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Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

Skillsets are on hand for the next generation – HeraldScotland

Posted: October 8, 2020 at 2:56 am

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MORE young people across Scotland will get the opportunity to gain work-based learning qualifications at school through the expansion of a pilot programme of Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 4 and 5.

Skills Development Scotland and the SQA are working with selected learning providers across the country who will be offering S3 to S6 pupils in partner schools the chance to gain both personal development and accredited skills in a work-based context.

Skills Development Scotland currently delivers Foundation Apprenticeships in schools across all 32 local authorities at SCQF Level 6.

One of the ways identified by the Scottish Government to improve Scotlands productivity and meet future skills challenges is by extending work-based learning to all levels (SCQF levels 4-11) through apprenticeships.

In its work to address this, SDS looked at a vocational offer in schools that created closer links with employers.

The pilot programme of SCQF Level 4 and 5 Foundation Apprenticeships enables young people to achieve a work-based learning qualification at an earlier stage in their learning.

The pilot is part of the development to extend the reach of the Foundation Apprenticeship offer of the future.

Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 4 and 5 aim to enable individuals to identify and develop meta-skills such as communication, creativity and self-management that can contribute to work readiness and create high performing employees.

The programme is also enabling employers to make a structured contribution to school learning by providing real life work-based situations that add value to learning and provides a pathway that articulates to other work-based qualifications available in the Senior Phase and beyond, such as Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.

A pilot model, which commenced from this academic year, will be resourced in partnership with schools, employers and learning providers to provide expertise, knowledge and work-based learning.

Learning providers will deliver opportunities across Automotive Skills, Hospitality and Construction in either an existing Skills for Work or a National Progression Award.

An innovative aspect of this pilot model is the inclusion of a Work-based Challenge Unit, with pupils working in teams with a local employer to design, develop and deliver a project whereby learners identify and deploy their meta-skills alongside the technical skills required by the project.

Fife College is one of the sixteen learning providers that has begun the delivery of the SCQF Level 4 and 5 Foundation Apprenticeships pilot to S3 to S6 school pupils across the Fife region.

With over 60 places being offered across construction, hospitality and automotive, pupils will be working in teams with a local employer to design, develop and deliver a project.

The hope is that these new qualifications can help extend the work-readiness of those taking part and help meet the future skills challenges facing Scotland.

Iain Hawker, Assistant Principal: Quality and Academic Partnerships at Fife College, said: Were really pleased to be working with Skills Development Scotland and Fife Council to deliver these two new levels of Foundation Apprenticeships.

Weve already helped hundreds of school pupils through our existing Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Fife Council, and these new qualifications will enable us to offer a similar opportunity at an earlier level of learning to those interested.

As part of a DYW Fife portfolio of qualifications, schools pupils throughout Fife now have more brilliant opportunities available to them to gain real work-based learning experience and help them develop skills that will lead to a future career in these areas.

According to the college, demand from Fife pupils to participate in the pilot has been high. Iain Hawker said: What these allow young people to do, particularly in S3 and S4, is enable them to engage with employers at an early stage so they can build these meta skills and wider skills as part of their school studies timetable.

By the time they go on to study in S4, S5 and S6 and potentially go on to their Level 6 apprenticeships, the number of work opportunities will hopefully have increased by that time.

As pupils move into the workforce to look for a job, what the qualifications do is add experience and engagement with employers.

Its testing the water for them working with those employers and making that transition from education, whether its on to further study at college or university or directly into the workplace.

It makes that transition easier for them and theyve had all that involvement with employers while they are still at school.

Given the current economic climate its important we do all we can to meet the future skill needs of Scotland, and these qualifications are an important step in helping us to achieve this.

SDS Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, Diane Greenlees said: Foundation Apprenticeships are creating more confident young people with the critical skills and relevant qualifications for the workplace.

SDS is committed to working with SQA and partners to widen opportunities for more young people to benefit from Work-based Learning and bring education and employers closer together.

The pilot programme offering Work-based Learning in schools at SCQF Levels 4 and 5 focuses on developing meta-skills that are both personal and practical and contribute to work readiness and our ambition is to create a final model that will be embedded into the Scottish school curriculum.

SQA Director of Qualifications Development, Dr Gill Stewart said SQA welcomes the opportunity to undertake this partnership work with SDS to pilot meta-skills in Foundation Apprenticeships.

This type of collaboration is at the core of our future qualifications development which will involve a greater emphasis on meta-skills and opportunities for work-based learning.

