Grab yourself some hot coffee or tea, put your feet up on the desk and enjoy another issue of the Creative Edge Newsletter.  It's my goal to bring you useful information on such issues as leadership development, hiring and retaining employees, team development, and succession planning.  

But let me tell you a story that starts and ends with sleep.  That's the perfect answer...especially if your a cat.  A few days ago I sat and watched both of my cats asleep on the floor.  They have a life that revolves around food and sleep and in no particular order.  But they also have a wonderful sense of curiosity about things in their world.  If only we could all be curious and full of wonder on a regular basis and bring some of that into our businesses.  I read this month's business book selection out of curiosity - I hope you also find it interesting.  Don't forget to enter the drawing.

Also, before I forget, I need your help today.  It is my goal to hit 5,000 subscribers by the beginning of October.  So, I am asking you to forward this to a friend or two (or even 100 of them) and recommend that they subscribe today.   I will make sure it's worth the effort.

Have a successful week, 


Is your company struggling with managers and supervisors whose interpersonal skills are not as effective as they could be?  I can help them change that.  Contact me!

Michael T. Bauer is the President/CCO of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm that focuses on unlocking the creative potential in individuals and organizations. Michael's focus is on developing creative leaders, building innovative teams, and transforming organizations into centers of excellence by aligning their leadership and culture with their business strategy.  

VOLUME 2.1 August 8, 2006


            A great way to start the day!
-Featured Article
            Why is my family-owned business always in conflict?  
-The Toolbox
Questions to help you build a successful business.
-Win A Business Book
            "The Managerial Moment of Truth" by Bruce Bodaken and Robert Fritz
-New Directions
What's new at Innovative Business Resources, LLC
-It's Your Turn
         I would love to hear from you! 

Do you spend most of your day dealing with Internal conflict and “personality issues?
Take Our Organizational Assessment Today!


"To be creative you have to contribute something different from what you've done before. Your results need not be original to the world; few results truly meet that criterion. In fact, most results are built on the work of others."
- Lynne C. Levesque, Breakthrough Creativity


A great retreat is defined as an experience that you remember long after you have returned back to the office. It provides an opportunity where people are released from the daily grind of work so they can think in new and creative ways. It allows people the time to thoroughly explore their organization's issues and develop strategies to implement changes. It provides opportunities to test out ideas and see what may or may not work.  

Ultimately, great retreats are an outstanding investment in your people - if it is tailored to your organization and is facilitated by someone that has experience working with groups.

Schedule your next retreat with me and I will give 10% of the fee to a charity of your choice and in your name.  I have room for a few more retreats during the last few months of 2006.  Contact me at


Why Is My Family-Owned Business Always In Conflict?  
By Michael T. Bauer, MSW

Creating, building, and sustaining a family-owned business is a fundamental American dream (92% of all US businesses are family-owned), but the odds of being successful are very troubling. Family-owned business face multiple and unique challenges, many which are never faced by the any other type of company. Not only do they face the common marketplace dynamics, but they also have to contend with family issues.   Fewer than 33% of all family-owned businesses make it to the second generation. 

The following characteristics are found in successful family-owned businesses:

1.  There must be shared vision & values regarding business strategy, relationships, work ethic, money, and success. Without this shared vision, the business will struggle to balance both worlds.

2.  There must be shared influence across generations, among spouses, and among siblings and geared to individual capabilities. Communication is extremely important.

3.  There must be valued traditions that are characteristics of the family and set it apart from other families. Traditions are often times the glue that keeps generations together and working toward similar destinations.

4.  They must be receptive to learning and growing. Family members need to be open to new perspectives, approaches, and techniques. This is a critical requirement because it prepares the family and 
business to overcome future obstacles. 

5.  They must be willing to invest in relationship building. Families that have learned how to “play” together can leverage that experience and turn it into a buffer against difficult times.

6.  They must demonstrate caring. It is important, even in business, that family members show empathy for other family members during good times and the bad times. They must always communicate the message "we care for you."

7.  There has to be earned trust and mutual admiration. The trust is built over time and is based on being consistent with what you say and what you do. It is based on accountability and integrity.

8.  Family members must be available to each other especially during difficult times such as grief. How a family copes with another family member in crisis is highly correlated with long term family harmony and business success.  Death, sudden illness and a wide range of other events will impact the family at some point.

9.  There has to be respect for privacy for both the individual and for the family unit that exists among this larger family system. Without privacy, individual, family, and business matters become public knowledge.  This will lead to future problems.

10.  Finally, they need to learn how to successfully deal with conflict. The family must learn to address the conflict with finesse. Direct conflict creates problems for the family and the business.  Conflict is manageable, if done right.  

Copyright 2006 Michael T. Bauer, MSW

Would you like to receive our Free White Paper "Family-Owned Business: Is there a More Difficult Business to Run?" Contact Michael to request a copy. 

THE TOOLBOX  (Questions to help you build a successful business)

Take a look at your business. What's old that could benefit from a new method or technology? Not sure. Go to the library and look through different magazines. Have you discovered anything new? List a few of them and then go and ask "What ideas do you have to improve my business?" 


Every month a subscriber to the newsletter will win a business book just by answering a short question.  This month I am giving away a copy of the book "The Managerial Moment of Truth" by Bruce Bodaken and Robert Fritz.  It's a book that focuses on transforming organizational culture to one of truth telling and empowerment.  Interested?  Sign up here:


New!!! Articles and E-briefs:

New!!! Additional Resources:

New!!! Our Blog:
Are you interested in business creativity and innovation?If yes, then you need to keep up with my blog.

NEW!!! Squidoo Lens
Have you seen a Squidoo Lens?  Squidoo is a web-based resource for a variety of topics found on the internet.  Take a look at my primary lens.

COMING SOON!!!  Subscriber only telecourses are coming very soon.   promise that there will be some great ideas passed on during the telecourses.The only way to find out when they begin is by reading this section.  I'm currently setting up the experts to interview.  If you'd like to be interviewed and provide more exposure for your business, please send me and email with your ideas.


Are you a small business owner?  Do you want to earn more without spending more?  If that is the case, then you need to join the IBR-Team.


Are you part of the LinkedIn community.  Please feel free to link up with me and maybe we can work together.

View Michael T. Bauer's profile on LinkedIn


What did you think about this issue?  Did you find something that you could use.?  Do you have a specific question that you would like to ask.  I would love to hear from you at


Michael T. Bauer is the President of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm that focuses on unlocking the creative potential in individuals and organizations tm His solutions are individually tailored and to the type and sizes of the business.  Michael enjoys working with family-owned and privately held organizations, non-profit organizations, service-based firms, healthcare organizations and small business owners/entrepreneurs. 

Michael is also a Principal with The Global Consulting Partnership, a partnership with over 250 consultants throughout the United States.  

Contact Information:  Michael Bauer, Innovative Business Resources, LLC, N88 W17966 Christman Road Menomonee Falls, WI 53051, (262) 853-7716.  You can find more information at

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