September 21, 2011 – 5:43 pm
What direction are you sailing? The wine industry is showing positive signs that the storm has passed and a bright future is just beyond the horizon. However, I don’t think the industry can fall into a false sense of security that it is going to be the good old days again. I have heard a lot of chatter that the customer has changed. They are looking for a deal or not purchasing. I think there is something else at play.
The day of order-taking is over! The perception of value …
August 4, 2011 – 11:20 am
On looking back and moving forward, by Terry Hollenstain.
Kathi and I have two daughters. Like all parents we are very proud of them. Kaitlin graduated from Lewis & Clark College last year and Kristen is a senior at UCLA. At last year’s graduation, I had the opportunity to sit down with them and talk about life after college. I thought it would be important for them to know what they faced, why, and what the future would hold for them. Many graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in their fields. You probably know some of them. Not a surprise given the slowness of the recovery from …
As part of our assignment for attending the Mentor Plus® Consulting Accountants’ RoundTable (CART) meeting last month, Craig Underhill and I read Patrick Lencioni’s book The Three Signs of a Miserable Job. The book, like all Lencioni books, does a great job of using a business fable to make a point. According to Lencioni, the three signs are : “Anonymity: People need to be understood and appreciated by someone in a position of authority; Irrelevance: Everyone needs to know their job matters to someone; Immeasurement: Employees need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution …
While we’re certain you don’t want an accountant who improvises with your numbers, we are positive our team gained a new perspective on communication from the Improvisation exercise we tried at our firm retreat on Monday.
The theme of our retreat was communication and the exercise came from The Improv Handbook by Tom Salinsky and Deborah Frances-White.The idea was to put one of the core concepts of Improvisation (the idea of “yes, and…”) to the test using three different simulated conversations. We matched everyone in the room with a teammate and instructed each pair to plan an imaginary trip, event, or …
Why is it that young pups believe the next big customer lies just around the corner? What’s not to love about this optimism? For in it exists the creative drive often needed to reach people.
I just read a report that said social media had no impact on retail sales. Does this mean we should all abandon SM? Of course not. SM is still very young and there is a lot to be learned. I would argue that SM is a unique platform for connecting with people. More importantly, it is …
Spreadsheets are a wonderful thing.
They have functions and formulas and fonts. They offer symmetry and order – all of the things that matter to accountants. When we’re feeling creative, we can apply conditional formatting to any spreadsheet cells that deserve a little extra color. We can auto-filter our way through a massive list of details to find only the pertinent information. We can sort a list of values so the largest dollar amounts are at the top. We can combine strings of text to make other strings and we can turn data into tables.
Growing up as a kid my family referred to me as “Mr. Neg”. I didn’t see the glass as half-full but really questioned whether the glass would be there for future use. Boy, what a joy it was to hang out with me. Many years have passed since then and I have gained a greater appreciation of how my perspective impacts those around me.
Now you might be thinking, “Gee Craig, what a revelation. What took you so long?” and I respond yep, you’re right! Recognizing your short comings is one …
March 24, 2011 – 11:43 am
There’s a wonderful book called Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. It is full of interesting tidbits that involve getting people to make choices that are good for them. Rather than using punitive measures or trying to motivate people to do things that benefit them, the authors talk about making simple changes that can have a big impact. They use examples of arranging food in the cafeteria line so that the healthy foods get chosen first, setting up enrollment programs, and even organ donor programs at the DMV.
How it works.
Recently I found a great …
My Danish ancestors are apparently restless once again. Recently, in another close encounter of the ghost kind, I received a message on Facebook from a “stranger”. As I read the young woman’s note, I felt as though a spectral hand had just reached out and touched me on the shoulder. Her question was simple — was I related to the Henry and Maria Hollenstein who had lived near Salinas, California in the early 1900’s?
After noticing that the surname of the “stranger” was the same as that of Maria Bonde Hollenstein’s brother-in-law, I responded that, yes, I was their great-great …