This will enable us to support young people prepare for their career and provide career development opportunities for those already in employment.


Apprenticeships shore up skills across Scotland

MORE people than ever before are choosing work-based learning to get a job and get qualified up to degree level with Graduate Apprenticeships.

Latest figures show the number of businesses employing Graduate Apprentices has more than trebled in the past three years, while four times as many individuals have started a Graduate Apprenticeship.

Scotlands 2019 Apprentice of the Year, Jordan Fairlamb is a Graduate Apprentice withDawnfresh Seafoods

The last financial year saw 1,160 apprentices working with 506 employers and 15 higher education institutions across 13 Graduate Apprenticeship frameworks.

Developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sectors, Graduate Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities up to Masters degree level.

They provide businesses with access to high-level skills and offer a new route for people to gain degree-level, industry recognised qualifications backed by leading universities across Scotland.

Graduate Apprentices typically spend the majority of their time with their employer and the rest learning via their university. Subject areas range from accountancy to cyber-security and from civil engineering to data science.

Graduate Apprenticeships are also making higher education more accessible for individuals, with an increased number of BAME participants and people who have a disability.

The figures are part of the latest progress report on Graduate Apprenticeships published by Skills Development Scotland. Responding to the report, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said: Graduate Apprenticeships offer a unique learning opportunity, providing a blend of academic and work-based learning for employees, enabling them to up-skill or re-skill while in paid employment.

Apprenticeships are training and up-skilling workers in key occupational growth areas. They are providing a critical pipeline of talent that will support our recovery and growth of Scotlands economy as we work to rebuild from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chair of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Frank Mitchell, said: Scottish Apprenticeships and work-based learning have never been more vital than during this period of recovery and renewal.

More than 2,000 people have now accessed industry-relevant degrees through Graduate Apprenticeships, bringing fresh talent and critical skills to hundreds of employers across every local authority area in Scotland. SDS will continue to work with the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and our industry partners to drive the development of Graduate Apprenticeships and ensure they remain available in the critical occupational growth areas of the Scottish economy.

More employers than ever are now using Graduate Apprenticeships to realise business benefits such as addressing critical skills gaps, driving innovation and increasing productivity and retention.

HR Director at Dawnfresh Seafoods and member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, Helen Muir, said: Graduate Apprenticeships are a strategic way to develop our future leaders and gain skills that are vital to the success of our business.

By gaining commercial awareness alongside academic qualifications, our Graduate Apprentices have made a valuable, quantifiable difference to the organisation.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the food and drink industry has proven that its people are resilient, innovative and committed to delivering great products. We in turn are committed to providing sustainable development opportunities for our employees including through continued support for Graduate Apprenticeships and the tremendous value they bring.

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Skillsets are on hand for the next generation - HeraldScotland

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Rhode Island firm helps corporations and youths achieve their goals – The Boston Globe

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half full was founded in 2005, and our current office is in a former elementary school at 400 Smith St. in Providence. Three of us started the business, and I acquired it after five years. We help teams and individuals overcome obstacles what they perceive to be impossible. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we did in-person events workshops, retreats, and team-building sessions. But its not a cookie-cutter ropes-course approach. We are very customized and design our programs around the vision, mission, and values of the organization we are working with.

Q: How does your personal story shape the companys work?

The backbone behind our work is my story of overcoming the adversity of living with Symbrachydactyly Syndrome having only two fingers on my left hand and the stories of others on the team. That started me off with a lot of insecurity not feeling like I fit in and not feeling confident when I was growing up. But I started understanding that, as part of the healing process, I needed to embrace what made me unique and turn that into a strength.

Sharing my story sets a tone of trust with the groups we work with. It gets you out of the usual expectations and demands of retreats and opens up communication so that people can have an open mind and overcome obstacles as a team. To be a good leader, we have to embrace what makes us unique and come to grips with insecurities.

Q: What does half full do in addition to working with corporate clients?

The half portion of half full is about being a for-profit business, and the full part is about giving back. That is our values-driven model of corporate social responsibility. Pre-COVID, we offered our retreats at no cost to teenagers. We called them Forwards rather than retreats. We would offer as many as we could in the summertime.

Adewole Wole Akinbi is a facilitator at half full who oversees the youth development side of the business planning and recruiting teenagers for the Forwards. He helps to ensure that we listen to community residents and that they have the resources they need. Right now, because of COVID, we cant facilitate our retreats in person, but we are hosting virtual sessions on Wednesdays, with many kids who are Zooming in. Its called Wednesdays with Wo.

