• Understanding Management Styles: Play to Strengths

    When you have important decisions to make and employees looking for guidance, it's easy to get into a pattern of "just doing it." But many savvy middle market leaders have learned the benefits of stepping back to take stock of their management style. After all, every leader excels in different areas, and you can build a stronger company if you learn to play to your strengths and find ways (whether through skills building or strategic hires) to mitigate potential weaknesses.  Read More >
  • The State of Healthcare in the U.S. Middle Market

    In 2013, providing healthcare to employees topped the list of business challenges for middle market companies. Because they lack the scale of global companies and are without the exemptions granted to small firms, mid-market companies are caught in the middle as they try to adjust to the rising costs and new regulations surrounding healthcare. Despite this, middle market firms still support providing healthcare to their employees and find that well-managed healthcare solutions can have a positive impact on their firms as a whole. Their embrace of new healthcare solutions represent a paradigm shift toward a holistic approach to the value these benefits have on a company's performance.  Read More >
  • Succession Planning: A Secret to Ensuring Growth

    Succession planning may sound like something a large company does, hopefully before the CEO retires. But that view misses its critical strategic need in companies of any size. In fact, when you consider the full ramifications of the concept, succession planning is as important, and maybe even more so, for a middle market company poised for growth.  Read More >
  • Productivity Improvement: It's Not What You Think

    It's a universal desire for leaders of busy middle market companies: If only we could be more productive. But according to executive coach Sue Bethanis of Mariposa Leadership, we may have our ideas about productivity improvement all wrong. It turns out the holy grail isn't "inbox zero" or ten straight hours at your desk. "Many people think getting interrupted by others cuts productivity," she says. "However, for many knowledge workers, this is their work."  Read More >
  • Why Work Life Balance Is More Attainable Than You Think

    For top business leaders, "work life balance" might seem like a pipe dream. That's especially true for the heads of middle market companies who are squeezed on both sides. Unlike many small-business owners, they can't simply shut down operations when they go on vacation, and unlike many Fortune 500 executives, they often have smaller staffs and less ability to delegate responsibilities.  Read More >
  • R&D and Manufacturing: Where do they belong in your organization?

    A 2011 survey of Middle Market executives by the National Center for the Middle Market singled out two major challenges: Large corporations achieve better performance when they separate R&D from manufacturing by, for example, using different employees and metrics in the two functions. In contrast, small entrepreneurial firms often have no choice but to house the two functions together, a model that research has indicated benefits them financially.  Read More >
  • Executive Compensation: Benchmarking Middle Market CEO Pay

    Much has been discussed about the compensation of Fortune 500 CEOs. However, far less is known about executive pay packages at Middle Market companies, many of which remain private and are not required to report that information. Lack of benchmarking data complicates decision-making for the boards of such firms, which compete with large corporations for top talent. As for Middle Market CEOs, many have spent large swaths of their careers - in some cases their entire professional lives - at one firm. Consequently, they have little idea how their compensation stacks up against counterparts in comparably sized and larger companies.  Read More >
  • Informal HR: Building a Smart Workforce on a Tiny Training Budget

    Talent development is critical for growth. Of the top-performing Middle Market companies, 29% emphasize employee training and education compared with 17% of slower-growth firms, according to the NCMM's "Market that Moves America" study. But while companies recognize the importance of developing their employees, close to three-quarters acknowledge difficulty doing so. One problem is cost. The NCMM's Q2 2013 Middle Market Indicator Report shows that only 6% of Middle Market companies would invest an extra dollar in formal training and development programs. In addition, such programs are often too static for firms in dynamic business environments.  Read More >
  • 5 Reasons Business Performance Matters for CEOs

    Once upon a time, CEOs were an insulated group of executives extremely difficult to unseat. As soon as they assumed the title of chief executive, they became a protected class of elite corporate citizenry, easily dodging any bullet fired in their direction. Those days have long passed. More than ever, business performance matters.

      Read More >

In Collaboration With