Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Article of Interest: Lessons Learned From 2012

Photo credit:
Fast Company asks an array of thought-leaders what they learned in 2012.  Here are three from innovative women:

"The best way to make employees happy is to set realistic goals and achieve them." ~ Leila Janah, CEO, Samasource

"We've launched "To Get Her There" to give girls skills they need to be leaders in 25 years." ~ Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

"We have to think about everything that goes on in our members' lives, beyond just what they're doing in the club." ~ Sarah Robb O'Hagan, President, Equinox

What did you learn in 2012?  Let us know and we'll publish your best lesson here.

Meanwhile, get your own dose of business wisdom here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

In the News: WPO Chicago member Shelly Sun

Shelly Sun, CEO and co-founder of BrightStar (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)
A great feature in the Chicago Tribune on WPO Chicago member Shelly Sun, CEO and co-founder, BrightStar:

Executive Profile: Shelly Sun, co-founder of BrightStar Care

CEO envisions a world of possibilities for her elder home care business

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune (Chris Walker)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Article of Interest: Managing Globalization

Over at Forbes, Christopher Koch provides four ways that small and medium-sized businesses can manage globalization without losing their minds:
  1. Build a process for airlifting in best practices.
  2. Plan for disruptions—don’t wait for them.
  3. Make up for a small workforce through knowledge sharing.
  4. Seed market demand before going in.
Read the entire article here.

This related primer on doing business internationally may help as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Article of Interest: How to Promote Like a Pro

Shine Like a Star!
How can you make a difference with your customers and constituency base?  How can you shine?  How do you promote your business like an online pro?

We've got your back covered.

Go here for solutions.  Have any additional tips to share?  We welcome hearing from you!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Book of Interest: How Women Lead

How Women Lead:  The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know is authored by Sharon Hadary, Principal of Sharon Hadary & Co. and founding and former executive director of the Center for Women’s Business Research and Laura Henderson, President of Henderson Associates and founder and former President and CEO of Prospect Associates.

  • How to empower the leader within.
  • How to own your own destiny.
  • How to be the advocate unabashedly for yourself + more!
Order the book here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Article of Interest: Growing Beyond

In a recent report, Growing Beyond: how high performers are competing for growth in difficult times, Ernst & Young's United Kingdom's operation analyzes the ways in which high-performing companies are responding to the new economic landscape.

Further, it shows that leading companies are striving to grow beyond traditional boundaries by expanding into new markets, promoting innovation in products and services, and nurturing new talent.

Learn more here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Event of Interest: 100 Black Men of Chicago and the Women Presidents' Organization

100 Black Men of Chicago and the Women Presidents' Organization 
Honoring Women of Color
Sponsored by PNC and IBM

Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Mid-America Club, Chicago
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Private affair - members and special guests only.  

We are excited about honoring WPO Chicago members and many other influential women.  See you there.

For more information, please contact:  Laurel Delaney (773-381-1700).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Article of Interest: Presentations That Matter

Who hasn't put together what they thought was a killer presentation in their professional lifetime only to find out later on -- during the presentation -- that the audience has a glazed-over look in their eyes, some even falling asleep?

Fear no more.  One of my favorite presentation experts, Nancy Duarte, in the following article provides two big ideas on how to make the audience the stars of your presentation and deliver a presentation that matters.

Create a Presentation Your Audience Will Care About
About Nancy Duarte:  She is the author of the all-new edition of the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, as well as two award-winning books on the art of presenting, Slide:ology and Resonate. Her team at Duarte, Inc., has created more than a quarter of a million presentations for its clients and teaches public and corporate workshops on presenting. Follow Duarte on Twitter: @nancyduarte.
Illustration credit:  Nancy Duarte, Harvard Business Review

Monday, October 08, 2012

Article of Interest: 10 Secrets to Managing a Successful Blog

As featured in the October 2012 edition of the Women Presidents' Organization newsletter.

How to Grow a Niche-Market Blog Into the Hottest Property on the Planet

Illustration credit:  ©Global TradeSource, Ltd., The Global Small Business Blog

Full disclosure:  Laurel Delaney is the creator and publisher of The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, October 01, 2012

Organization of Interest: Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)

With the presidential election right around the corner, we've called on Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) to help us better understand the policy impact and policy priorities each of the candidates will have on small business owners, if elected.

