Entries by Ron Kitchens

FROM CAVE PAINTINGS TO APPS

HOW THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNICATION TOOLS DRIVES CSM GROUP’S ENGAGEMENT

People have been communicating since their appearance on Earth. The act of communicating started with sets of disorganized signs and sounds to transfer messages from one human to another—most likely to warn of danger or pinpoint the location of food.

As sounds developed into words and then word patterns, the art of storytelling evolved to pass on information in tribal communities or villages from one generation to the next. Cave paintings entered the picture 40,000 years ago as juices from fruits or animal blood were used to paint tales of primitive life.

Community Partners in a Business Family

MNO-BMADSEN AND ACCU-MOLD GIVE BACK BY GROWING BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT

It has been said that when a major change occurs within a business’s world—like a change in ownership, leadership, or both—a good three to four years is needed for that change to settle in, settle down, and the company to evolve and thrive. It has been four years since Mno-Bmadsen of Dowagiac acquired Accu-Mold, LLC of Portage, and in that time, both organizations have navigated their set of sea-change the way a small ship tackles oncoming waves. They formulated a plan, sailed confidently forward, and overtook each new swell with all hands on deck. Now the two entities see themselves as family as much as business partners.

WHERE THE TEMPERATURE IS JUST RIGHT

DENSO MANUFACTURING MICHIGAN IN BATTLE CREEK MAKES CARS HEAT UP (OR COOL DOWN) EFFICIENTLY

COMPANY
DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. (DMMI)

REGIONAL LOCATION
DMMI occupies 1.38 million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and administrative floor space on more than 100 acres of land at 1 Denso Road in Battle Creek, Michigan. Operations began locally in 1986.

A Conversation with SARA DUNN

WHAT DOES A WEB DESIGNER DO?
(A web designer) translates what a business or individual does into an interactive format that provides more information for a potential customer.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
My company is entirely remote; I might be in my home office in Battle Creek or I might be traveling. So a typical day is never typical. I might be spending a lot of time answering email, I might be on video calls with my team or my clients, or I might be in fully focused work time, heads down, email paused, doing work and strategy, managing social media, doing competitive research, writing content, any of those things. No two days are the same.

LEADER2LEADER: Dan Jaqua

Define leadership.
Observation brings understanding. Understanding brings tolerance. Tolerance brings direction. Direction brings followers.

To me, that’s what leadership is. Observation is the ability to observe what’s going on—the ability to observe in any sector of leadership. Observation brings understanding—understanding of perspective. That brings tolerance and that brings direction and that brings people to follow you. Leadership is about following.

Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
In our family-owned business, it’s my dad. If I was fair, and I am fair, my mom too had a very interesting impact on my leadership.

My dad developed in me this concept of tolerance or understanding and, through understanding, you can get people to better their life. In our world, the key to this is that we’re helping people reach the next station in life. We manage 180 different business owners who are trying to get their businesses to the next level. My dad gave me the ability to get people to that next level of understanding.

My mom brought a different perspective that you don’t typically think about in leadership. She was an art major. She’s a very creative person. Creativity is so critical in leadership. The ability to think creatively is a whole different concept. The ability to have an eye for what you want is super huge in leadership, super huge, because that’s what causes people to follow you. Is what you have the creative approach, that innovative approach? She taught me to think like that.

LEADER2LEADER: Lauryn King

Define leadership.
Leadership is being a developer, raising up your team, and empowering them to learn new things and develop themselves.
Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
One person is a guy who works here. His name is Andy Short. He’s made an impact on me as a leader because he’s so trustworthy. He’s so transparent and you know, with anything that comes out of his mouth, there’s no smoke and mirrors behind it. He’s totally committed to his team. I’ve never actually worked for him—I’m on the Inclusion and Diversity Council here, and he used to be a leader on it. You want to do well so that you make him proud. He instills that in people.

Designing a Collaborative Workforce – TIPS FROM TOWERPINKSTER

How many of your employees or co-workers would show up to work the day after winning the Powerball jackpot?

If your answer is a resounding “no one,” then your company might need to rethink that mission statement hanging on the wall behind your door. Companies who fully align their mission with their business strategies experience dramatic doses of creativity, innovation, and commitment from team members. These companies also find themselves “sticky” place to be, meaning they easily attract and retain high-performing workers.

AROUND (269): That moment when you find the perfect dress!

Perhaps nothing is more personal—or more of a rite of passage—than choosing a prom or a wedding dress. To many prom-goers, as with prospective brides, the process is one fraught with anticipation, expectations, and emotions.

Memories Bridal & Evening Wear aims to make the experience a joyful—and painless—one.

“Styles have changed quite a bit over the years, but what we do has stayed fairly consistent,” says Adrienne Wissner, owner of the bridal and evening wear shop on Michigan Avenue in downtown Kalamazoo. “We want our clients to have an amazing experience.”