What We Like and Recommend

People/Stuff We Like

What follows are links to colleagues, people, companies, products, services, and organizations we like and recommend. We’re not paid for recommending. In a couple of instances we work for the organization on a paid basis. We disclose it.

Clients , Colleagues, Friends:

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AthenaOnline.com - If you are part of a large organization, the learning resource that is AthenaOnline should be on your radar. A unique approach to knowledge for you and your colleagues that is available in an as-needed, just-in-time format. Built on a strong foundation of business expertise with an option for extensive customization, AthenaOnline is the best model for e-learning I know of today. I am a contributor and compensated by the organization.

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Kevin Davis and Top Line Leadership - Approaches sales and sales management education from an angle that is the best for the future - the customer's perspective. Kevin wrote the best-selling Getting Into Your Customers Head: Eight Selling Strategies Your Competition Doesn't Know About. His company's work is the cutting edge of effectiveness when it comes to building long term relationships, fending off the competition's attempts to steal your customers, and managing salespeople most effectively. We offer an unhesitating recommendation.

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Dave Pell and NextDraft. As this article puts it, the managing editor of the Internet. A resource I consistently recommend to clients to keep advised and see things we would not normally. He’s a bit abnormal and the odd client who’s a straight-laced corporate exec or a Midwestern conservative doesn’t get him. But probably you will. His daily newsletter is free and available here.

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Jim Pelley - Laughter Works Seminars - He's much more than a humorist. Jim Pelley provides the perfect blend of "leave 'em laughing" entertainment and educational messages to let your people smarten up by lightening up. Jim was a contributing writer for the original Saturday Night Live and shows his clients how humor makes people more creative, more productive, and less stressed. Many of America's top corporations like Intel, Disney, IBM, AT&T, and Charles Schwab use this funny guy for laughs and enlightenment.

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Institute for Management Studies - If your large company is looking for the best possible education for your managers an affiliation with IMS is your best possible investment. The best expertise and thought available is wrapped up in a faculty hired with extreme selectivity. IMS Centers are in most major North American cities, the U.K., Amsterdam, and Brussels. I’ve been a paid member of their faculty for 25 years.

Jeff Rubin - In more than two decades as an entrepreneur, Jeff has discovered many secrets about running a successful business. They include the value of consistent and polished marketing, the importance of personal relationships, and that being an ethical person is...ironically...a great marketing tool. His programs teach people how to build and sustain their businesses by employing humanity, integrity and reliability. Jeff also owns The Newsletter Guy, a full-service newsletter writing and design firm that helps you communicate with your clients and employees. They’ll get your newsletter out on time, every time. Crisp writing, eye-catching design and graphics, and punctual delivery.


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Prairie Heritage Farm - O Pioneers! Willa wasn’t writing about this pair of intrepid venturers but the label applies. Here are a couple of the pluckiest people I’ve ever met who started a FARM. A sustainable farm. A tiny farm. On less than 40 acres. Doing it in a down economy. On the desolately beautiful high plains of Montana. I met Jacob and Courtney at a Young Ag Couples meeting, liked them instantly, and have visited their former world headquarters in Conrad, MT. I could rattle on but you’ll see my own blogposts on their travails. My words won’t be nearly as compelling as theirs. Read this! Look at Jacob’s pics. Marvel at their heart. Their firstborn arrived in 2010. Her name? Willa. A few months later they own their own farm, have a thriving set of CSA’s (community supported agriculture) in vegetables, produce, grain, and heritage turkeys.

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Huls Dairy - And while we’re on the subject of plucky Montanans, let me point you to Tim Huls and his family and brethren in the gorgeous Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula. A century-old dairy farm that is the last of a breed and on the cutting edge of a new model. I saw Tim make a presentation on urban encroachment on agriculture and marveled at his practical, even-handed approach. He wasn’t fighting. He was adapting. And something kept nagging in my memory. I’d read about this farm before. Where? In Pulitzer-winning author Jared Diamond’s work, Collapse. I love what this family is doing and I think you will too if you take some time to read about them and their dairy.


