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AXELOS-MSP AXELOS Managing Successful Programmes

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) creates a structured framework for organizations of all sizes and from all sectors to Improve practices, offer better services and more effectively prepare for the future.

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) provides a framework whereby large, complex change can be broken down into manageable, inter-related projects. For those managing this overall delivery, the principles of programme management are key to delivering on time and within budget.

MSP comprises a set of principles and processes for managing a programme which are founded on best practice although it is not prescriptive. It is very flexible and designed to be adapted to meet different needs and circumstances and has been adopted by both public and private sector organizations

Organizations are increasingly recognizing their need for programme management. The adoption of MSP has grown across the world as it has been established as the standard for programme management. Large, complex deliveries are often broken down into manageable, inter-related projects. For those managing this overall delivery, the principles of programme management are key to delivering on time and within budget.
Managing Successful Programmes comprises a set of principles, governance themes and a transformational flow to provide the route map for the programme lifecycle. It is founded on best practice though it is not prescriptive. It is very flexible and designed to be adapted to meet the needs of local circumstances

MSP offers best-practice guidance to all organizations – large or small, public or private sector – to help them achieve successful outcomes from transformational change. MSP has been developed to help organizations achieve excellence by improving practices, offering better services and preparing more effectively for the future.

Creates a vision and blueprint for transformational change
Designs the programme to deliver the blueprint
Identifies the right outcomes and benefits and plans for their delivery
Delivers on time, to budget and desired quality
Breaks down initiatives into clearly defined projects and offers a framework for handling them
Defines responsibilities and lines of communication
Involves stakeholders
Manages risk and ensures the programme responds to change
Audits and maintains quality.
London Olympics
Ministry of Defence

AXELOS Managing Successful Programmes
AXELOS Successful education
Killexams : AXELOS Successful education - BingNews Search results Killexams : AXELOS Successful education - BingNews Killexams : Success demands a willingness to fail

Failure has become unacceptable, and that is a tragedy.

Failure provides some of the greatest lessons that each of us will ever learn. How many of us in our youth exhibited judgment that we find distasteful today? Experience is a painful teacher, but the lessons learned are invaluable. 

Yet, in today’s social media frenzied and socially divided society, everyone is expected to be correct, all the time and every time. 

Some of the most renowned and remembered figures in our nation’s history were colossal failures. 

Baseball player Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, a record that lasted for almost four decades. He also struck out 1,330 times, a record he also held for almost three decades. To be successful at hitting home runs demanded that he be willing to also strike out frequently. 

Inventor Thomas Edison was known for finding the winning solution by trial and error, or hunt and search, with each unsuccessful attempt a stepping stone to the right answer. He believed that perspiration, not inspiration were at the foundation of many great inventions and advances. As such, failure was the keystone for his many successes and inventions. 

Mistakes are the stepping stones to future success. When mistakes are made, lessons can be learned that provide insights into making better decisions in the future. 

Of course, if such lessons are not embraced, and future decisions are not better informed, then mistakes become the norm. Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein referred to this as insanity, believing that the same actions will produce different results.

Mistakes are a byproduct of taking actions into unchartered waters. It means taking risks. When such actions and their results get amplified on social media, they become subject to public scrutiny and criticism. 

Social media gives everyone the ticket to be a public critic. It is easy to become a harsh arbiter when one is safely barricaded in a cyber castle. This pushes some people in the public eye, like our elected representatives, to be less bold, traversing the safe route rather than the bold one. The net product of such an environment is fewer risks, fewer mistakes — and over time, fewer successes.

Our whole society has been gravitating toward an objective that is built less around finding success and more around avoiding failure. The challenge is that when the focus is around not failing, success becomes more difficult to attain.

A good example of this is when a football team is trying to protect a second-half lead by playing overly cautious. The net effect is that the trailing team is empowered, and often ends up winning. Recall the 2017 Super Bowl LI when the New England Patriots overcame a 25-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons.

