Few companies have been as disruptive in the last few years as Kickstarter. Founded just 4 years ago, the company is the biggest crowdfunding platform in the world and has pledged a whopping $1.4 billion across 74,000 projects.
Many of the companies supported by Kickstarter have gone on to achieve worldwide success. Last week, UK company Lunar Missions even launched a Kickstarter project to allow us to send a piece of our belongings to be buried on the moon!
Kickstarter allows everyone of us to bring our own ideas to life and levels the field with VC firms. Although the crowd funding industry has its cynics, it is going nowhere and is growing faster than ever before. And not of all it's motives are financial - the company admits itself that not many of the projects are "great" investments. Often, the real question is do I want to help this idea come to life?
Like every business, driving Kickstarter's success are great people.
And although the company is still only 96 people big (but growing fast), there is a common theme through their hiring process.
Just like they give the underdog a chance in business, they believe in giving the underdog a chance in their company.
The company has an incredibly close culture - their website even mentions every person working at the company as well as all ex-workers. A brief look at their workforce shows that it's one big melting-pot of backgrounds. Not your customary majority of ex-Googler's, Stanford MBA's or classically trained marketers.
Everyone has a chance.
Underdogs from the startThis great article from Fast Company gives a great account of the story of Kickstarter's three co-founders: Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler.
Chen, grew up in Roosevelt Island in NY and although he was smart and did well at school, was never really motivated and often bunked class to go watch the Yankees play. After graduating, he applied for several graduate level jobs but never even got one interview.
Isolated, he tried pretty much everything including day trading and trying to launch an electro-music career until he eventually had to work hard as a coffee barista and preschool helper to make ends meet. As he quotes himself, eventually all he wanted to "focus on was dropping oui of society".
Now a legendary story within Kickstarter, Chen first came across the idea of Kickstarter when he wrote to Austrian DJ duo Kruder & Dorfmeister to see if they would come to NY to perform a gig. They agreed but wanted $15,000 and five plane tickets - not much, but something he was unable to provide. It seemed a shame - they DJ's would have a great gig, the fans would have a great time and possibly they could make the money back once tickets were sold. What if there was a way for people to raise money for the gig in advance?
He started working on the project as a side-line although progress was limited. One day, whilst working in a new job as a waiter, he met Yancey Strickler.
Strickler had grew up on a farm - an introvert who had come to NY to launch a career as a music writer. Inspired by Chen and his idea, he starting working nights and weekend on building "the idea" and to map out the site. He's admitted himself in other interviews that during this time they discussed plenty of "really bad ideas".
During this time Chen and Strickler also found the final missing piece in their puzzle who was Charles Adler. Adler was a freelance designer and upon meeting them recalled that "The vision was so compelling. It captured so much of what I had wished I had been working on all along."
Two years later in 2009, Kickstarter was finally launched. Not exactly a thoroughly planned or thought out hiring process. No business plan or strategy statement. Very little credentials in building an internet business.
But nevertheless, the three underdogs had done it. They had managed to build a platform that gave other underdogs a chance.
And like truly passionate people, this belief runs through their veins today.
In fact a current opening for a PA to their CEO doesn't even ask for a resume. They'd just like you to send them a tale of when you provided incredible support in a challenging situation.
ConclusionAll successful companies have a purpose. A truly genuine purpose runs through everything a company does - internally and externally.
Kickstarter believes in fairness - letting anyone have the opportunity to create and market their ideas. This fairness continues into their hiring strategy.
Hiring managers can all learn from this by giving chances to those who may not be most qualified but who have more potential.
Next time you're hiring, will you give the underdog a chance?
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Jas Singh
I get a lot of questions from people who don´t know how best to resign, i.e. how not just to quit, but how to resign gracefully and with class. Indeed, being courteous and smart about your resignation and departure guarantees that you've given yourself the best possible shot at future success.
Fortunately, there exist some key principles you can follow. We´ll talk about them in this blog article.
The most important rule, however, immediately right now: Never quit and leave on bad terms! You owe it your employer, your colleagues, business partners, and – most importantly – yourself by being and coming across as a professional and mature person.
Evaluate Your Situation - Firstly, verify that resigning is the right decision. Don´t quit just to make a point. Understand what the pros and cons of your decision would be. Are there things you can do to improve aspects of the job that bug you? Could you get another job in the company? Have you e.g. talked with your boss and does she know that you consider resigning (at least, if you feel there are meaningful reasons for you to stay)? Has she had a chance to address your needs and wants?
