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March 9, 2013
Written By: Jensen Consulting Admin

The winter issue of Consultations is out.  Check out stories on Leverage, Strategic Alliances and Leadership Observations from Russell Jensen.

To be added to our email distribution list, send your name and email address to newsletter@rjensenconsulting.com.



July 3, 2012
Written By: Russell Jensen

Ten years ago, Russell Jensen left the security of a large business consulting firm to build his own client focused consulting group.  And, he hasn’t looked back since.
Jensen Consulting has now grown to provide business consulting services that focus on leadership development, strategy and family business consulting.  They work with some of the region’s largest and smallest businesses to assist in developing senior leaders, strategic planning, succession planning and business development, as well as creating effective and high performing boards of directors.

“We help clients capitalize on big opportunities, solve big problems and shape their companies to compete in today’s complex business environment,” Jensen said.  “This approach has taught us over the years that there are lot of similar challenges and opportunities regardless of the ownership structure, industry or size of an organization.”

This is one of the reasons that when Jensen Consulting considered how to celebrate 10 years in business that they decided to give back to the Central Iowa business community by giving away $10,000 in free consulting services to an area nonprofit.  The application process is simple: the nonprofit must state a specific need such as strategic planning or help working through board issues that will enable them to better deliver on their mission.
Submitted applications will be reviewed by the Jensen Consulting staff and two long time clients.
“I have long been a believer that it is important for business leaders to play a role in building and serving their community,” Jensen said.  “This could be described as a passion of mine, and we have made it a point in the last 10 years to work with nonprofits as consultants, as well as lending our time to serve on a variety of boards.  As we celebrate 10 years of success in our own business, it is the right time to step up and give back to the community who has been incredibly supportive of our work.”

The application, which is available online at www.rjensenconsulting.com, is due on July 20.  Jensen said he expects to announce the nonprofit, or nonprofits, that will receive the free services sometime in mid-August.
“As we have worked through the process of setting this program, we have already spoken with a number of our clients and nonprofits,” Jensen said.  We are excited with the positive response, and we look forward to seeing just how we can give back to our great community.”


October 29, 2010
Written By: Jensen Consulting

There is a lot of good information and reading out on the Internet – blogs, articles, websites – and a number of ways to receive them.  Periodically, we’ll run a list of links to articles that we found interesting.


Growing Leaders on the Farm(Ville)

Fast Company: Leveling Up Your Staff: Zynga's Mark Pincus on Entrepreneurial Companies.  

The genius behind the social network games FarmVille and Mafia Wars talks about what he looks for when hiring talent.  They’ve grown to more than 1,000 employees in just three years, so this important. 

…they have to be a good manager of people and projects and that means they have to have a high EQ.  The more you can be self-aware and honest about yourself, the more you can cultivate that in other people.” 

We have a useful EQ assessment instrument we use effectively with individuals and teams.


To Infinity, and Beyond!

Forbes.com: Lead Like … Buzz and Woody

This is a fun read, and echoes a point Eileen Wixted made at our recent “What’s Your Oil Spill” event. 

“Because, even though they often are confused or scared, they never stop thinking, never stop looking for the answer to a problem, and despite a minor detour now and then, they never go off mission. No matter how great the crisis — whether it’s the vicious kid next door or death by trash-compactor — Woody and Buzz stay engaged in the issue and never forget the people (sorry, toys) they care about.”

So who do you lead more like Buzz, Woody … or like Tony Hayward?


One Size Leader Fits All?

NPR.org: Candidates Play Up Former CEO Experience

With election day looming, this is an inside look at two intriguing business figures and how their business experience may or may not translate to being an effective elected official.

Politicians often say, ‘We need to run government more like a business.’ In California, the Republican candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate are two former corporate executives from Silicon Valley: Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Is running a company the same as running a state?” (This is an audio story. You’ll need access to a media player)

Business leaders have made the transition successfully because the ability to execute is important in both the government and the private sector.

Know Thy Self … and the Competition

McKinseyquarterly.com: Making the leap into emerging markets: An interview with Clorox’s Beth Springer

 An established company decides to make a thoughtful, but deliberate move into emerging markets that are largely abroad.  They are looking inside at their successes and failures, as well as closely monitoring their competitors.  This move is in addition to strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

 Last year, we also took a hard look back at our successes and failures in developing markets, as well as those of our competitors. This confirmed a lot of things we knew and also gave us new insight, particularly on what it takes to deliver profitable growth in emerging markets. We articulated some general success principles, which we’re now applying. We also dug deeply into why our market shares and profitability varied in the same category across countries. It was eye opening and led to our more sophisticated approach to sizing each category and country combination that we consider entering.”

 Pete Petersen has talked about a number of these strategies in other blog entries.  Check out the Growth section of the blog.


Have an article you’ve read that you found inspiring, thoughtful or just plain wrong?  Post a link in the comments, we’d love to see what we’re missing.