As a university professor, I teach my students that failure is the best predictor of future success. When I was a graduate student, my two lowest grades were in the two subjects in which I have made the most significant career contributions. Coincidence? Hardly. The subjects that presented the greatest challenges were also the ones that required the hardest work and most effort. This eventually gave me skills and insights that yielded the most substantive results. 

Young people must be taught that failure is an acceptable outcome, and how to use failure to build toward future success. This means teaching them how to embrace risk in a meaningful way. 

It is far riskier to take no risks than to assume an appropriate level of risk commensurate with the rewards that are available. Think of the person who puts their money in a bank account earning a pittance of interest while inflation erodes its buying power. By unknowingly believing they are taking no risk, they are assuming risks that will cost them far more over time. 

While young people need courses that teach them life skills to earn a living and manage their finances, teaching them the benefits of risk-taking and how to use failure as stepping stones for future success should be staples in our education system at every level. The challenge may be finding people with the necessary competencies to instruct on such topics.

Sheldon H. Jacobson, Ph.D., is a professor in computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A data scientist, he applies his expertise in data-driven risk-based decision-making to evaluate and inform public policy.

Mon, 03 Oct 2022 01:30:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : School safety necessary for successful education and learning efforts

An impromptu conversation this summer with city education wonk Gene Bouie delivered this exchange.

Here’s my line.

You know, considering how the school year ended with that incident at The Ninth Grade Academy and other fights, one would think the Board of Education might be having discussions about security.

(The 2021-22 school year ended with a brutal attack of a ninth grader at the Chambers St. academy. Plus, numerous incidents had gone unreported at TNGA and Trenton Central High School) and someone killed a 16-year-old student from the Academy although not on school premises.

Bouie responded.

“Well, what makes you think those discussions have not taken place?”, Bouie, his back up, sniped.

My line: I think someone would have told me or notified parents.

Our conversation ranked between cordial, civil and mildly combative. We were in a public place or else throat jumping, a popular city sport, seemed possible.

Last Monday produced a small fight between two female students who showed no grace. Tuesday adults wrecked the place. They stormed the education bastille.

A recap noted three adults, holding that title by age only, showed at the Academy campus.

The parents had visited in response to a Monday incident that involved a fight between students. Parents pushed their way into the school and toward the cafeteria, where they tried to confront students involved in the previous day’s fight.

Parents fought with security guards before being arrested by city police and officers detained two juveniles.

Police said Blanc Ortiz, 34, Rafael Aviles, 33, and Celeste McNeill, 24, were all charged with endangering the welfare of a child, inciting a riot, and obstructing the administration of law. Blanc and McNeill were charged with aggravated assault and Ortiz and Aviles were charged with resisting arrest.

Officials announced no charges for the juveniles but said that they were both 15-year-old females. Hooray for freedom and pugilistic equity for girls.

Not reported were the issues that develop with violence. We heard several stories regarding traumatized students who called or texted their parents requesting rescue during a lockdown of premises.

If children and teachers do not feel safe in schools then education suffers.

Learning ranks as difficult when violence lurks around every hallway corner. District officials released a statement.

“We ask parents and guardians to encourage their children not to use violence to resolve conflicts. Students should not open doors and allow unauthorized adults to enter. Incidents like this endanger the safety of students and innocent adults in our schools. We are committed to eliminating these acts of violence within the educational environment and creating a safe space for teaching and learning. Our schools will not be a battlefield. Any student who chooses to engage in violent behavior will be permanently removed from the school setting.

“As always, the safety of our employees and students will always be our highest priority.”

If high priority exists then post a city police officer in front of the Academy. Stop this nonsense before someone gets seriously injured.

Better our children receive supervision and guidance by police now, then get such attention by a prison guard later.

Finally, the murder of Dreiby Osorio. a TNGA student, remains unsolved. Continue to press for an arrest of his assailant.

Sun, 02 Oct 2022 09:53:00 -0500 L.A. Parker en-US text/html
Killexams : Teachers are ‘the crucial part’ to many students’ success
AIMS student Aimee Linebarger discusses her plans to go to medical school. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Learning is second nature to Aimee Linebarger.

