Archive Search

Advanced Search

×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 2549

Search results
The on-site clinic model — a quick care center that focuses on primary care, workplace wellness screenings, disease management and any acute colds, pains, etc. — is still somewhat of an unknown for small and midsize employers. Typically, on-site clinics are utilized by large employers, so employers with less than 1,000 employees may think it is too expensive or too much of a startup expense. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Dr. Ken Rybicki, an internal medicine specialist who runs several on-site clinics, says employers can put together an on-site clinic for less than they might think, while…
How many of you remember your mother telling you, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you"? I remember making this statement to my two daughters, for which I have since apologized. However well-intentioned this statement may have been, it is utterly false. Words do matter, and they can hurt. Words can be hurled out in haste either in speaking or in writing that quick email, message or tweet. Our minds work extraordinarily fast, our defense mechanisms kick in, and we are in response mode. In fact, if we think about all the muscles we…
“Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, assertive or sensitive. It’s about having a particular set of attributes ... and chief among these attributes is character.” — Warren Bennis A colleague of mine recalls a time during high school when he admired a certain teacher and even saw him as a potential role model. That potential was quickly lost, however, when the teacher consistently demonstrated that what he said and what he did were two different things. We’ve all experienced times when we see leaders who don’t walk the talk. That is disastrous for leaders. There is no…
We know there are “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Thank you, Steven Covey and Paul Simon for helping us to clarify these things. Business leaders are often pushed and pulled in many directions and are trying to motivate and manage many people and projects at the same time. Keeping seven things in mind might be tough. I apologize to you, Mr. Covey, but we may have to cut the list down. How about four? We can probably keep four things in mind at any time. Be empathetic Showing empathy for those you…
They say that the best way to overcome your fears or phobias is to confront them. Not comfortable flying in an airplane? How about giving a public speech or walking across a high bridge? Well, you’re not alone. Some surveys say about 20 percent of people 18 and over have anxiety problems that when you get right down to it, are irrational. While some fear can be expected as a response to imminent danger, phobias are exaggerations of those reactions. They can be difficult to overcome, people avoid them like the plague — it’s the friend who always takes a…
By Dennis Seeds | dseeds@sbnonline.comInterview by Gregory Jones | ceointerview@sbnonline.com Mark Bamforth remembers arriving in the United States in 2000 from his native Scotland — and receiving some powerful advice from his new CEO. “I was working for the biotech company Genzyme — and the day I arrived he told me that Genzyme was going to buy another company and the investment was one-fifth of Genzyme’s value at that time, so it was a pretty big deal. “When I asked him why it was right to do this he said, ‘Well, we think we know enough to know that we…
A 2013 survey of 2,000 U.S. health care consumers found that 83 percent are entirely unfamiliar with private exchanges, according to Accenture, a global management consulting company. A Kaiser Health poll conducted at the same time found that almost half of respondents didn’t understand that public exchanges are a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A year later, those numbers might have moved somewhat, but the confusion and caution about the health care exchange concept is still causing slow initial enrollment for both. “I haven’t seen a massive uptake on the private exchanges yet,” says Mark Haegele, director of…
The Institute of Medicine estimated 30 percent of health care spending in 2009 was wasted. Patients get duplicate services, unneeded services or services that haven’t proven to have medical value, which is where medical management can help. Utilization management enables health plan members and network providers to contact a benefits manager to determine whether services are medically necessary before they are rendered, says Dr. Robert Sorrenti, medical director at HealthLink. Years ago, physicians, hospitals and providers strongly opposed utilization management, feeling it intruded upon their ability to make decisions. Today, there is acceptance, along with strong interest from those paying…
The Internal Revenue Service defines the depreciable life of a building as 27.5 to 39 years. But that doesn’t mean that all assets grouped with the building have to be on the same depreciation schedule. A cost segregation study can identify personal property assets that can be reclassified to allow for a shorter depreciable life. “By accelerating depreciation deductions, you’re deferring taxes, which creates a cash flow benefit.” says Robert W. Haggerty, CPA, Partner, Tax Services at Brown Smith Wallace. Smart Business spoke with Haggerty about what assets might qualify and the potential benefit to businesses. How does a cost…
This may be the most unglamorous and simplistic business in the world, but like every other business, it has developed a complicated and multifaceted advertising and marketing ecosystem. I am making plans and preparations to present some of StorageMart’s marketing practices at PubCon, which Forbes magazine has called a must-attend event for online and social marketing. Conferences like these are a great way to show what you are doing to peers, and study what other peers are doing. My sessions are normally about local and niche marketing. It has been said that all politics is local. The thinking is that…
Thursday, 02 January 2014 13:47

