What a year! 2016 is gradually coming to an end and I have taken some time in the past few weeks to reflect on how it went. I have to say, rarely have I experienced so many ups and downs within the course of just a few months. I have been waiting since the end of 2015 to win back my world championship title! Unfortunately – as you know – that hasn't happened yet. The rematch against Tyson Fury was scheduled for a number of different dates but, for a variety of reasons, has not yet taken place. One thing is for sure, however: I will be back in the ring in the early part of 2017.
I am determined to get my world championship belt back again. Boxing is an important part of my life. However – and this is a great blessing – it is no longer the only reason for me to get up in the morning. I am involved in other activities that are very important to me, and my enforced break has allowed me to concentrate on these even more.
For example, I started a continuing education program called "CAS Change & Innovation Management" at the Institute for Customer Insight of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, in February where – together with some amazing professors and experts in the field – I teach Self & Challenge Management to Managers.
Only people who think progressively and act with courage get rewarded
The first session was a complete success. Together with my team, I have already spent quite some time preparing the second year of the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) which will get underway on February 27 next year. This experience has convinced me more than ever that only people who think progressively and act with courage get rewarded. Before the start of the education program there were, of course, people who were a little critical of our plans – to put it mildly. Despite my successes as an entrepreneur and despite my academic training, a number of people had their own preconceived ideas. "Is he up to it?" a lot of them said in private, and a few even to my face. "What's the boxer up to now…?". I can't really hold that against them – at the end of the day, I earned my laurels over the last couple of decades as a sportsman. But not just as a sportsman – as shown by my collaboration with the University.
It's not just a matter of carrying on with the study course – we're also expanding our collaboration with the university. Working together with the Institute for Customer Insight, I have launched a Competence Center to carry out research into the methods and means of entrepreneurship with regard to Self & Challenge Management. In short, we highlight which factors are crucial in allowing staff members to act on their own initiative and to think in a business-like manner, and which tools they need to help them successfully manage themselves and the challenges they face, where appropriate.
Like so many people, I have a range of different interests and talents. Last year reminded me that they are not mutually exclusive – despite how divergent they might appear at first glance – but are actually mutually inspirational. That also means being obsessed about your ideas, constantly pushing them forward, no matter how far-fetched they might appear at the outset, and fighting for them courageously.
In my opinion, two things are essential if you want to remain on your feet at the end of the process:
Plan for the longer term and keep on delivering
- Plans should be focused on the longer term
My personal focus, which underscores the sustainable way in which I do things, is called "Challenge Management". Everything I have learned in sport and everything I have transferred into my business life over the last few years can be subsumed under this term. How do I respond to challenges? How do I handle demands that might vary in importance, urgency and origin, in such a way that I not only maintain an overview of them but actually continue to shape my own environment? And what can managers learn from top sportspeople like me to help them meet the demands of their day-to-day work?
Our continuing education program in St. Gallen fits the bill in that regard every bit as much as our cooperation with Telekom AG, for example. Our focus is on giving German SMEs the tools they need to get on top of the challenges brought about by digitalization.
Projects like this can only operate reliably if they are embedded within a long-term strategy. As a sportsman working in a management environment, I have to act in a sustainable and long-term manner if I want to be seen as credible, reliable and competent. This brings me to the second thing I have learned in the last few months:
Trust in your own abilities
- I can only score points using my own abilities!
Or, to put it more flippantly, stick to what you know best. Take the example of our cooperation with Telekom AG. If I were to put myself forward as an expert in digitalization, people would raise their eyebrows – and they'd be right to do so. After all, what makes me an expert in digital transformation all of a sudden?
However, what I do know from my sporting experience is how to deal with the unknown. Take the case of a strong new opponent who wants to punch my face in and wants to threaten the success I have had for a number of years. This situation is not so dissimilar to the one by which a great many employees and self-employed people feel trapped when it comes to the topic of digitalization. They are afraid of what they don't know and are concerned that the changes ahead will bring a number of disadvantages with them.
My experience and my strategies on how to handle new – challenging – situations can help them survive in a world that is becoming more and more complex, and understand change not as a threat but as an opportunity. I am the Challenge Management expert. I make myself available in this role to companies, organizations and managers – that is my field of expertise.
As you can see, last year had a lot of changes in store for me – not to mention a few surprises. However, I didn't regard the sporting standstill as a failure, but rather as a gain. An opportunity to discover new things and to drive them forward. After all, there are two sides to every coin. We should be thinking: there is nothing bad that doesn't also contain something good.