Check The Legal Aspects - Carefully study any legal documents you signed when joining or working at your current job. Are there any non-compete agreements, does your contract require a certain period of employment from you, which is the leave notice your company requires, etc.? By the way, you should also be clear about the financial consequences a resignation might have on your life; especially when not having found another job yet.
Choose The Right Timing - In a perfect world try to leave when you´re on a high note and not when you are burnt out. In a non-perfect world, which is the case most of the times, don´t wait with your resignation too long. After you conducted a thorough situation analysis and came to the conclusion it´s best for you to leave, then just do it. You have only one life to live!
Do It Personally - Don´t chicken out. Request a meeting with your boss. Don´t send a resignation email or letter. You need to say it face-to-face. Very important: Tell your manager before anyone else. She deserves it.
Hand In A Resignation Letter - Written in a professional, i.e. non-emotional manner. It should be a short and polite letter stating your intention to leave and by when. Submit your resignation with sufficient lead time before your planned resignation date. Submit it to your direct supervisor (e.g. whilst you personally inform him about your resignation) and with a copy to your HR department.
Be Prepared To Answer About Your Reasons - Be as honest as you can be. Again in a tactful and respectful manner. It´s a good opportunity giving your boss (and others) constructive feedback. Be fair and mention all factors and try to weight them. Whatever reasons you provide, keep your story consistent. Be prepared and open to receive feedback from colleagues, peers, etc. If your company offers formal exit interviews trying to understand the "real“ reasons why you´re leaving take part at it. Again, be conscious not to burn any bridges by saying anything negative or insular.
Anticipate The Reaction Of Your Boss - If you have a good and professional boss, she will tell you how sorry she is to lose you. In case you have already a new job, she should congratulate you. Most importantly, she should respect your decision. If she reacts poorly, then it reflects badly on her, and not on you. Stay professional, explain your reasons and stress that you will support her and the team to make a smooth transition. Don´t allow neither your boss nor your team putting any guilt on you.
Anticipate The Reaction Of Your Company - How has your employer handled employees who resigned in the past? Is your management grateful to employees who provided long notice, or are people who resign usually shown the door immediately? Be prepared for this scenario by clearing personal files and removing personal information and belongings, and getting your workspace organized. Don´t take anything with you which belongs to the company. On the other side, if you are a valuable employee, be prepared that your employer might present you a counter-offer to make you stay. You should have considered in advance, if and under which conditions you might accept it. Personally I advise against accepting a counter-offer as experience shows that it still does not work out. Either way, be primed and clear in your answer.
Take With You What You´ve Earned - Ensure to get a fair settlement and compensation for any outstanding salary, commission payments, vacation days, and to get details on all employee benefits, rolling over your pension plan, etc.
Support A Smooth Transition - Do your best to complete all open assignments, have any remaining work well documented and organized in a file. And, if time and situation allow, assist in training your replacement. Some people even offer to be available for a couple of phone calls with their replacement after they leave. This generates considerable goodwill and is often highly appreciated by the replacement and the company. A great way for you being remembered as a committed and highly supportive team member.
Respect Confidentiality - Don´t talk about your resignation until it´s official. Once you've resigned, don't go spreading the word. Do not mention your departure to anyone before you have discussed these details with your boss. Agree with her when and how to communicate it.
Don't Be Negative - When you're talking about your resignation with co-workers, try to emphasize the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, even though it's time to move on. Don´t brag about your possible new job. Be modest and appreciate what your company and your colleagues are doing. Also after you’ve left the company, don´t say anything negative about your former employer, manager, or colleagues.
Be Committed And Hard Working Until The Very Last Day - This point usually separates the wheat from the chaff. That´s when you can identify the true professionals. Be loyal as you´ve used to be. Avoid taking a short-timer's attitude and avoid aligning yourself with any discontented co-workers. Sadly, many who resign suddenly seem to have forgotten about all those years when they´ve worked hard to build their career in and with the company. In a few weeks or days they damage their former – and often also their future – reputation without realizing it. Don´t be stupid!
Inform Your Colleagues And Business Partners - After having spoken with your boss be sure to personally tell other managers or key employees with whom you have worked that you have resigned. Thank these persons for having successfully worked with you and having helped you building your careeer.
