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The Sweet Smell of Success

Few companies can trace their lineage to Oprah Winfrey, but Scentsy of Meridian, Idaho can. Flashback to 2003. Kara Egan, and her sister-in-law, Colette Gunnell were watching Oprah’s “Millionaire Mom’s” show, and were inspired to create something amazing that people could not live without. They began working on a safe and simple way to scent the space around them, a wickless alternative to the typical flame operated candles. The result was Scentsy.

Steve Rosenbaum CEO Briefing Newsletter , Mid-Market Company January 5 2014

How to Get the Most Out of Your COO

When David R. Lumley, one of two co-chief operating officers at Spectrum Brands, was promoted to CEO in 2010, the maker of Cutter Insect Repellent, Rayovac batteries and other consumer products eliminated the COO position. Now, the Madison, Wisconsin-based company is considering reviving the job.

Fran Hawthorne CEO Briefing Newsletter , Leadership & Strategy , Operations January 4 2014

Transitioning at GM and Ford Reveal Different Cultures and Circumstances

Both GM’s Dan Akerson and Ford’s Alan Mulally arrived at their respective positions from outside the auto industry. The former is the “accidental car guy” while the latter is the aviation engineer. Their exits are being closely watched but for slightly different reasons.

ChiefExecutive.net CEO Briefing Newsletter , Governance/Compliance December 22 2013

How a Technology Start-Up Can Thrive Outside Silicon Valley

Clinton Phillips, the founder of Houston-based 2nd.MD, blogs his journey in creating a tech start-up outside its so-called “natural habitat.” In addition, he underscores how business leaders can get a better handle on reducing healthcare expenditure.

ChiefExecutive.net CEO Briefing Newsletter , Leadership & Strategy December 22 2013

State Economies Are Improving in the Upper Great Lakes

The Great Lakes states are riding a manufacturing boom, an increasingly right-to-work environment and the business-friendly campaigns and policies of Republican governors. Can they claw their way back into the economic-development derby and spark above-average growth despite a slow national economy?

Dale Buss Best & Worst States , CEO Briefing Newsletter December 22 2013

Three Easy Tips to Upgrade Your Vision Statement

Has your company’s vision statement lost its steam? Is it gathering dust? Do employees even know you have a vision statement?

Shelley Kirkpatrick CEO Briefing Newsletter , Leadership & Strategy December 22 2013

Generational Leadership In the Middle Market

It’s a rarity in business for a company to survive, much less thrive, through three successive generations. The Cellular Connection, headquartered in Marion, Indiana, stands out as a company which has successfully navigated this most difficult test.

Steve Rosenbaum CEO Briefing Newsletter , Mid-Market Company December 22 2013

New GM CEO Barra Is More Than a Symbol

The real reason Mary Barra was just named the next CEO of General Motors is reflected in another Motor City news development this week: GM vehicles scored three of the six finalist spots that were announced in the prestigious North American Car and Truck-Utility of the Year awards given at the Detroit auto show next month.

Dale Buss CEO Briefing Newsletter , Leadership & Strategy , Talent Management December 15 2013

Why CEOs Should Be Worried About Patents Based on Software

Companies whose businesses rely on patented software or patented business methods are increasingly at risk of chaotic court decisions and a real chance their patents will be declared invalid. The resulting unpredictability is hindering new innovation, threatening well-established patents and discouraging capital investment. Without confidence that intellectual property rights are secure, investors are reluctant to fund companies, undermining the innovation for which the technology industry is known. Here are several ways to protect your company.

Katharine Wolanyk CEO Briefing Newsletter , Governance/Compliance December 15 2013

Leaders Hold Key to Employee Performance, Not Ranking Systems

Stack ranking, a 30+-year-old, controversial HR practice, blazed into the headlines recently with Yahoo’s announcement of implementing a form of stack ranking in its quarterly performance review process. Meanwhile, Microsoft, which has been widely criticized by the public and its own employees for using stack ranking, saw the light, with its plan to eliminate its rank and yank system. All of which suggests that it’s a good time to review stack ranking.

Aubrey Daniels CEO Briefing Newsletter , Leadership & Strategy December 15 2013

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