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I am going to annotate over the experience and preferment aspects of travelling to management training experience and choice- to draw an analogy of what methods of management training can offer individuals based on the journey they choose to take.
Let`s start at the slowest form of travel then get to the quickest:-
1/ Walking: The experiences of walking are many- whilst walking you can breathe the air, smell the fragrances of the environment (pleasant or unpleasant!), hear the noises from your surroundings at your own speed and see in detail many things (three main senses). The walk can be slow or brisk paced, you can stop if you want to to make sure of something, or stand and gaze. You take in the surroundings in detail and you notice much more- this then is the traditional training room experience with a trainer led programme and with other learners in the room, sharing, talking , debating, laughing, disagreeing, learning new stuff, 1-2-1 relationships, making new acquaintances, networking , gain new confidence and achieve a heightened personal experience
2/ Running: if you are going in the same direction- put your running shoes on now- much quicker, faster paced- notice that things are less in detail from the three senses - as concentration needs to be more in placing your feet, manoeuvring obstacles’ that appear much quicker and keeping your balance, but you can stop if you want, or need to, and running normally starts with a warm up walk and a warm down walk- this has to be blended learning where you can have the training room experience and some associated open/ distance - maybe managing your time to fit it in- this way you take the heightened personal experience and control the quicker speed of learning in your own time frames and maybe using reflection here as a way of weighing up the pros and cons in an holistic way
3/ Riding a bike; don your shorts, helmet and any other accessories you need to “get on `yer bike!” Unless you are an Olympic runner - this travel should be much faster than walking or running, covering vaster distances and offering quite a different experience too. The detail can be there depending on how fast you ride, and if you don’t hold your head down most of the time! - You need to balance well and be able to steer the bike in the right direction, stop & start as required and do the obstacle avoidance too! - this is truly blended learning where you attend the training room experience and work on associated on-line learning -that is an equal mix of the two - to get you to the same outcomes; You need to manage & balance your time and be able to tie them together, have the right equipment and maybe you need to get to your target place quicker than walking or running!
4/ Car travel; Oh it can be either the stress of driving or the exhilaration of it- depending how and what you drive! You need to be a bit qualified to do this anyway but you are still in charge of your destination - you steer, you set the speed and avoid the obstacles in the way and start to observe laws others have put in place for you. This is usually much quicker than riding your bike (unless your name is Wiggins!) – this is total online learning that you can pick up or put down as you like- you need to know what you are doing, have the right equipment and balance of motivation to enjoy it, be able to follow an IT technicians instructions and be able to keep on track despite the distractions that pass by!
5/ Bus travel: so you can get the speed of the car but without the control or direction and in short bursts too - only partly the direction you need to go in, or sometimes door to door and also you have to share this travel with others -who may be going to your destination or maybe they are heading somewhere else. Maybe this is a part of a bigger journey for them, 10 stops; you may only want 2 stops, the bus itself can get diverted down another route. Sometimes people speak to one another, sometimes they travel in silence. The time tables are set too, so you can only travel when the bus turns up and sometimes you have to wait long times for the bus. This has got to be college term times and courses where you can sit in a classroom of other users and be learning different skills for shorter or longer times, be part of a bigger qualification or a small step. This type of learning can bring all kinds of varied outcomes and contains lots of preferences that you can have or ignore but you have to fit it in to your life and manage the restrictions and expectancies as well.
6/ Train travel: trains can be lonely places- I have sat on a long train journey in a carriage where no-one spoke to each other at all for over 2 hours. It was like being in my private world sitting in another zone where I was aware of everyone around me but had a choice of whether to interact or not but a quick glimpse around suggested that everyone else were in their private worlds too. This was reiterated if someone took a phone call and chatted like they were in a private booth that was soundproofed- and the rest of the carriage occupants wished it was! ….and Fast journey speeds too, hardly able to glimpse the details of the outside world as it rattled past the windows but able to concentrate and focus on what I was doing to hand. A set direction too and timed to perfection – no room for being late or alternatives. This is a total on-line/ virtual management course or telephone seminar with set times and dates – where others are participating too in their own worlds- all together but strangely insular too in working on your computer, phone or tablet completing the online work or listening to the speaker as you know others are too, on their own
7/ Airplane travel: This is like the train in the sky really isn’t it- set directions/ times; albeit much faster speeds, covers far more ground, and again mostly can be in complete isolation. You are pre-authorised to be there, normally know your seat number; you are comfortable, safe, operate well within the restrictions given to you and your expectations are met. There are no surprises or distractions as the passing view is the same rushing past- either clouds or dark, only at takeoff or landing does your view change. This is today’s holistic online learning experiences where you can pick and choose what you want, when you want; access it from where you want to and on a variety of devices! You do not need to speak to anyone, you can be entirely focused and in isolation and do it at your own speed- the longest time is registering on-line (take off) and closing down (landing)
The choice of how you learn is the 21st century wide landscape offered today and covers everything too from soft skills to highly technical options, from a classroom to a phone, with others, by yourself. And whilst the training and learning world is moving on - the choice still remains with you, as mostly does your travel requirements!
