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Merilee Kern

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Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all B2B and B2C categories. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is a Member of the esteemed Forbes Business Council; Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List”; and Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific business and consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme—also delving into the minds behind the brands. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications.
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ARTICLES BY merilee kern



It’s fairly indisputable that a prospering company or organization wouldn’tbe enjoying any notable measure of success without highly effective leadership. Potent leadership is, in fact, often a primary driver of business innovation, development and growth overall.


Commanding a team, department or company at-large isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about the prestige, accolades, lofty titles or that sweet corner suite. Rather, genuine leaders are able to esta...

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3 things powerful immigrant professionals have in common that can propel any aspiring workplace ‘outsider’.


Being an outsider in the workplace is tough. Doubly so if you’re both a woman and an immigrant, two characteristics that can make your professional life a great deal more difficult. And when you’re trying to lead a team on top of having any...

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Six ways to know if your business is disruption-ready

Disruption. This buzz-worthy notion must scratch well below the surface. It's a profound, visceral change to the very core and essence of a business, industry or marketplace at large. Many speak of it, but few “really” know how to disrupt in a way that forces rapid evolutionary change.

The era of disruption and digitization is not only upon us, it’s persistently driving deviations in...


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Given that a reported 9 out of 10 businesses fail, with “no market need,” “ran out of cash” and “got outcompeted” paramount among the reasons why, it begs the question: is there a better, more sure-fire way to realize entrepreneurial success?  Does any approach exist that can thwart the gut-wrenching 90% chance of failure?  One expert, Today’s Growth Consultant

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In business, it would be difficult if not impossible to achieve a notable measure of success without having inked a significant number of agreements with other parties—most appreciably with conflicts inherent in the process having been pleasingly overcome for all involved. Whether negotiating a sale with an existing customer or prospective new account, contracts with vendors, deals with company and industry stakeholders, a M&A situation, the salary of a new hire or any other, negotiati...

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Expert cites 9 negotiator archetypes and how each of can help and hinder a ‘win’


Becoming an effective negotiator takes skill, and lots of it. Whether for personal or professional matters, knowing how to present yourself during each individual negotiation is critical to a successful outcome. Indeed, veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of Think Like a Nego...


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A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report revealed nearly half of all small businesses fail within the first four years of their existence. While there are many proven causes, including owner incompetence, inexperience, fraud and neglect, one killer culprit often flies under the radar: stagnation. Indeed, losing momentum—with respect to revenues, market share and other mission critical indicators—is one sure fire sign that an entrepreneurial endeavor is in grave trouble.



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The promise of independent consulting is fast cars, big checks, and total flexibility to pick and choose clients, and it’s a promise hundreds of thousands of “ex” workers chase every year. Ex-executives, ex-employees, and ex-big-name-consultants are flooding the ranks of independent consultants thanks to the recession and “jobless recovery.” This gold rush mentality is understandable given that U.S. businesses spend an astounding $120+ billion on management co...

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Growth. All businesses and professionals should want it and need it. But, achieving and sustaining growth is today’s uber-complex environment—whether corporate, entrepreneurial or personal career growth—takes multifaceted vision, ingenuity and agility. Indeed, a lack of growth in business speaks volumes. It says a business or individual hasn’t fruitfully evolved in its own lifecycle (or career cycle), hasn’t kept pace with industry trends, that increased profi...

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It’s rather shocking to know that fully 96% of businesses fail within 10 years of existence, but what’s even more distressing is that many of these failures are entirely avoidable. Even once-mighty Corporate America behemoths are not immune to preventable peril, as exemplified by a glut of high-profile implosions with untold others currently struggling to adapt and stay agile within the digital age—an era where business dynamics on multiple fronts are a fluid, ever-elusive targ...

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SPOTLIGHT

Ascendant Group will take your brand to new heights.There is a new branding mantra for CEO's and executives: Leadership Branding. And we have the marketing and PR talent to take you there. We'll maximize your revenue-building potential as a thought leader, augment your corporate salary or the corporations bottom line with book royalties, speaking fees, and other multiple streams of revenue. At Ascendant, it's about getting the exposure you need in front of the people who count.