Jim Kenney Owes Seth Williams an Apology

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

Back in 2015, Alex Capasso — then the chef and a partner at The Crow and Pitcher, a little restaurant off Rittenhouse Square — was arrested and charged with one count of distribution of child pornography by the U.S. District Attorney. That’s some pretty bad stuff, right? His friends and co-workers were “shocked and disgusted.” His partners threw him out of the business, with a representative saying publicly that it would “be a blessing to the innocent partners and staff if his infamy did not take them all down in flames.” The restaurant changed its name and, at the time of this writing, Capasso sits in federal custody awaiting trial. The evidence against him looks pretty solid and, if guilty, he deserves, of course, to spend a long time in jail.

But here’s the thing: Capasso is not guilty. So far, he’s been accused of a crime. He hasn’t had his day in court. He has his side of the story to tell. Still, the guy’s life has been ruined. Which brings me to Seth Williams … and Jim Kenney. Read More…

Obamacare lives. So what’s the best strategy now for controlling your company’s healthcare costs?

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

The shouting is over and a vote wasn’t taken. The Republicans have retreated and the Affordable Care Act is still intact. President Trump has vowed that the legislation would ultimately implode and it’s likely that Congress will do little to stand in the way of that.

But that’s not your concern.

Your concern is controlling your healthcare costs now that we know that the ACA will be around for the foreseeable future. You know this is important because you understand that to attract good employees, and keep your existing people happy, you need to provide the best healthcare benefits that you can. Yet it’s very expensive–premiums for many individuals and businesses rose as much as 25 percent in 2017 and double digit increases are predicted for 2018 as well. So what can you do to control one of the biggest expenses your business incurs this year and next? Here are few things some of my clients are doing. Read More…

Your Apple Account May Have Been Hacked…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1—Hackers might be holding up to 300 million Apple accounts hostage.

Another week, another possible data breach – this time by music fans. A hacker group called Turkish Crime Family is demanding “$75,000 in crypto-currency or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards” or they will delete the information they have: 300 million Apple accounts. Apple claims that there have not been any breaches and that the “list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.” (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:  Read More…

Your Open-Space Office May Be Killing Productivity

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

About ten years ago, I shut down our offices. Everyone in my company works remotely from their home offices or at clients. The decision could not have been timed better. Besides saving on overhead, it seems that I avoided one of the worst office design trends ever embraced by corporate culture: the dreaded “open office.”

Is this your office? Do you realize what you’re doing to your employees? Are you really making them work together in one room? Have we not evolved since the offices of 1923? Read More…

IBM is ordering its work-from-home employees to stop working from home

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Considering a work-from-home policy for your workers? It’s certainly a popular move. In fact, about 25 percent of U.S. workers do some or all of their work from home, according to a Gallup poll. But wait, you may want to reconsider. Some of the country’s largest and most innovative companies are moving to bring their work-from-home employees back to the office. IBM is the latest example.

Over the past few years IBM has “co-located”, or brought back to the office, former work-from-home employees in its design, security, procurement and large parts of their information technology departments, as well as the teams that work in the artificial intelligence Watson service and cloud development initiatives.  Now, according to this long-form piece in Quartz, it’s time for the 2,600 people who work for the company’s marketing arm to do the same. They’ll be asked to commute and/or move to one of six locations around the country. Those that choose not to will be shown the door (with severance). Read More…

Chicago couple say their support of Trump cost them their small business

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

One Facebook post.

That’s what started it all, according to the husband-and-wife owners of a Chicago small business called World of Music. After a “seemingly innocent” Facebook post mentioning Suzzanne Monk’s attendance at a Donald Trump rally last March (which was ultimately cancelled), the owners of the shop were soon in the middle of a controversy that turned ugly, says NBC Chicago. Read More…

Small businesses, take heart: Even Starbucks makes mistakes

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

For those of us that just want to get a plain old tall coffee at Starbucks the experience of waiting in line while the person in front makes one of those complicated, off-the-menu, calorie-laden, ice cream-in–the-guise-of-coffee orders makes us want to turn right around and head to the corner 7-Eleven.

Starbucks sensed this frustration and in 2015 launched a new service where customers could order and pay ahead with their mobile app. That way, the order would be ready and waiting for us to swoop in and grab our drink without delay. Except it’s not working out that way. Read More…