A junior at the Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science, or AIMS, Linebarger was one of a few students at the school who got perfect scores on her calculus and language arts Advanced Placement tests. For her, school is something she can’t get enough of.

“I like learning, and so I don’t see it as ‘things to do,’ ” the 17-year-old said. “I just always try to do my best on everything.”

The testing data released by the state Public Education Department at the beginning of September was undoubtedly stark – after all, it represented the first relatively complete set of scores of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there were still schools in New Mexico – and students, like Linebarger – which pulled off strong showings coming out of the pandemic. AIMS, a charter school affiliated with the University of New Mexico, is one such school.

According to test results provided by the school for six- through eighth- and 11th-graders, a little more than 90% of AIMS students were proficient in math and over 91% were proficient in language arts.

Statewide, an average of just over 23% of students in those grade levels were proficient in math and about 33% were proficient in language arts.

AIMS Director Kathy Sandoval-Snider said the school’s test scores have a lot to do with the drive of its students.

“It takes work – hard work and determination – to continue to increase and improve,” she said. “Those kids are ambitious.”

AIMS, which has roughly 350 total students from sixth to 12th grade, provides a rigorous education, which includes requiring students to take AP tests.

But that doesn’t mean some students don’t struggle. For them, the school requires after-school tutoring that’s overseen by teachers, but performed by older students.

Daniel Cruz, a senior at AIMS, is one of those tutors. As a peer, he said he’s in a unique position to help younger students with their assignments.

“I feel like I can bring a new perspective just by having worked on the homework assignments,” he said. “I’ve had different strategies and explored different ideas than someone who had taught the material, but not necessarily worked on the material.”

Overall, AIMS has an environment that fosters collaboration among students on their studies, said Isaac Yang, a 16-year-old senior who also scored perfectly on his AP tests and is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.

“There’s sort of an environment here where you don’t feel pressured to do well, you just do well naturally,” he said. “Because it’s a small school … you feel comfortable going to other people for help, or helping other people. And that just helps you to learn.”

Hubert Humphrey

Another school that excelled in this spring’s assessments was Hubert Humphrey Elementary School.

According to Albuquerque Public Schools results data, over 70% of Humphrey third- through fifth-graders were proficient in language arts and almost 67% were proficient in math. Across New Mexico, a bit over 34% were proficient in language arts and 26% were proficient in math.

Helping students do their best is about understanding both where they come from and assessing where they’re at, Humphrey Principal Paula Miller said.

Daniel Cruz speaks about his plans after high school. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

“All students do better – you just have to understand what your community is,” she said. “Every child is different. And you need to be able to understand every child’s nature, you need to know how to read them, you need to understand where their strengths (are).”

For third grader Blake Ferguson, it’s all about finding something that makes otherwise drab subjects more fun.

Her teacher, Lori Armijo, seemed to have found a sweet spot in worksheets that asked students to solve math problems to reveal clues about an unidentified suspect stealing the dreams of the residents of “Mathhattan” – in other words, “Mystery Math.”

“(We’re) ‘math detectives,’ according to the worksheet,” Ferguson said.

Humphrey is also on top of figuring out which students are in need of help, Miller said. Teachers collaborate every week and closely follow data they have on their students.

In addition to the interim assessments that all schools participate in, Miller said Humphrey conducts short-cycle, classroom-based tests to better understand the curriculum that struggling students need.

That can also include such intervention strategies as “Fundations,” she said, which helps students learn the basic building blocks of memorizing – how a letter works, words that are used often and other comprehension strategies.

That type of work, Armijo said, helps students across every grade level.

Yet another part of Humphrey’s success, Miller said, is having had a technology teacher prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Being more versed in such things as Google apps and typing “hugely” helped the transition to online learning during the pandemic for students and educators, technology teacher Carol Garcia said.

Isaac Yang talks about his plans to become a mechanical engineer. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

“It was pretty amazing to watch it happen,” she said.

Her work in improving students’ technological literacy has continued even after the pandemic. On a Friday afternoon, for example, she taught a riveted group of kindergarteners several essential skills for using a computer, including how to properly work mouse pads and keyboards.

