A Model for Change

      3 min read        · ·

Change is constant – we all deal with it, we all complain about it. We all do it. In a 2008 study titled “The Enterprise of the Future”, IBM surveyed over 1,000 CEOs around the world. 83% of those surveyed said they expect their organization to undergo substantial change. But only 61% of those executives believe they have managed change successfully in the past.  Why the disconnect? If change is so constant, why are we so bad at it?


Take a Systems View

      5 min read        · ·

Do you ever have trouble getting your living room temperature just right? It gets cold outside, so you bump the heat up. Whoops, too much, now you’re too hot. Down with the thermostat. Wait, now it’s freezing, turn up the heat! Cycle after cycle, until finally you get it dialed in just right. Now you can fire up the TV and binge-watch your favorite show. Congratulations, you understand systems thinking – that’s it in a nutshell.


Small Town Rules

      2 min read           · ·

by Barry Moltz and Becky McCray (Full disclosure: Becky is one of the organizers of #140conf Small Town, where I’ve spoken the last two years. She was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of her book.) This book, subtitled “How Big Brands and Small Business Can Prosper in a Connected Economy”, is a great look at the unique attributes that can make small town and rural businesses successful.


Midwest Rural Assembly 2010

      4 min read           ·

A couple of weeks ago I attended the 2nd annual Midwest Rural Assembly in lovely South Sioux City, Nebraska. For those unfamiliar with the area, their main claim to fame seems to be as the location of the only casualty amongst the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Following the conference I spent a couple of hours at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center - quite a nice facility.


A Sense of Place

      1 min read           ·

Our good friend Connie Loden recently published an article titled “Localism - What’s the Attraction?” on the NewGeography web site. “So, what is the “local” appeal? It is the character and quality of life that provides a sense of place – a reminiscence feeling of authenticity and knowing the source of where things come from, who made it and how it was grown. There is a desire to make the personal connection and create an experience in the purchase of a product.


Building Startups - the Discussion Continues

      5 min read           · ·

I wrote a few days ago about a blog post by Conor O’Neill suggesting a method of encouraging startups. Conor touched off quite an online discussion among various bloggers here in Ireland. Check the links below to catch up on the discussion, then I’ve got a few more thoughts to share.* Conor’s original post * My original response * Further responses from: * Joe Drumgoole * Bernie Goldbach * Damien Mulley * Alan O’Rourke * David Copithorne *


The Arts Make Money

      2 min read      · · ·      ·

The Wisconsin Arts Board has come out with a new study showing the impact the arts have on local economies. According to the report, “in 2005, Wisconsin’s non-profit arts industry generated over 15,000 full-time jobs and $61,840,000 in state and local government revenue. Cumulatively, the arts contributed $418,055,786 in total economic activity.” The Wisconsin Arts Board hopes to use the report’s findings to improve public funding for the arts in Wisconsin.


Ceifin 2006

      8 min read      ·      · · ·

Shortly after we got to Ireland, we of course began haunting the local library. On my first trip there, I found a great book called Working Towards Balance that explored the changes in Irish society due to the booming economy. Reading the book, I learned that it was actually a collection of the papers presented at an annual conference in Ennis, Ireland. The conference is put on by an organization called The Ceifin Centre.