Hiroki Kishimoto, founder of Japan Blue Jeans, on Becoming the Best in Japanese Denim

Japan Blue Jeans is one of those Japanese brands always trying to innovate their collection, by combining vintage inspirational pieces, with new innovative production processes. As their founder, Hiroki Kishimoto, tells us, it’s the balance between pursuing vintage design and utilizing modern technology. Every year, they successfully present another impressive collection, all designed, developed and created in iconic Okayama, Japan, a denim capital of the world.

An Interview with MeisterSinger’s CEO, Manfred Bressler, on German Watchmaking

Manfred Brassler revolutionized the watch industry when he launched, MeisterSinger, a German timepiece company that would use single-hands exclusively. The concept was to go back in time. In the earliest days of measuring time, back to the sundials even, a single hand was used. It was precise and beautiful. Mr. Brassler wanted to escape the brand environment of luxury timepieces today, where design can be overcrowded and more isn’t always more. With a focus on functional simplicity and clarity he concentrated on the essentials of design and created an iconic brand that manages to stand out from its rivals in an oversaturated industry.

We Don’t Have the Budget for This: 16 Ways to Combat Your Client’s #1 Excuse

If you're in sales, client management, or work with clients in some other capacity, you've no doubt heard those seven fateful words: "We don't have the budget for this." This phrase is discouraging to hear. If you take it at face value it can effectively shut down the discussion. But you shouldn't take it at face value because quite often it's code for some other issue that can be overcome. When prospects or clients make the 'no budget' claim, it's usually a clue to dig deeper. You may find out something that helps reframe the issue in a mutually beneficial way or makes the return on investment for the client more compelling. Either way, money that supposedly isn't there can sometimes appear, as if by magic.

5 Trends to Watch in the Insurance Industry

These days, ‘“business as usual” seems to be anything but. Across different industries, people are having to adapt quickly. While much may seem up in the air right now, many of the recent changes faced by the insurance industry are moving it forward into a better future. Here are five of the biggest trends I’ve seen lately in the insurance industry and how they’re impacting insurance companies, financial professionals and consumers. Due in large part to the coronavirus crisis, the majority of carriers Brokers International does business with now have e-apps — and a few of them require producers to use them.

Three Ways the COVID-19 Crisis Has Affected Corporate Travel and Entertainment Expense Claims

In a few short months, COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has permeated every aspect of our lives and completely changed how (and which) businesses operate. Business travel and entertainment have come to a standstill. Many companies have switched almost entirely to working from home to enforce social distancing or comply with mandatory shelter-in-place mandates. As the economic landscape becomes increasingly uncertain, many companies have been forced to take difficult actions to cut spending as they endure a severe downturn of unknown length.

8 ways your AP process leaks spend – and how AI can prevent it

Today’s companies put huge efforts into negotiating the best terms with their suppliers. Procurement teams regularly spend weeks or months going back and forth on contract terms and volume discounts to get the most bang for their buck. Too often, these savings aren’t realized. Suppliers may ignore the negotiated terms when invoicing, and AP teams, faced with a deluge of invoices and limited time to get payments out the door, only sample select transactions and only do basic 2 or 3 way matching of volume and price. This inevitably means costly invoice problems fall through the cracks — from mismatched invoice and contract terms, to unapplied discounts, to completely bogus charges, and more.

Why Millennials Demand OKR Leadership from Managers and Leaders

Millennials think they are unique. Just ask one. However, throughout history there have always been population surges after wars, diseases and migrations. So, what makes those called millennials, born in the U.S. between 1981-1996, truly unique? They represent over 75 million people, 25% of the U.S. population, a larger population surge than the post-war Baby Boom, 30% of the voting age, more diversity than any previous generation, and about 50% of today’s workforce (see These millennials are uniquely qualified to use new tools such as digital technology to communicate, social media platforms to influence consumers and public opinions, graphic images and visual memes, ethnic and racial diversity to describe more inclusive perspectives. The result is massive impact from countless millennials in every workplace and business sector. Examples include social protests, outrage, political discord, lawsuits, reputational attacks. Millennials are demanding to speak and be heard. That fact requires that managers and leaders respond differently than ever...