That got my brain thinking! What about you?..... What does it mean to you when you think that statement? Roll it around in your mind – challenge and change.
This philosophy probably doesn't extend to all areas of your life, but it does apply beyond the gym I feel to the workplace.
Challenge and change usually brings with them some form of discomfort, and we naturally shy away from discomfort. Well it makes sense doesn’t it; we would rather be comfortable - not stretched to discomfort.
The discomfort of the pain of exercising to your limits, the discomfort of hunger if you embark on a diet, maybe the discomfort of withdrawal from something we have grown used to but now want to stop. Or the discomfort of a difficult conversation with a staff member, the discomfort of admitting you don't know in front of peers, the discomfort of trying new challenges and failing.
Very often we give up on our aspirational goals and changes when the discomfort kicks in. What discomfort do you need to accept and work through in order to get to the changes you want or need in your professional life? Accepting discomfort generally means commitment from you.
Put your head underwater and keep it there for a while. You’ll soon realise that you’re 100% committed to breathing. Notice that you don’t make excuses not to breathe. Notice that you don’t worry about motivating yourself to breathe. Notice that you don’t need to justify your desire to breathe. You just breathe.
Commitment is action.
I have friends who are broke and other friends who are wealthy. When people are broke, their favourite excuse is “I don’t have enough money.” When people are wealthy, their favourite excuse is “I don’t have enough time.” Sound familiar? In the workplace anyone can come up with an excuse to avoid taking action, and their excuses always seem valid, and they are usually avoiding that discomfort zone.
The difference between those who take action and those who don’t isn’t a matter of addressing the seemingly valid excuses. The way they succeed is by realising that they’re creating and feeding these excuses, and they decide it’s time to stop. They realise that as long as they’re willing to feed excuses, there will always be an infinite supply.
It’s never a good time for change - And there’s never enough money - And that isn’t ever going to change. And despite how valid these excuses may seem, you can’t stop a committed person trying to change.
What excuses are you making now? What do you need to find commitment for?
The language that's been used to describe this is web 2.0 which is coined by Tim O'Riley from O'Riley publishing where a group of them were aware that the web was becoming less passive more people were being more interactive and they coined that phrase to encapsulate that and another phrase that's being used is enterprise 2.0 which was coined by Andrew Macenfield from the Harvard Business School to talk about the cultural effect that these tools were having on business both of these gave the impression that this was some finite defined movement whereas as far as I'm concerned it's just the web being the web and growing up.
With increasing volatility around the world, particularly in emerging economies and market territories, it has never been more important to make sure your employees are educated, trained and protected whilst travelling. Not only does this ensure staff are safe as possible, it ensures Corporate Governance Standards are met.
Every corporation with global operations, with personnel based in or travelling to high risk countries, should protect itself and its staff against the risk of kidnap, extortion, detention and hijack.
In addition, it is important to consider emerging threats to any assets or balance sheet exposure overseas such as those from a terrorist, political or act of war perspective, and the impact that such activities would have on business operations in specific territories.
An attack on or even near your business facilities could result in human casualties, property damage, business interruption, relocation costs and long-term damage to reputation and share price.
Actions by foreign or domestic governments can deprive an organisation of its assets, prevent or restrict performance of a contract and affect repayment of loans to banks and lenders.
Never has it been more important to fully quantify risk exposures overseas, and ensure robust crisis management plans and procedures are embedded within business practice.
Also, with specific regard to UK exporters, who are having to consider new markets as the traditional markets such as Europe stagnate, the Purchasing Managers' Index for September showed a contraction of export orders in September which can be attributed to problems in the Eurozone.
While businesses may be familiar with dealing in Europe there is a need to really understand new markets for new export opportunities. It will be necessary to review the terms of payment and to explore all types of trade instruments.
Payment terms need to reflect as much as possible what is expected in the destination country.
All answers are for general guidance only. Each case must be handled on the individual facts. Quoted from Gavin Carson; Insider Media.
Make sure you demonstrate how the training you want to undertake will have a long-term benefit. Many people think they can attend a training course, come back to work and make immediate improvements. Of course, some tangible benefits should be evident in the short-term, but you need to inject a sense of realism into any request you make. Show what you expect to be able to contribute to the business over a longer time-frame, as well, as a way of demonstrating return on investment and, at the same time, your commitment to supporting your employer.
Whether the economy is strong or unpredictable, employers are understandably concerned about the cost of training their staff. Yet, whilst there is a financial outlay to be made, provided the learning is relevant to your role, your employer should also look at the cost of not building your capabilities - the cost of lost business if you don't have the right skills to win or retain clients.
