Showing posts from July, 2019


“When Haywood Earl Whichard showed up at a mall, you knew it was about to fail” – Dan Bell It seems malls fall into three categories these days, Wealthy Malls, Failing Malls and Failed Malls. 25% of existing malls are projected to fail by 2024.  I’ve always been interested in failed malls. Maybe it is the ghosts of the life and promise once there. Maybe it is they are often apart from the city. Their empty lots a buffer, giving you time to reflect and wander with a camera. Maybe it’s the challenge of finding beauty and interest among the rubble. Whatever it is, I enjoy the adventure of finding and exploring these places. Some are dangerous and some seem cared for by unseen hands. Failed malls have attracted an almost cult like host of characters. Porter Blackbird, Brian Florence and Jack Thomas created It lists all the failed malls by state together with their history. ABC News in 2018 did an article on another follower, Dan Bell. He created a series o


It was late afternoon aboard the AMTRAK Carolinian hurtling back from Washington DC to Charlotte. Sitting across from me two financial types, with white shirts and ties.  Their laptops humming away. You could almost imagine the figures being moved back and forth in budgets. The usual corporate business chat abounding. About halfway through the trip, their business efforts and ties gave way with a couple of beers. Talk now centered around the company, rumors and their positions. Each kidded the other about their roles in the company. The guy next to the window said to the other, “Show me your business card, I want to look at your titles.” Both of them pulled out their cards and exchanged them. The window guy turned to the other and said, “CPA, Vice President. Very impressive.” The other guy said, “I see you’re an MBA, Vice President, what do all these other designations mean?” ”I can’t remember.” Both laughed.  Then the aisle guy looked at the other’s business card again an


Joe didn’t like cross country flights. Too much time to think, too much time to remember. The promises he once believed in. The long years in the trenches of business. His star rising in the early years with sales success and management positions. Only to fall back again with business downturns, changed ownership and the myriad of other things that happen in the life of a company man.  It seemed like age happened overnight, the gains and unfolding of problems. You kept putting all the pieces back in order. Now there were just the large accounts he managed to keep through the years. Holding on to them kept you from the door out. He could go on for ever. It was simpler to rub his face with his hand in acceptance of it all. Besides he needed to rescue a client. One with business problems who owed money.  He remembered many trips back East to NYC, Boston and DC adding major business for the firm. Now he headed for dirty Newark and the remains of this client. The ai

CREATIVITY (from the art of Business Series)

How often have you wanted to do some art, only to get frustrated by the effort? Don’t give up. There are solid business benefits to practicing art. In business, we are constantly trying to put things in an analytical, logical and well-defined boxes. Ones we can understand, monitor and control. The world though is much different place. One that is dynamic and ever changing. Everything is happening at once challenging all of our mental and physical resources. As Albert Camus (Nobel Laureate) once said, “We may live to reason, but we do so in an unreasonable world.” In the real world, our ability to be creative is often more needed than our analytical ability. Driving a car is a good example. You can’t drive just using analysis, things are moving too quickly. Analysis takes too long. It’s impossible to calculate the exact distance between us and cars moving in all directions. We have to make use of our intuition, conceptualization, spacial, perceptual and global skills to mak

THE FILE (from the art of business series)

The great digital age we live in affords wondrous opportunities and efficiencies. My doctor can pull up all my medical history, tests, treatments and RX’s on his laptop. Providing the foundation, he needs to prescribe a path for healing. He can do this from any place in the world with the flick of a few keys.  It’s nothing short of art the way my doctor uses digital records. Applying his reason, judgement and ownership to the process. His experience, talent and time the additional ingredients.  Unfortunately, these key elements are often missing in the mainstream of business today. This same digital age can produce information to push us through the system, to categorize us, to control us with only the thought of process in mind.  It has birthed the faceless,  stage named, customer service representative who only does the pushing and owns no part of the process, let alone the client base. It has spawned the ditto world we live in. Often the jobs are uninspiring e