That said, at our October WPO Chicago meeting, we will have Ann Sullivan who heads up WIPP's government relationships in DC present a nonpartisan comparison of our presidential candidates.

In preparation, we will read the Economic Blueprint for the 112th Congress.  Please click here to access it.
The Economic Blueprint's strength is evident by its support from the women's business community and many business associations. Through the Blueprint we have a voice, and through the Blueprint, Congress and the Administration are able to clearly understand the economic principles important to small business growth.
 To get involved with WIPP, go here.

Illustration credit:  WIPP

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago

Monday, September 24, 2012

Event of Interest: WBDC Conference in Chicago (9/20)

Bari Ray, Chapter Chair and Membership Services Coordinator for WPO at the WBDC Conference Chicago 2012
We had a wonderful time exhibiting at the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) conference in Chicago on Thursday, September 20th.  Thank you for stopping by our Booth No. 512!

Bari Ray, Chapter Chair and Membership Services Coordinator (pictured) and I enjoyed meeting you.  We chatted with many talented women business owners, including our very own WPO Chicago members.

If you have any questions about WPO (Chicago), please feel free to contact me.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Article of Interest: Kiss Bad Presentations Goodbye

What's the downside to a bad PowerPoint presentation?  I know, I know, we don't have all day.  Number one, you will either turn people off (forever) or put them to sleep, whichever comes first.  Either one is not too pretty, especially when it relates to nailing down new business.

Here comes Haiku Deck, a free app for the iPad making it impossible to create ugly, pathetic slides.

Curious as to how this is possible?  Me too.  So have a look over at:  Haiku Deck.  Meanwhile, read the entire article:  A Presentation App That Forces You to Tell Better Stories

Illustration credit:  Haiku Deck homepage

Monday, September 10, 2012

Article of Interest: The Next Digital Revolution

©2012 Laurel Delaney, "Digital Revolution"
Below is a snapshot of six trends and developments in the world of mobile along with suggestions on what you should do next with your business to stay ahead and remain relevant. Use it as a guide for paving the way to a more prosperous future in our connected world.

The Next Digital Revolution: Mobile Phones Plus e-Commerce Equals Digital Global Success

Monday, September 03, 2012

Video of Interest: What Is the Women Presidents' Organization?

The Women Presidents' Organization currently has 101 chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Peru and South Africa.

If you would like more information on WPO, please call 212-688-4114 or email

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book of Interest: 4 Traits to Business Success

Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck -- already a New York Times bestseller -- is a new book authored by Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh.  It's core finding is that business success and decision-making is driven by the four traits of the book's title.

Do you know which of these traits dominates your personality?  For long-term succees, you ought to.

Learn more here.

Go straight to:  Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck:  Wisdom Manifestos culled from top business leaders

Illustration credits:  Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck website

Monday, August 20, 2012

Article of Interest: The Social Media Roadmap

Are you on top of your social media game?  Quick test.  Do you know how to utilize Reddit, Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter to grow your business?  Not so sure?

Get your social mojo in order below.  A snapshot of just a few of the fine insights you will learn:

Social Or Die
What Your Social Media Consultant Should Tell You
The 36 Rules of Social Media

The Social Media ROADMAP

Illustration credit:  Foursquare

Monday, August 06, 2012

Blog Post of Interest: How Stimulating Should Your Work Environment Be?

Is your lifestyle designed to serve as a smokescreen - hiding the fact that what you do doesn't matter?  If you are running a meaningful and successful business, clearly that should not be the case.  But are you?

How can you tell whether you are pushing your employees too much -- that they never have a moment to think outside the box, create new breakthroughs or even look for new opportunities to help grow your business?

Think there's an easy solution?  Guess again.
The answer isn't a simple "yes" or "no."  While Kreider argues that we need a bout of idleness to get inspired and work more effectively, there is evidence that workers benefit from busyness. 
Susan David at the HBR Blog Network addresses this compelling topic and more in "Is Busyness Bad For Business?"  Take the time to read the reader's comments.

My tip for today is:  "Be idle.  Get inspired!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Article of Interest: How to Build a Great Sales Team

Let's face it, we all want a winning sales team.  But why is it so many of us fall short of building one?  Is it "us" or is it "them?"  Or is it something else?
Clearly, the best sales forces have both excellent salespeople and excellent managers.  A team of ...
Read the entire Harvard Business Review blog post here.