We facilitate our sessions with youth the same way we would with adults the same type of workshops where you take a deeper dive personally. With companies, we take a deeper dive into what the company wants to be and where it wants to go. With teenagers, we focus on what is going on in high school, their goals, and their opportunities after high school. We focus on the challenges they are facing. We help them build their confidence and embrace their own uniqueness.

Q: What contributed to half full receiving the 2020 Microenterprise of the Year Award for Rhode Island and New England from the U.S. Small Business Administration?

I graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and we are so grateful that they nominated us. The award recognizes our revenue and employment growth. Five years ago, it was just me. But I decided Wole would be my first hire, and every year since then weve been hiring one employee per year.

We now have five full-time employees and five interns. We are very much a teaching business and love working with interns to help with their own personal and professional development. Our most recent addition to the team is a phenomenal woman who had lost her job because her previous employer went out of business due to COVID.

Q: How have you carried out this kind of work during the coronavirus pandemic? What changes have been necessary?

We pivoted right away and started working remotely and set up systems to bring all of our in-person systems online. Now we are helping companies pivot and adapt to the pandemic. We are all going through it together. There is so much going on. A lot of clients are using us from a consulting standpoint to develop strategies, and we work with leaders who could use guidance and someone who will just listen. It can be a very lonely position.

Q: What are some examples of the advice you give to organizations facing obstacles created by the pandemic?

One thing Ive been encouraging folks to think about is this: Control what you can control. The pandemics impact is so vast, and we just cant control all of it. We can do what we can do. Look to the future and have an open mind. Be creative. And if you are not creative, surround yourself with people who are. Also, its important to develop partnerships and collaborate. People can work together to strengthen their current brand and get through it together. Expand your network.

Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.

Rhode Island firm helps corporations and youths achieve their goals - The Boston Globe

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Jaguar Jonze at Indie-Con: What kind of culture are you facilitating in your company? – The Industry Observer

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CONTENT WARNING: This article contains contains references to sexual assault and/or abuse which may be distressing to readers. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Id ask the question: what kind of a business are you running from an organisational perspective?

If youre running a festival, do you have security guards that have a process? And are they briefed on that process? So if a patron comes to the security guard they know exactly what to do to protect the patrons at your event.

Jaguar Jonze was speaking at AIRs annual Indie-Con conference last week on a panel called Code of Conduct For The Music Industry.

She was joined by fellow musician Kira Puru, Chapter Music founder Guy Blackman, Eleven: A Music Companys John Watson and Bonnie Dalton, the General Manager of the Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO).

Gathered together virtually last Friday (October 2nd) the panel was moderated by this journalist and was a conversation about our future, about how we can make the music industry a better and safer place.

Jaguar Jonze, AKA Deena Lynch, was largely the impetus for the panel being included at Indie-Con. The work shes done alongside photographer Michelle Pitirishas been integral to progressing the Me Too movement in Australia.

She noted that organisations and events should ask themselves what kinds of safety processes they have in place. She listed safety text lines, mediation spaces and policies, safety officers, a feedback system, a reporting system using open communication channels, staff training, culture management, and much more.

What kind of culture are you facilitating in your company? she questioned, before speaking on personal accountability. [] How are you contributing to the culture around you?

Bonnie Dalton, who currently works with the Victorian Govt at VMDO to help grow the prosperity of Victorian music businesses, has previously worked in artist management, tour management, events (like Laneway and Falls Festival), production and programming.

Dalton brought to attention the fact that there are laws against many of the things that make this industry unsafe. She said the Australian Human Rights Commission is a great place to start to either find out more or report behaviour.

Theres a campaign [from the AHRC] called Know The Line that really deals with a lot of what were talking about, said Dalton. I think the point is that its not just a music industry thing and its certainly something that is societal.

To give it the weight that its in the Human Rights Commission and its also in all the state police department websites This isnt just for the music industry to come up with a line that we feel comfortable with.

Later in the panel discussion, Kira Puru detailed her experience with call out culture upon the release of her single Idiot. She (and this writer also) was not aware aware that the word Idiot is offensive ableist language. Puru said shes always open to conversations that lead to personal development.

Its just the way that I am naturally, to welcome those conversations. Im not particularly interested in living in an echo chamber where Im surrounded by people that have the same beliefs as me, said Puru. Whenever Im challenged by something Ive done or said, I like to at least create a platform for them to bring that conversation to the table.