Your employer may also be aware of the mistakes of the early 1990s when many businesses reacted to the slowdown by cutting training budgets. The problem was that they didn't have the resources and skills to cope when the economy improved. To some degree, the decision to halt management and leadership development could be blamed in part for the skills crisis that we are currently experiencing.
How can I deal with a work 20% budget cut?
Begin by looking at the activities you have planned and ask yourself which are essential to the plan and which are 'nice to do', then drop the latter. Reassess your team's objectives. Are they realistic and achievable, given your new financial constraints?
Numerous reports suggest that employee engagement and motivation levels are at an all time low right now so the last thing you want to be doing is heaping unrealistic pressure on an already concerned workforce. But do this carefully. Many organisations assess progress against targets on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.
You must ensure the organisation operates in the context of market conditions. Manage the expectations of your senior colleagues. Make sure they know what can and cannot be achieved given the circumstances.
That way, at the end of the financial year, accusations cannot be leveled at you that the team has not delivered the original plan. Look also at how efficiently the team is running. Most people automatically assume that 'efficiency savings' is a euphemistic reference to redundancies, but this need not be the case.
There have been several stories of late about companies making huge savings by making simple, practical changes to workplace behaviour, such as changing computer settings so everything was printed double-sided.
Good budget management is an ongoing process. Just because you have solved one problem, it doesn't mean another won't crop up, so however you achieve savings ensure that you have a contingency plan should anything arise in the future.
How can I balance work and study?
However, if you do need to change your working hours you'll need to persuade your employer. If the course is related to your job you should make a business case to your employer.
Demonstrating that it is in your bosses' interest for you to train should help to persuade them to change your hours. Some employers provide funding for staff taking up courses so it is worth asking about financial support. Your employer may also be able to access Government subsidies, albeit rumor says funding will be cut in 2010.
Even if the course is not related to your job it is still worth asking as many employers recognise that out-of-work learning can improve morale, confidence and job satisfaction. From next year, employees will have a right to request time off for training, similar to the current right to request flexible working.
Lost in translation!
To get some ideas on how you can get customers, grab yourself a sheet of A4 paper and a pen and then get ready to be creative. Now, put yourself in your customer's shoes and on the paper, write down as many places as you can where you would go if you were looking for translation services - it doesn't matter if these ideas are wacky or different or completely mad, just get them all down on the paper.
Try not to filter your ideas either - it's easy to think "well that's not going to work" and not write the idea down. Try to get all the ideas you can down on paper. Do this exercise with a friend and you'll get even more ideas. Try not to stop writing ideas until you have at least 20 things on that piece of paper. This exercise should give you a really good insight into where your potential customers are likely to go when they're looking for translation services and then I would recommend you start using your ideas to look for customers. Hope this all makes sense.
Best of luck.
The art of delegation
Of course, you're still responsible for the work getting done, so it is highly recommended that you meet with the assigned person regularly to be sure he or she is meeting the deadlines you've assigned, so the project keeps moving ahead.
If you have a brand new project that you're not exactly sure how to tackle, it is generally advised that you work on it yourself independently, or along with another staff member. This way, potential problems can be resolved and a training checklist can be developed for the next similar project.
Is recycled paper worth the extra money?
Buying recycled paper, made of 100% post-consumer recycled content, may cost a bit more (sometimes not), but the benefits can be truly worthwhile. Here are four reasons to buy recycled:
- Recycled papers of comparable quality to virgin-made papers are becoming increasingly easy to find, especially in large office supply stores such as Staples.
- When your company buys recycled paper, it demonstrates concern for the environment. This is an excellent message to pass on to employees and your customers.
- Making recycled paper creates less air and water pollution than making new paper.
- The fewer trees that must be cut down to make paper, the less chance that valuable wildlife habitats and ecosystems will be lost.
I think it's well worth it, simply for the facts listed above. Plus, it gives you the benefit of knowing that you're doing something good for the environment.
Get your business organised for less
- Use email, read reports and manuals on the screen in PDF format, and don't print unnecessarily. Doing so will reduce your company's paper consumption - which will result in less paper needing to be purchased.
- Before purchasing something new, be sure you don't already have something in your office that can do the trick.
- Confirm business appointments BEFORE you leave the office. You'll reduce wasted time and wasted fuel.
- Don't disregard inexpensive storage options such as simple shelves. Whether you get wood, steel or wire shelving, shelving will help you make excellent use of all the wall space that typically goes to waste.
- Need more filing space, but can't afford filing cabinets? Cardboard file storage boxes and banker's boxes are awesome for paperwork that can be archived, especially since they stack so beautifully!
Some issues discussed in the expert forum are complex and continually changing.
We recommend you consult a professional advisor about your specific circumstances, needs, and applicable laws