Forget About Perks and Focus on Culture

Culture needs to be a constant priority. You can’t expect a bunch of perks to define your company. Instead, spend some time defining your values — afterall, you already know them. Then make sure everyone on your team has buy-in.

Apr 3, 2017 Tyler Smith

Dilemma of the Month: Getting People to Give Notice

We service clients who are kids in the foster care system. We really value when our employees that resign give at least a three-weeks’ notice, so they can transition their clients — kids who have already had upheaval in their lives — to their team members before they leave. Is there any meat that we can put on the bones of a policy requiring a three-week notice, with some type of consequence for not providing this notice?

Mar 30, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

Farm-to-School Programs Make for Healthier Children

Federally-funded programs translate to sustainable farms and healthier children. Yet, despite improved efforts, funding remains lower than demand. In a state that produces half of the nation’s fruits and veggies, California stands to benefit by funding these programs.

Mar 29, 2017 Amber Stott

Infrastructure Issues Demand Attention

Infrastructure — roads, bridges and dams — is the backbone of any economy.  Business can’t function without it. The Association of Civil Engineers estimates that nationally, defective or failing infrastructure will cost the average family $3,400 a year over the next decade.

Mar 27, 2017 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Challenges on Every Front

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on the critical issues facing Californians

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is one of the most powerful political figures in our state. With term limits now allowing folks like him to serve longer in one chamber, he is likely to stay that way for years to come. We sat down with Rendon to talk about some of the critical issues facing lawmakers and Californians in what is expected to be one of the most turbulent years in modern history.

Mar 13, 2017 Rich Ehisen

Dilemma of the Month: How to Lay Off an Employee

We are reorganizing and will be eliminating one position. We will have to lay this person off, and I have a few questions about how to handle it: Who needs to be in the room when we tell her? How much severance should we offer? What else do I need to do?

Mar 9, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

We Need to Stop Our Obsession with Generational Differences

Ending generational categorization and judgment begins with awareness. Next time you hear generational stereotypes among your friends or in your workplace, speak up! By breaking down these stereotypes we can overcome the discrimination that generational labels facilitates.

Mar 6, 2017 Dr. Jessica Kriegel

Can We Talk?

I would encourage all of you to make a concerted effort to have difficult conversations in the weeks, months and years to come. Have unusual conversations. Ask lots of questions. Take stock of where your boundaries are, but pay attention to where there might be room for growth and compromise. What opportunities are currently masquerading at your fingertips as unaddressed problems?

Mar 1, 2017 Allison Joy

Cannabis Can Go From Conundrum to Catalyst

Elections matter. The people have spoken. And marijuana — more appropriately known by the less pejorative label, cannabis — is now legal for adults in eight states, including California, and for those with medical needs in 28 states. That means the majority of Americans now live in states where cannabis is legal in some form.

Feb 27, 2017 Daniel Conway

5 Reasons to Join Your Neighborhood Association

When you gather a group of people interested in bettering their neighborhood, I am pretty confident good things will come your way. While most neighbors are interested in preventing crime, some are interested in clean public bathrooms or more street lighting. All of these personal agendas make for a diverse to-do list. When it becomes personal, the vested interest grows stronger within the group.

Feb 24, 2017 Jamee Villa

The Heat is On

Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, on engaging the business community to go greener

As head of the California Air Resources Board for the last decade, Mary Nichols is considered the second most powerful person — after Gov. Jerry Brown — in the state’s wide-reaching efforts to combat climate change. It is an effort state officials have vowed to continue despite the election of President Donald Trump, a climate change denier.

Feb 13, 2017 Rich Ehisen

Dilemma of the Month: Holding Exempt Employee Accountable

Last year, we hired someone to run our small business, and we paid him very well. However, he was always coming in late, taking Fridays off, calling in sick, having car trouble and dentist appointments, etc. He was an exempt employee, so we kept paying him as if he was there all the time. He quit and we don’t want to have the same problems with the new hire.

Feb 2, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

Driving the Economy By Taking Our Hands Off the Wheel

If you are like me, you hate being stuck in traffic. But most of us don’t have a hired driver and public transportation isn’t always convenient.

Carmakers are working on what they think is a better idea — let the car do the driving.  Autonomous vehicles sound very Jetson-like. But as futuristic as it sounds, many vehicles already on our streets rely on computers. 

Jan 30, 2017 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Dilemma of the Month: My Boss Gossips

My boss is a gossiper. I’ve worked at this company for two years.The first year it wasn’t bad, but she gradually started to say negative things to me about my colleague. As I started to hear more, I couldn’t handle it. I told HR the truth and was advised to speak with my boss’s immediate boss. Our team includes only four people, and I feel my boss will know who complained. 

Jan 12, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

Sacramento’s Pledge to Self-Sufficiency

In August 2016, the City of Sacramento made the pledge to become a Fab City. Joining 14 cities around the world — including Barcelona, Paris and Shenzhen — Sacramento’s 50-year commitment makes it the first city on the Pacific West Coast to honor the MIT-spearheaded proposal, the Fab City Initiative.

Jan 5, 2017 Eric Ullrich