Keys to success

Both AIMS and Humphrey students appear to have advantages at home, as well. According to PED data from near the beginning of the past school year, only about 7% of AIMS students were considered “economically disadvantaged.” At Humphrey, it was about 10% of students.

But Miller said that that’s not always the deciding factor in a student’s success.

“I’ve always seen parents come through for their children, regardless of what their poverty status is, in one way or another,” she said.

Everyone agreed about one thing: teachers represent the cornerstones of student success.

“They are the crucial part,” Miller said. “If (students) believe that their teacher wants them to do their best, and knows they can do their best, and is helping them to do their best – every child will succeed.”

Armijo shifted the credit a bit. She said that, while she holds high expectations for her students, they oftentimes help each other, with students who are a bit more proficient in certain subjects offering help to those who may be struggling a bit.

“I let them know that they’re all capable, each one of them, to succeed at their level, no matter what level they’re at,” she said. “When they do need one-on-one help, it’s not just coming from me, it’s coming from their peers.”

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 14:48:00 -0500 Esteban Candelaria / Journal Staff Writer en-US text/html
Killexams : The 3 key elements of entrepreneurial success No result found, try new keyword!My experience has taught me that an entrepreneur’s probability of success hinges on three factors: The first is an idea that is disruptive, visionary, and delivers efficiency. The second element ... Wed, 21 Sep 2022 00:30:00 -0500 text/html Killexams : Successful Leaders Are Great Coaches

Leadership is going through massive changes as the Baby Boomers transfer power to emerging leaders in the Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z generations. That generational change is bringing with it a shift in leadership style, from leaders as capable managers to leaders as great coaches of people.  

While in exact years many leaders have hired external coaches, some have gone further, conceptualizing their jobs as executives as fundamentally about coaching. An example of a great coach is Bill Campbell, who started his career as coach of Columbia University’s football team and later became known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley.” Bill acted as a trusted confidant and executive coach to many of the entrepreneurs who built Silicon Valley, including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, current Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. Campbell rejected the notion of “command-and-control” leadership, saying, “Your title makes you a manager; your people make you a leader.” 

Just as great athletes seek out great coaches, the best people want to work for leaders who coach them to reach their full potential and who will help them become better coaches themselves. What does it mean to conceptualize leadership as coaching? To answer that, we have developed the acronym COACH to describe how today’s leaders should work with people. As a coaching leader, you need to Care for your teammates, Organize them into their “sweet spot,” Align them around the organization’s purpose and values, Challenge them to reach their full potential, and Help them reach their goals.  

Let’s examine each element of these five aspects that make great coaching leaders. 

Care: Build Understanding and Trust

These days people will not engage their full selves — mind, body, and spirit — until they believe their leader cares about them. They seek a personal connection with their leader before they will invest themselves wholly in their jobs. That requires leaders to provide a level of access, openness, and depth that once was taboo.  

In our experience in organizations and in the classroom, many leaders from the Baby Boomer generation are reluctant to open up to employees and prefer dealing primarily with their direct reports. That is increasingly a liability, as today’s employees demand both connection and authenticity in their leaders. They can sniff out phonies in seconds and aren’t interested in working with them. So coaching leaders need to demonstrate from the outset that they genuinely care about their teams, not only with regard to the team’s overall performance — but in terms of how individuals are faring in their working lives. 

As CEO of Carlson Companies, the hospitality and travel company, Marilyn Carlson Nelson says she converted the company culture by personally demonstrating how much she cared for her employees. She notes, “Satisfied employees create satisfied customers. In the service business, customers understand very quickly whether you legitimately care for them.”   

Organize: Get People in Their Sweet Spot

The second task of the leader as coach is to know and understand their team members’ strengths and weaknesses and their motivations and desires. They use that information to organize their team so that everyone is operating in their “sweet spot” where their strengths and intrinsic motivations intersect. When people are working in their sweet spot, they are inspired, energized, fulfilled, and passionate about their jobs and will succeed in their work.  