Meanwhile, Guy Blackman had an illuminating anecdote of his own. The co-head of the label Tone Deaf once called almost unequivocally the most treasured record label in Australia previously had an issue where an artist on the roster was accused of abuse.

Blackman and Ben OConnor, his partner in life and business at Chapter Music, run a queer, female and people of colour-friendly label and management firm, and his handling of the situation stood out as a golden standard.

We tried to instigate an accountability process, and it came to a situation where the artist wasnt willing to engage with this process, Blackman said.

[] I think its very important to be guided by the victim, he added. [] when we met a point where it looked like accountability wasnt going to be a possibility, we stopped working with the artist straight away. And we stated that we would donate any proceeds from recordings they were involved with to charity.

John Watson is renowned for the sage advice and intel he offers on panels thanks to his experience developing and exporting acts like Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Gotye, and Missy Higgins and his contribution at Indie-Con was no different.

When speaking of how artists as individuals can shift this music industrys power balance he said:

A&R people are looking for reactivity, theyre looking for audience. So instead of the artist thinking, oh my god I really need to impress the A&R guy Screw the A&R guy or girl.

All theyre really looking for is audience, he added. Put your energies on your audience, make good authentic music and other forms of communication, and grow your audience so that the A&R person has to come to you. And when they do, youve got hand. In a power sense, youve removed that power imbalance.

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Jaguar Jonze at Indie-Con: What kind of culture are you facilitating in your company? - The Industry Observer

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

A day in the life of @MrsDowJones, an Instagram finfluencer with 162000 followers who calls herself a ‘financial pop star’ and wants to make managing…

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Haley Sacks has a simple message: Being green when it comes to money management shouldn't prevent you from seeing green and achieving your financial goals, too.

The 29-year-old New Yorker runs the @MrsDowJones account on Instagram (162,000 followers and counting), a platform on which she has carved out a unique place for herself among the so-called "finfluencer" community.

And while many of her finmeme colleagues on Instagram take a more cloak-and-dagger approach to poking fun at Wall Street maintaining anonymity to protect their jobs within the finance industry Sacks is out and proud about her quirky image as a self-proclaimed "financial pop star."

"I want to be the go-to source for financial education," Sacks told Business Insider in a recent telephone interview.

As a result, Sacks has developed a day job filming whimsical videos on serious financial topics.

Subjects she has covered have ranged from how to negotiate your monthly rent with your landlord to why you need to stockpile 20% to 30% of your income into savings every year (using lessons drawn from the Canadian sitcom "Schitt's Creek" to underscore the point).

Clad in paraphernalia like her silver dollar-sign earrings, and with a neon sign radiating pink and green that reads "Mrs. Dow Jones" on the wall of her Lower East Side apartment, Sacks is something of a cross between Suze Orman and Tina Fey. And she's developed an identity, and brand of money-related advice, that are all her own.

If all of this seems like unconventional wisdom, Sacks actually has the money management gene in her blood her father is a managing director in personal wealth management at Goldman Sachs, the elite investment firm where he has spent more than 30 years of his career.

After she graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut with a degree in film in 2013, Sacks returned to New York where she worked a series of random gigs, from corralling tourists to sit in the audience at CBS' "The Late Show," to babysitting on the Upper East Side, to dabbling in comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, a group that was co-founded by "SNL" icon Amy Poehler.

In 2017, she debuted Mrs. Dow Jones, a platform to share the money-management know-how she was developing for herself. "I thought I was going to be Mindy Kaling when I graduated," she said. Instead, she became the finance fairy godmother for a generation of young people starving for knowledge about how to make their cash work for them.

She beefed up her command of personal finance by reading tomes on business and money management like Warren Buffett's "Ground Rules" and the famed 1937 book "Think and Grow Rich." The rest she learned through experience.

While it took some time for Mrs. Dow Jones to become a fully sustainable gig Sacks said she turned a corner and it became her sole moneymaker last year she made income through digital consulting work while building up her platform, and has since inked brand deals with the likes of dating app Bumble, cosmetics line Clarins, and the professional organization website

For context, the audience whom she's targeting could certainly use the financial guidance.

Gen Z'ers and millennials are the two groups that had the least financial experience in key categories like writing a check, applying for a credit card, or contributing to a retirement savings account, according a survey released earlier this year by NerdWallet.

