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Author Archives: Phil Hardwick

PHIL HARDWICK — Too many colonoscopies, not enough tattoos

Most strategic planning retreats begin with an opening exercise designed to energize the group and get participants to know each other better. The big issues surface later on during the retreat. However, at one recent retreat the opening exercise exposed a major issue facing the organization. The issue: an aging workforce. The exercise: autograph party. Autograph party, also known as ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — The strangest eminent domain case ever

There is an intriguing eminent domain case going on in south Mississippi. It involves a popular, well-known local eatery, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the local county government and a 100-foot strip of land alongside a highway. The real estate issue is property value, but that is only the beginning. Let’s begin with a brief, but incomplete factual timeline ...

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Quality of life: It’s all about the perspective

Is the quality of life in your community on the way up, going down or staying the same? Ask that question to a group of residents, and chances are that the response to that question will not be unanimous. Why? It’s all about perspective. Perspective is a way of looking at things. It is all that can be seen from ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Anatomy of a failed economic development project

This is the story of a failed economic development project. The names and locations have been changed to protect the guilty. It is a lesson for economic developers and community leaders seeking to recruit large projects to their areas. A large retailer operating in a dozen states in the southeastern part of the United States was seeking to expand. Headquartered ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Strategic planning retreats: A Q&A

It seems that more companies and organizations are holding strategic planning retreats. This is likely due to the current and unprecedented change going on in the business world and in society. As someone who has been facilitating strategic planning retreats for over 20 years, I thought you might find it useful to share with you the most common questions I ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Which lane are you in?

Driving toward downtown Jackson on Interstate 55 from the north, a driver encounters something known locally as “the waterworks curve.” There are three southbound lanes at that point. In typical urban interstate motoring fashion, drivers begin jockeying for lanes as they approach their desired exit, of which there are three in the next mile. The first is Fortification Street, the ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Which lane are you in?

  Driving toward downtown Jackson on Interstate 55 from the north, a driver encounters something known locally as “the waterworks curve.” There are three southbound lanes at that point. In typical urban interstate motoring fashion, drivers begin jockeying for lanes as they approach their desired exit, of which there are three in the next mile. The first is Fortification Street, ...

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