Weighing in on health care reform: St, Louis

Written by
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called the Affordable Care Act represents some of the most far-reaching government overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since 1965 when Medicare and Medicaid came into being. It will be phased in over time, but a number of changes have been delayed and won’t be in effect until 2015. The act focuses on increasing the rate of health insurance coverage for American and reducing health care costs. Here’s what some area businesses have on their minds about health care reform as the time nears for the full impact of the ACA: Robert…
When the recession set in a few years ago, companies saw their valuations decline as the money supply tightened and the acquisition market dried up. Business owners who put exit strategies on hold might find that now is a good time to revisit that option. “Having worked in the private equity space, I’ve noticed that deal making has picked up. Owners should be looking at the values of their companies because they could be back at or even above previous levels,” says Bryan Graiff, CPA, CGMA, principal, Financial Advisory Services at Brown Smith Wallace and a specialist in transactions and…
It’s hard to imagine a business world today without a diverse and inclusive workplace. It wasn’t that long ago, however, that women weren’t in leadership positions and offices didn’t have ethnically diverse workforces. At EY, within its St. Louis office in particular, that diversity and inclusion effort has been in big part thanks to Ruth Saphian. Saphian became EY’s St. Louis office managing partner in April, a promotion that made her the first female managing partner of the 320-employee firm. Her new role coincided with EY St. Louis’ 100th anniversary, EY’s corporate leadership changes and the company’s new brand and…
 “People are people” the old saying goes. That means everyone brings his or her own personal baggage with him or her to work. People make poor choices, act rashly and defend their own comfort zones. People have agendas all their own that often have nothing to do with the work agenda that you, as the manager, are promoting. The best managers try hard to motivate and guide their people to meet agreed-upon goals. Procedures, protocols and guidelines are put in place to help keep things fair and organized. Feedback, motivation and direction are given. But at the end of the…
Failure is part of success Six tips to improve your leadership decisions We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success; it's part of success. — Arianna Huffington Our decisions help define us as individuals and organizations — our great decisions and our poor ones. We can never entirely eliminate imperfect decisions. As Ms. Huffington suggests, we can learn from them and build successes after even our largest failures. There are also some things we can do to decrease their likelihood.…
States looking to add revenue to tight budgets are upping efforts to collect sales and use taxes from businesses that may not know they owe money. “Sales tax is one of the largest revenue producers for many states, second only to personal income tax. Since there are so many transactions involving the exchange of property and services, the states are getting more creative in their attempts to collect the tax due on these transactions,” says Susan Nunez, J.D., LL.M., a principal in Tax Services at Brown Smith Wallace. Smart Business spoke with Nunez about who owes the taxes and what…
Growing up on military bases, Suzanne Sitherwood felt right at home when she started in the oil and gas industry as a co-op college student working as a field worker for Atlanta Gas Light Co. “I was out on trucks, in the dirt, with pipes and meters and so forth,” Sitherwood says. “Growing up on military bases it was an easy connection because of the men, trucks, uniforms, barbed wire fences and pipes. It all felt very familiar.” She enjoyed what she was doing so much that following college graduation she decided to continue with the gas company. After 30…
Thursday, 21 November 2013 18:43

Three steps to avoiding lackluster hires

Written by
Neil Sedaka’s song “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” was obviously aimed at personal relationships, but when a new hire has to be dismissed, breaking up is hard to do. No one hires a new team member with failure as the goal. In terms of real world situations, 46 percent of new hires fail in the first 18 months, according to a 2012 report by PR News. And when CareerBuilder researched the cost of a bad hire in 2012, 41 percent of companies reported costs to the organization in excess of $25,000. Those are substantial monetary costs, not to mention…
Thursday, 21 November 2013 23:37

