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

December 2013
As the year ends, you are probably taking your final steps to minimize your business and personal tax obligations for 2013. Consider Judge Learned Hand’s view of your “fair share” from the U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Gregory v. Helvering (1934): “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. READ MORE
November 2013
In the last two columns, you learned how to calculate the return on your investment in human capital and what factors contribute to a successful hiring process. This month, we explore the potential of your training and development program to maximize your return on investment in human capital. READ MORE
October 2013
Last month, I showed you how to calculate the return on your investment in human capital—the knowledge, skills and experience of your people. This month, we look beyond the numbers at the factors in your hiring process that either maximize or reduce your return on investment.
 Selecting the right people
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