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Author Archives: Phil Hardwick

PHIL HARDWICK — Anatomy of a failed economic development project

economic development

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

economic development

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?

transportation

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?

tortoise-and-hare-bugs-learns-a-lesson

  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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PHIL HARDWICK — What was your best customer service experience last year?

customer-service-smile

That’s the question I asked 31 participants at a recent workshop I was facilitating. The responses were enlightening, entertaining and had something in common. In almost every case an employee with the company or organization had gone beyond their regular job duties to make sure that the customer was more than satisfied, indeed received something that they had not expected. ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — The growing importance of symbols

harvard symbol

  Today I wore my hound’s-tooth hat to the office. I did not get past the reception room before someone said, “Roll Tide.” Why did that happen? It’s because just about everyone in the South knows that the hound’s-tooth hat is the headgear often worn by legendary University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant. Although he retired in 1982, it ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — How to make ends meet

personal finances

The message that is consistently stressed in Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for president is that America now has more wealth and income inequality than any major developed country on earth, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s. He points out that the top ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — The first job of a new board leader

Board-Meeting-Room

  Management guru Peter Drucker said that the first action of an effective leader is to determine what needs to be done. Stated another way, the first job of a new leader is to assess the organization. If you are about to assume the leadership of an organization, more specifically a nonprofit organization, there are several ways to assess the ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — No matter what, relationships do matter

Teamwork and team spirit - Hands piled on top of one another .

  Would you be upset if your son or daughter married someone from a different political party? In 2010, the online polling firm YouGov took a survey and found that 49 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans, and 33 percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats expressed concern about their child marrying someone of a different political ...

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