Forty-one percent of Gen Z'ers (ages 18-23) reported feeling "anxious" about the current state of their finances, and 40% said that they were "nervous/confused" about it, the survey also found.

Sacks plans to change that. One way is by pursuing her certified financial planner designation she's currently enrolled in online classes at Northwestern University for her CFP certification.

Another is by aiming "to have the no. 1 financial talk show on TV," she said. "I really want to have a talk show where we talk about everything, the tea and everything, but we also talk about money."

Sacks invited us along for a day in her life and, between creating videos for her Instagram account, working on her forthcoming digital finance education platform, and acing her schoolwork at Northwestern, one thing's for sure: Mrs. Dow Jones is about to give you a run for your money.

Are you a young person working on Wall Street? Contact this reporter via email, encrypted messaging app Signal (561-247-5758), or direct message on Twitter@reedalexander.

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A day in the life of @MrsDowJones, an Instagram finfluencer with 162000 followers who calls herself a 'financial pop star' and wants to make managing...

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Xerox COO: The office will endure when the pandemic ends – CNN

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But that doesn't mean office life as we knew it is gone forever. While technology enabled businesses to swiftly shift tens of millions of employees to remote work, our shared experience this year has revealed that there are still drawbacks to relying entirely on a remote workforce.

As this global remote work experiment heads into its eighth month, it's becoming increasingly clear the office will endure. But it must also continue to evolve as a hybrid work model that provides more flexibility to work, both in the office and elsewhere.

Companies will only survive and thrive if they keep up with the speed of change, and in-person connection matters here, too. Over my 30-year career, I have always begun initiatives involving significant change by getting all project leaders in one place. In-person communication, vision and buy-in to change are critical to business success.

If the pandemic has had any positive role, it revealed areas where businesses need to invest to increase collaboration, automate workflows and free up humans to work on higher-quality challenges.

I've been back in the office several days a week since July, as have many of our senior leaders at Xerox. Overall, around 80% of our facilities are open and about 50% of our employees are back in the office. Many of our employees are taking a hybrid approach that has them splitting their time between home and the office. This too, has created some challenges to ensure people can fluidly move from work office to home office without technology hiccups.

We know a hybrid professional environment can run smoothly, especially when the right technology is in place -- chiefly cloud-based solutions for communication, collaboration and remote IT. Cloud is the logical choice for enabling 'work from anywhere' fluidity -- connecting teams and improving speed and ability to work together. When we couple cloud with digitization and process automation, employees will be freer to focus on more strategic, creative and ultimately high-impact work, no matter where they happen to be.

After the past few months, there is a more balanced viewpoint about the hybrid workplace across the C-suite. Executive leaders who hadn't previously worked from home have now personally lived it for months. They know it's possible to be productive when working remotely -- but they've seen the downsides, especially for teams that are in growth or transformation mode. We've learned a lot this year about how to flex and thrive in uncertain times. The new work environment will blend the best of both worlds.

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

‘Ability to harness data without negating human intelligence to provide winning edge in use of AI’ –

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The ability and efficacy to harness vast amounts of data and drawing descriptive and predictive analysis, without negating the power of human intelligence, would provide the winning edge in the use of artificial intelligence (AI), a senior IBM executive said on Wednesday. Speaking at a RAISE 2020 event, IBM India and South Asia Managing Director Sandip Patel said the world is at a critical inflection point and there will be use of AI at scale, given the extreme digital acceleration seen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that several sectors across retail, finance, healthcare and e-commerce are already deploying AI to increase efficiency and productivity, enhance customer service, and build a stronger security cover.

"These digital transformation journeys have further accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the pace of digital acceleration compressed over a span of 8-10 months is something that would have actually taken years to happen," he said.

"So, the important element and challenge is to harness the data, curate it and put it in context of enabling faster decision making. The data is the most powerful when we are able to apply it to our decision making at scale and speed, and to achieve this, we need AI at scale," he added.

Patel noted that in order to capitalise AI to the fullest, it needs to be democratised, trusted and open.

"AI is only as good as the data that you're using for it. And, as long as there is a lot of work which is involved in tagging and classifying the data correctly...companies have to trust it knowing that even after using AI, they will have full ownership and protection of their data and insights," he said.

Patel added that AI must be fair (free from bias), accountable, explainable, secure and that openness is really important and key to driving continuous innovation.

The session also saw participation of Shalini Warrier, executive director, chief operating officer and business head (retail) at Federal Bank; and Tarun Aggarwal, assistant vice-president (engineering) at Maruti Suzuki.