The Future:

At one time we recommended the World Future Society. We no longer can endorse the “society.” WFS has transitioned to a strange place, governed by an odd assortment of people who have inherited a former family-centric business that did not keep up with a rapidly changing world order. What we have seen from its publications, so-called resources, and conference organization does not make us confident of its survival. The head of the organization pushes the views of a controversial NGO, refuses to listen to opposing viewpoints from long-standing professional members like myself, and has stripped away ALL of the benefits that members formerly enjoyed. Don’t waste your money.

John Zogby - Many pollsters look at the political and social fabric of North America and Europe but John Zogby has one of the best track records of them all. We also like the way he adds analysis and opinion to the results of his poll. Zogby is the best at forecasting attitude, opinion, and election outcomes. You can see many of his poll results on the Zogby Analytics website but you may also want to subscribe to his coherent and provocative newsletter.


Presenting and Consulting:

PowerSpeaking - Hands down the very best skills training for businesspeople who make presentations. They offer open enrollment in their two-day program. You'll work with a small group of other people of similar ability and get a number of one-on-one video coaching sessions during your two days. Great instruction. Great people. Great results.

Melinda Henning - High Stakes Presenting Consulting - If you’re prepping for the big presentation, about to launch the great venture, looking for a miracle worker Melinda is your person. We worked together with clients in the past and she made me doubly effective just being in the same room. An exceptional talent with great passion and a gift for teaching.

SpeakerNetNews - My friends Ken Braly and Rebecca Morgan offer the best weekly newsletter for experts who present, train, and consult. Nothing like it anywhere else. The repository of more aggregated intelligence and advice on how to run a practice successfully than anywhere else. No professional association even comes close. Their weekly offerings and compilations are worth thousands and you get them for free. I constantly refer people who come to me asking for advice to their site and service. Buy their teleseminar recordings for even more value.


Travel, Tourism, and Adventure:

OK, you’re wondering why is something like this on a futurist’s site? Easy. I’m really a professional traveler and I get paid to endure the miserable system we call air transportation but I work as a futurist relatively inexpensively because I love the work. I’ve got about 35 years of hard wear from out on the road so I think I know what I’m talking about. Think George Clooney in “Up in the Air” but with perspective and wisdom. I actually turn in those miles to go to great places with my wife and I try to minimize road rash at other times. Here are some people and services I’ve picked up along the way that smooth the bumps and contribute priceless moments:

Joe Brancatelli - the patron saint of road warriors everywhere. Nobody will give you better advice on the travel system than St. Joe. Christopher ain’t got nothing on him. I’ve been a subscriber forever. He’ll keep you posted on developments, smiling as you read his weekly advice pieces, and firmly in the cognoscenti as you follow his guidance. Hands-down the best value for a frequent traveler. Every year he saves me 50 times my subscription in wear, tear, tears, frustration, and good deals.

OneBag - Another consultant who does travel advice as a sideline. Want to pack light and enjoy your travel more? Doug Dyment shows you how. This is the single best place to go for advice on the best packing resources, equipment, extras, methods, pain avoidance, toiletries, security advice, and subtle little tricks. He should receive a Nobel Prize for travel advice. Nobody’s better than Joe Brancatelli for system information but this guy’s got the goods on the packing and carrying nitty-gritty.

RedOxx - Yes, their copy is over the top on testosterone but I count my RedOxx luggage pieces among the items I’ll be passing along via my will. While I don’t always use it for my business trips, when I do lift my Sky Train to my shoulder I marvel at its sensibility, practicality, rugged, well-designed goodness. Stay mobile my friends.

FoodOnFootTours - Corey! Our guide to New York’s cheap, interesting, diverse and delicious eats. Plus a sage advisor on upscale eats and how to avoid anthing touristy. Great guy. Found him via TripAdvisor and he was a wealth of entertainment, advice, and great places to revisit on a Manhattan trip. Sign up for a tour in the early part of your visit. He’s not just knowledgeable about restaurants he’ll clue you in to the history and eccentric back of the house for your visit to the Big Apple and environs. Ask him anything and everything because that’s what’s available in the world’s most exciting city. I won’t do more than 24 hours in NY ever again without heading out with him. Every visit with him has keepers.

