Contributed Blogs

Lariviere firing is Pernsteiner's failed leadership

imo-blogThe firing of UO president Richard Lariviere is a smoking-gun example of failed leadership by Chancellor George Pernsteiner. There’s a lesson here for everyone in business, says leadership expert Tom Cox.

Making your forecast more accurate

imo-blogToday the pressure is on for ever greater forecasting accuracy, yet the variables seem bigger and less predictable. Contributing writer Tom Cox explains how business can, and should, forecast more accurately.

Turnarounds and revitalizing with Bob Papes

imo-blogSeasoned executive and turnaround expert Bob Papes has engineered five consecutive turnarounds of businesses in the $15 to $35 million range. What made Bob’s efforts successful? Bob uses one word: Team. Contributing columnist Tom Cox explains how to follow in Bob's footsteps.

Candid feedback saves a life

imo-blogDuring a recent meeting, contributing columnist Tom Cox noticed one attendee — an older, overweight guy — was speaking more “thickly” than usual. "It reminded me of some early stroke symptoms I’d read about. I had to decide — do I say anything? What do I say? How do I say it in a way most likely to encourage the desired behavior? And what if I’m wrong?"

CEO Scott Schroeder discusses outsourcing

imo-blogVested outsourcing is a topic you likely have not heard much about yet. It is an innovative approach to improving the outcome and effectiveness between companies and their suppliers. It is particularly important to companies that make things themselves or currently outsource production off-shore. Contributing writer Jerry Saveriano discusses vested outsourcing with Scott Schroeder, president and CEO of Mega Tech of Oregon, in a two-part interview series.

Bad praise worse than none at all

imo-blogEffective praise is one of those leadership skills that seems to come in only two varieties — there's the natural and highly effective praise of the "born leader," and then there's the unnatural and highly ineffective praise of people who haven't yet learned how.

The logic of cutting payroll taxes

imo-blogPayroll taxes are by no means the only thing that stops people from working, but one of President Obama’s payroll tax cut proposals could nonetheless create a million or more jobs, according to economics professor Casey B. Mulligan.

Making pay-for-performance plans pay off

imo-blogPay for performance systems are easy to get wrong — encouraging the wrong behaviors while creating uncertainty and resentment. Here are four steps to getting them right, developed with the input of turnaround CEO Bob Papes.

The customer is always right — and talkative

imo-blogCustomer’s expectations are at an all-time high and for a lot of people and a lot of companies, it is frightening.  For years businesses have been able to get by treating people mediocre and still making the deal.  They were able to hold a high gross profit all while having a low customer satisfaction number.  Well not anymore.