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'Ability to harness data without negating human intelligence to provide winning edge in use of AI' -

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Can’t Fight This Feeling Why it Matters How A Team Behaves When No-one Is Looking – CEOWORLD magazine

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Whilst the lyrics of this 1980s REOSpeedwagonsong describesan unwavering commitment since receiving clarity and direction, in an emotional setting, it is not unlike the emotional connection that every leader seeks when building a culture inside an organisation.Almost everything we think and do, starts and stops with people.

There was a traditional, and (hopefully) now delusional, mindset thatprocessis an organisations ultimatelever.From a business perspective everything that we engage in the strategy sensing, the risk mitigation, the operational intervention, the stakeholder management, the reporting and governance whatever it is, is all about people creating this success (or not) within a culture or environment that enables it (or not).Great people are developed by good leaders. It doesnt just happen.

The intentional distinction between good and great is the obligation on todays Leaders regardless of business size or their managementreach, to not only develop the next level of succession but to enhance it. Quite simply, make it better.

Whilst process is a critical success factor in enhancing business performance, optimum output is created by people in a culture that prioritises these people.

The environment within which this is enabled is the culture,deriving from the Latincolerewhich means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivate and nurture.There are many definitions and interpretations however for me it is simply, how a team behaves when no-one is looking.

If culture isthe how, yourorganisationalbackstory thatspecific internal narrativearound your reason for business being becomesyour why. This connection is cultures reinforcing loop, providing 24-7 feedback.

Whilstcultureisuniqueinevery organisation,it is the extent to whichemployees are empowered to be engaged, feel valued, and be heardthatenables a culture to thrive, or not. This istheresponsibility ofleadership whatever and wherever you decide that sits in your organisation inensuring that there is an alignment between the organisations bigger picture, its reason for being and the values and behaviours that its people desire to live and work by.

As culture is or should be a top-down influence it is leadership behaviour that determines not only team dynamics but also the recognition of people importance, based on displaying respect, encouraging learning, providing development, permitting empowerment, providing clarity, sharing values and promoting trust.

This equilibrium whilst hard work,is absolutely do-able, however it is very tough to maintain this balance through crisis managementbecausethrough this period of turmoilis whenreal culture is put to the test. When business fundamental decisions are being made and personal livelihood is at stake this is when you will really know how good, or not, your culture is and what your likelihood of success might be.

People are the central element of organisational change, so strategies that focus on systems and structures alone will fail.

I saw a post last week in which someone declared in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic and various stages of isolation or lockdownthat crisis defines culture. I disagree. Crisis reveals culture. It is this constant feedback loop that we refer to.

Ultimately, we are talking about employee engagement (or disengagement) and the connection that joins peopleandculture brings us back full circle to whether or not your people know whats in it for them.

The connector in this exchange is leadership and their ability to maintain organisational and individual health when trying tostop the bleeding to use crisis as an example to advocate a feeling of control that identifies stress as just a part of life whilst an unwavering commitment to the end game. Easier said than done!

ThisOrganisational F.E.E.L.I.N.Gaccording to,and for the benefit of your people,shouldincludeasmanyas possible,of the following7Top-DownMindShiftsto building a Modern Culture:

I dont recommend that we leave behind the traditional culture of honesty, integrity and encouragement for example.I do suggest however that once we have pre-constructed this foundation of trust, lets take it to the next level and accelerate a more self-sufficient culture of creativity, experimentation and empowerment to name a few.

Have you read? Worlds Best CEOs. Worlds Best Companies. Rich List Index (Top Billionaires). Worlds Most Powerful Passports.

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Can't Fight This Feeling Why it Matters How A Team Behaves When No-one Is Looking - CEOWORLD magazine

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Netherlands-based professional learning platform reaches into Africa – IT-Online

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SkillsTown South Africa has launched a Dutch-based online professional learning platform modified for the South African market.

With such an uncertain future, we should all be taking our destiny into our own hands, says Kevin Hardy, MD of SkillsTown SA. In many ways the world has moved on from broad-based education where skills and courses take months or years to complete. We live in an on-demand world, one of instant gratification where businesses are looking for skills to get things done now not tomorrow.

The education landscape must keep up as corporates look to provide employees with ways to empower themselves, keep them connected, engaged and relevant.

