We’re working on getting our July issue to the press this week, and the whole thing focuses on water. We’ve got features on the best plants to use in drought-stricken climates, how to position your company as a water management adviser and a big set of data from homeowners on their perceptions of water in the landscape.
It’s going to be great, but in the meantime, here’s two guys filming water droplets at high speed.
“No one was injured, at least physically.”
Brian has a great round-up of his recent sojourn to Amish Country to visit with the newly energized New Holland team.
Read the full report here.
After a brief hiatus, the Monday morning is back to celebrate summer … at least we hope it’s like summer in your neck of the woods. We were still wearing jackets in Cleveland last week.
Lots of cool turf news this week, some more brain-twisting than others. Also: Why you should keep your tailgate up. Have a good week.
- Home sales are at their highest level in three years.
- 400-year-old frozen plant brought back to life. Thanks, science! (via NYBG)
- Go deeper: Your cousin, the blade of grass.
- Positive turfgass news from EPA.
- Truck aerodynamics info from GM.
- Related: Mythbusters on the enternal tailgate up-or-down debate.
- Above: The Detroit Mower Gang. Another reason the Motor City is full of badasses.
Turns out if you give away five large, you get a lot of asks.
These are just some of the envelopes for our annual scholarship awards.
Judging is underway and we’ll be announcing the winners soon. Stay tuned!
A great story today in the NYT earlier this month about Brooke Denihan Barrett, co-CEO of Denihan Hospitality Group, and the culture at her business as it relates to employing family members.
The interviewer asked her about the culture at her company, and she described it as a big family, then sort of corrected herself. Here’s the money quote:
But I always have to be careful when I use that word “family,” because a lot of times it can be misinterpreted as taking care of people to the point of not holding them accountable. You have to set certain standards that you want people to live up to. And if people need help, then we want to help them along the way.
I think people naturally want to do the right thing, and do their jobs well. Sometimes organizations can fall down if they don’t also ask: How do you give people the tools they need to be successful? How do you get that person to understand what change needs to happen, and how do you help them along the way? Because people can’t always figure it out on their own, and nor should you expect them to.
I love her focus on having standards to hold everyone accountable. And it’s the owners job to ask the questions – regardless of the employee’s last name – like “What else do you need from me or this company to be successful?” or “Do you know what’s expected of you?”
We cover family businesses almost every issue, but we gave three of them the cover a couple of years ago to find out in detail how they make it work.
Thanks to Marty for the link.
Here’s your round-up for the week. Have a good weekend, and remember why we’ve got Monday off.
- Thoughts from Square on why small businesses need to think like big ones. (via Roger Phelps)
- Next week is Hurricane Awareness Week. Get ready.
- Related: How to get federal disaster relief funds for your business.
- IPM water quality protection guide.
- Aging in place: How to target the growing senior citizen market.
- Cool sustainabile landscape program from ISC-Audubon.
- Above: A mower at Stonehenge.
From our intrepid Atlanta correspondent Phil Sarros comes this cool stop-action video he put together of a recent installation.
I love the idea of highlighting a project from beginning to end, and this turns a bland before-and-after photo set into a much more engaging marketing tactic.
I just talked with Steve Wilhelmi, product sales manager at John Deere, about the company’s latest rebate program, GreenFleet.
Unveiled this season, the program offers a rolling 24-month window for purchasing discounts, special financing offers and other benefits if you buy enough green (or gold) equipment.
The biggest change, he told me, was that GreenFleet is open – meaning contractors and dealers both know what the discounts for purchases are ahead of time.
“Our program in the past was not as customer-facing as it is today,” Wilhelmi said. “(With) this program, we’re much more up front with customers on what they’re discount can be. They know what they’re getting … that wasn’t always the case in the past.”
The green glasnost has been a hit with customers (commercial mowers, landscape contractors and the homeowners-with-acreage) as well as dealers, he said. It’s no longer a mystery what the benefits of a purchase will be, which allows better cash management and budget planning.
I’ll have more on this story in an upcoming issue, but in the meantime, check out the program details here.