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Finding the Perfect Fit

The Evil HR Lady on how to get a team of introverts working together

About 70 percent of my team are introverts, and all of them were here when I came on board as a manager. They won’t come together to solve problems. In fact, one of my employees told me, “I like to figure things out on my own.” It’s like each one of them lives on an island, and it’s too hard to take their boat over to collaborate. Any advice?

Sep 11, 2014 Suzanne Lucas
Todo un Poco co-owner Marie Mertz is an art lover and collector. All of the restaurant’s paintings are original works she commissioned.

A Little Bit of Everything

Delightful global fusion in a faceless Elk Grove bistro

Todo un poco means “a little bit of everything,” and that’s exactly how co-owner Marie Mertz describes her strategy. She runs the bistro’s operations, cooks, builds menus, chooses the daily specials, buys fresh produce, trains staff, handles community relations and hand-selects her wines. She’s proud of being in business for so many years, but “who’s counting when you’re having fun?” she says.

Sep 9, 2014 Laura Coyne Steel

Design Thinking

Acuity with Kris Barkley

Kris Barkley, the Design Director at Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects and president of the American Institute for Architects Central Valley, sat down with Comstock’s Editor in Chief Christine Calvin to talk about digital fabrication, biomimicry, the industry landscape for up-and-coming architects and, of course, next months’s Experience Architecture Week. 

Sep 5, 2014 Christine Calvin

Creative Spacing

4 factors to consider

VSP wanted The Shop in Midtown to be flexible, buildable and breakable, a learning space and a prototype in itself (form following function). With that in mind, architects put wheels on the tables and on corrugated cardboard walls to make everything portable and adaptable.

Sep 3, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Get Creative

Improve your business by thinking like a designer

Thomas Edison is most often credited with inventing a thing, the light bulb. But if you really take a look at what Edison did, you’ll see he was able to envision not only the technology, but also how people would use it and why they would benefit from its use. What he actually created was a product with a fully realized marketplace. Edison’s approach was an early example of a concept that has since been dubbed “design thinking” — a creative manner of problem-solving that places the user at the center of the experience.

Sep 1, 2014 Christine Calvin
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Avoid the Liquidity Trap

3 tips for succession planning

Surviving the Great Recession wasn’t easy for anyone, but it had a unique impact on business owners who were looking forward to retirement. One-third of small biz owners are over the age of 55 – primed to step away from the day-to-day routine. When the economy went into a tailspin, those trying to either sell or otherwise transition the ownership of their business had to keep working, even as the long slump made staying in business a struggle. 

Aug 15, 2014 Barry Brundage

Chemical Attraction

Acuity with Micromidas’ John Bissell

In 2008, John Bissell co-founded Micromidas Inc., a West Sacramento biotech company that has developed a process to convert carbohydrate feedstocks like cardboard into higher-value chemicals, including renewable plastics. The company incorporated in 2009. Bissell, a UC Davis grad who also serves as CEO, was recently included in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields, and has helped raise more than $20 million in financing for his company.

Aug 13, 2014 Douglas Curley

Civically Minded

Civics are nine times wealthier than the rest of us, so how can you cash in?

If I wanted my 20-year-old son to join me for a late meal, I’d text him: “Buffet on me.” But I would never ever text my 86-year-old mother with a dinner invitation. For her, there would be a phone call with plenty of formalities and forewarning, a promise of a nice, sit-down establishment and a start time of 4:00 p.m. to take advantage of early bird specials. Why? Because each generation communicates differently.

Jun 30, 2014 Gordon Fowler