Creating a sweet spot–focused organizational culture necessitates leaders working with their team members directly, not staying removed in an office or conference room. Even more importantly, coaching leaders are in the marketplace, where they get to observe people working with customers to understand how their team members’ strengths intersect with customer needs and wants. 

As important as these direct interactions are, they’re even more powerful when combined with real-time data collection through employee surveys. The results help verify what the leader sees in daily interactions, and can inform decisions to build an empowered, well-organized team where everyone is tapping into their strengths. 

Align: Unite People Around a Common Vision and Purpose

Of all the tasks required of the leader as coach, aligning employees with the company’s purpose and values is the most challenging. In many large organizations, people struggle to connect their personal purpose with the organization’s purpose. For many employees, identifying with enterprise-wide goals that seem lofty or disconnected from their day-to-day duties is simply a bridge too far. The leader’s job is to bring those statements to life and make the company’s purpose and values relatable to every employee’s work. 

Jim Whitehurst, former CEO of open-source software company Red Hat, was able to do that by rallying employees behind its open-source mission and zeal for transparency and openness. “If people just work for a paycheck, they won’t go the extra mile, but if they believe in a purpose that transcends profit, they will give all they have,” Whitehurst says.  

Challenge: Summon People’s Best

Just as the best athletes and top leaders actively search for coaches who enable them to reach their full potential, so do employees and younger leaders. They aren’t looking for leaders who will make it easy for them; on the contrary, they want to be challenged. 

They want to work for leaders like former Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer, who insisted that his leadership team provide employees with honest and constructive feedback, establish high performance standards, use measurable goals to track progress, and conduct reality-based, results-focused operating reviews. 

The leader as coach must be comfortable stretching people, pushing them outside their comfort zone en route to personal and professional growth. In doing so, they not only become better performers, but will emerge as future leaders. 

Help: Solve Problems and Celebrate Success

Under command-and-control management, executives created their strategy, structure, and processes and then delegated the work to subordinates for execution. Later they reviewed results and judged people by their numerical outcomes. That hands-off approach won’t fly today as leaders are no longer judges but colleagues. 

Coaching leaders personally engage with employees in their workplace and help them think through options and solve difficult problems. When things go well, they participate in award ceremonies or sales meetings to recognize people for their accomplishments. When he was CEO of Merck, Roy Vagelos regularly ate in the company cafeteria, asking people about their work and their challenges. Often, he called them up later to offer his ideas to help solve their problems. 

Our Own Evolution

We write this as fellow journeyers, not as experts who have figured everything out. Both of us have evolved our own leadership, moving from traditional management practices to coaching.  

As CEO of Medtronic, Bill spent the bulk of his time with employees in factories, labs, offices, and hospitals, developing a deep sense of care for Medtronic employees and respect for their commitment to the Medtronic Mission. However, major organization changes were required to get people in their sweet spot and align them around Medtronic’s purpose and values. By challenging people to perform at higher levels and providing the help they needed, the business became a resounding success.  

Three years after founding Three Ships at age 24, Zach, a Millennial, was confronted by his teammates, who pummeled him in a 360-degree assessment for focusing too much on his own ability to get things done quickly, and for setting standards that others couldn’t meet. As a result, he began to shift his yardstick of success from individual achievement to team achievement. A decade later, he is still amid this journey, as he solicits frequent feedback from his team. His changes have enabled the business to grow much faster.  

Our experiences aren’t uncommon. Our conversations with hundreds of leaders, from MBAs to CEOs, have convinced us that an important shift is occurring. The model of leadership is changing, for the better, and the winning formula is being a good coach. 

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 23:12:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : Education notebook

Chief of computer education picked

Kelly Griffin is Arkansas' new director of computer science education, replacing Anthony Owen who resigned this summer from the Arkansas Department of Education post to become senior director of state government affairs for

Griffin, a licensed educator, previously served as a lead computer science specialist on the agency's computer science team -- a position she held since 2016. In that role, she participated in the Governor's Cybersecurity Task Force, helped with the revision of the state's computer science standards, engaged with the governor's coding tours of schools, and assisted with the development of a computer science toolkit, which has been distributed nationally.

