Insight News

Oct 07th


Work life boundaries: Nothing is personal

Work life boundaries: Nothing is personalDuring busy season, Karen’s company keeps cots in a closet so employees can catch a nap while working all night on projects.  Lea’s best friends are the people she works with.  She doesn’t have time to forge friendships anywhere else.  Spending forty or fifty hours a week with a group of people for months or years at a time, it seems natural that you would become friends, or even like family, after a while.  But when is “close” too close?  Where is the line between personal and professional, when you work alongside the same people day in and day out?

Religion and politics have long been taboo in the workplace.  Yet, these topics are difficult to steer clear of because they often play a part in the news and TV shows we want to discuss, and because passion for a topic can override good judgement.  Use your own expectations to test whether to step into or walk away from a conversation.  Inviting your co-workers to a concert at your church might be acceptable; expecting them to meditate with you in the break room is not.  When others cross that line, have a comment ready to use to excuse yourself.  It can be simple, “I’d better get back to work.”  Say it politely, and then reinforce that boundary by walking away. 

Ellison bill empowers shareholders to rein in corporate compensation, abuse

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-5th Congressional District) told a hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises that the corporate governance reform bill that he introduced (H.R. 3272) would increase the ability of investors to weigh in on company decisions.

The bill recognizes that as the owners of companies, stockholders should have a greater say in company affairs.  The bill is part of a broader legislative strategy to examine corporate structural relationships among shareholders, officers, and directors to generate improved profitability, manage executive compensation, and reduce risks to investors. 

“Financial regulatory reform must include enhanced consumer protection measures and new regulation of financial instruments such as derivatives.  But it also must address the potential causes of economic injustice at the root level by closely examining corporate structures,” Ellison said.  “For far too long, our corporate governance system has failed to adequately protect shareholders.  In the meantime unaccountable corporate officers and directors take excessive risks.”

“Executives should not be able to drive companies into the ground and walk away with millions. Shareholders, if given the opportunity to review executive compensation, would not allow this practice to continue,” Ellison said.  In addition to requiring shareholder approval of executive compensation, Ellison’s proposal mandates creation of corporate risk management committees, and requires the chairman of the board to be independent and not serve as an executive officer.

Executive Development Series features Mosaic Company’s James T. Prokopanko

Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s (MEDA) Executive Development Series next month presents James. T. Prokopanko, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Mosaic Company.

The Executive Development Series gives entrepreneurs and executives in communities of color the opportunity to interact with Twin Cities corporate leaders and successful entrepreneurs who share their experiences and expertise on leadership and management approaches that work.

Entrepreneurs use scholarships to promote public service

Two online enterprises have partnered to promote and offer scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students focused on a career in local, state and federal government. CampusGov and GovLoop are social networking businesses focused on the public service sector. The firms will award scholarships and grants as a tool for attracting subscribers.

Representatives of the firms said the federal government is counting on recent graduates to play a critical role in addressing the need for a talent infusion into the public sector. The Partnership for Public Service estimates that by fall of 2012, the federal government will hire nearly 273,000 new workers for mission-critical jobs--positions considered crucial by agencies to fulfill their essential obligations to the American people.

Urban Maven hosts small business showcase event

Urban Maven hosts small business showcase eventThe Urban Maven Small Business Showcase will host its quarterly event Saturday May 1, 2010 at Spill The Wine Restaurant in Minneapolis.

The showcase is a quarterly mobile marketplace designed to create a platform for small and/or home-based business owners to connect with their client base. This event features a variety of products and services including art, fashion, accessories, cosmetics, health and lifestyle, business services and more.

The Urban Maven Small Business Showcase also features a guest speaker offering pointed advice and tips to small business owners. Baron Carr, of The B. Carr Group is the scheduled speaker and will deliver his presentation: “Develop Your Personal Brand, Grow Your Business: 6 Steps to Achieving Balance & Success.” The former Vice President of Brand Marketing for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Allianz and Vice President of Emerging Markets & Product Development with JP Morgan Chase, Carr will no doubt engage attendees in practical measures to increase their business.

Know what to ask for: Talking money makes sense

Know what to ask for: Talking money makes sense I just need work; any pay is better than nothing.  That’s what you’re thinking.  You’ve been through multiple interviews, multiple rejections and your kid needs soccer cleats yesterday.  Are you going to jeopardize a job offer by asking for too much money?  No.  You are going to nail the offer…  by knowing what to ask for.

Before you interview for a position, develop a sense of what the job is worth generally.  Start by looking at salary calculators online. has one, as do many other sites.  Be sure you are looking at information relevant to your area.  Employers in New York City, for example, pay far more than those in small, rural towns because the cost of living in a larger city is usually higher.

MBCC Windows 7 Lunch & Learn

MBCC Windows 7 Lunch & Learn Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with the latest productivity enhancements, as well as safety and security improvements that Windows® 7 provides. 

Come find out how Windows 7 helps your business work the way you want on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, Noon – 1:00 pm at University of Minnesota Urban Research Center, 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Room 107, Minneapolis.

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