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How a Magnified Consumer Voice


Will Change Quality Control PG.10

the
PG. 26
M I N N E SO TA BUSI N E SS

2010
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Rochester, MN
PG.
33

of 105 Fifth Avenue South Crown Roller Mill, Suite 512


Minneapolis, MN 55401
PG. 33

612.375.8900 • contact@keystonesearch.com
www.keystonesearch.com
PG. 40
PG. 32

Pollen
PG. 37
The most networked man in the Twin Cities, KeyStone Search’s Lars
Leafblad, brought his vast expanse of who’s-who-and-how-they-know-
PG. 37 142 of the most you together in 2010 to create this Twin Cities networking newsletter,
notable people,
places, companies,
topics & trends
turned monthly MinnPost.com contribution. If you want to know
affecting the what’s happening to who and how, subscribe to Pollen and you will.
PG. 35

Minnesota business
community this year
» PG. 24 PG. 25
If it’s six degrees to Kevin Bacon, for someone tied to the Twin Cities
DECEMBER 2010 minnesotabusiness.com
business scene, it’s surely only two degrees to Lars Leafblad.
1210MBS_COV 1_FINAL.indd 1 11/18/10 11:07:28 AM

editor’sNOTE
ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS instance, that I was innately interested in with Lars without at least one more meeting
ABOUT THIS JOB is the people I meet. advertising and marketing, so it wasn’t sur- on the books with someone whom he thinks
The same could probably be said about any prising that I enjoyed meeting people who I should connect with. That’s just the kind
job, really, but what’s particularly cool about worked in that realm. What was surpris- of guy he is. Aside from promoting a guy
this one is that one day I could be having ing was when I interviewed Bill Bojan, the who refuses to promote himself, I bring up
coffee with a laidback ad guy, the next day founder of Integrated Governance Solu- Lars because we talked about how content
I could be at a luncheon with a room full of tions, a corporate governance think tank, we Minnesotans, Twin Citians in particular,
patent attorneys, the next I could be talking and discovered that I was really intrigued by are with our standing in the world. When
politics (hopefully with a politician) and the the work he was doing. Had you asked me any sort of national ranking is released and
next I could be visiting a start-up getting the even two days before if I thought corporate we crack the top 20, we’re stoked. And, yeah,
low-down on why their new widget is the governance was even a tad interesting, I likely that recognition is great, but the problem is,
best new widget (the answer, btw, usually has would have rolled my eyes. Seriously. That’s we’re perpetually content with being just
more to do with the people than the widget). the greatest thing about each meeting I take: good enough. We’re No. 10 on the list of
The sheer variety is enough to make my I never know which one is going to be the the nation’s best coffee cities? YES! We’ve
days, weeks and months dynamic, but the one that sparks my imagination and pulls me cracked the top 20 coolest cities in the na-
reason I love it owes to more than simply down its rabbit hole into a brand-new area of tion? GREAT! (So did Fargo, fyi.) What
variety adding spice to my working life. total fascination. It could be a lawyer, it could Lars and I were saying is, yeah, that’s nice,
The other day I had lunch with an entire be a banker, heck, it could be a priest … and but why the heck aren’t we trying to be No. 1
PR agency (five people total, to be honest), it’s not even the beginning of a joke. on these lists? We’re like a perpetual 5 to 10
and they were asking great questions. They I guess I bring it up because this month I and, honestly, if we’re as splendid as we think
were genuinely curious, not just about how had the privilege of sitting down with one of we are, that’s not good enough.
the magazine picks stories, but about what the more genuine and thoughtful people in Maybe Lars put it best in a recent install-
sorts of things, as the editor, I’m surprised to the Twin Cities, Lars Leafblad. We’ve talked ment of Pollen: “0 MN companies make @
learn on a daily basis. Their questions got me about Lars often of late, and rightfully so. In fastcompany World’s 50 Most Innovative
thinking outside of my usual PR spiel, and case you’re one of the 10 people in town who Companies.” That, by the way, was filed un-
one truth it led me to is that I don’t, as of right doesn’t know Lars, he’s a principal at ex- der “Ideas/Inspiration.”
now, know everything that I’m interested in. ecutive search firm Keystone Search and the
There are plenty of things I am interested in, founder of the monthly networking newslet-
but that list is evolving daily. Which is where ter Pollen (which you can read at minnpost.
the variety of people I’m fortunate to meet com). More than that, though, he’s one of the
comes into play. area’s most tireless and selfless connectors.
Drew wood
EDITOR in Chief,
When I first started here I knew, for I’ve never once come away from a meeting Minnesota Business Magazine

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