Say Goodbye - Before you leave express a heartfelt farewell. Offer your colleagues, boss, and business partners words of gratitude and appreciation. On your last day in the office organize a farewell drink with some food. Your coworkers will remember it. Try to stay with some of them in touch by exchanging contact information with key people. Send a farewell message by email to those whom you can´t personally bit farewell.
Ask for a Reference - Ask your boss, colleagues or business partners, if they were willing to give you a reference. Inquire, if they were available to give a recommendation via email, phone, or professional network sites like LinkedIn.
The way someone leaves a job tells a lot about a person´s character. Handle yourself well. In today´s highly connected world it´s pretty likely that someone knows someone with whome you´ve worked with. You may also cross paths again in the future. Or, and that also happens from time to time, you might want to be rehired by a former employer.
In a nutshell: Make sure you leave on the best possible terms and don´t burn bridges.
What do you think? Please join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
Andreas von der Heydt
Andreas von der Heydt is the Head of Kindle Content at Amazon in Germany. Before that he hold various senior management positions at Amazon and L'Oréal. He's a leadership expert and management coach. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Asia. Andreas enjoys blogging as a private person here on LinkedIn about various exciting topics. All statements made, opinions expressed, etc. in his articles reflect only his personal opinion.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Andreas von der Heydt
The purpose of strategic planning is not to make plans. It’s to change the way we think and act. If our newly formed visions and strategic plans are intended to propel us to places where we’ve never been, at a very personal level, we’ll be required to do things individually that we’ve never done. Successful strategy execution is all about behaviors. The act will trump the thinking every time.
Several years ago, my team and I spent six months helping a Fortune 500 company prepare their strategic plan for launch at a meeting of several hundred top leaders. Then, for three days we worked with those leaders, discussing the merits of the plan and the critical actions required to achieve the desired results. The group seemed to be engaged.
Just before the close of the three-day meeting, we wanted to orchestrate a rousing send-off. We gave each person an audience response device so they could anonymously vote on how confident they felt about the strategic plan. We actually wanted to judge the leaders advocacy by asking: “how many of you would advise your family members to buy our stock based on your confidence in our strategy”. We had assumed that we had won their sponsorship and strong support. What flashed on the screen after three days of intense conversation was a stunning 19% vote of confidence by the top leaders of this 53,000-person company!
After the shock wore off, we probed the leaders who attended for the reasons behind this skepticism. We quickly found out that their lack of confidence was based solely on the all-too-transparent hypocrisy between what the new company direction claimed to be and the way senior leaders continued to exhibit “old strategy behaviors.” Once the senior leaders got the message and took a good look in the mirror to correct their personal behaviors, the strategy took off and the stock price doubled.
Another large Fortune 100 company we partnered with embarked on a bold business transformation. They spent hours analyzing market data, market positions, growth opportunities, and margin possibilities. They carefully crafted a robust strategy to drive a “thinking differently” part of the overall plan. As they deployed the strategic plan to the top 225 leaders of the company and sought to enlist their leadership, we heard a single resounding theme: “The strategy is not the problem. It’s the fundamental disbelief that leaders will change their behaviors so we can bring the strategy to life.” They too stressed the “behavioral proof points” that would build or deflate confidence in the future strategy.
The problem in cases like these is that deeply embedded traditional behaviors tend to persist, and they change far more slowly than marketplace factors and new strategic thinking. Speed of leader behavior change becomes the pace car for strategy execution.
There are three key areas of focus that constantly turbo-charge this organizational change race.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Jim Haudan
For many, flipping the classroom simply involves turning the traditional classroom on its head - moving the class work home, and the homework to class. Others argue there is a lot more to flipping than meets the eye. Rather, as flipped learning pioneer, Jon Bergmann states, it’s moving from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side.” For students, the obvious benefit lies in the ability to pause and rewind the teacher at will. For teachers, it means less time creating lectures, and more engaged students, as the boring introductions are pushed out, and the fun practical work is pulled in. Yet, looking at the 21st century skills embedded within flipping that are so essential to the modern learner, the benefits are much more apparent.
Flipped Learning’s 21st Century Skills:
While only a brief outline of the many skills embedded within flipped learning, there are several more. The flipped classroom is the ideal model to invest in 21st century skills, and provide students with a one-to-one learning experience, that works around them.
