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a community supported by Aileron.

Find Professional Harmony By Living In Tune With Personal Values

July 16, 2014

We’ve all seen them—the posters and plaques in company reception areas that proudly list an organization’s values, like respect, accountability, and innovation.

I wonder how often these company values reflect the personal values of the people in the organization and how often they are simply “marketing speak,” with no real connection to the priorities of the business owner and his or her team.

Unless your corporate values are rooted in what you, as a business owner or employee, believe is most important in your life, the values poster in your lobby will be nothing more than decoration and will have little bearing on the culture of your organization.


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Jonathan Wilson

About Jonathan Wilson

As an Aileron Product Manager, Jonathan is responsible for researching time tested and current best practices to continually validate or improve the designated professional management disciplines.


Why Going ‘Under Cover’ In Your Business Won’t Work

July 9, 2014

I am an occasional viewer of the CBS reality show “Undercover Boss”, because I like the concept of the owner of a business genuinely interested in verifying if in the trenches his/her vision for the business lives, if the culture he/she wants to espouse pervades the organization and if the employees are all engaged in fulfilling the mission of the enterprise.

CBS has not made me a fan of this series, for several reasons. First, I do not think that you can honestly and successfully do this investigative work with the cameras on the scene. In real life, there are no professional cameras and camera-men around to record what’s going on. Or, if there are, a completely different and interfering element comes into play. Second, I believe that singling out a few employees, addressing their issues and concerns and then lavishly throwing money at their hardships, in public and with the cameras rolling, is the wrong way of dealing with the findings of the investigation. It is unfair to the many others in the company who did not get singled out for the cameras and are likely dealing with similar hardships and unfulfilled ambitions.


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Frans Jager

About Frans Jager

Frans Jager is a retired CEO who has made a career in a number of large multi-national corporations in the field of rnanufacturing, distribution and trade of fertilizers and other supplies to the Turf, Horticulture and Landscape Industry.


Business Succession Issue: Seller Note Financing

July 1, 2014

There are varying reports regarding the number of Baby Boomer owned middle market companies in the United States.  However, there is a consensus that many of them will be for sale.  One report states that there are 83 million Baby Boomers representing the largest single sustained growth of the population in US History.  It is also stated that this generation started and grew hundreds of thousands of successful privately held businesses.  Additionally, it is reported that going back to 2011 and forward to 2029, there will be approximately 671,000 middle market businesses worth an estimated $2.47 trillion to be disposed of during this period.

Because of succession issues, finding qualified buyers will be challenging and giving new leverage to buyers.  At the lower end of the middle market, sellers will have to decide among other things, whether to ask for an all-cash offer or decide to take back a note or provide some form of seller note financing.


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Michael Kennedy

About Michael Kennedy

Michael is the founder and Managing Director of “ The ComparaDun Group”, a capital advisory firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio with a focus on middle market firms. He brings in excess of 30 years of commercial finance experience from the banking industry, having worked for several major regional banking organizations. Over his career Michael has held management positions of increasing levels of responsibility from business development officer, team leader, district head of corporate banking, district credit executive, and regional manager of community development lending. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton’s Masters of Business Administration program and a graduate of The Ohio State University, college of Business Administration.


A Summer List Of Business Resources

June 25, 2014

One of the questions I get asked all the time is “What resources do you recommend to business owners?” I LOVE this question because I am a resource junky. I love to learn, so I’m always combing the web and the bookshelves for great stuff that can teach me something new.

So, with the help of my trusted community, I’ve built a Summer Business Resource List for you. In an effort to combat the biggest enemy of all business owners and entrepreneurs – overwhelm – I’ve intentionally kept this list short and clean. You’ll find books, blogs, websites, podcasts – each offering up some valuable content to help you along in your business.

No doubt I’ve left out some great resources, so please add your favorites in the comments so I can update the list.


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Sarah Robinson

About Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson is a business strategist, speaker and author of the Amazon best-selling book, Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarah advises her international clients on how to build thriving, successful communities and set their companies apart from the pack. www.fierce-loyalty.com


Manage The System To Score A Whole In One

June 18, 2014

In a previous post, “Leaders Can Make Music,” I used the analogy of the  leader as orchestra conductor who follows a score to orchestrate people playing together. The score to which I referred was Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge.

Another analogy, more familiar to business leaders, is golf.  Managing one’s own golf play, although an individual game, has similarities to managing people in an enterprise. The golfer must manage the interactions in the system in order to produce a harmonious relationship between the components, e.g., the clubs, the swing, the course, the golfer’s knowledge and mental state. Everything must come together to produce the intended outcome. When that occurs, the golfer has scored and orchestrated a whole in one.


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Ed Baker

About Ed Baker

Ed was with the Ford Motor Company for 20 years, including five years as corporate director, quality strategy and operations support where his responsibilities included the “orchestration” of W. Edwards Deming's consulting to the company. Ed assisted Dr. Deming in more than 70 public and private seminars and was a trustee of the W. Edwards Deming Institute. He has consulted to a variety of business and government organizations, has written many articles about process and system improvement, and is working on a book about Dr. Deming’s system of profound knowledge.