Insight News

Friday
Aug 29th

Business

Poised for Progress: Is your innovation a viable business idea?

Poised for Progress:  Is your innovation a viable business idea?In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama told America we are poised for progress. He said, “What America does better than anyone else is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We’re the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It is how we make our living.”

I know an architect who designed a working model of equipment that would have cleaned up the BP Oil Spill in weeks instead of months. There is a man in Northeast Minneapolis who thought a minivan could be improved if it had a convertible top… and then he built one. It’s in his garage now, you can see it if you want to. If you have been sitting on an innovation, now might be the right time to take steps to turn your good idea into a marketable product or service. The question is, will the effort required to move from concept to commerce be worth the investment?
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Minnesota grantmakers anticipate 2011 giving to hold

Minnesota’s largest grantmakers (those giving more than $10 million in grants annually) are most likely to expect their grantmaking levels to hold steady. Small grantmakers (less than $1 million annually) and mid-sized grantmakers ($1 million to $10 million annually) are more likely to expect grantmaking increases in the coming year.

Among all grantmaker types, corporate foundations and giving programs are most likely to expect their grantmaking levels to hold steady, while community/public foundations are more likely to anticipate grantmaking increases.
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Rainbow PUSH Wall Street economic summit

Rainbow PUSH Wall Street economic summitEvery year around the week of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and his organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC), hold their annual Wall Street economic summit. This year marked their 14th anniversary.

The conference, which always draws a large number of participants, was held in New York City from January 11 – 14th with a theme aptly titled, “A More Perfect Union: Time to Rebuild America.”

With the unemployment rates and lack of available jobs, the summit came at an appropriate hour. The objective of the event was to incite change and promote new beginnings in the lives of those oppressed by economic injustice.
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Minor tasks and major decisions: Set a deadline

Minor tasks and major decisions: Set a deadlineOver twelve weeks, my friend Robin is journeying through six rounds of chemotherapy.  She knows clearly the day and date of that last treatment.  She knows what percentage is completed and how many treatments remain.  And she understands her responsibility in the process; one bad cold can throw that deadline out the window if it delays a scheduled treatment.

Jason’s unemployment ends exactly twenty six weeks after it began.  That end date is emblazoned on his mind.  By then, Jason wants to be sitting behind a computer somewhere, earning a paycheck.  He knows without thinking about it exactly how much time remains and what he needs to accomplish before that deadline. 
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Are you in job jail?

Are you in job jail?The phenomenon of underemployment affects nearly twice as many Americans as unemployment, and the underemployment rate for Americans has leapt from just under 10% in 2007 to nearly 18% in 2010. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, underemployment is a category that includes, but is not limited to, people who are unemployed, or who have a job but still cannot make ends meet.

Now Audrey LeGrand, a human resource expert has authored guide called How To Get Out of Job Jail: Eight Ways To Have The Career You’ve Always Wanted. (www.audreylegrand.com).
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Better Business Bureau Offers Tips for Hiring a Professional Organizer

The start of a new year kindles enthusiasm in some homeowners to create a more organized household.  But when it comes time to actually do the work, we realize organization takes more time and patience than most of us have.  We may need the help of a professional organizer. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) offers advice to homeowners before they hire someone to come into their homes to sort through confidential paperwork and valuables.

“Organizing our homes is an important task and often helps us feel happier in our surroundings,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB.  “But you want to be certain you understand what an organizer does – and doesn’t – do, and how he or she operates before you allow them access to your home.” 
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First-of-its-kind business plan for Minneapolis–Saint Paul

Mayor Chris Coleman (Saint Paul) and Mayor R.T. Rybak (Minneapolis), last week, gave a presentation on ‘metropolitan business planning’ in the Twin Cities metro area at the Brookings Institute’s Global Metro Summit in Chicago.

Global Metro Summit is an initiative sponsored by the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program, the London School of Economics, the Alfred Herrhausen Society and Time Magazine to promote efforts across the globe that position metropolitan areas as innovative engines of economic growth.
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