Michael Whalen

Marketplace

Are There Fax Machines in the Cloud?

My first job in the professional world began with a role that involved ordering parts from local suppliers. Armed with a telephone and phone directory, my task was to call companies to negotiate favorable terms. For more intricate and involved projects, vendors were directed to submit formal proposals, using the “high tech” fax machine. Those

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The Power of Everyday Choices

As the excitement of the New Year begins to fade, it can be challenging to remember why we dreamed up such lofty goals or even how we can remain committed to personal change. Statistically, one-third of Americans embark on resolutions, but only 8% successfully achieve them. If you find yourself within these statistics, the odds

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Sustainability

Where Does The Bag Money Go?

In July 2021, Governor Polis signed House Bill 21-1162 into law. The Plastics Pollution Reduction Act began phasing out single use plastics on Jan. 1, 2023 by requiring retailers to charge 10 cents per plastic bag, with the goal of reducing pollutants in Colorado.  While the law has certain exceptions for small and Colorado-based retailers

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Marketplace

The Changing Times Of Workplace Flexibility

When a loved one is looking for work, it’s all hands on deck! We support them by proof-reading their resumes and improvising mock interviews. I recently went through these motions with a family friend. Her requirements for employment were reasonable enough. A certain wage, medical insurance and the ability to work remotely — but only

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Marketplace

All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

Navigating isolation, workload and self-care during the holidays Many think Stephen King’s “The Shining” is about a possessed hotel with sinister intentions. But for me, the story serves as a metaphor for the perils of isolation and Jack Torrance’s descent into madness. The challenges faced by the characters in the Overlook Hotel eerily parallel the

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Marketplace

Digital Leadership

Digital Leadership Could Abraham Lincoln unite our divided country, much as he did the North and South all those years ago? I can imagine The Great Emancipator heralding “four score and seven years ago,” only to be interrupted… “Sorry Mr. President, you’re still on mute.” I like to think that people who are good leaders

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Marketplace

It’s Just Another Blasé Blursday

In the not-so-distant past, working-from-home was a dream that meant independence from our office jobs. The pandemic brought reprieve from our 9-to-5 grind, and it was fashionable to exchange rush-hour commutes and bad Styrofoam coffee for Zoomullets (business-casual on top and rocking pajamas below). As months turned into years, the novelty wore off. The new

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Marketplace

From Pixels To People

September is here! Which means college kids will not be returning to campus. Rather, they’ll be entering the business world for the first time. For some, they’ll be working remote, or some version of it. For others, their talents will be utilized in-person. If this is you, you’re not alone. Many companies are trying to

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Marketplace

Guilty by Association

My job requires me to attend countless meetings with various stakeholders. In the morning I’ll be chatting technical details with technologists. Next, I might be presenting to executive staff about vision/mission statements. Later that afternoon, I am scheduled with a cross functional team about facilities maintenance. So I can attest, different teams adopt different attitudes.

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Marketplace

Order And Chaos

At the beginning of the pandemic, I believed that chaos was good. Since it didn’t matter when I started work (as long as I clocked eight hours), I could start whenever the mood suited me! When I couldn’t sleep, I’d start working at 3 a.m. Other times, when the coffee didn’t start flowing until late

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Marketplace

A Single Moment

I recently traveled to speak at a conference. It was the first business-travel I’ve done since the pandemic, and I was excited to connect with three-dimensional people. I joined a keynote and listened as two titans of industry discussed the merits and defects of remote work. One stated that with the pandemic all but over,

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Opinion

Embracing Failure

The Cambridge dictionary defines “augmentation” as the process of increasing the size, value or quality of something by adding to it. Think about the ingredients in your Sunday morning pancakes: flour, milk, baking soda – boring, right? But, when you augment what’s there, substituting honey for sugar, adding fresh berries and drenching each bite in

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Marketplace

The Importance of Craftsmanship

I am a coffee snob. It started a few years ago at Starbucks. I watched as the barista pressed a few buttons on a machine, and the machine poured my caffeine juice into a white paper cup. But at a local artisanal coffee house down the road, masters of their craft had a different approach

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Opinion

Challenging The Status Quo

Why is a 40-hour work week standard? It’s most commonly accepted that Henry Ford implemented it in his factories in 1926. Ford saw the value in an eight-hour workday. This could be because he was an altruistic businessman who saw the value in a work/life balance. Or, he could have been a profiteering capitalist who

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Marketplace

Working At Home: Lessons Learned Since 2020

On March 15, 2020, I was a 36-year-old technology professional who worked for the State of Colorado. I was also a husband to my wife, Shanna; a father to our 4-month-old son, Jack; a parent to our two cats, Gidget and Herbie; and struggled with office life. I’m not a morning person, so I usually

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