Denise Norberg-Johnson

Financial Columnist

Denise Norberg-Johnson is a former subcontractor and past president of two national construction associations. She may be reached at

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

September 2013
Your financial statements only partially reflect your company’s overall performance. The return on investment (ROI) in “human capital”—the knowledge, skills and experience of the people who produce your results—is easy to calculate but difficult to maximize. There is no line item for “people” on your balance sheet, so managers tend to focus on reducing employee compensation and development costs. READ MORE
August 2013
Every time you purchase a fixed asset for your company, you attempt to evaluate which option provides the greatest return on your investment over its useful life. Forecasting “capital productivity” offers a variety of ways to evaluate these choices and make the best decision. Here are two relatively simple methods to help you.
 Cash payback
July 2013
In this three-column series on using rapport-building techniques to improve financial health, we discussed the principles of neurolinguistic programming, including the primary representational systems—visual, auditory and kinesthetic—we use to interpret our environment and to communicate with each other. READ MORE
June 2013
Last month, I introduced a technique called rapport conditioning, derived from the field of neurolinguistic programming, as a means to improve business relationships. READ MORE
May 2013
You can easily learn a simple system that will immediately accelerate your ability to build wealth, without investing in expensive customer relationship management software or overhauling your accounting system. READ MORE
April 2013
The past two columns have covered issues related to your most important asset (and the most difficult one to measure): your employees. The methods you choose to express appreciation, the compensation you offer and the value you place on their contributions to your business, and the risks you impose on them through your management choices are impossible to measure. READ MORE
March 2013
In last month’s column, we explored the benefits of allowing employees to contribute and using more of their experience, talents and creativity, even when it is painful to hear their opinions about how management runs the company. This month, we look at other “unmeasurable” factors that can affect the environment, reputation and performance of your electrical contracting business.
February 2013
Business managers are taught that goals and benchmarks must be measurable to be achievable, but not everything that affects the success of your company can be analyzed. There is a bias toward the quantifiable in scientific research, even though qualitative, or anecdotal, observations also are valid. READ MORE
January 2013
In his book, “The E-Myth,” Michael Gerber tells the story of a woman who bakes wonderful pies. As she prospers, she starts a company and takes on the accounting and selling functions to grow her customer base. Eventually, she becomes a manager and hires other people to bake the pies. She works longer hours and moves away from what she does best and enters a role she knows little about. READ MORE