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Where We Go From Here: Local Economies

Featured in this month's Northeast Economic Development Association's WIRE newsletter was our own Abby Straus and Michael H. Shuman, leading economist and author on community economics. NEDA highlighted M&B's first podcast interview in the "Where…
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A Mindful Practice for Social Distancing

If you’ve spent any time with the M&B team, you’ll know how enthusiastic we are about mindfulness practice. Focusing our attention with skill allows us to get more done, minimizes stress, improves performance, supports health, and…

OK, Everybody, Rise and Shine!

It reads like a scene from a movie you don’t want your children to see: Global pandemic. Racial killing in cold blood. In public. By an officer of the peace. Followed by riots. Followed by… But wait, this isn’t a movie, and there’s no…

Why SWOT When You Can KAIR?

As we discussed here on May 5, the consensus seems to be that there’s no “going back to normal” after the COVID19 disruption. The ways we work and live will inevitably be changed. The question is how, and what role each of us—and all…
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“Weaving” Together for Big Change

On April 30th, author and New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about “weavers” and “rippers”: those who actively seek to find the ties that bind us together through good and bad times, and those who look for—and enlarge—divisions…
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To Our Library Colleagues

The world as we knew it has changed. We are navigating an unprecedented global health crisis. We are also navigating  fear, fatigue and disruption. Fear can run amok in the midst of chaos. We ask you to pause for a minute. Stop! Breathe! Inhale! Exhale! You have weathered the storm so far. Sometimes you felt overwhelmed, but you are still here. And you are thriving in the midst of enormous uncertainty.
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WFH Essentials During a Crisis

Amidst the current COVID-19 global pandemic, workers from across sectors and industries are finding themselves telecommuting from their homes. While “working from home (WFH)” has been a rising trend among “knowledge workers” and self-employed…
TED*
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Reminder: “Social Distancing does NOT mean social disconnection”

As many of us hunker down in virtual work environments to try to keep each other healthy, our long-time collaborators, David Emerald and Donna Zajonc at TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic), send us all a wonderful reminder:  … social distancing…
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Gates’ Rule: Go Home So Others Will Too

All leaders, from the executive down to the team level, should view themselves as stewards of their organization’s most valuable resource: their people. As the person in the lead, others will be looking at how you set the tone and pace of…
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Tips for Setting Boundaries Around Our Time and Attention

The challenge in today’s workplace is to be increasingly more efficient, effective, and above all creative in our work. To rise to this challenge, we must be able to focus our attention and devote our time to the tasks that matter most, whether…

Vibrant Communities: Reinventing an Economic Development Organization

This past winter, M&B principal and Northeast Economic Development Association (NEDA) board president, Abby Straus, appeared in the annual journal of the Kettering Foundation, Connections 2018: Experiments in Organizational Innovation. In…

Complex Adaptive Systems & the Myth of Control

This post, originally from January 2013, highlights one of the key frameworks in the M&B toolbox.  We use the features of complex adaptive systems to create tools, methods, and frameworks that allow us to be more agile and realize greater…

“Cozby Library Reaching New Levels of Success”

M&B recently wrapped up worked on the COZBY LIBRARY AND COMMUNITY COMMONS, STRATEGIC PLAN 2017-2020 in Coppell, Texas. Check out this article, from the local Coppell Gazette, highlighting the new energy and excitement around the library!   Cozby…

Carnegie 2.0: Re-inventing Communities

Just when some pundits were announcing the demise of the public library, and politicians are trying to defund them, libraries are undergoing a major revival as centers of community re-invention. You can call it Carnegie 2.0. It is 88 years…

“Join in” Instead of “Buy in”

In our work in economic development and complex project management, we often encounter failed projects and programs, that came to grief due to community opposition to the proposals, and which we are sometimes asked to  resuscitate. One of…

Missing: A Good Model of the System

Two hugely influential leaders in economic affairs, on opposite sides of the planet seem to be lacking a good model of the system to help us navigate more successfully to a brighter fiscal future. Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman,…

Good Governance and Democracy: Diverging

Democracy of the people, by the people, for the people seems to be failing us. Politicians elected to make decisions on our behalf seem to listen more to their political supporters than the experts. Climate change is a perfect example…

Turning Risks into Products and Services

Anyone looking for ideas for new products and services need look no further than the World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report. Each year a group of experts get together and work out which risks are the most threatening to our existence. Once…

Fair & Reasonable

As a visitor to the USA, I have often been puzzled at how US businesses both large and small are unable to see the folly of paying wages that are insufficient for people to support themselves and their families. Some Americans have to work…

Beyond Lean: Optimal ways to Eliminate Waste

What was originally known as the Toyota Production System (TPS) has evolved into a management philosophy and set of production practices that focuses on the use of resources to create value that a customer is willing to pay for. As Toyota…

Interaction & Intervention Innovation (i2)

Meet Interaction & Intervention Innovation (i2), a new type of process improvement, which has joined the ranks of proven innovation methods like product, service, business process and business model innovation. This one helps people experience…

Deliberate Team Formation

Organizations around the world will spend $US3,300 per hire (Forbes, 2013) on recruiting yet spend just a few hundred dollars, a small fraction, on the equally important task of setting up their teams for success. Mostly the on-boarding process…

Democracy in Unusual Spaces

As the facilitators of community meetings that require the use of technology many of the rooms are too big, too small, too constrained or just plain weird. The venues are often a challenge. Maverick & Boutique use the Zing collaborative…

New Partners in Economic Development

There's a revolution underway in economic development across the USA. Inching its way out is the traditional real estate-focused approach to economic development and some of the $80 billion in tax breaks (NY Times, December 1, 2012) and other…