She began her career in education as an administrative assistant before becoming a teacher.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has pushed for the expansion of computer science education throughout his tenure as governor. He signed legislation in 2015, the year he took office, that required all public high schools to offer computer science -- the first state to do so.

Now, beginning with ninth-graders this school year, every student will be required to earn one credit in a high school computer science or a computing course for graduation. Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, every public high school must employ at least one high school computer-science certified teacher.

City Year seeking student coaches

City Year Little Rock is seeking student success coaches for work in the Little Rock School District.

Now through Sept. 27, the non-profit City Year Little Rock organization, which is affiliated with AmeriCorps, is accepting applications and nominations for mid-year AmeriCorps members.

If selected, individuals will begin their service on Oct. 17.

"City Year Little Rock delivers proven results for central Arkansas students as well as AmeriCorps members," said Jennifer Cobb, senior vice president and executive director.

"Throughout their service, these young adults gain in-demand skills, from effective communication to time management, that are essential for future workforce success," Cobb said.

As AmeriCorps members, student success coaches will receive a biweekly stipend, health insurance, an education award, access to scholarships and more than 200 hours of professional development.

More information about applications or nominating someone to serve with City Year Little Rock from October 2022 to June 2023 is available at

Baroni moves to Resource Center

Luanne Baroni, assistant superintendent/director of communications of the LISA Academy charter school system, has moved to a new position in the Arkansas Public School Resource Center.

Baroni is the center's new director of charter development, according to Christina Fowler, the center's director of communications.

Baroni replaces Joanna Lever, who is now the vice president of education at Goodwill Industries of Arkansas.

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 20:17:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Op-ed: 'Is college even worth it?' It's certainly not the only path to a successful career

At an individual level, sometimes a trade school makes the most sense for your or your children's financial future.

Tom Werner | Digitalvision | Getty Images

While my parents never had the opportunity to attend college, they were indeed very successful.

Their success afforded me the opportunity to pursue higher education, but ironically, I doubt I'll ever be nearly as successful as them.

My mom is one of the founders of the Wealth Enhancement Group — to which I would mention her as "my inspiration to be in the financial services industry."

As for my dad, he wrote computer programs that sorted data and he turned it into a direct mail marketing business.

But what I think makes them so special is on top of all that, they also did real estate development. My dad got his general contractor license so he could oversee the projects. Then they went on to design their own homes. They were never scared of losing it all because they never had it all.

I doubt I'm not the only one who feels this way about higher education. As a financial advisor, I see this narrative play out every day in my office with clients.

How did we get here?

Many people still believe attending a four-year college is the only way to financial stability and success, but that isn't always the case.

Over the past few decades, the middle class has expanded, along with the desire for white-collar jobs. Therefore, college became the default path, contributing to the cost of higher education increasing 169% from 1980 to 2020, according to a Georgetown study.

The pool of candidates with a college degree became so saturated that it enables employers to keep entry-level wages low. To make matters worse, roughly 34% of college graduates are underemployed.

More from FA Playbook:

Here's a look at other stories impacting the financial advisor business.

A return on investment from a college education has been in steady decline for a while. And that gap between cost and payoff has become so large that it recently required government intervention.

And while President Joe Biden's student debt forgiveness plan has undoubtedly provided some relief for many Americans, it's just a Band-Aid on a major laceration.

As tuition continues to rise and wages don't seem to match, many Americans need to ask the question: "Is college even worth it?"

Weigh all your options

As a parent, I know that we're often so fearful of our children missing out on opportunities that we sometimes steer them away from paths that deserve a longer look. As an advisor, I find it frightening that we've normalized advice to take on mountains of debt without even weighing alternatives.

And with the way things are heading, the value of a college education — in both perception and reality — will be drastically different in 10 or 20 years, when students (and their parents, many of whom are currently feeling anxious about how to save for college) need to make a decision about what to do after high school.

Why college is so expensive in America

watch now

Consider all the options. Hand in hand with the premium placed on a college education is a terrible stigma about trade schools and blue-collar jobs. But the pandemic showed us that we need those jobs to function as a society. And at an individual level, sometimes a trade school makes the most sense for your (or your children's) financial future.