I see it as a sporting objective to find that "something good" – in fact, that's "Challenge Management" on a small scale. Even though we might prefer to do without certain changes: they mean transformation and movement. That is good, because standing still is actually going backwards. I would like to encourage you to embrace your challenges in 2017 and to accept them in the same proactive manner as I do. Because they will take you forward. The only driving force is you!
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Dr. Wladimir Klitschko
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
Or, the Year the walls came downBy David Wright
Well, who saw THAT coming? 2016 was a year of startling change – Brexit, Donald Trump, 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City topping the English Premier League, and all the other Rumsfeldian unknown unknowns that suddenly became very known indeed.
Uncertainty and even a sense of foreboding are apparent as we move into 2017. Prediction is always perilous, even more so now because events have served to make pollsters, pundits and sundry experts look less than reliable.
Nevertheless, we are going to chance our arm and look at the challenges higher education leaders might face in the coming year:
This is shaping as the new battleground. Most new strategic plans include a material increase in internships or similar with many universities setting a near term goal of all students having an industry experience. New research impact metrics and the effect of rising industry research incomes weightings in rankings are further drivers.
As we have seen in the medical, allied health and education fields providing high quality placements can become a significant barrier. While service providers such as Intersective provide a neat solution to this challenge and offerings such as the NSW Government Global Scope Program provide great opportunities, winning the relationship with the external partner will become hotter than ever. Some will be successful some will not.
In Sydney a pack of universities is seeking these relationships simultaneously - many chasing the same industry partners with very different engagement models.
Success in industry engagement means a mindset that brings parties in, makes Universities easily accessible to parties not normally walking the halls. Bringing down the walls in this way, creating more circumstances for planned engagement and what we call 'strategic serendipity' is a challenge for many academics, not just to an already packed workload but to the way Universities operate.
Future university finances
Most universities know that the current financial operating models are such that costs are growing at a level that is both unsustainable and producing much lower returns than would be the case if those costs were deployed as investments to create sustainable excellence.
Many universities have waited for the golden egg in the form of deregulated fees, which would have made the process of managing their finances much easier. Of course, some fought against deregulation but all have now assumed that the wait is fruitless and they must move forward without this potential upside.
Hard calls are needed. The majority of institutions are correctly framing this around creating and/or sustaining excellence. The most progressive are ensuring that this process is not driven by costs but by excellence in the most efficient way. This may involve increased costs but the question of jobs should be taken off the table until the plan has completed.
Communication, consultation and collaboration around this area of change is a challenge and universities continue to look at better ways to do this. Applications such as Zeetings are being used very effectively to provide information and then seek auditable feedback, rather than the endless town-halls and other meetings where many felt their voices were not heard.
We also feel there is an imminent push for greater transparency around university finances by general public, governments (State and Federal), unions and the VET sector who feel picked on. This may hit in 2017 with rumblings already communing from regulators such as TEQSA.
The rise of Faculty
Most universities have materially improved the back office operations of their recruiting and marketing functions. Live pipeline reports from early engagement to retention hardly existed a few years ago but now are commonplace - as are channel management plans that optimise the university's power and position as well as create diversity and strategic value. We are delighted to have helped several universities to get to this place.
The next stage of development will come from greater empowerment of the Faculty. In many universities there is still substantial separation and lack of a model for working together to help to develop the university. Models are being rolled out where Faculty plays a much more integrated role in the future success of areas like student recruiting and external engagement (for more information on successful Faculty Marketing see our HECG paper on the topic here.)
Lifetime of Learning Models
Many industries have known for a long time that acquiring a customer is hard but that acquisition is much easier and cheaper in a few circumstances: First, where you already have a good relationship with the person and second, where the person has already acquired another product or service. Strategy teams in Universities have been looking at students mode and more in this way - a long term relationship rather than an enrolment based transaction.
Lifetime of Learning Models are one way of doing this and the ones we have seen have enviable return on investment for the University and are a clear example of user-based design. The models look to develop a relationship between University and Student that breaks the learning into different and sometimes smaller parts tracking the needs of the individual student at the relevant time in their life. Universities have tremendous connection and insight into their their students and we expect this to be a very big focus or Universities in 2017.
Big data and analytics
Universities have always been deeply engaged in analytics of the data they generate or have access to. 2016 has seen substantial progress by many universities in the use of this improved capability - particularly around student recruitment and learning analytics. In 2017 predictive and decision models will be the next step in the analytics journey for higher education. Some like Deakin are well along their way already.