Originally Posted on: Linked In By: Lorna Keane
By many accounts, companies have a hard time understanding millennials. I have colleagues who call them entitled, unmotivated, and difficult to manage.
That is sheer nonsense.
The newest generation of professionals is the first to grow up entirely in the digital age, and thus their expectations are a bit different.
Example: I’ve spent much of the past fifteen years trying to convince executives that the Web – or pervasive 24/7 access to digital information – would force changes in their company’s business model; most executives drag their feet in making such changes. But millennials see this as old news; they have the opposite problem, which is they are slow to recognize just how slow and outdated many corporate systems still are.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential that your business attract, hire and engage millennials: if you can keep them happy, you can keep your customers happy. Millennials need the same type of flexibility that customers need. Millennials need the digital tools that customers need. Millennials grew up in the digital age, and customers want your business to act as though it is a leader in the digital age.
So when I hear executives complain about millennials, I think: this company is probably operating with a business model – and internal systems – that are one to two decades out of date.
A couple of years ago, Michael Hinshaw and I wrote a book called Smart Customers, Stupid Companies, in which we argued that digital services were making customers smarter than the companies that wished to serve them. Being dumber than your customers is not a good survival strategy, we said, and suggested that companies needed to dramatically increase their flexibility.
This lesson also applies to recruiting, managing, and motivating millennials: you need to be flexible, and your company needs to act smart. This means it has to be able to treat different employees differently. Why? Because different humans have different needs. We are leaving single product assembly lines behind, and we also need to leave the underlying one-size-fits-all mindset behind. To manage and motivate millennials, you have to treat them with significant flexibility.One of my favorite books is Mindset by Carol Dwyer, in which she makes the case that people with growth mindsets are much more successful than those with fixed mindsets. The former think that if they exert effort, they can acquire new skills. The latter think their skills and abilities are fixed.
I’d like to suggest that the same logic applies to companies; those who aggressively adopt a growth mindset will flourish. I don’t just mean they seek to grow revenues; I mean they seek to grow new skills and new levels of flexibility.
So far as I can see, the millennial mindset is pretty down-to-earth and logical: they don’t want to be stuck working for an inflexible company or an inflexible manager.
This is not entitled thinking. This is brilliant thinking.
The odds are pretty strong that millennials are pushing your company in the right direction. Stop treating them as difficult-to-manage youths, and start learning from them. The more you empower millennials, the better your firm will be at adapting to the demands of the marketplace.
Originally posted on: forbes.com by: Bruce Kasanoff
College students have a better chance of getting financial aid if they come from affluent backgrounds than if they are lower on the income scale, some new studies show.
There is growing evidence that colleges may be offering more scholarship money to wealthy students and less to those truly in need, and by doing so are perhaps closing a door to advancement for many families.
A new study by Sallie Mae found that 36 percent of students from wealthy families received scholarships averaging $10,213 for the school year just ended, while 35 percent of students from families earning less than $35,000 a year received scholarships worth an average of $7,237.
And a study released in May by the New America Foundation analyzed federal data on what students pay out of pocket for college, and found that the share of students receiving merit aid more than doubled, from 8 percent to 18 percent, at public colleges between 1995–1996 and 2007–2008. At private colleges, that share rose from 24 percent to 44 percent –and at all colleges, the share of students receiving aid based on need barely changed.
"With their relentless pursuit of prestige and revenue, the nation's public and private four-year colleges and universities are in danger of shutting down what has long been a pathway to the middle class," wrote Stephen Burd, author of the New America study.
Why is this happening? For starters, colleges are in a perpetual race to rise in published rankings. Second tier schools are using offers of aid as lures for highly qualified students who might not otherwise attend – even if those students don't really need the money.
Many colleges are also constantly striving to maximize their revenue, and to that end, some give preference to wealthy applicants. The New America study found that "10 percent of college admissions directors at four-year colleges (and nearly 20 percent of those at private liberal arts colleges) reported that they give affluent students a significant leg up in the admissions process."
Grants and scholarships covered 37 percent of low income students' college costs in the 2012-2013 school year, down from 42 percent in 2008-2009, according to Sallie Mae. But middle income students increased the share of funding they got from grants and scholarships, and use of grants and scholarships by wealthy students was essentially unchanged.