John Teng’s Custom Made Angkor Tours - A place you want to see before you die. Angkor is more than Angkor Wat, the largest spiritual structure in the world. It’s hundreds of ancient temples and infrastructure that sprawl across a huge swath of Cambodia. John (his Anglicized name) was our guide, advisor, driver, and confidant for four days of exploration. His thoughtful advice, cheerful smile, and willingness to take us out of the typical tourist flow to show us quiet corners, forgotten temples, and beautiful serenity made our visit unforgettable. Unhesitatingly recommended.

Tools:

The Mac - Why o why, I’ve asked myself, did I struggle for so long on the Dark Side when so many had told me of the Light? Why do I still see so many of the great unenlightened hunched over the fickle Dell boxes struggling with the mind numbing conventions and waiting for another Blue Screen of Death. “Luke! Luke! Use the Force Luke.” Keynote. Pages. iPhoto. Mail. SpamSieve. iOS. AirPort. iPhone 5S!!! And all the M-word apps that actually work so you can interface with the Others. Come into the Light. It’s been a great nine years for us at Treadway & Associates and you’ll have to pry our machines from our cold dead hands.

Garmin - I’m five miles from the city limits of Sioux Falls and the pavement has ended already. But my trusty friend Jill embedded in my nüvi 265 knows exactly where I am and she’ll get me there on time and with verbal directions, showing me which way I’ll turn next, warnings and timing of traffic delays, and all for less than $150 for a long, long time. What a great gadget. People swear by their smartphones and I love my iPhone 4 but this little thing stuck to my windshield guides me all over North America in rented cars safely, quickly, and with my full attention on the road.

Leuchtturm 1917 - While I still love the Moleskine City Books, (see below) this is my new favorite notebook choice. They go just a little farther and live up to their slogan, “Details make all the difference.” While they produce notebooks in all sizes, lined, grid, blank pages, or dot matrix I have two favorites. The Medium and Pocket Softcover Lined. What are the details that make the difference? They number all the pages. And they provide a fill-in table of contents as the first 3 pages of all notebooks. With bookmark, elastic closure holder, and big envelope in the back cover for holding cards, notes, etc. these are gems. See my favorite vendor below or follow the links above. I receive no return from referring business to them.

Writer’s Bloc - What a little gem of a website. Great products. Informative blog. Excellent prices. It’s where I buy the above and the below. Located up here in the Pacific Northwest where I make my home most of the year. I’ve had flawless service and the occasional nicely discounted surprise.

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Fountain Pens! - Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting nostalgic in these retirement-eligible years but I’ve returned to some of the comfortable things I remember from my boyhood. I was always fascinated with pen and ink. I sat at school-desks with inkwells in elementary school. I actually took lessons in penmanship. When I was an engineer I adapted readily to the discipline and even did some drafting with (gulp!) permanent ink where we dipped the nibs into wells and had little wheel calipers to set line width. I like computers more for that sort of thing but for the tactile, flexible function of expressing your thoughts in tangible form I like the fountain pen and a good notebook often better than my digital options. I transfer between the two. I’ve collected a lot of pens in recent years but I tend to be conservative on price and appreciative of function. My current favorites: LAMY’s Vista - a wonderful writer with a clear plastic body so you can see the working parts. I get a lot of comments on them. Pentel Tradio - for when I’m wearing a suit since it’s a little more formal. Platinum’s Preppy and Plaisir - for their ability to keep the nib isolated so you can pick them up after weeks and have the ink flow to the page.

Moleskine - I don’t care how you pronounce it. Excellent tools of note-taking and thought capture. Yes, I know. I’m supposed to be a futurist but when you’re packed into an airplane as often as I you don’t want to be recording on the iPhone, the laptop is in danger of crushing from the idiot seated ahead of me, and nothing beats the flexibility and portability of - gasp - PAPER. But this is elegant paper bound into beautiful little books in a myriad of sizes, configurations, and styles. I’m a huge fan of their City Books.

iPhone - Arguably the world’s dominant smartphone. My current machine is a 6S.