Posts by Tom Johnson

Bloggers Last Request: Work the Room

If you look at the Small Business Shamen schedule, note the periods when the stage will be quiet. During these biologically necessary periods, most people will mill around looking for a familiar face to kill time with, check their email, … Continue Reading

Trust In the Basics

It’s a given in modern business that one of the ways a business builds trust is to tout one’s commitment  to high-profile “good” causes. Oil companies, for example, now run more commercials talking about their wetland restoration programs than they … Continue Reading

What We’re Shooting For

Consider the paradox of business conferences: they are sold as pivotal events that instantly educate and enlighten. You will leave here informed! Up-to-the-minute! Vastly improved for the experience! But, in fact, great conferences generate most of their value after they’ve … Continue Reading

How Not to Die in Meetings

Dave Barry puts it like this: The modern business meeting might better be compared with a funeral, in the sense that you have a gathering of people who are wearing uncomfortable clothing and would rather be somewhere else. The major … Continue Reading

How to Get Things Done

David Ogilvy, who wrote the manual on modern advertising, put it like this: In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected … Continue Reading

Do More

A non-profit board I sit on has a problem: the professional leader of the organization is retiring. In the next year, we say goodbye to him (there will be tears!) and find a replacement. This leader has been terrific. The … Continue Reading

What Good Management Does

A couple of weeks ago I was geeking out, digging through a 1906 copy of “System” magazine — yeah, I do stuff like that. Anyway, I came across the following, which starts with a metaphor from an obscure Kipling short … Continue Reading

Slacking is Hard Work

Certified smart person Anne Kreamer argues in favor of improving your management skills by reading fiction: Over the past decade, academic researchers such as (Keith) Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal … Continue Reading

About Tom

Tom Johnson is a creative business planner and manager who has worked in so many industries people wonder if he can't hold a job. He can, really, but he likes the energy and passion of launching things. He has worked in journalism, hospitality, entertainment, advertising, technical services, publishing and financial management. He is currently Director of Planning and Communications at PGXL Laboratories, an early stage company that is playing an exciting role in bringing genetic testing into mainstream medical practice. He writes his own rules at