Declining enrollment isn't likely to help. Enrollment fell 2 percent in the school year just ended, and the trend may continue for several years. If colleges fall short of their admission targets, they also fall short on revenue, and that makes distributing aid based on need more challenging.
Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at George Washington University's graduate school of education, agrees that colleges are using merit aid in ways that don't fit the mission of financial aid. But the underlying trends, she says, are complex.
Baum co-authors an annual report by the College Board called "Trends In Student Aid," and in that national survey, she said, it became clear that less selective colleges offer a larger share of aid that is not based on need.
"They need to draw in students with money, and they are terrified that the college down the road is giving them a merit scholarship," she said. But overall, "when you look at the percentage of aid going to students without need, it's declining. It's not rising."
The most selective public and private colleges are awarding more money based on need, the study found. But those colleges also have the wealthiest students.
"Those really high priced schools are giving bigger grants to the low income kids, but they don't have very many of them," Baum said. And the students at the lower end of the income scale at the pricey, selective schools may still be better off than low income students at less selective colleges – which can mean a low income student at a selective school receiving aid may look like a middle class student on a national scale.
Scars from the recession are another issue, Baum says, leaving more students in need of aid.
One solution, she says, would be for colleges to lower their tuition and reduce the amount of merit aid they award. With colleges competing for the best students, that shift may be a long time in coming - but "they're going to have to do something different," she said. "I have to believe we will evolve in that direction."
Originally Posted On: today.com By: Kelley Holland
Create SMARTe jobs by asking “What does success look like?”(Note: job-seekers are cautioned to not read this post. It will give them an unfair advantage by learning how to answer tough interview questions. Here's the full countermeasure program for situations when interviewers aren’t asking SMARTe questions.)
Rather than list skills and experiences to define job requirements, it’s better to describe the job as a series of four to five SMARTe (or semi-SMARTe) performance objectives. For this purpose SMARTe means: Specific task, Measurable outcome, Action required, Result or deliverable defined, Time frame and Team described, and the environment or underlying situation clarified. Not only can these performance-based job descriptions help attract stronger people and increase assessment accuracy, they’re also more compliant with U.S. labor law than skills-based job descriptions. (Note: I'm hosting a short webcast on January 22 on how to test this approach.)
Following is an example comparing the traditional and SMARTe approach for preparing job descriptions.
Position: Product Marketing, high pressure valves for oil drilling
Traditional: must have 4-5 years in B2B product marketing in the oil tools industry, an MBA from a top-rated business school, exceptional team skills, strong project planning and communication skills, a “can do” attitude, and a BS in hydraulics or mechanical engineering preferred.
Major SMARTe Performance Objective: Collaborating with engineering and operations, lead the launch and introduction of the new high-pressure fracking control valve system by Q4, under very tight budget and delivery schedules.
I refer to the full list of 4-5 SMARTe objectives as a performance-based job description or performance profile. Clarifying job expectations up-front this way not only attracts more talented people who want to do the work described, but also broadens the pool to include those who have achieved comparable results, but have a different mix of skills and experiences. With this type of job description it’s also easier to determine if the candidate is both competent and motivated to do this work by asking SMARTe questions.
Ask a SMARTe question like, “What have you accomplished that’s most comparable?”
Early in the interview describe the performance objective and ask the candidate to describe his or her most comparable accomplishment. Follow this up using SMARTe as a framework for better understanding the accomplishment.
Specific task or Situation: please describe the actual task including specific details. Get the candidate to create a “word picture” of the accomplishment.
Measurable details and Metrics: quantify the accomplishment to find out what actually changed and by how much, getting facts, figures, dates, and percentages.
Actions taken and person’s Actual role: ask about the person’s specific role and the decisions made, where the person took the initiative, overcame challenges, organized activities, and how the work was planned, tracked and executed.
Results achieved and deliverables defined: have the person describe the overall outcome, or final product, it’s overall quality compared to some important benchmark, if the person received any positive recognition for the work, and what the person could have done better.
Timeframe to accomplish the task and the Team involved: find out when the project took place and how long it took to complete. Compare this to the plan and how the person ensured the plan was achieved. Ask the person to describe who was on the team, how the person built and managed the team, and how the person influenced the most dominant people on the team.