Predictive models will be used to predict student demand, engagement, behaviour, progression, retention, graduation and likelihood of future studies and be used by faculties to model program demand while decision-models will be built to model investment, marketing and even program-mix investment scenarios.
The future of the PhD
The PhD qualification as it now stands in Australia was critiqued during the year by the likes of Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, the Australian Council of Learned Academies, and Education Minister Simon Birmingham. Dr Finkel made it clear that there is plenty of room for change and adaptation with the PhD particularly as the doctorate is no longer a ticket to a career in academe, saying “It is not enough for a PhD to have a big ambition in research and a superb depth of knowledge in their specialised field. At a minimum, they need to be capable of adapting what they know to the expectations of a non-academic job.” he said. Minister Birmingham agreed that the research training system needed to be improved to make it more internationally competitive.
The recent run of rankings or Australia in this area are so bad that this will continue to be a focus.
The new Go8 agreement with Westpac has some fantastic elements but has only a handful of students involved. To change the industry perception solutions must be much greater in scale and to achieve that scale we need a genuine change in the competencies of the PhD student, and the quality of experience. And perhaps even a change of offering or program. We expect some bigger and more evolved deals will occur in 2017.
The Innovation Wave
The Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda has been criticised by some but it will continue to bring opportunities for higher education and we will see a big drive on innovation projects. Already there is an incredible number of new centres and programs with ‘Innovation’ in their title. But can they actually be innovative? One that is arguably the most successful such programs in Australia is the UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. In regard to student education in innovation the BCII points the way forward. The challenge for universities is to be genuinely innovative in the way they teach and do innovation.
The Vocational Education and Training sector is at last emerging from the scandal brought down by unscrupulous providers rorting the FEE-HELP loans system and so creating much misery for students. These providers created and serviced huge demand on the back of Government funds that could have been used more appropriately rather than supporting low value activity.
Now that the fog is clearing we expect strong, credible players to emerge with an ultimately larger share of the market which will be significantly affected by fee capping. There are tremendous opportunities for university-owned providers to take advantage of the demand, positioning themselves as a credible safe haven.
And that’s it for our attempts at prediction. What we can say with certainty is that we wish you all the very best for a profitable and successful 2017.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: David Wright
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
With 2017 just around the corner, everyone is watching with bated breath to see what the new year brings. The main influential factor: the new presidential administration. The result: lots of changes.
Right now the economy is solid. The GDP growth in Q3 was bigger than expected and the Fed will likely raise rates in December, so 2017 will start out grand. However the lack of clarity of Trump's policy positions and uncertainty of his leadership will cause great angst among the nation’s business community and HR.
My prediction is that in 2017, negotiation will be the key to success. As a shrewd business man, negotiation has been and will continue to be at the forefront of all issues he tackles, policies he sets forth, and changes he makes. Business leaders must prepare, invest and possibly maneuver to protect their assets, investors and employees.
Without a strong voice and willingness to participate in the conversation, they'll risk losing their place in the discussion. And with the below hot topics destined to change the face of the business marketplace, this is certainly not the time to lose that voice.
Outsourcing: One of Trump's most recent successful negotiations was with Indiana-based Carrier to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the country rather than outsourcing to Mexico. This effort, while great for the Carrier employers, is not sustainable every time a company plans to move jobs. It will be interesting to watch how other companies attempt to negotiate with governmental entities to gain subsidies and other incentives. What's more, how will this affect the free marketplace?
Immigration: With Trump vowing to crack down on H1B visas, numerous industries could suffer including farming and manufacturing. Some companies are already striving to maintain protected-immigrant status for their strongest employees. Will strong negotiation make an impact for these at-risk workers? If these companies fail, there may be a massive workforce shortage.
Health care: Changes will likely come to the Affordable Care Act, which is already a hot topic for businesses assessing the costs of employment. Look to Health Savings Accounts as the future of insurance as HR executives nationwide research and negotiate rates for employees.
Paid family leave: The United States is embarrassingly lagging behind in rights for parents and caregivers who need to take time off work for family medical reasons. While positive for employees, employers argue the costs of such a mandate could debilitate businesses. Will Trump knock down potential legislation? If so, will progressive companies step up to voluntarily offer these benefits?
