless device issued me by my employer. Continue reading KIDNAPPED
(If You Get That Far)
Most likely you’ve played the game 20 questions. As the contestant, you use your best combination of questions, which can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” in order to discover a piece of information held secret by the other player. The objective is to discover the unknown information with the fewest questions (from the 20 you’re allotted), as quickly as possible. Continue reading TWENTY QUESTIONS YOU WILL BE ASKED BY VENTURE CAPITALISTS
“Why am I doing this?” That’s the question dominating a President’s Advisory Committee board meeting (PAC). None of the members—all business owners—intend to give or sell their business to their children. Instead, in a reversal of traditional social norms, all of them plan to use their wealth to empower their children on whatever paths the kids happen to choose.. Continue reading YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR CHILDREN
What if you can make oil out of water? What if, you also end up with more water? A discovery like that will benefit our country and the world.
The technology now exists. Commercialization is beginning. Continue reading OIL FROM WATER
From the Journal of the Heartland Angels
Today, entrepreneurs have tools and technologies to collect, monitor, and document more data than ever before. You’re likely swimming in data, since customers leave a trail of it everywhere to be captured and analyzed in real time. As I’ve often said, in business, what gets measured (and acknowledged and rewarded) is what gets done. I haven’t changed my belief about that, but I have come to see that we are putting too much emphasis strictly on the numbers. Numbers don’t lie, but they never tell the whole story. They can only take you so far before they top out and you need something qualitative and experiential to get to the right conclusions.
Peter Drucker’s dictum “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” has created a whole generation of leaders so focused on perfecting their company’s processes that they lose sight of the company’s purpose. I hear managers all the time talking about the need to get more work out of their people when they should be trying to get the best work out of them. Optimizing (not maximizing) the team’s output is what matters most to the ultimate success of a business. Working smarter and more effectively—not necessarily longer or harder—is how you ultimately move ahead of the competition.