Environment, culture and underlying circumstances: ask about the pace, resource restraints and support; the quality of the working relationships with others on the team, especially with the person’s immediate superior; and how the person dealt with changing circumstances.
It should take about 15 minutes to completely understand the person’s accomplishment and make the comparative assessment. The same SMARTe questioning process should be done for all of the other performance objectives. (The full performance-based interview and assessment process is described here including a talent scorecard covering all dimensions of fit.)
(Private note to job-seekers who’ve disregarded the cautionary note above: if interviewers start box-checking skills, quickly ask them to describe the primary objectives of the job. Then clarify them using the SMARTe model. Then give a SMARTe answer describing your most significant comparable accomplishment.)
The problem with most interviewers is lack of understanding of real job needs. Once these have been clarified, it’s pretty easy to figure out if a person is competent and motivated to do the work. It just takes some SMARTe discipline and SMARTe questions, which is a whole lot better than guessing or hoping.
Originally Posted On LinkedIn By: Lou Adler
An innovator is always seemed upon as an idol by the workers and he is the one who is accountable to take out the best performance from the workers in set due date. To be able to become an effective innovator, one has to train himself accordingly and this could be done if one chooses to engage in a MBA in Leadership.
Becoming an effective business owner is a desire of many individuals who dislike working in a company as a worker. If one is enthusiastic about beginning his own business, there are many factors to be managed by the person or by the associates (if more than one person is engaged in the venture). To run a small or a large company, expert abilities are essential. After seeking an MBA program in Leadership one can get all the required information and obtain the necessary abilities.
However, if one is getting a probability to engage in both the areas of expertise in one degree, then it may confirm to be a resource for any person. Now, MBA in Leadership & Entrepreneurship is available for the postulates who are enthusiastic about studying the abilities which are relevant to both the area of research. Actually, these both areas are relevant to each other as if you are looking for beginning your own company, you have to be an innovator of the workers becoming a member of your company.
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The topics are developed in such a way, that the applicants get the information about the concepts and also the realistic factors. The lessons are modified regularly by the expert staff at Jaro to be able to integrate all the newest up-dates in the area of authority & entrepreneurship.
Originally Posted On: jaroeducation.wordpress.com
In 2007, Seung Cho, a student at Virginia Tech, killed 32 students and faculty and wounded 17. He then committed suicide.One of the most troublesome things about this incident was that it might have been prevented if school officials and employees had a better grasp of privacy law. Appointed by the state governor, the Virginia Tech Review Panel issued an extensive report revealing that several University officials and employees knew about Cho’s mental instability but failed to share what they knew with each other. And nobody ever told Cho’s parents about his problems, his stalking of a female student, and his dark writings and erratic behavior. Cho’s parents said that if they had known, they would have taken him home and made him go to therapy. This is what they did when Cho had problems in high school.
According to the report, school officials and employees didn’t share what they knew because they thought privacy laws prohibited it. They were wrong. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other privacy law allow for sharing of personal information about students in distress, and in many circumstances, FERPA permits schools to share the data with a student’s parents.
Afterwards, the Department of Education issued new FERPA rules to clarify when information may be shared in a health or safety emergency. But the problem wasn’t just with the FERPA rules – it was that people didn’t understand them, didn’t know about them, and weren’t effectively trained about them. The problem also stemmed from the lack of a privacy officer whom various school officials and employees could have called to figure out what to do with the information they had.
The situation at Virginia Tech can still readily happen again. That’s because higher education is lagging behind other industries in at least two key privacy protections: (1) having a privacy officer; and (2) engaging in training and awareness education.
In many other industries, such as the health and financial sectors, it would be unusual not to have a privacy officer or awareness training. Although most institutions of higher education have now have information security officials, the number of privacy offers in higher education remains very low. And institutions often lack sufficient awareness training about both privacy and security.
Why? One main reason is that FERPA, the primary law regulating privacy in higher education, is antiquated. FERPA was passed in 1974, and it was one of the earliest privacy laws. FERPA is now quite outdated.
FERPA just covers a fraction of the privacy issues facing schools, and it fails to require a privacy officer or training.
Why Have a Privacy Officer?
When we think of the organizations that most implicate our privacy, we often think of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other similar types of companies. But schools also maintain a ton of personal data, and they face an extremely wide array of privacy issues. That’s why it is so important for schools to have a privacy officer.
