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Planning to Reopen? Bring Staff into the Discussion

May 25th, 2020
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To re-open now or to re-open later, that is the question. America is starting to partially re-open for business.  A large majority of Americans still have concerns about opening the economy and ending stay-at-home restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus, according to a recent Washington Post/University of Maryland national poll.  The Covid-19 …

Healthy Virtual Workplace Cultures Practice Civility

April 9th, 2020
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How important is civility to the culture of virtual workplaces that have now become a necessity in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic? The new normal for all of us is a highly stressful world.  We’re now either full-time teleworkers or running our businesses from home.  On top of that, we worry about our health …

Board Directors Should Listen to Smokey the Bear’s Advice

October 20th, 2017
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Over the past few weeks, I have watched two examples of how corporate boards handle scandals.  The first should raise red flags for any investor. I call it the slow-burning fuse.  There is something unethical or illegal happening in a company that is well-known to insiders and outside stakeholders but left unsaid and often actively …

SIX STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR IP AND SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT

October 10th, 2017
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One of a startup’s most important assets is its human talent.  Without it, there are no idea generators, leaders and employees to run the company.  An equally important asset is its intellectual property, which drives development of new technologies, products and services, and essential for attracting investors.  Both constitute the lifeblood of a young company. …

LEADERS: FIND PITFALLS BEFORE THEY FIND YOU

May 12th, 2017
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Does it always take an extraordinary life changing event for leaders to make fundamental changes that result in better lives for them, their families, their employees and the community? The narrative of transformation and finding new purpose is as old as time. The biblical accounts of Moses, St. Paul and stories of the path to …

FAKE NEWS GETS A HOLLYWOOD FILM ROLE: WILL IT BECOME A NATIONAL STAR?

March 4th, 2017
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Are you upset by fake news that deceives consumers and occasionally puts people at physical risk?  If only the bad actors were not online phantoms but established companies, entities with a well-known public face, that you could launch a product boycott against and hurt them in their pocketbooks.  Now, you have the chance. 20th Century …

Fake New Hurts: Ways To Ease The Pain

February 10th, 2017
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What did the brutal and divisive 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, the Russian hacking of the Democratic Party and the erosion of public trust in the media have in common?  In all, fake news was a factor. Fake news has emerged as a hot topic in the national dialogue in the post-2016 U.S. Presidential race.  And …

A ray of hope in a time of political gridlock

July 20th, 2016
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The day that the 114th U.S. Congress departed for their summer break, they left behind pending bills to fight the Zika virus, restrict firearms to anyone on the terrorist watch list and a toxic legislative atmosphere worse than one year ago, if that could even be possible.

The day that the 114th U.S. Congress departed for their summer break, they left behind pending bills to fight the Zika virus, restrict firearms to anyone on the terrorist watch list and a toxic legislative atmosphere worse than one year ago, if that could even be possible.

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing to “examine current trends and strategies in the venture capital ecosystem…options that startup companies have to raise capital throughout different stages of business development” and steps that could be taken by government and the business community to make more investment capital available to startup businesses. Witnesses from leading venture capital firms that finance digital giants like Uber, Airbnb and biotech startups were invited to testify.

Corporate governance decisions that can’t wait

July 6th, 2016
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I was reminded of how important corporate governance is for start-up founders and small business owners after listening to a friend’s woes about the conflict between him and his grown siblings over their deceased parent’s estate.

They were the picture perfect family that you could imagine being invited to the U.S. White House for tea with the President and the First Family. All of the children were great students, superb athletes and had supportive parents who ran a very successful family business and were deeply involved in local community affairs. The parents and children were devoted to each other and had a large circle of friends.

The crack in the foundation was the lack of an updated will and estate plan that would provide a governance structure for the children to follow after the deaths of their parents. Their parent’s will had been drawn up when they were children and didn’t reflect any changes in their family’s asset. To further complicate matters, the parents didn’t speak with them about the will and estate planning before they died. The siblings assumed that their parents had updated both documents. This perfect family had a perfect mess on their hands.

Out-of-the-box thinking propels healthcare solutions

April 15th, 2016
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The quest to eradicate the world’s most deadly diseases recently received big boosts from two billionaire tech industry giants. On Thursday, April 13th, Sean Parker, Napster’s co-founder and the first president of Facebook, announced a $250 million bequest to accelerate cancer research. Last month, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gave $100 million.

Parker and Allen want to disrupt the medical research community’s way of searching for cures to major diseases. Entrepreneurs are by nature impatient. They break away from the status quo to create something new that can change the world.

Allen said his initiative targets “research areas that may be too early, too radical or too high risk to make it though the government’s often conservative grant-making process” (Washington Post, March 24, 2016).

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