Test of Time

Frauenthal Theater


In the midst of an extreme downtown makeover….the Frauenthal Theater survived.

From MLive: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2015/04/frauenthal_center_for_performi.html#incart_river

The Frauenthal is the focal point for the rebuilding of downtown Muskegon. Very few cities have the opportunity to completely start over.

The theater is also important for business….not only for its own business success….but also for businesses surrounding it and for the community as a whole.

It will take several more years for downtown Muskegon to be completely revitalized. Preserving the Frauenthal and the arts center was a very wise and farsighted decision.

It is a true classic and has withstood the test of time.



Navy Problem


A recent blog has resulted in over 120 comments in a matter of days.

The blog posted a letter from a Junior Officer outlining the reasons for not staying in the Navy. In general, the letter stated the problems this officer saw in making the navy a career.

In most businesses/organizations, there are problems and/or perceived problems. Excellent organizations develop solutions and move forward.

A bright Air Force Captain or Navy Lt. (O-3) will always see problems within the organization. Some they can fix….others above their pay grade.

It is easy to identify problems….only the more astute consultants and/or O-3s can find solutions.



Getting Things Done

Getting things done

From Tom Peters:

Drucker’s 839-page masterwork, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. 3,200 index entries. Entries under “Leadership”: 3.

Leadership: I’ll take a little less “inspiring” “vision” and a little more “down and dirty” “execution.”

My opinion:

There has to be both….a sense of direction (vision) and getting things done (execution).

There also has to be leadership to set everything in motion….to keep it going and to follow-up.

Businesses/organizations need all the tools and ideas they can get. While some experts may proclaim either/or concepts….its not either/or….it’s both.


Business Management

It’s Not Easy

business management skills

The N&O had the latest Bankruptcy listings. The amounts of liabilities (debt) is quite large compared to assets….of course that is probably the reason for filing bankruptcy. Examples:

  • Chp 7 – Assets $829,032 Debts $3,279,671
  • Chp 7 – Assets $12,752 Debts $345,530
  • Chp 11 – Debt: American Express $111,653
  • Chp 7 – Dental practice: Assets $151,000, Debts $495,300
  • Chp 11 – Assets $81,660, Debts $515,689 (IRS $268,208, NC dept of Revenue $179,000)

It appears the owners of these companies lacked certain business skills….primarily Financial Management!

Old school business was: Plan….Organize….Direct….Control. That is still a strategy for a successful business….yet they are many other business/management skills that are required in todays economic environment.

While it may be easy to start a business….it is not always easy to be successful in business.


Bank of America

Ethics (also moral philosophy) is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

A Bank of America subsidiary was the focus of a recent story regarding fraud in a bank foreclosure.

” Select Portfolio Servicing began a two – year move on behalf of the lender to foreclose – even as they continued to collect the premiums on the insurance policy.”

Of course Bank of America has a large staff of lawyers to litigate this lawsuit…..Bank of America, Select Portfolio Servicing and a Florida insurer all face a federal lawsuit.

Unfortunately….companies will continue to operate like this. It is also unfortunate that companies like Bank of America and Select Portfolio Servicing have a lack of understanding of the principles of moral ethics and integrity.

It is fortunate that customers can choose not to do business with these companies. It’s not just business….it’s doing what is right.

Practice Builders



From the N&O: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article16421399.html

Kimley Horn is headquartered in Cary. Being a professional services firm it is not a high-profile business like  some other well-known companies in the RDU area.

Here are several key points from the N&O story:

  • Practice builder – Senior professionals have a perpetual green light to pursue any and all business opportunities they deem worthwhile.
  • Best place to work – #25 on Fortune’s annual ranking.
  • Ownership – The company’s ownership structure has been engineered for longevity….nobody owns more than 6 percent
  • Management structure – The firms structure is unconventional  with a 13 person management committee.
  • VP of Fun – Each  of Kimley Horn’s offices has a VP of Fun….responsible for organizaing entertaining office activities.




Golden Corral

Evolving change

From Business North Carolina (April 2015): Golden Corral’s Evolution.

Golden Corral (GC), headquartered in Raleigh, NC was started in 1971 offering affordable steak diners similar to rivals….Ponderosa and Western Sizzlin. It has evolved into a multiple-choice menu chain with locations in 43 states.

The key takeaway from the article was not necessarily Golden Carrol’s buffet style but the fact that GC changed and evolved over the years to be responsive to its customer profile.

“Making effective changes is critical for (most) every restaurant company….If you are still around , you’re not doing the things you did 20 years ago.” – Harry Balzer, food- industry analyst, NPD Group