For others, direct entry into the workforce makes the most sense.

We continue to see more job growth in construction, health care, computer science and tech. In those sectors, there's an abundance of opportunity outside of traditional schooling. Coding boot camps, the growth of opportunities for entrepreneurship and the gig economy have all transformed how we should be thinking about the future. It's a future that doesn't necessarily lead through a four-year college.

Be prepared no matter what

What are the implications for financial planning?

Emotionally and psychologically, reassessing college plans might help you reorient your current priorities.

Maybe you're sacrificing an emergency fund or saving for retirement because of the pressure of rising tuition. For you, knowing that there are good — and for many individuals, better — options outside of college might help you feel at ease putting money where it should be going.

And 529 college savings plans — the most popular vehicle for college savings — are much more flexible than you might realize. Assets in a 529 plan can be used at two-year associate degree programs, trade schools and vocational schools.

The most common fear stopping people from starting a 529 early is the prospect of paying a 10% penalty and taxes on the earnings should the child not use the funds for qualified education expenses, but don't let the fear of the penalty stop you from good planning. Those penalties are offset by tax-deferred gains and recapturing state income tax deductions.

I'm about investing in people, not blindly investing in a path that everyone says is the only way to success. There are many doorways to a financially stable, prosperous life. I hope you'll take the time to consider all of them.

— Nicole Webb, Senior vice president/financial advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 01:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The key to a successful post-pandemic workplace might be coaching

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

Recent world events have turned “business as usual” on its head. Faced with demands for flexible work arrangements and increased DEI efforts (and confronted with issues raised by “quiet quitting”), business leaders must rethink priorities and processes, the survey noted.

Leaders who serve as coaches may help their organizations more effectively adjust to these transformations. By coaching direct reports, leaders can better connect with them and drive engagement, but managers aren’t naturally prepared to serve in this role, a 2021 survey found.

Training managers on how to coach teaches them how to be active listeners and meet their direct reports where they are, HR Dive previously reported. By contrast, untrained managers may develop unproductive behaviors, such as micromanaging, not providing adequate feedback and focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths.

Freshly promoted front-line managers, typically lacking the skills to coach new direct reports, may especially benefit from such training, according to a June 2021 report from Forrester. In consumer-oriented businesses, while executives shape customer strategy, front-line managers are directing the employees putting the strategy into action. Effective development programs can prevent new managers from falling into bad habits. These programs should take place over a six-month to one-year period and involve formal, social and experiential learning, a research exec said.

To measure the impact of coaching, businesses have moved from an “estimate-based” approach to evidence-based metrics, according to the CoachHub survey. The top five metrics respondents found most useful in measuring success are coachee goal attainment; coachee satisfaction with their coach; coachee learning new behaviors; coachee self efficacy; and coachee engagement.

Using evidence-based metrics is effective, because unlike the estimate-based approach, such as measuring ROI, it measures tangible outcomes, CoachHub’s research team told HR Dive in an email. For example, as coachees attain their goals, the results are displayed outwardly in their work behaviors and performances, the research team said. 

Thu, 29 Sep 2022 11:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html Killexams : Seven Tips For Successful Mergers And Acquisitions

CEO of eCapital, a fast-growing fintech firm transforming financing for small- to mid-size companies.

As recently as 2021, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were at an all-time high, with $5.9 trillion worth of announced transactions, according to Bain & Company. Since then, the pace of M&A dealmaking has slowed, largely due to inflation, increasing interest rates and geopolitical conflicts.

However, these market conditions might increase the number of companies looking to be acquired, making now an ideal time to look at your own M&A strategy and ready your business for opportunities. Mergers and acquisitions can be a strategic way for businesses to stimulate growth, gain competitive advantages, increase market share and influence supply chains.

Over the course of my career, I’ve led more than two dozen successful acquisitions. These purchases served to accelerate growth, expand into new industries and gain technologies that have propelled our business forward and increased the services we are able to offer our customers. While it’s often said that between 70% and 90% of M&A deals fail, in my experience, there are several keys to increasing your chances for success.