A Haircut and Q&A with The Real Life Edward Scissorhands

Have you ever thought of a haircut as an otherwordly, out-of-body experience? Have you ever felt shears surround your ears and feel like you were on stage at a rock concert? If you haven’t, it’s simply because you haven’t met hair icon and serial entrepreneur Edward Tricomi. He’s a legend in the world of modern day pop culture, and also the founder of several high profile salons from Tokyo to NYC. Walk into any Warren-Tricomi salon and you’ll be greeted by a space that feels more like a stage than a hair salon. We popped into the unexpectedly edgy salon tucked away within the old New York glam that is the Plaza Hotel, catering to a cool-meets-elite clientele. The space juxtaposes a rock-star staff with a chandelier-adorned décor, allowing clients to feel pampered but not too far from their creative roots, all while blasting The Waitresses and Jimi Hendrix with a little Joy Division to mellow it all out. Poinsettias line the stairs and Ian Curtis croons...

How to Avoid The Dreaded Fundraising Debt

For start-ups in hot markets, the problem also manifests itself in fundraising. Billions of dollars are being poured into companies that have yet to clear the value chasm, as entrepreneurs use early traction that isn’t necessarily financially-oriented, but shows a certain level of uptick or success, to raise capital and convince early stage investors that their horse is the one to bet on...

Everyone is a Hero When it is Seventy Degrees and Sunny

The Program is a team of former military officers and special operations warriors that provides transformational leadership training and team building to more than one hundred sixty collegiate and professional athletic teams and corporations across North America. All the teams that we work with experience similar leadership, communication, and accountability challenges, despite having drastically diverse battlefields. A talented athletic team will win games, but if they lack leadership (and equally important, “teammateship”), they will never consistently compete for championships. A corporate team may see short-term financial success because it has a product that currently dominates their industry. However, just like how an athletic opponent will figure out how to “shut-down,” a talented player, a corporate competitor will eventually figure out a better product or create a cheaper version of it....

How Ryan Reynolds Used Authenticity to Save Peloton Girl

When I first saw her in captivity, I thought Peloton Girl was finished. She was desperate to meet the impossible standards of her unappreciative husband. Her eyes had the glassy look of a woman who is one spin class away from madness. But then…could it be? It could! Ryan Reynolds to the rescue! Aviation Gin swooped in out of nowhere and served up a master class on agile branding. Their hilarious and high-quality response spot gave Peloton actress Monica Ruiz a chance to have a drink (or three) and survive the week of memes.

Seven FAQs employees have about HRAs

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are becoming increasingly common as more employers are seeking an alternative to traditional health benefits. Employees that are newly offered an HRA through their employer can be confused about how an HRA works. They might be used to another type of health benefit, like traditional group health insurance. This could even be the first time they’ve been offered a benefit by an employer.  For employees in this situation and employers wanting to help them, we’ve compiled 7 of the questions employees most frequently ask about HRAs...

The Asian Millennium: More Fact than Fantasy

When I started my business in Hong Kong in 1998, it was a time of great uncertainty in Asia. The Asian economic crisis was was well underway. Hong Kong’s exchange rate, linked to the US dollar, and the stock market, were threatened by speculation by international investors. The British had handed over the island nation to China just the previous year and nearly half a million people had left the country worried about a future under communist rule. And, it was also the height of the dot com crash. The confluence of these factors worked in our favor...

Financial Planning for a Recession

As we learned in 2008, recessions can come on swiftly and cause major crises for all businesses, big and small. In today’s economy, it is essential to practice intentional recession planning as a small business. By mapping out your plan in advance of a recession, you may find that when a recession hits, you not only survive, but thrive.

Are You Making the Single Worst Brand-Building Mistake a Company Can Make?

At the foundation of a compelling brand is empathy—putting yourself in the customer's shoes. You have to truly get to know the humans you're seeking to connect with. When you don't, you'll not only fail to persuade them to buy and build a loyal relationship over time, you may put out a tone-deaf message—like Chase did—that blatantly alienates them...

Struggling to Find Great Talent? Consider Candidates without a Degree

In a super tight labor market, the old ways of hiring no longer hack it. Danny Iny offers eight tips to improve your chances of finding a great employee—and some of them may surprise you. The U.S. Department of Labor has just released its latest numbers and unemployment rates are holding firm at 3.7 percent. This is a nearly 50-year low. If you're an employer you don't have to be told what this means: it's really tough to find great talent right now. Expand your pool of candidates by considering those who don't have a college degree...

Uncertainty Over Brexit Leaves Businesses and Banks in Suspense

When talk turns to Brexit, much of the discussion revolves around what will happen once the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. While the United Kingdom Parliament hashes out a withdrawal agreement, with Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm, the economy is already shifting in anticipation of… what? The trouble is, no one is quite sure. Even experts can only make educated guesses since their research hinges on the type of withdrawal the United Kingdom and European Union ultimately consent to...