How to Organize a Successful Business Event

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

event planning

When it comes to organizing business events, the devil is in the detail. Your reputation and that of your company may be riding on the outcome, so if everything starts to unravel at the eleventh hour, your head could be on the block.

Poorly organized business events look unprofessional and chaotic, which is why there are event insurance policies. It’s not good when people are forced to stand up for hours because there are not enough chairs or the food runs out before all of the guests have eaten. But all of this can be avoided if you are willing to put in enough thought, planning and creativity into the event. And if you get it right, your business event will be a big success and clients, investors or potential prospects will be more than happy to deal with your organization again.Continue reading

Using Technology to Improve Teamwork and Efficiency

Contributed article in our leadership series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Digital-signage-solutionsResearchers have found that the number-one quality of ineffective leadership is the inability to inspire and motivate subordinates. Time and money are lost when people pull in different directions or when disengagement and conflict undermine progress toward business goals.

Effective leaders counter these problems by using communications technology and digital signage to keep everyone on track and in sync.
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Profitable Hobbies That Could Become Your Little Start Up

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

ideasIf you are tired of your day-to-day routine and would rather be spending your afternoons doing something you love rather than sitting at your desk, staring out the window wishing you were doing anything but your job, then you should consider turning your hobby into a stream of income. This may seem impossible, but in many cases it is far from it. Here are five hobbies that can be extremely profitable.

In recent years blogging has become not only a very popular hobby, but also a very popular profession. Some people write mostly on their own blogs with the occasional guest post on other popular blogs in their niche. These people generally are making money from advertising, eBooks and other online streams of income while they write and improve their own blog. Another option is to get paid to guest post on other blogs, and many of the high traffic blogs will not only pay you but allow you to link back to your own blog to bring in traffic. Continue reading

What Should You Wear to a Business Conference?

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

biz casualConferences come in all shapes and sizes. Some are relatively small affairs designed to bring together a small group of people from a niche profession or business. Others are huge global events that take place over several days and attract big name keynote speakers. Whatever the size of the event, if you are a member of a profession or you work in a corporate environment, there will come a point where you are invited (or coerced) into attending a conference.

For a lot of people, conferences of one sort or another are a bit of a ‘jolly’. It’s an excuse to spend a few days out of the office, catching up with people in your industry or field, networking, and generally having a good time. Yes, you are there (in theory) to listen to some interesting speeches, but once the boring stuff is out of the way, it’s party on baby!Continue reading

Telling Your Story in the Best Possible Way

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

2015-01-10-storytellingdesigninnovation-thumbThe design choices you make for your website, business cards, and brochures should be about more than just looking good. You want everything that bears your company logo and name to be about telling an engaging story that will draw people in and make them want to learn more about you. In this Huffington Post article on storytelling and design innovation, there’s a discussion about just this, and this story on the best and worst branding of 2014 also confirms: the best way to grab people’s attention is by telling them a great story.


You may find yourself wondering how you can tell a story through design choices, but as we’ve talked about in a previous blog post, it’s all about making sure that you follow some simple rules of design when you explain your products and services.

Keep Things Simple

Telling your story doesn’t mean that you need to write an epic about how you founded your business. The old cliché less is more is usually true.Continue reading

The Stories We Tell: Creating and Perpetuating Your Corporate DNA

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Recently, several of my clients have become extremely interested in exploring what they call their “corporate DNA.” At first I resisted, because I was concerned that this metaphor implied that they were incapable of changing. But for the most part, this model is being used to explore the unique identity of an organization — the strengths that are admired, and should be preserved and transmitted to future generations.

Most every kid who has the luxury of getting an education learns the basics of DNA. DNA is what causes a giraffe to have a long neck, kangaroos to have pouches, and porcupines to have quills instead of fur. Tadpoles turn into frogs, not butterflies, because of their DNA. And a lot of behavior has its roots in an organism’s DNA. Birds have wings, but dogs don’t, therefore dogs don’t fly. Snakes, lacking both legs and wings, resort to crawling. But what is the meaning of the DNA of an organization?
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What is Design Thinking? A Powerful Methodology for Projects, but NOT “Thinking About Design”!

(Originally posted on

Why do simple and effective approaches to getting things done often become obscured by jargon? For example, way back in the last century when I worked at HP we experienced big changes in the business environment. 20140515-einstein-quote-kwiefling Although layoffs are common at HP these days, back then everyone I knew believed that HP had a “no layoff” policy. As offshoring became commonplace, it became clear that the lifetime employment contract was no longer viable. Executives and HR people started using terms like “career self-reliance” and “workforce resilience” — fancy phrases used to convey a pretty simple message: “You’re on your own when it comes to career development and job security.” Unsurprisingly, thousands of people were laid off over the next few years. Being laid off didn’t bother me nearly as much as seeing the reality of our situation needlessly obscured by buzzwords. I strongly believe that the terminology used in communicating the changes was unnecessarily complicated and indirect. Complex doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. I prefer to follow Einstein’s guidance to “make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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Take a Shot of Scrappiness and Call Me in the Morning by Emily Hennessee

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I’m delighted to post this story on behalf of Emily, who sent it to me as evidence that she was becoming more scrappy. In this story Emily shows us how we can help our teams think things through and clarify goals by asking good questions and facilitating discussions that people are “too busy” to have without our influence. It can take courage to schedule a meeting when people feel they have “real work” to do. But – done right – meetings ARE real work. Read and learn from Emily’s courageous leadership! – Kimberly Wiefling, Author,Scrappy Project Management Continue reading

Making Your Message Memorable by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

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For years I’ve been using a rubber chicken in my consulting work to burn into people’s consciousness the concepts of personal accountability and a belief in an internal locus of control. Holding the chicken at shoulder height, I release it and ask why the chicken fell to the floor. Victims blame gravity. (Some people even blame the chicken!) Leaders say “Because you released it, Kimberly.” It’s a simple message, but an important one for leaders. No matter how tempting it may be, if we blame circumstances for our problems we give away our own power. Continue reading

Similarities Between Parenting a Newborn and Project Management by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

crazy-baby-milk (This article was originally published on

(Posted anonymously on behalf of a program engineering manager at a fine, upstanding organization where it would  be  best if his name was not used.)

Things are going well on the home front. I am beginning to draw a lot of correlations between parenting a newborn  and  succeeding at work. A few examples: Continue reading