Expert Perspectives

Stay informed by our faculty and fellows regarding recent insights, commentary, and opinions on middle market business challenges, growth factors, and opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a guest contributor you can find out more information by clicking here.

  • Partnering for People: How the Right Partnerships Can Help You Find the Right People for Your Jobs

    Good people are apparently hard to find. This is especially true for middle market firms, which often face unique challenges when it comes to accessing skilled talent to fill positions. Middle market companies can lack a strategic HR focus and may have limited resources to dedicate to recruiting and retaining qualified candidates. The Center’s latest research suggests that one way companies can overcome challenges and find more people is by partnering up with other companies and programs in their industry or community.   Read More >
  • Five Ways Middle Market Firms Can Find and Keep Skilled Talent

    In middle market companies, support functions like HR are often lean by design. Sometimes, that can mean that the HR team is tied up with operational activities and does not have much time left to focus on more strategic endeavors. Here are some no- or low-cost actions middle market HR departments can take to improve recruitment and retention of qualified employees.   Read More >
  • How Mid-Market Companies Get Predictable Results

    There are a lot of books, blogs, and tools for small companies and for large 500 companies. Unfortunately, the middle market often gets forgotten or overlooked. Based on our client's experience and research from many esteemed organizations, we identified the top ten challenges middle market companies face and identified clients who have battled and overcome these challenges and why.   Read More >
  • Equifax Exposes 143 Million People to Identity Theft through Website Security Failure

    Perhaps the biggest breach in Internet history came to light last Thursday when Equifax revealed that hackers had stolen large amounts of personal data through its website. The intruders accessed data of 143,000,000 consumers including names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Over 200,000 credit card numbers were stolen and over 182,000 customer dispute documents. Many security experts are considering this to be the worst data breach in history. Since the data involved is so sensitive, it has the potential to wreak havoc on millions of lives by giving thieves the tools to steal online identities.   Read More >
  • Business Planning: An Overview

    This essay offers a general perspective of business planning. Follow-up articles will discuss individual planning topics with more detail. I separate planning into four distinct subjects: strategy, operations, ad hoc opportunities, and roadmaps. Each of these four topics serves the business in different yet interdependent ways. Treating each planning theme independently encourages the business to approach each with rigor and discipline using precious resources more efficiently.   Read More >
  • Market Failure: Why the supply of talent falls short of demand in the Middle Market

    The middle market is not alone in its struggles to find qualified talent, and especially managerial, technical and professional, and sales roles. But mid-sized firms feel the lack of available talent with special acuity. This post looks at the factors contributing to the gap between supply of and demand for talent among middle market firms.   Read More >
  • To Thrive in Today’s Fast-Paced Middle Market, Work Deeper: An Interview with “Deep Work” Author Cal Newport

    Bestselling author Cal Newport understands the importance of immersing oneself in challenging, difficult, and meaningful work. Newport’s most recent book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, makes a powerful, evidence-based case that business leaders and their organizations should be going deeper rather than getting distracted by superficial time demands. The book argues that the capacity to focus deeply on meaningful work is the new I.Q. and can be a massive competitive advantage for middle market leaders in today’s workplace. The NCMM recently caught up with Newport to discuss his ideas.   Read More >
  • Insecure Cloud Hosting at Verizon and the Swedish Transport Ministry

    There are lessons to learn from both the Verizon and Swedish transport ministry incidents that took place recently. One point is that care should be taken when entering an outsourcing agreement that includes hosting in someone else’s cloud. Outsourced firms should be held to high security standards that are enforced through a combination of documented policies, audits, and financial penalties for security breaches. Matt Gross explains how businesses can use the Cloud safely.   Read More >
  • Six Magical Thinking Errors

    Successful owners gain control by recognizing that scaling their thinking always precedes successfully scaling their business. The question is if our mental models are not working, why don’t we just find new ones that will work?   Read More >
  • The Fundamental Purpose of Business – Part II

    The simplicity of the business purpose does not lessen its importance and significance. The business that fails to satisfy customers will see its revenues eventually disappear. Similarly, the business that doesn’t pay its capital providers for the use of the capital invested will eventually find itself without capital. Perhaps surprisingly, it is the maturing middle-market business most benefited from understanding this issue.   Read More >
  • Grow Your Business Through Strategic Relationships: An Interview with “Co-Create” Author David Nour

    David Nour’s new book, his tenth overall, is “Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration.” Mr. Nour is a growth strategist, and the world’s most sought-after expert on relationship economics. He actually wrote a previous book called “Relationship Economics,” describing how businesses can leverage their relationships into growth. Nour is also founder and CEO of the Nour Group, a consultancy which helps organizations build their greatest strategic asset, their business relationships. The NCMM recently caught up with Nour to discuss his new book, “Co-Create” and how it relates to middle market companies.   Read More >
  • Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion Is Good Business

    As all successful middle market firms know, great businesses aren’t built on the strength of products and services alone. Operational efficiency, adaptability, marketing, and strong leadership are all necessary for success. Increasingly, companies of all sizes recognize that a diverse and inclusive workforce, and profile, is important as well, and in fact is quickly becoming a competitive imperative in the marketplace.   Read More >
  • Leadership Roundup

    Leading in the middle market can be exhilarating and exhausting. You’ve grown into a larger size organization and your teams have likely expanded, all of which is exciting, but you may not have the resources of your larger competitors or the fun atmosphere and innovative perks of some startups.   Read More >
  • Lessons on Spear Phishing Security Measures

    Any company with critical infrastructure to protect should examine their readiness for spear phishing campaigns. According to a recent survey by The National Center for the Middle Market, more than 90 percent of businesses think a cyber event would impact their bottom lines, and two-thirds feel it would be significant. But companies currently dedicate only six percent of their IT budgets to combat cyber risk.   Read More >

In Collaboration With