The perils of rewarding for outcomes

Written by
Have you ever been caught in the trap of using the words “performance” and “results” interchangeably? The distinction between the two is important to consider if you want to get the best out of both. It’s pretty simple, actually. Results are the outcomes you produce and performance is how you get there. However, here’s something you may not have considered. In fact, it might even seem counterintuitive. If you’re focused mainly on bottom line results in what you measure and reward, that will eventually lead to the deterioration of both performance and results. Here’s why. Outcomes vs. inputs First, we…
After realizing the difficulty health plans and government organizations had in arranging transportation services, Peg and Lynn Griswold were determined to develop a company that ensured people had access to health care. Founded in 1995, their company, Medical Transportation Management Inc., quickly set industry standards. But after a career with Blue Cross Blue Shield and eight years running and growing MTM, the Griswolds were ready to retire. In 2003 they chose to transition out of the business by bringing in Lynn’s daughter Alaina Macia to help run the company. “I joined the company when it was around $30 to $40…
Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity. — Michael Porter Innovation is on the lips of almost every business leader in the U.S. and probably the world. Each of us loves those moments when, like Archimedes, we can cry out that we’ve solved a vexing problem. In addition, government leaders are also focused on innovation as the key to economic success. The White House document, A Strategy for American Innovation, includes the following assertions: ■ America’s future economic growth and international competitiveness depend on our capacity to innovate. ■ The American people will do best when their inventive, entrepreneurial…
It’s wise to consider the tax implications of business and financial decisions as the year winds down. This year, many tax benefits from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which was extended through 2013, and many Bush-era tax cuts will end. The tax law changes from ATRA extensions ending and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduce layers of complexity. “It’s difficult for anyone to keep track of everything that is expiring, let alone what’s new. There are more moving parts than I’ve seen in a long time,” says Cathy Goldsticker, CPA, partner, Tax Services at…
Robert Chapman has always been intrigued by the game of business, so to speak. At the highest level of that game is the ability to blend both organic growth initiatives with successful acquisitions to create a stronger organization. Chapman takes that blending further and ensures that his company emphasizes people, purpose and performance. Chapman is chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Cos. Inc., a 7,000-employee, more than $1.5 billion global supplier of manufacturing equipment and services. In 2012 the company made four acquisitions and plans to do several more throughout 2013. “We’ve been very purposeful in looking for companies which align…
When you hear someone say, “That person’s got quite an ego,” it’s rarely meant as a form of flattery. In fact, it typically carries a lot of negative connotation. A more positive way to think of ego is to look at what it takes to maintain a healthy one. Using the word ego as an acronym, here are three key requirements: E-xpectations, G-oals and O-ptions. Expectations If you want to mess with people’s heads, be fuzzy about what you expect them to do. Then give them a rash of trouble when they fail to meet your expectations. That problem crops…
With more than 3 million people set to retire this year, one significant component of retirees’ cash flow is top of mind: Social Security. Yet the staggering options of how and when to claim benefits can be overwhelming. “That creates a need in the private sector for someone to look at those options and determine what makes sense based on personal circumstances,” says Roy H. Kramer, CPA, CDFA, CDS, NSSA, a member of Tax Services at Brown Smith Wallace. Kramer, a certified National Social Security Advisor, says it’s important to review Social Security benefits in the context of overall retirement…
The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) recently updated the Internal Control-Integrated Framework. The goal is to provide greater clarity and guidance related to the design and implementation of an effective system of internal control. In order to implement the COSO Framework by the December 2014 deadline, companies need to get the process started now, says Amy M. Ribick, CFE, CRMA, manager in Risk Advisory Services at Brown Smith Wallace. “By starting the process now, organizations can have a structure and plan in place by next spring and make the transition seamlessly ahead of the Dec. 15,…
Over the course of 50 years in business a lot can happen. In the case of Kurt Canova and Tech Electronics, many of those years have been successful, but that success hasn’t been achieved without a few issues in need of fixing. Canova’s father started Tech Electronics, an independent provider and integrator of commercial communications systems, in 1963. “The vision back then was a one-stop shop,” says Canova, who is the company’s president. “We used to call ourselves a total communication system. Today we see that concept evolved into a systems integrator, and Tech has become a technology services organization…
Page 1 of 5