Overtime: NPR estimates 4.2 million workers will become eligible to earn OT this month due to President Obama's executive orders. Many argue this will come at the cost of employee raises, and potentially, jobs. Trump could overturn this rule, which has positive and negative consequences. Unions in particular, may have hard-fought negotiations about OT to look forward to in 2017.
Infrastructure spending: Trump touts increased spending on infrastructure, which could positively boost the economy and job market from urban to rural areas. Will this actually come to fruition, and furthermore, how will these improvements be funded? Trump's true negotiation prowess will need to shine in order to make this all come together as he claims.
Tax cuts: Businesses could invest more in innovation which, in turn, could create more jobs. Employees who spend the extra money (rather than save) are putting more money into the economy and new jobs are needed to produce the goods and services they are purchasing.
Ultimately, based on Trump's background and rhetoric, we'll all get a first-row view to how cutthroat businesses negotiation plays out in a governmental format. Will his vast (and often vague) promises materialize? That's the main source of uncertainty as we all look to the future.
This article is part of the LinkedIn Top Voices list, a collection of the must-read writers of the year. Check out more #BigIdeas2017 here.
#negotiation, #2017, #careers, #management, #labormarket
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Molly Moseley
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
I'm having a bad week at my job. I was an Account Specialist in our company for four years before getting promoted to a management role in our divisional HQ this past February.
They recruited me into the management role from my position in the field. I didn't even know the job was available.
I went to two days of training on corporate procedures before I started my new job.
I already knew most of the folks who became my team members. Since February we've been rocking and rolling and hitting our goals. It's a fantastic team and we work hard.
Last week my manager sat down with me and walked me through our annual performance review process. I'm supposed to write annual reviews for the whole team during December. Of course, I had gone through annual reviews myself when I worked in the field, so the form and the process were familiar.
Then my manager said "You will evaluate each employee on their own and then you'll complete an online form that ranks your employees from top to bottom. You'll submit the form to HR, and that ranking will play a big part in determining bonuses."
I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. "Rank them from top to bottom?" I asked. I thought she meant top to bottom in terms of their pay levels or years of service.
"From your best employee to your to worst employee, basically," she said.
I was shocked. I have friends who work in companies that used to do stack ranking of employees, but they don't do it anymore. Stack ranking was not part of my review process when I was working in my previous job, in the field.
"You do stack ranking here?" I asked her. "I never heard about that before I took the Manager job."
"Some of our divisions do it," she said. "It's up to the individual VP."
I guess our VP likes stack ranking.
I said "I don't want to speak out of turn, but I don't believe in comparing my employees to one another. It's impossible to do it responsibly. They are apples and oranges. They all have different roles and different talents. I need every one of them. No one is a bad performer. If they were, you would already know about it."
"I'm sorry," she said. "It's required."
"I don't want to make this a heavy conversation," I said, "but I'm not going to do it. You can move me into a different position if you want, or we can talk about a transition process if you want me to train my replacement and move on. In my opinion it's unethical to compare employees to one another. That's why the practice of stack ranking is disappearing all over the world. I'm shocked that our company is still hanging onto it."
"You are a terrific employee, but this is not a battle I'm willing to fight on your behalf," she said.
To lighten the mood, I told a joke.
"Well," I said, "we know who's on the bottom of your team's stack ranking list now!"
She didn't laugh. We left the meeting and I haven't heard a thing about this issue since then.
What should I do? Of course, I haven't mentioned a word to my teammates.
I'll be pretty disappointed if I get fired a week before Christmas, but if that happens I'll go to the CEO or whoever I need to go to and state my case and try to get a good reference and a severance package, at least.
This incident is very discouraging of course, but I firmly believe that when you do the right thing, it always pays off.
What do you recommend?
Thanks Liz! You are the greatest.
It's amazing that your boss hired you into a management role without telling you that you'd be expected to line up your brilliant colleagues like pieces of lumber and stack them in order of some murky notion of "best" to "worst."
It's reprehensible, as you pointed out, and the worst imaginable leadership practice.
If your higher-ups insist on maintaining the loathsome and culture-killing practice of stack ranking then you'll be better off out of there anyway.
I think your plan to raise hell on the way out and leave with a severance package is a great plan.
The worst they can do is say no, and you can probably get a lawyer to send them a letter threatening legal action if they do that. Most companies would find it prudent to give you some money to make you go away, but it may not come to that. After all, you were a stellar four-year employee and you have the company's best interests in mind now.
If you get fired, you get fired, but don't quit if they say "If you don't want to do the job, then quit." Let them fire you if they want to.
