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In the past weeks, I’ve taken us through the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. And I’ve introduced another VUCA to help us navigate: Values, Uplift, Commitment, Action.

The problem is that we might think of “times of change” as individual events. Our objective is to survive each change, then get back to “normal.”

Unfortunately, “normal” is now Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Always uncomfortable.

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The solar industry is growing, and rapidly. I’ve watched as the economics have shifted over the last couple of decades, and we’re now to the point where it can totally make sense to outfit your house or business with solar.

Ian Skor

That’s why I was excited to speak with Ian Skor recently. He and his partner Andrew Lyle started Sandbox Solar in 2015, focused on serving clients here in northern Colorado. It’s mostly residential for right now, but both residential and commercial are growing rapidly.

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RECENTLY I HAD A CHANCE to speak on a panel about nurturing international and cross-cultural relationships. This is a wonderfully rich topic, because it can get to the core of who we are as humans.

Here’s the deal: I think I’m normal, but everyone else is various shades of weird.

We’re all like that.

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WE’VE ALL CREATED lots of marketing messages. Our products will solve this problem. We’ll make your life better. We’ll treat you great.

Those are fine. Even powerful and compelling.

But how does this benefit your employees?

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OLD TOWN MEDIA has developed an amazing reputation in northern Colorado. They’re a creative and thorough marketing agency based in Fort Collins. With a love for office dogs!

Every time I hear someone mention this business, the same words keep popping up:

  • Small and personal
  • Amazing expertise

When I had the chance to chat with CEO and Founder Miles Kailburn recently. We talked about the phases they’ve gone through since starting the company in 2007.

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WHEN I GOT my first professional job out of college, I was impressed with the array of employee benefits that companies would provide. Time off. Savings programs. Paid travel.

As I moved into management, and saw what it was like to work in a different country, I realized that a lot of these were supported or mandated by government programs and tax code.

Which is totally fine, even necessary. But those programs aren’t as compelling as we’d like to think, because they’re pretty much standard everywhere.

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RUNNING A BUSINESS sure seems like a lot of work. I don’t want to disregard that.

But if that’s ALL it is, why bother? Go out and get a real job that’s less stress!

Let’s be honest: We do this because we find joy in the mission, the problem-solving, the control. There’s a lot of things which are a pain in the ***, but on the whole there’s a balance toward making the business work.

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GREYSTONE TECHNOLOGY is a local Information Technology (IT) outsourcing firm. Currently with 85 employees, they’ve been growing at a rapid clip for over a decade.

I had a chance to sit down with Peter Melby recently, who owns the company along with Jesse Armstrong. They formed the business in 2001 with the idea that this would be a fun and motivating environment for employees.

Which is what they’ve built. But there’s so much more to the story.

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ROBERTO VALDEZ RUNS AN AMAZING BUSINESS recycling mattresses here in Fort Collins.

His heart is in serving those who are looking to rebuild their lives after incarceration or drug addiction. In fact, that’s how he got engaged with Spring Back Mattress Recycling in the first place.

He created a new life based on the support and leadership of Christopher Conway, his boss and mentor. I met Christopher as well, a sincere man who’s on a mission to serve the community.

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MidiCi BRANDS ITSELF AS “The Neapolitan Pizza Company.” New to Fort Collins, you might be skeptical about whether this town needs another pizza place, no matter how good the food is.

I had a chance this week to be introduced to the owners of this great new MidiCi franchise, opened just three weeks ago.  Frank and Kim Brewster come from Greeley and are passionate about the unique employee culture of this business. Read the rest of this entry »