Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    12-3-15 Collaboration is a great way for non-profits to help each other

    If you are a regular reader of this Blog, you know that one of my major themes is the power of collaboration.  I have never known a collaborative effort between businesses that didn’t benefit all of the businesses involved.

    The same is true for non-profits.  We know that Whidbey is overflowing with non-profits doing an array of great work for our community.

    Those of you who know me also know that one of the hats I wear that gives me great pleasure and satisfaction is serving on the Board of the Whidbey Children’s Theater (WCT). 

    When WCT moved their offices and performance facility to the Langley Middle School Auditorium, that was the beginning of a great collaboration between the South Whidbey School District and WCT. 

    With money for theater projects no longer available in our public school system, WCT is providing many classes that fill this void.

    Recently, two more additions have been added to collaborations between WCT and other organizations.  Beginning next summer, WCT will be working with Island Shakespeare Festival to bring the Classic Conservatory for Young Adults (CCYA) to WCT (check out the details on a Blog for the Whidbey Children’s Theater

    Also on the horizon, WCT is working closely with the South Whidbey High School Drama Club and the high school personnel to help produce a February play, the first show developed in the high school for the high school stage since 2009.

    Just as with businesses, I am confident these collaborations will benefit WCT and the organizations with whom they are partnering.



    11-19-15 In the aftermath of a devastating storm, the Whidbey community comes together

    Tuesday afternoon, we were all shocked by the torrential rains and potent winds that knocked down trees and took out power through most of the South end of Whidbey Island.  As of today, Thursday, my husband and I are still without power in our Freeland neighborhood.*

    In the midst of the disorientation and confusion that an event like this creates, I was, once again, reminded how special our Whidbey community is.  Neighbors and friends with generators invited their power-less friends to come over.  Our neighbors came together with chain saws and were able to clear enough space on our road that had a tree come down, so that we weren’t trapped until Puget Sound Energy could come to our neighborhood.

    In Freeland, my favorite small cafe, Timbuktu, behind the Texaco station, invited folks to come in and use his Wi-Fi and Whidbey Tel opened its conference room to folks who for people and their computers.  Other businesses with Wi-Fi were also friendly to all of us computer-dependent folks.

    I’ll be glad when our power is back on, but I’m sure glad I live where I live.''

    *Power came on at 4 p.m. today, about 48 hours after it went out.  Interestingly, the crew that did the work were from Canada, coming down to help us out.


    11-12-14 Langley Whale Center is helping to bring business to Langley

    There are many things that make the City of Langley unique and promote visitors and shoppers coming to the city.

    I visited the Langley Whale Center on Anthes Street last weekend to interview Manager Wendy Sines about the opening of the Center at its new location.  There will be a story appearing in the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local next week.

    The Whale Center is part of the Orca Network, a non-profit international organization based on Whidbey Island dedicated to educating the public about our whale population.  Orca Network has 155,000 members worldwide.

    What especially impressed me was learning that there are large numbers of people in love with our whales, and the The Langley Whale Center literally has thousands of visitors a year.  Many of these visitors come from off-island. 

    When they come to visit the Whale Center, they also visit the restaurants and retail stores in the city.  No one has calculated the economic benefit of this organization to the local business community, but it has to be significant.


    11-5-15 What you need to know about surveys

    Everybody is doing surveys.

    A while ago NPR did a feature on the popularity of surveys.  And, I recently did a blog about the abundance of surveys as we get into political season.

    Here’s a brief summary to help you understand what you can conclude from survey results you see.

    It seems more and more companies are doing surveys, generally on-line.  The companies believe this is a good way to let customers know they really care about their opinios; they feel they get good information about what people like, their concerns and ideas.

    They are able to keep track of the people who complete the on-line surveys so they can continue to send them more surveys.  And some companies keep track of those who delete the survey requests and remove the names from their lists.

    If you’ve read my blogs, you’ve learned the difference between a random sample survey process, where the data collected represents the views of the total population being sampled (within a certain error range) vs. a self-select survey, like the ones described above, where the people who respond make a choice to do so.

    Self-select surveys provide good information about peoples’ opinions regarding what’s important and what they appreciate about the product or service a business provides and they can also be a quick way of identifying negative concerns, because that’s often what motivates someone to respond to a survey.

    So both random sample and self-select surveys are valuable.  But, it’s a good idea to understand how a survey has been conducted when interpreting the data collected.

    If it’s a self-select survey, data is only accurate for the people who completed and returned a questionnaire.  A random sample survey must follow specific procedures, including sample selection and numbers sampled, in order to provide data that is relatively accurate for an entire population.



    10-29-015 Beware of “surveys” that purport to tell you what’s happening

    With the election season heating up (why are we the only civilized country that spends over a year promoting candidates???), you’ll be hearing more and more about what the surveys are showing.  As I mentioned previously, the news media is all about marketing drama, and surveys create some of that drama.

    You’ve heard plenty about how Bernie was streaking ahead of Hilary until she did well in the debates and the Bengazi hearing.   Then you heard that Hilary was surging back into the lead again.

    You’ve also heard how Ben Carson had moved ahead of Donald Trump despite the fact that only a third of the registered voters in the country are registered Republicans, and Ben has 24% and Donald has 22% in the latest polls.  Two points is not a statistically significant difference….and what about the other 54%?

    What you haven’t heard much about is how the polls are conducted or how the questions are framed.

    Depending on what the latest “news” item is, the way questions are worded, and whether a valid random sample process was used, it’s likely that much of what passes as a significant survey result is meaningless.

    To be a random sample survey with a measurable degree of accuracy, the sample must be pre-selected using a random number system.  If someone chooses to respond to an on-line survey (like Survey Monkey), by definition this is not a statistically valid process.

    So, be aware when you look at the results of any survey.  Especially at this point in the election process, survey results are likely to have little or no meaning.