Hi, I'm Don Neal and welcome to what I hope you'll find is a fresh approach to how you think about your business, your job and, occasionally, your life. I Iook forward to hearing your questions, ideas and feedback.

Thanks, and here's to the future.

It’s about time.

Time is everything, and it is nothing. The very definition is existential—the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future regarded as a whole. That’s heavy.

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Next Year Part 3: The Need for Belonging
Maslow tells us that belonging is a fundamental human need. Belonging is the gateway between our basic needs for food, oxygen, security and safety, and the higher order needs of fulfillment, accomplishment, self-esteem and actualization.

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I know, this headline is straight off of a motivational poster featuring an eagle soaring above the mountains. However, that doesn’t make this aphorism any less true.

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A new year will be upon us in five short weeks, and I wanted to offer a four-part series to help both of us think about 2018 in advance of any planning, goal setting or resolutions that may be taking shape as you get ready for next year.

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Don's blog: Gratitude
Every year at Thanksgiving, I take personal stock of what I have to be thankful for. Among many other things for which I am grateful, I am grateful for you, the reader of my weekly blog.

I chose to revisit my Thanksgiving blog from last year for a few reasons: I couldn’t improve upon it, the sentiment feels even more relevant this year and we all need a reminder of the basics now and then.

I wish you a peaceful and meaningful Thanksgiving this year.

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Are You Disney or the Movie Theater?
If you’ve ever wondered why Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube are producing their own original content and programming, the answer is clear. None of them want to be a “dumb pipe.” Being a utility that carries someone else’s original work, ideas, creativity and “content” is a recipe for low margins and commoditization.

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A New Lens for Conference Designers
It’s long been understood that most business or professional conferences and trade shows have been about the 3 C’s: content, commerce and community. These three legs of the stool for big, national events made sense. Aggregate an array of education and programming known as content. Host a football-field-size trade show with booths and let people wander, looking for the right company that had what the “shopper” was looking for. And bring a community of like-minded people together in the hope that the right people would find each other and build or renew a professional relationship.

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The 3 Screens
If you asked someone to follow you for a day and record the amount of time you interacted with a screen, would your screen time outweigh the amount of time you interact with people face-to-face?

You might think that live media (real human interaction) outweighs digital, but it would be good to know for sure. According to a recent CNN report, Americans spend 10 hours and 39 minutes a day on a screen, consuming media – gorging really. Maybe you’re the exception.

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And You Think Health Care Is Complicated
You may have never been to a medical conference or a scientific meeting, but I have, and I’ll tell you they are something to behold.

This past week I hosted a group of medical society executives to talk about the challenges and opportunities they are facing with the physicians, nurses, researchers, academics, medical students, residents and a myriad of other cohorts in the communities they serve.

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The only time any of us ever wanted to hear this question was when we were under the age of 10. Why?

A recent WSJ article titled “When Did You First Feel Old?” by Clare Ansberry, got me thinking: when did I first feel old? And the answer – not yet.

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