SkillsTown is the largest professional learning platform in the Netherlands. In less than five years, the company has secured around 300 corporate clients including the Belgium government, DHL and Capgemini among others, with over 300 000 users currently registered on the platform. It is also internationally recognised, with a slew of European accreditations under its belt.

It is our objective to contribute to the continuous development of people and organisations, and to enable them to adapt to the changing world around them, says Hans Schuurmans, CEO of SkillsTown. This is why we focus on personal development and innovation, to ensure that everyone no matter what their background has the opportunity not only to learn, but to learn in their own way.

SkillsTown is centred on a competitive, subscription-based model, effectively giving all employees of an organisation access to hundreds of online learning modules. These range from management basics, finance for dummies and social media marketing to soft skills, time management and everything in between.

While the Dutch platform has over 1 000 online modules, SkillsTown South Africa will start with around 100 of the most popular courses, with new and local content, being added monthly.

In addition, SkillsTown South Africa will be partnering with SETA-accredited organisations to ensure B-BBEE scorecard compliance, as well as with specific sector content providers to address the needs of customers requiring a learning experience platform in a particular industry.

We provide our customers with a completely customised digital learning experience, explains Hardy. Not only does it have the look and feel of the organisation, but companies can also quickly and easily create their own content specific to their business needs.

Added to this is the diverse range of learning solutions found on the platform. Everyone learns differently, so it is important for employees to choose how they want to learn. Our online academy offers a variety of learning resources, from e-learning modules, podcasts and webinars to collaborative WE-learning, short micro-courses and video feedback sessions.

Employees can also take personalised assessments to gain useful insights into their strengths and weaknesses. These can then be utilised by staff members and their managers alike, to personalise their individual growth trajectories.

Education for all is the basis of equal opportunities, adds Bart Hogendoorn, who is responsible for SkillsTowns international expansion. The Netherlands has an excellent reputation worldwide in the fields of education and innovation. As our greatest strengths, we are taking and adapting this unique model to the local market, combining first world technology, capability and expert knowledge to deliver on an essential local business requirement that of skills development.

A collaboration with Maastricht University in the field of artificial intelligence is currently under way, as well as the development of the worlds first online Corporate MBA (c-MBA). According to Schuurmans, this is a unique global offering that will disrupt the traditional MBA, typically accessible only to the privileged few.

At the cost of one MBA, our c-MBA will enable entire organisations, especially managers and executives, to educate themselves at an MBA level. Instead of fictitious business cases, employees immediately start working on business cases within and relevant to the organisation. This means that from day one, the c-MBA ensures that all employees, as well as the organisation itself, performs better.

Skillstowns Corporate MBA will be available online in South Africa before the end of 2020.

Times have changed, and tomorrow will belong to those that prepare for it today, concludes Hardy. At SkillsTown South Africa, we want to be the catalyst for this change.

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Netherlands-based professional learning platform reaches into Africa - IT-Online

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Thanet shares 40000 StreetGames award to help keep young people out of gangs – The Isle of Thanet News

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StreetGames sessions to be held in Thanet

Thanet is among three StreetGames organisations in Kent receiving 40,000 from the Home Office to use sport to deter young people from getting involved in crime and gangs.

The cash, for use with the Doorstep Sport scheme, will be split between Changing Minds Kent, Olympia Boxing and Sport On Your Doorstep in Thanet, Maidstone, Tonbridge, Chatham and Swale.

StreetGames organisations literally take sport to the doorstep of young people to make it as easy as possible for them to take part.

The aim is to engage marginalised youth who often miss out due to issues such as lack of money, transport and positive role models.

Doorstep Sport follows the 5 rights sport delivered at the right place, at the right time, in the right style, at the right price, and with the right leader or coach.

Its projects for youth crime prevention, called Sport 4 Good, follow ten principles that research shows are effective at reducing youth crime.

These include rewarding activities and personal development opportunities

The Home Office investment comes via the recently formed Kent Violence Reduction Unit, which is a partnership between the police, councils, health service providers and other key agencies to deliver a reduction in violence the county.

It was created in 2019 after the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner was awarded 1.16million from the Home Office. The Government then announced Kent would receive a further 1.16million to fund the Violence Reduction Unit in 2020/21.

Colin Rouse, from Changing Minds Kent, which will deliver the scheme in Thanet, said: To have tailored support from StreetGames and to be able to network with other like- minded organisations across Kent about project design, delivery and evaluation is so valuable when it comes to Sport 4 Good projects.

Its reassuring to know were not alone when trying to improve lives through sport.

