Master Strategy: Fishers Named 2016 Community of the Year

“Fishers could have stayed nothing more than what it was when I moved there in 1995: a nice place to live with lovely vinyl apartments. But it’s not that (today). And that’s not an accident; it got there with a strong plan,” declares John McDonald, CEO of Fishers-based CloudOne.

No matter who you talk to – business leaders, local officials or longtime residents – they all cite adopting the vision in recent years to become a “smart, vibrant, entrepreneurial city” as the turning point for Fishers. They credit Mayor Scott Fadness for instilling that, with the backing of the city council.

What’s followed is quite the transformation.

Major economic announcements are the new norm, not the exception. Innovation is now synonymous with the fast-growing locale.

That speaks to how dominant a player Fishers has become in the last several years in business attraction and expansion. It boasts an impressive entrepreneurial spirit thanks to Launch Fishers, the largest collaborative co-working space in the state (if not the Midwest)…

Read the full story in BizVoice.

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How to Keep Holiday Stress Away

Screeech! That’s me putting on the breaks as we enter – fast and furiously – the holiday season. Sure, there are presents to buy, goodies to bake and get-togethers to attend. But if I don’t slow down, the “magic” in the air will be overshadowed by lengthy to-do lists and an unflattering transformation into Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge himself.

A recent article from The Huffington Post provides tips on surviving “holiday hype.” One suggestion cautions against comparing past holidays with the current one. It’s good advice.

Growing up, my family always spent Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the rigatoni, roast and rolls she made for dinner. Waiting until 8 p.m. to open presents seemed like an eternity! I miss those days and will always cherish them. The good news is that the traditions I’ve started with my own family bring great joy and are just as treasured.

What’s your secret to beating the holiday blues?
 

Be Sure You Can Put the ‘Family’ in Family Business

In writing BizVoice articles and meeting many of our members at events through the years, I can tell you that quite a few thriving Hoosier businesses have been passed down through families for one, two, or even three generations. Entrepreneur.com offers an article about the importance of succession plans, and it’s worth taking note if your business may one day be in the hands of a child or younger relative:

You may already have several children and other relatives gainfully employed in a multitude of positions within your company, some of whom are also being either groomed for or are already in higher-level jobs. But to stay on course, you need to periodically evaluate both the impact to date and the potential of each employee (family member or not) in the organization. There is a huge difference between filling tactical jobs within the organization with trusted family members vs. considering them as viable candidates to one day strategically lead the company or join the senior executive management team. 
 
All too often there are no viable candidates from within the respective ownership family trees to be ideal successors. And yes, I hear you loud and clear: There are perceived checks and balances already in place. For example, you may already have (or plan to hire in the near term) professional managers from outside the family in certain pivotal operational, finance, sales and marketing positions. Nonetheless, family members are still systemically being placed in key roles or are being seriously considered without much rational thinking taking place. The emotional aspect of children or a spouses pleading on their own account or for other loved ones can take its toll on the objectivity of even the most seasoned of owners.

It is only when you look at your own life map that you realize that being born into a family business is merely the starting point. It is nothing more than drawing an inside post position for a highly competitive horse race. Regardless of the nurturing provided as a child becomes an adult in terms of education and on-the-job training, there is no guarantee that such family members will ever be suitable for the company’s most prestigious positions. Ask yourself a few questions:

• Are all viable candidates (including family members) to fill critical positions thought of by senior management and their trusted advisors as enhancing the chances of the company’s continued success?

• Is a process already in place that never makes exceptions for permanent hires who cannot meet the standards of a detailed job description and desired qualifications, with extra enforcement emphasis on the most critical positions?

• Have the owners provided the company a documented plan and timetable of succession planning for key positions in the event of both timely and untimely separations of individuals (including themselves) in such key positions?

Forbes: Hamilton County Most Family-friendly Place in U.S.

What do you like best about Hamilton County? The Fishers Freedom Festival? The table phones at the Noblesville Pizza King? Josh McRoberts?

Well, that debate could continue for a while. The verdict is in, however, regarding Forbes’ best place in the U.S. to raise a family and it is, in fact, our very own Hamilton County. The rankings were skewed toward areas with above par school districts, but the assessment factored in much more than that.

According to the Forbes article:

Raising a happy family requires more than just a good school system. With that in mind, we ranked the remaining counties using 10 data points: cost of living, graduation rate, standardized scores, home price, property tax rate as a percentage of median home price, percentage of homes occupied by owner, per-capita income, air quality, crime rate and commute time.

A hat tip to Hoosier Access for the initial post on this.