Talent

  • All in the Family? Hiring Outside Executives Into Your Family-Owned Business

    By Rob Carey

    Any family-owned business that achieves enough success to occupy a strong position in the middle market is rightfully a source of pride. While it's nice to think that the firm's leadership will remain among family who can sustain that success, it's not very realistic. Only 30 percent of family businesses last into the second generation, and just 12 percent last into the third, according to the Family Business Institute.

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  • How to Cultivate Junior Talent

    Cultivating junior talent is one of the most important responsibilities of a middle market leader. You want to give employees of lesser experience the opportunity to try new things, learn, and grow in their roles, but it's a delicate balancing act. While we all know that failure is part of the learning process, setbacks can sometimes be disastrous to young talent and to the company, especially if they fall short on a critical project. How can you best prepare junior talent for stretch opportunities? Here are four key points to keep in mind.

     

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  • Choosing an Offbeat Job Title: Great Idea or Colossal Mistake?

    Sometimes a job title can be completely apropos, such as this one for a US Department of Justice official in charge of responding to Freedom of Information Act requests: FOIA Denial Officer. In business, most companies go for more traditional titles. You might be a chief executive, chief financial officer or information officer, vice president of marketing, or director of customer service.

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  • Employer-Sponsored Day Care: Does It Make Sense for Your Company?

    By Dan Munro

    The issue of employer-sponsored day care is one that companies of all sizes struggle with. According to the 2014 National Study of Employers, only about seven percent of companies nationwide offer day care "at or near the worksite" (a number that hasn't moved measurably since 2005). On the other hand, about 33 percent of companies that are ranked in Fortune's enviable list of Best Companies to Work For offer an on-campus child care benefit.

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  • The GM Recall: Why You Need to Embrace Bad News

    The GM recall is an astounding tale of one preventable mistake after another. Time and again, there were problems with automobile parts that people in the company knew about, but executives and managers reportedly never heard a word until the issues snowballed. That lack of knowledge turned into the recall of nearly every vehicle model the company makes: almost twenty-nine million units worldwide. The GM recall roster will cost $2.5 billion in the first half of 2014 alone, according to company estimates.

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  • 3 Crisis Communication Strategies for Managing Negative Events

    By Rob Carey

    Any company will have its share of high and low moments, but middle market firms that operate with less room for error than the largest organizations may face graver consequences. Any negative event, such as a terrible quarterly performance, the loss of key people, a failed process or product, legal difficulties, or necessary wage freezes or layoffs, is bad enough on its own. What makes these occurrences unrecoverable, however, is when one bad moment leads to a spiral of trouble.

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  • R&R for CEOs: How to Take a Thinking Break

    Like many middle market CEOs, Tomas Gorny is passionate about his job as head of Unitedweb, the parent company of Nextiva, a middle market company specializing in business cloud communication. When it comes to thinking about his business, "I never turn it off," he says, "but I have nothing to turn off because I love what I do. I'm very intense." But working all the time can lead to burnout and lack of perspective. That's why he builds R&R into his schedule, and his strategies may inspire even the most workaholic CEOs to take a break this summer.

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  • Summer Reading List for Midmarket CEOs

    With summer's longer days and relaxed pace, it's time to create a summer reading list. Catching up on your reading is also a great way to develop new perspectives and gain fresh insights about your middle market business. Your summer reading can either be pure entertainment, filled with thrillers and celebrity biographies, or perhaps more highbrow, with instructive tomes on finance or global market trends.

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  • A Thorough Self-Assessment Will Make You a Stronger Leader

    A commitment to self-assessment is a trait that an effective middle market CEO should possess. You often play a more central and complex role than CEOs in larger companies, which usually have bigger, more-defined leadership teams. As such, self-assessment may be the last thing on your to-do list because other priorities crowd your busy agenda. Taking the time to pull back on day-to-day work and reflect upon whether your efforts are truly aligned with your company's long-term vision is an essential component of leadership.

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  • How to Turn a Negative Employee Review into Positive Growth

    No one likes to receive a negative employee review. "Critical feedback can bring our worst fears and anxieties about ourselves into focus," says Monique Valcour, a management professor at the EDHEC Business School in France. "For most employees, work is a source of identity. This is especially the case for people who are strongly career-oriented. So when you get feedback that you're not being effective . . . it can make you feel that you're failing to be the person you want to be."

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  • Is Your Company's Corporate Structure Ready for the Future?

    How hierarchical should your company be? In the past, corporate structure was rarely discussed; it didn't need to be, because the answer — very — was obvious. Leaders would give directives to their subordinates, who would pass them along down the chain of command. But the rise of the Internet and globalization has upended those expectations and led some companies to experiment with "flatter," less hierarchical arrangements.

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  • Should You Bring In an Efficiency Expert?

    Of course your company could be more efficient — we all can be. But is it a good idea to bring in an efficiency expert to help you make improvements? Recent research by the National Center for the Middle Market reveals that you can't simply hand over a check and assume that an efficiency expert will solve your problems. It turns out that in order for your company to truly benefit, you have to build employee buy-in and instill the kind of corporate culture that will welcome any recommendations. Here are three questions you should ask to ensure that, when you bring in an efficiency expert, your money will be well spent.

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  • Hiring Older Employees: How Middle Market Firms Can Benefit

    By Rob Carey

    Given the encouraging economic environment that's emerged in the US recently, it is rather confounding that so many people with valuable experience are still unemployed. As companies reduced costs during the turbulence of the past five years, it's not surprising that there wasn't a high demand for hiring older employees during that time. But today, nearly forty percent of unemployed workers are over the age of forty-five, which is thirty percent higher compared to the 1980s, according to the Urban Institute.

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