Schools are regulated by countless federal and state laws with much more significant consequences than FERPA. Privacy compliance is very hard, which is why so privacy officers are commonplace in so many other industries.
Although schools have made great strides on data security protection, these efforts are held back – and sometimes undermined – because of a lack of attention on privacy. Many privacy problems affect security. People around campus will take data, circulate data, use data, and do all kinds of things that are ill-informed and deeply problematic.
People need someone to go to with questions about privacy. And a privacy officer can assess various departments of an institution and identify risks and areas of non-compliance.
Why Have Training?
One of the most important things an institution can do to protect both privacy and data security is to provide training. Many data breaches and privacy incidents are not caused by technical problems, but by the human factor. A school may have great technical safeguards and great policies. But all it takes is one person who lacks sufficient awareness to make a stupid mistake – and there’s an incident.
Good data security is a collective effort. It cannot solely rest on the shoulders of security officials. Everybody – staff, administrators, students, and faculty – need to be educated about how to use the Internet responsibly and safeguard personal data.
Privacy and security training is commonplace in most other industries; in schools it is still in its infancy. Higher education is premised on the idea that that education is one of the primary solutions to problems, so it is surprising that higher education is lagging behind in providing privacy and data security training.
This state of affairs will change. I predict that a decade from now, most institutions of higher education will have a privacy officer and privacy and security training. All that is needed are more institutions to start leading by example.
Originally Posted On: Linked In By: Daniel Solove
WOW! Based on the response, I've TeeSpring'd it - let your torso show everyone the way to awesomeness.
We're a generation in debt. I had a world-class education at the University of Virginia. I met my reddit co-founder Steve Huffman there on move-in day. That chance encounter changed both of our lives. I had some awesome professors. There was the fortuitous trip to Waffle House that convinced me I wanted to be an entrepreneur, not a lawyer. I've written the book about internet entrepreneurship I wish I had back then. But my kids won't have the same education I did. And that's a good thing.
A year ago I sat on a panel at the White House* for a room full of deans from universities across the country. We were tasked to talk about entrepreneurship and how to better prepare our nation's undergraduates for an uncertain job market. "A critical skill I see in great entrepreneurs and employees alike is resourcefulness. Resourcefulness doesn't come from case-studies, it comes from doing things." This turned out to be quite the applause line.
Paul Graham says the best founders are "relentlessly resourceful."
I've been thinking about that day in D.C. ever since.
Getting Things Done > Grade Point Average
I'm an employer and I don't really care where you went to school or what your GPA was -- I want to know what you've done. Paid off student loan debt by tutoring computer science in New York? Rock on. Raised $20,000 on kickstarter for a daft punk tribute album? Awesome! Started the 'dear photograph' meme? Splendid! Blogged years worth of eating across the world and now creating food-tour-guides? Now we're cooking with bacon.
This will not be on your course syllabus
What are you passionate about?
Writing code? Awesome. Start launching stuff. Tell your friends, see if any of them are willing to use it. If yes, then you're on to something, if no, figure out why your own friends aren't using it. Or maybe they're just not into doing things, that's cool, but Drew Houston taught me a great quote about that: "You are the average of your 5 closest friends."
(Wish you could write code? Sign up for a CS class -- this is the single-most valuable class you can take. Don't wait for the semester to start, sign up for Codecademy).
Love cats? I do too! What do you know about cats no one else does? Can you start turning that into content? Is it a blog you start with cats that look like Ron Swanson? (OK, nevermind, that's been done). Are you contributing to the discussions on /r/cats?
Fired up about writing? Write about whatever moves you. Does your school newspaper suck? Start your own: Tumblr, Wordpress, Posthaven. It's happening right now.
We need more people - especially my fellow Millennials - doing things, learning things.
Don't wait for permission to be awesome.
Follow me on twitter @AlexisOhanian and let me know how you're being awesome.
*It was at this moment I realized I could've also called this post "From Waffle House to White House." Ah well, so it goes.
Originally posted on: Linked In by:Alexis Ohanian
Meet the Team
WorldBridge Partners earned the Best of Staffing®Award for providing remarkable service quality. Fewer than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada earned the 2015 Best of Staffing Award for service excellence. With satisfaction ratings more than three times higher than the industry average, the Best of Staffing winners truly stand out for exceeding expectations. This award identifies the staffing industry's elite leaders in service quality.