A few interesting reader's comments:
•  You need to get the right person at the driving seat and let him or her run with it. A great manager will get great people working for him and ensure the organization is benefited.
•  Few organizations have any substantial programs for sales managers, much less real sales leadership.  Yet, sales team leaders and sales “managers” are the most critical element for success because they define and drive the culture for each sales person and the sales team.
•  What were great managers before they were great managers?  As far as I know, you don't just get promoted into a management role - you have to earn that right, build that experience and then win the position.  I would disagree and say that all great managers, at one time or another, were great sales people.  "You can't know where you're going, unless you remember where you came from."
 What's your experience?  How have you developed a best sales force?  We welcome hearing from you!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Article of Interest: Mobile Commerce Booms

New data from IBM shows mobile commerce in 2012 is booming, representing 15.1% of all online sales.  Social commerce, on the other hand, is declining 20% in Q2 2012 - just 1.9% of online sales (down from 2.4%).

As a business owner, how are you leveraging technology to perform better for your customers?
... it’s clear that mobile commerce is growing bigger and faster than social commerce.  Why?  Well, mobile-enhanced commerce has a clear value proposition that hits one of the core 4C’s of marketing (as shown above) – convenience.
Read the entire article and view the slideshare here.

Illustration credit:  Social Commerce Today

Monday, July 16, 2012

Article of Interest: Why Emotions Matter in the Business World

What to do with negativity in the workplace?  How do you handle a chronic complainer?   Every once in a while we hire a key person who seems ideal for a job - only to discover later on that they are a big time energy drainer within the firm.

What can you do?  The article below is a good example of how one executive handled a very similar situation.  Once he took action, a cloud had lifted and the sun came out.

Read the entire article:  Emotional Contagion Can Take Down Your Whole Team

Monday, July 02, 2012

Books of Interest: Great Summer Reading for Business Owners

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Steve Jobs"
Start up or beyond, these books will help you brush up on everything from modern marketing to leadership to innovation.  A terrific book list.

A List of Must-Read Books For Startups and Entrepreneurs

Photo -- "Steve Jobs - Biography" -- courtesy of Laurel Delaney and featured as No. 5 on the book list under Inspiration.

Related posts.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Article of Interest: The Consumer Cloud

©Laurel Delaney 2012
As you run your business, you need to access critical information -- presentations, files, spreadsheets, and photos -- on-the-move.  According to "Top Trends of 2012:  The Consumer Cloud," there are three main types of consumer cloud services.  I just happen to use all three.  Are you?
    1.  Online storage:  Dropbox is the leading brand in this category, despite competing with heavyweights like Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, and others.
    2.  Online sync: iCloud enables Apple users to easily sync their media across devices. So far music is the battleground in this category, although it will eventually extend to other types of media (like videos). iTunes Match allows iTunes users to sync their music collection across devices, using iCloud. Competitors include Google Music and Spotify.
    3.  Online notes: Evernote is the leading player in this niche; it really has no peers.
Read the entire article here.

Photo credit:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Article of Interest: What's Next for Silicon Valley?

It pays to track trends, especially when running a business.  For the restless souls, this article gives a glimpse of what's around the corner in terms of technological advancements that might disrupt the way in which we conduct business.

The engineer behind Google X, Sebastian Thrun, shares his background and provides ideas on what he's currently working on (e.g., Udacity as shown above) in Google world.
Can't you pinpoint almost everything that happened back to some technological breakthrough?" ~ S. Thrun 
Read:  What's Next for Silicon Valley?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Article of Interest: Hitting the $1,000,000 Mark

Men and women alike know it's not easy to grow a business beyond the $1,000,000 mark.  It takes a good idea, initiative and tremendous discipline.  For women, here's a look at how to overcome the stereotypes.

How She Hit the $1,000,000 Mark

Local women business owners share what it takes to shatter expectations.

Let us know if you agree or disagree.  We welcome hearing from you!

Note:  In the Resources For Women-owned Growing Businesses, the Women Presidents' Organization is referenced.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Blog Post of Interest: Thank You Barilla!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney, "Barilla samples"
Thank you to Barilla for the box of new product samples for WPO Chicago members.  We will enjoy!