James Gregory, from StreetGames, said: Were very grateful that the Kent Violence Reduction Unit and the Home Office recognise that quality-assured Doorstep Sport provision can be part of the solution to youth crime and gangs prevention.

But this work cant be done in isolation. So its key that we link up with other partner agencies like schools and social services, so we can be as effective as possible at improving young lives through sport by supporting young people to be healthier, safer and more successful.

James was formerly the lead on Thanets Sport 4 NRG scheme, which was a successful diversionary programme managed and delivered by TDC between 2005 and 2018.

Sport 4 NRG also used Doorstep Sport to keep young people active, occupied, off the streets and out of trouble. Due to capacity and budget restraints, the programme has been on hold over the last year but the aim is to relaunch it as an umbrella Doorstep Sport programme.

Other Thanet organisations delivering community sport to young people can be a are part of the programme, meaning it will be run by the community, for the community.

The Doorstep Sport programme launches during half-term, October 26-30.

For more details on the programme contact Colin Rouse at Changing Minds Kent at

Newington Centre MUGA, Ramsgate: Street Football, 14+, Monday, 7pm-8.30pm

Newington Community Centre, Ramsgate: Boxing Fitness, 14+, Monday, 7pm- 8.30pm

Margate FC: Street Football, Thursday, 14+, 5pm-6.30pm

Man in 70s suffers serious injuries during reported assault in Margate

Police warning after spate of moped thefts in Thanet

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Thanet shares 40000 StreetGames award to help keep young people out of gangs - The Isle of Thanet News

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

Mason Advisory officially named one of the UK’s Best Places to Work in Technology – Bdaily

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Member Article

Mason Advisory, independent IT consultancy, has been featured in the Great Place to Work In Technology 2020 report announced this morning.

Based at MediaCityUK in Salford, the company placed 9th in the small companies list (between 20 and 50 employees) confirming that employees feel Mason Advisory is a great workplace.

The report is compiled by Great Place to Work, an organisational consultancy working with businesses to become great workplaces, and reviews insights, workplace culture and people practices among employers in the technology sector. The methodology behind the rankings is one of the most rigorous and highly regarded in the UK and the report analyses recruitment, retention, growth, upskilling and training, and diversity and inclusivity. It bases the results on the opinion of employees, as staff feedback makes up the results of the Trust Index to ensure the full workforce is included in the survey.

Mason Advisory is continually investing in and implementing improvements in workplace culture, employee wellbeing, and career development. During the pandemic, it has continued to operate effectively and flexibly with staff working remotely, but with the choice of coming into the office should they need to, and within strict safety guidelines. This recognition confirms that employees at Mason Advisory feel a strong sense of trust, fairness and camaraderie.

Steve Watmough, Mason Advisory CEO, says:Weve had to be agile, adapt to new working conditions and acknowledge the impact these changes will have on our team, both inside and outside the working day, while maintaining the same high quality of work delivered for our clients. Were so proud to have received this recognition and its a morale booster for our whole workforce under the current circumstances. Our employees are the heart of our business and we appreciate their commitment, enthusiasm and sheer hard work its impressive to see how they have thrived while working from home and been able to continue their professional and personal development.

2020 has had plenty of highs and lows for us as a company but this award will stand us in good stead and gives us the confidence that our team is happy with our working practices and company culture. Thank you to all our employees for helping us to build a great workplace. Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place to Work UK, says: Especially during these times of crisis and uncertainty, its incredible to see the number of organisations within UKs tech space that have prioritised building a positive employee experience.

In this, our third year of recognising UKs Best Workplaces in Tech, weve seen many organisations find innovative and creative solutions in continuing to drive their great workplace culture remotely. We hope that by highlighting our Tech list recipients, other employers will be encouraged to put their people strategy at the heart of their business and continue to implement policies, practices and programmes that sustain an impactful and consistently great employee experience for all.

With offices at MediaCityUK, Salford, and London, Mason Advisory provides IT consultancy and advisory services, solving complex business challenges through the intelligent use of IT resources including IT strategy and transformation, sourcing, architecture, cybersecurity and IT delivery. It operates in sectors such as finance and banking, health, insurance, emergency services, education, retail, government, not for profit, and transport.

Earlier this year, Mason Advisory was also listed in the Financial Times Leading Management Consultancies 2020 report.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Francesca Gaffey .

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Mason Advisory officially named one of the UK's Best Places to Work in Technology - Bdaily

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am

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