We are all learning to find our voices and our backbones, and the learning is not always fun. I am sure you are disappointed, but I hope you also feel righteous mojo running through your veins.
You should! When you stand up for something you believe in, you get stronger.
Your team will miss you if you go, but no job is worth sacrificing your integrity over. Any company foolish enough to make its managers pit their employees against one another instead of encouraging them to pull together as a team is not an organization where you can grow your flame.
Let's be honest: your fearful boss and her fearful VP don't deserve you.
A new year is coming. Imagine the possibilities! You are growing new muscles, and setting boundaries around your values. If this company doesn't see your value, plenty of others will.
Now you have a management role under your belt and a new commitment to work for people who share your ethical standards. You only need one employer at a time!
All the best,
Originally posted on Linked In by: Liz Ryan
Nothing hurts an organization more than the loss of its top performers as these are the people who make the greatest difference in productivity, presenteeism (versus absenteeism), organizational commitment, creativity, innovation and client satisfaction and service. Motivating and retaining top talent is a challenge at the best of times. Top performers want opportunities for growth, learning new skills, recognition for good work and career development and advancement – all of which can get shunted aside while getting the work done.
Managing workloads is crucial at the best of times and care must be taken to ensure that the work group leader is not dumping all the extra work on the best and the brightest for unreasonable periods of time or they will leave. If it is a “talent war” then management and Human Resources must be focused on identifying top performers and keeping them unharmed and on the team with ever-present opportunities for growth and achievement and learning.
Most of the Drivers of Employee Turnover Can Be Managed Internally
While an organization can only manage and control their half of the relationship with the employee an employee’s manager can impact 80% or more of the reasons why employees leave or if they stay- and few of these are cost issues. When complaints are about the quality of the work environment, work-life balance, relationships with their managers, and a lack of challenge, opportunities for growth or recognition or the chance to learn new skills the good news is that the organization and the individual managers have control over all of these factors. If there is the right motivation to address these issues effectively, this will reduce turnover and improve overall results.
If your organization believes that people are your most important asset, then these management practices will ensure that employees return to work every day committed to fulfilling the organization’s objectives. Make these your new norms.
A 7 Step Executive Guide to Lower Job Turnover and Higher Productivity
1. Get turnover and job vacancies on the corporate agenda.
Awareness, understanding and commitment to action begin by getting people’s attention. The caution here is that if job vacancies get focused upon without changes to recruiting processes to ensure only high quality people are hired, the seats will fill up with warm bodies.
2. Get the roles right with a mix of internal and external resources.
Appoint HR as executive “champion.” Set objectives and track progress. Line managers and HR have roles to play in the exit interview process, however HR is best used to champion change not just do interviews. HR can source independent survey providers; ensure internal processes complement the third party services; and provide reports from the external survey provider to the executive and managers of the organization.
3. Gather solid data on turnover and the reasons people have left using both internal and independent survey resources (engagement and exit surveys).
Go back 6 to 12 months, if high turnover. Do phone or online surveys or a combination of both. Underpin this initiative with the motto of quality leader Edwards Deming who told executives and quality adherents alike: “In God we trust; all others bring data.”
Use prepared exit interview guides for managers and HR to complement external surveys.
4. Identify the top performers and ensure development opportunities are in place.
Think collaboration, partnership and long-term. Get managers to ensure that agreed upon development opportunities are in place and not sacrificed. Top performers produce higher benefits, thus cost more if lost. Don’t ignore the rest; just prevent losing your best.
5. Ensure that exit and engagement survey results are acted upon. The executive “champion” must ensure that the executive and managers are aware of survey results and that actions are in place to bring about meaningful change. Keep this on the executive and manager radar screens.
6. Add to the people metrics as part of employer branding initiatives such as quality of new hires; length of tenure of new hires; number of people rehired; and referrals. Track reasons for leaving and employee satisfaction scores and correlate results with performance ratings. Track willingness to return and assess the quality of internal exit interviews.
We hold managers accountable for results but it’s high time we added accountability for hiring decisions. This simple move would most certainly send HR departments out to assess the appropriate tools to aid in selection versus some of the wrong tools they’re using now.
7. Communicate and celebrate results. Continuous communication with managers and employees that the organization is serious about making improvements that will motivate and retain good people. Get managers focused on management behaviours that keep staff coming to work and that enable people to grow and be productive.
Your thoughts on how to reduce turnover?
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Greg Basham
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