For those who don't know about Barilla, they are an Italian Food Company that has been around since 1877.  To learn more about Barilla's new microwaveable meals, go here.  They claim:
Ready in just 60 seconds, so that even the busiest individual can enjoy a delicious Italian meal.  Requires no refrigeration, so you can throw them into your bag on your way out the door.  They're made with only high-quality 100% natural ingredients, and no preservatives.
Best wishes for continued success to Barilla and thank you again for thinking of WPO Chicago!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Post of Interest: SBA Honors the Fallen

As with SBA, we hope on this Memorial Day that you take the time to remember those who have died in service to the United States.
We honor the fallen and remember them and their sacrifice with reverence and deep respect and hope that it translates into what we do for all veterans today.
Learn more here.

Illustration credit:  Memorial Day (SBA)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blog Post of Interest: Success By Choice

As Heidi Grant Halvorson asks, "Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others?"  Ever wonder?  Then this blog post is for you:  "Nine Things Successful People Do Differently."

One of my personal favorites is No. 4:
Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure. 
And Dr. Halvorson should know a thing or two about how to succeed:
Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist and author of the HBR Single Nine Things Successful People Do Differently and the book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at  Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Article of Interest: How to Go From Good to Great in 10 Easy Steps

How inspiring to have Jim Collins as one of our keynote speakers at our WPO Atlanta Conference this year (2012)!  Adding to that, I had the great pleasure to meet Kimberly Weisel, the talented author and entrepreneur behind the following article.

Jim Collins:  Good to Great in 10 Steps

As Jim says:  Do ten things that will dramatically improve your company. What are you waiting for?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Article of Interest: Key, Timeless Leadership Attributes

According to Erika Andersen, CEO, Proteus International, leadership hasn't changed much over the decades and centuries.  What's in store for each of us as we lead our organizations into a new century?
... the only real shifts they anticipated in what will be required of leaders are the ability to think truly globally, and the capacity to lead through continuous and substantive change. 
Will that be you?  

Learn more here

Ms. Andersen says:
I’ve been thinking about leaders lately, and how important good leaders are going to be over the next couple of years. As we start to come out of this recession, and to right our ship of state on a variety of levels, I’m noticing more than ever before how important it is for organizations to have strong and flexible leaders.
Read about her Leading model here.  One of her books can be found here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Article of Interest: What Is the Essence of Your Brand?

Photo credit:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012
Do you have any great branding principles in place at your business? 
We all know great design has a critical role to play in building a great brand. But how do we go about making that happen?
The author of the article below speaks to three top designers about that very question.

Learn what he discovers here.

Photo credit:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Apple iPad and iPhone"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Book of Interest: Media: From Chaos to Clarity

Full disclosure first, I have not read "Media:  From Chaos to Clarity" by Judy Ungar Franks so what you are about to read is not a review.

What triggered me to post about her book is a fascinating article I caught in the recent edition (April 19) of the Chicago Reader: "What traditional media can learn from Betty White, Old Spice, and Joan of Arc." 

I was intrigued to say the least by Franks's comments to Michael Miner's (author of the article) questions.  For example, "We need a few simple tools and one big picture," she writes.  And goes on further to say, "We need a great story to tell (across multiple channels), we need an engaged consumer and we need an open media architecture that enables consumers to accelerate content across media channels and social networks."

Sounds like something all business owners should address in order to get and keep digital customers. 

Read the entire article here.  Check out her book where she makes sense of a messy media world here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Article of Interest: The Way I Work

In just three short years the daily-deal site LivingSocial has:
... more than 46 million members in 25 countries and close to 5,000 employees worldwide, about 900 of them in its D.C. headquarters. Fueled by close to $1 billion in funding from VC firms and, LivingSocial has acquired nearly a dozen companies and launched offerings aimed at travelers and families.
Find out how LivingSocial founder Tim O'Shaughnessy does it. A whole lot of lessons here.
One insight:  "If you're not nervous about one or two decisions every day, you probably aren't trying hard enough."
Illustration credit:  LivingSocial

Monday, April 09, 2012

Article of Interest: Do You Have An F-Commerce Plan in Place?

Yes, you read that right, f-commerce and not e-commerce.
Some entrepreneurs and investors increasingly think "f-commerce" - meaning e-commerce on Facebook - is the answer. Start-ups such as BeachMint, Yardsellr, Oodle and are coming up with novel ways to persuade Facebook users to not just connect with friends on the social network, but to shop as well.
The question becomes:  Facebook e-commerce:  the next big thing?  If so, are you ready?  Better keep your finger to the pulse here with potential opportunities for your business.