May 28, 2010
Written By: Guest Blogger, David Lind

Imagine, if you will, living in a snow globe for many years. I know, this lifestyle sounds very limiting (if not downright corny!). Such an existence would most likely result in familiarity with your surroundings, including most events and activities, possibly generating some boredom. A snow globe life also allows for a more consistent and a relatively predictable world for all others who live with you in this globe.

Then, without much notice and beyond your control, the snow globe is picked up by an external, ‘omnipotent force’ who proceeds to shake the living daylights out of the globe, rocking your world to its core. After numerous violent shakes, the snow globe is set back down on the table … upside down! You find yourself in a mountain of snow, feverishly digging out of the suffocating mess to view the new arbitrarily created terrain. Your environment now looks frighteningly foreign. In fact, it remains a blizzard for the unforeseeable future, most likely for years to come.
The above analogy fits appropriately for all employers, insurance companies, health care professionals, benefit consultants and countless other individuals and entities who are (or will be) affected by the recently passed health care reform law. Also known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the provisions within PPACA are massive in scope and will require extensive clarification and regulation by the various governmental agencies, including state agencies. Some provisions, such as the Small Business Federal Health Care Tax Credit and the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program will take place in 2010. The extension of coverage to employees’ adult children up to age 26 and the elimination of lifetime dollar limits on medical insurance plans will take effect for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. Many other provisions will apply in 2011, 2012 and in 2013 … too many to list in this particular blog.
But the year 2014, will most closely resemble the ‘upside down’ analogy of the snow globe. New rules will require insurers to accept every individual or employer who applies for coverage, which is not a bad thing, but there will be additional associated costs with this. The new law establishes state-run health exchanges, which will act like purchasing cooperatives for individuals and small businesses with up to 50 employees. An individual mandate will go into effect, which means that anyone caught without health insurance faces only a $95 penalty, but this fine will get bigger every year, maxing out at the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of a person’s taxable income in 2019. Employers with 50 or more employees that elect not to provide health insurance coverage will face a $2,000 fine per employee if an employee receives subsidized coverage from the federal government. The employer penalty may look attractive, especially when the average annual premium in Iowa, based on our 2009 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©, is $4,440 for single coverage and $11,556 for employees who have family coverage. In other words, why would larger employers offer health coverage if paying the penalty is a cheaper option? The specifics of the above provisions are extremely complicated and convoluted, if not problematic to administer. Since the government would subsidize much of the health insurance cost for low-income workers available through the exchanges, the incentives for retaining an employer plan could very well erode altogether. 
With all legislation, there are intended and unintended consequences.  But with this colossal law, a clear understanding of the intended and unintended consequences will not come for many years. Reform will certainly include more of the currently uninsured within the insured ranks, but we really don’t know at what additional cost. In my opinion, this legislation has not addressed the fundamental issues of rising health care costs, which means that health insurance costs will continue to increase at unabated rates. The snow will continue to fall for quite some time, requiring all of us to keep our shovels close by.
David Lind is president of David P. Lind & Associates, L.C., an independent employee benefits consulting firm.


April 16, 2010
Written By: Jensen Consulting

We just a sent out a news release about our upcoming Family Business Forum.  

“The Art of Family Business: How to Have Healthy Bottom Line and a Happy Thanksgiving Dinner” will provide a number of helpful tools for family businesses who struggle to successfully manage both the bottom line and family boundaries. This includes a written assessment of strengths and weaknesses; a list of critical conversations every family business must have; practical suggestions to address business/family overlap; and, an overall strategy to navigate the family dynamic to achieve both a successful business and Thanksgiving dinner.
The conference is Thursday, April 29 at the Glenn Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines from 7:30 – 10 a.m.  Registration is required.
This session will be lead by Michelle Clark, Ph.D.,  a business psychologist with Jensen Consulting, who assists family businesses manage transitions, build systems to serve both the bottom line and create healthy family boundaries, as well as have difficult conversations.
To register call 515.875.4858 or email sarah@rjensenconsulting.com no later than Tuesday, April 27.  For more information, visit www.rjensenconsulting.com.

March 3, 2010
Written By: Jensen Consulting Admin

Did you get your monthly e-newsletter for Jensen Consulting?

Beginning today, we'll be sending a monthly e-mail that let's you know what's happening at Jensen Consulting.  It's a quick snapshot of the happenings and conversations we're having with our clients. It is a complement to our quarterly newsletter, Consultations.

If you'd like to be added to our distribution list, send your name and e-mail address to newsletter@rjensenconsulting.com.



February 5, 2010
Written By: Jensen Consulting Admin


We are excited to have the new Jensen Consulting website up and running.  As we iron out a few last details, we're preparing to launch a blog filled with thoughts related to our leadership development, strategy and family business practices. 

We invite you to subscribe or come back soon to read more.

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