Small Business Advice, Tools & Support

Employee Ownership: Is an ESOP Right for Your Company?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Aileron posted in People Development, Leadership, Strategy

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An ESOP, or an employee stock ownership plan, is a retirement program that allows participating individuals to acquire ownership interest in their employer’s organization. ESOPs are most commonly used by business owners to transition a business (if they are departing or want to move ownership away from a concentrated group of owners), as a benefit to employees. There is also a tax benefit to doing so.

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The Most Fundamental Way to Growth: Employee Engagement

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 16, 2016 2:50:00 PM / by Aileron posted in People Development, Leadership, Strategy

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If you’re growing your business, and customers are happy, just how much does employee engagement matter?

“To ignore employee engagement is to ignore one of the fundamental ways that you grow businesses—which is through people and relationships,” says Chris Powell, CEO of BlackbookHR, a software company that facilitates, measures and helps improve employee engagement. Chris has spent more than 20 years as an HR executive and practitioner, helping companies and talent develop, perform and succeed. 

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Eliminating Performance Reviews: Cutting Edge or Finally Catching On?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 9, 2016 4:39:59 PM / by Aileron posted in People Development, Leadership, Strategy

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New news?

Recently, some of the top newspapers are covering the topic of “performance reviews” and how they are becoming extinct as science was recently released that shows they actually cause a decline in employee morale. Is the science cutting edge or just catching up to what Deming has been teaching us since the 1970’s?

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3 Steps to Better Strategic Planning

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Aileron posted in Leadership, Strategy

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Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” His point is, obviously, that if you don’t have a vision of where you want to be, there’s no right or wrong next step.

When you think about strategic planning, the same idea applies: If you don’t have a vision for your organization, any plan will do. 

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Anyone Can Cut Costs, Look Good & Go Out of Business

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 1, 2016 2:30:00 PM / by Ed Baker posted in Leadership, Strategy

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Years ago, a “friend” who thought he was a mechanic, as did I, offered to improve my car’s performance. He removed parts of the engine, fiddled around with them, and reassembled them. When he finished, I saw some of the engine parts on the ground next to the car. He said that they were not needed and did not know why these extra parts were put there in the first place. The car ran for a short time and then it died.

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How to Develop the Habit of Planning

[fa icon="calendar'] May 26, 2016 11:00:00 AM / by Clay Mathile posted in Leadership, Strategy

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Strategic planning has gotten a bad rap with some business owners. You value flexibility and freedom so much you are concerned that a strategic plan will constrain you, clip your wings, strip away your entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to act. The notion of committing to a plan smacks of a bureaucracy you want to avoid.

But, the truth is strategic planning sets you free.

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The Top Mistakes Business Owners Make When Transitioning a Business

[fa icon="calendar'] May 19, 2016 11:30:00 AM / by Les Banwart

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During my years of consulting with family-owned businesses, I have encountered a number of mistakes made by the older generation when they have tried to transition their company to the next generation. During the transition, they were not aware of making any mistakes, only to find out in later years they had wished things were done differently. 

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The 100 Year Plan: Lessons from Patagonia

[fa icon="calendar'] May 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by John Neff posted in People Development, Leadership, Strategy

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When considering the future of your business, what is the planning time horizon you typically use? Is it 3-5 years, a decade? What if you had to consider the future of your business 50 or even 100 years into the future?

Would the goals and strategies considered and employed be different if the planning horizon were a century rather than a matter of months?

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