Rethink your e-commerce strategy and make it more social (e.g., f-commerce). 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Article of Interest: What Matters to Organizations Now

Our friend and colleague, Gary Hamel, has a new book out: What Matters Now (pictured). It is a series of interconnected essays that focus on five key themes beginning with values, which have nearly wilted away in the business world.
He worries that unless there is a moral renaissance, recent lapses will lead to an increased regulatory burden.
Read the entire article to find out what else is on Gary Hamel's great mind.

Hint: Check out this insight of his:
“Unlike Apple, most companies are long on accountants and short on artists. They are run by executives who know everything about cost and next to nothing about value,” he warns.

Monday, March 26, 2012

News of Interest: WPO Featured in The Wall Street Journal

 The Women Presidents' Organization is featured in The Wall Street Journal.  Founder and President, Dr. Marsha Firestone says:

She goes on further to say:
"Women go in [to business] having technical expertise but they don't have the managerial skills," she says. "To run a business, you need a lot of skills -- marketing, financial, (human resources). You may not, in fact, have all those skills." 
Read the entire article:

Women-Owned Businesses Make Strides

Monday, March 19, 2012

Event of Interest: WPO 2012 Conference

Change - Deal With It -- That's the theme of this year's exciting WPO 2012 Conference held in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia (pictured at night) April 25-27th at the InterContinental Buckhead.
The conference encourages WPO members to share business strategies and experience with other successful women from all over the world, as well as learn from interactive seminars and speakers. Additionally, it will provide potential members who qualify a unique opportunity to experience the impact the WPO has on women business owners professionally, and personally.
Learn more here.

I'll be there. Hope to see you too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Magazine of Interest: Monocle

There are many ways to keep up with global news (e.g., CNN, BBC News, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, etc.) but to maintain a serious competitive edge, Monocle is one of our favorites.  It helps us stay on top of trends.
Monocle is a premium media brand with magazine, web, broadcast and retail divisions. Focusing on global affairs, business, culture and design, Monocle's mission is to keep an eye on the world.
To keep your business cool, relevant and an influencer in your industry, read up over at Monocle

Monday, March 05, 2012

Article of Interest: Women Energize Economies

I was asked to write the lead article "Women Entrepreneurs Energize Economies," by the U.S. Department of State.  It is part of the eJournal USA issue "Enterprising Women, Thriving Societies.
Hungry for recognition and a better living, women in the developing world vie for business success.
I hope it inspires all individuals to pursue their dream of starting a business.  There's even a section on tips on how to start a business -- don't miss it!

Immediate download: PDF version (6.5 MB)

Posted by:  Women Presidents' Organization Chicago Blog

Monday, February 27, 2012

Article of Interest: Business Growth Tips for 12 Industries

If a business is on a mission to grow, it will no doubt face challenges.
In good times and bad, some companies succeed while others fail. Success is determined in large part by the particular mix of capabilities — the combination of processes, tools, knowledge, skills, human capital, and organizational forms — that companies deploy. 
Does your business have the capabilities required to keep moving forward in a highly profitable manner?

According to "Winning Moves for 12 Industries," all companies have two types of capabilities:  competitive necessities and distinctive capabilities.  

Find out which one you have and whether you have what it takes to outperform your competitors here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Article of Interest: How to Rework the Brainstorming Process At Work

Does brainstorming really make people more creative at work? At your business, do you make it a regular practice to get together with your team to talk about breakthrough ideas? Does it work?  How do you measure it?
Two recent articles argue that brainstorming doesn't make people more creative.  So how might we remake the brainstorming process, given what science tells us?
Find out here.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Blog Post of Interest: Social Media Marketing

As social media platforms such as Google+ and Facebook continue to evolve and grow, how do you, as a business owner, stay focused and up to date on what's relevant?
The reality of web marketing is that almost all of it happens on platforms that are owned by others. Platform owners, such as Facebook or Google, have provided environments where some things are easy to do, some things are much harder to do, and some things simply can't be done. Even tougher for marketers is that these systems are constantly changing ...
Read: Your Marketing Can Keep Pace with Facebook and Google