April issue has something for everyone

The 2018 Smart Women award winners were particularly impressive, and it’s nice to read some good news in the wake of the #MeToo movement. I was inspired — and a little envious — by the great things these 16 women, two men and two organizations are doing.

I also want to encourage our readers, both men and women, to attend the breakfast event on April 17. Not only will we recognize our winners, the panel discussion should be thought provoking.

This year’s theme is about what it means to be an authentic leader — someone dedicated to building and fostering a strong culture for women in the workplace. How do women in business get to a place where they are comfortable in their own skin, no matter what their industry or position? How can executives build a workplace culture that provides opportunities for everyone? How can you be a leader who is authentic, yet still culturally conscious?

One of the most inspiring leaders in this issue is Nancy Kramer.

I caught up with her to discuss what she’s been up to since selling Resource/Ammirati to IBM. She may no longer be the top decision-maker, but she’s gained new insights through different experiences. As part of IBM iX, she now has access to exciting new technologies like machine learning, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Kramer also spoke specifically about two global studies by IBM, which may be useful for your business. One looks at the importance of brand belonging, and the other examines how established companies can digitally transform their organizations to stay competitive. You can find links to those in the story.

On the subject of transformation, exciting things are happening in Columbus’ restaurant scene. It’s not just a hub for restaurant corporations, so don’t miss the Uniquely, which explores some of the area’s strengths.

In addition to restaurants, Columbus has traditionally been a retail powerhouse. ELOQUII, featured on page 18, has a different take than most, as it’s an online retailer adding brick-and-mortar locations.

I also recently saw a statistical databyte by Thoughtwell (formerly Community Research Partners) on this very subject for the Columbus metro area. Check out “Brick & mortal retail: Are reports of its death exaggerated?”