1. Engage in offense.

It cannot be overstated that adequate preparation is your best defense for avoiding deal frenzy and ensuring you make solid analytical decisions. Evaluate your seller by assessing their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and learn as much as you can about their reputation and habits to anticipate their moves during negotiation. Additionally, have a sound valuation analysis in place, and know your walk-away price.

2. Leverage technology.

Like most business functions, the pandemic has significantly impacted due diligence. Previously, it often involved considerable travel and in-person execution. At the outset of the pandemic, it transitioned to being fully digital and now has evolved to a hybrid model. Technology can be used to save valuable time and keep the process moving, while data and analytics capabilities are key to improving processes. Technology drives many efficiencies; however, there is no substitute for sitting across the table from your counterpart and building rapport, so don’t let the ease of video breed complacency.

3. Develop your process.

An M&A is significantly more complex than simply aligning on a price, so you must be disciplined in your approach. Develop a process that you follow for each deal. However, you might learn new information during the process, so you also need to maintain the flexibility to adjust your objectives and tactics as the deal evolves.

4. Understand your unique proposition.

Focusing solely on the benefits an acquisition brings to you, the buyer, can often lead to the failure of a deal, so enter negotiations keeping what you uniquely bring to the seller in mind, too. In addition to capital, do you offer strategic direction, organization or process disciplines? You should also consider post-closing consolidation opportunities and challenges and alignment of cultures. If you are in “take mode” rather than “give mode,” it’s easier for the seller to increase the price or terms, especially if there are multiple suitors.

5. Learn to concede.

Concessions are important, and sometimes essential, to keep the process moving and show you are truly interested in working toward a mutually beneficial deal. To have more room for negotiations and concessions, include deal terms that are not related to price. When you make a concession, make sure the other party understands the value. You can also make a contingent concession, so they will need to meet a condition in return.

6. Build trust with transparency.

Secrecy might keep the other party on their toes; however, being open about your interests and motivations—without revealing financial or other sensitive information—can build trust and help create a successful long-term relationship. Transparency can also uncover mutually beneficial trade-offs, thus creating value for everyone.

7. Set your watch. Timing is everything.

Timing is a fine line you’ll need to walk throughout the process. You want the negotiation to proceed step-by-step and give the other party time to reciprocate once you make a move. Otherwise, you might be negotiating against yourself. Deadlines can help the process, but you never want them to come across as ultimatums. Time also helps to ensure both parties agree on mutually beneficial terms; however, too much time can lead to fatigue and negative emotions.

An ambitious and impactful M&A strategy is core to how I’ve built my company; through acquisitions, I’ve combined a mix of independent, strong businesses into one unified company. Despite—or maybe with the assistance of—the current downswing, I see M&As continuing to be an important lever that companies can pull to help grow and achieve beyond their current means, especially in the evolving economic environment.

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Fri, 23 Sep 2022 01:25:00 -0500 Marius Silvasan en text/html
Killexams : Paving the way for success in STEM education India’s economy has seen a steady rise in STEM jobs every year. (Image - Unsplash) © Provided by The Financial Express India’s economy has seen a steady rise in STEM jobs every year. (Image - Unsplash)

By Mary Rodgers,

While science has traditionally been a male-dominated field, exact years have been an exciting time for women, with many at the helm of path-breaking, life-changing discoveries. From developing a revolutionary vaccine to combat COVID-19 in record time or inventing a technique to edit genes, women have been at the forefront of some of the most impactful scientific research and discoveries in exact years.

Given the growth in roles of women scientists, researchers and engineers in high-profile positions worldwide – not to mention the expanding job opportunities — I was optimistic that careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) would have become highly sought-after choices for many young women.

And yet, women and girls continue to be significantly underrepresented in these fields. According to the UN, only about 30% of researchers worldwide are women, and less than a third of female students pursue STEM subjects in university. The US, where I live and work, faces this problem, along with India, which presents a particularly curious case of gender disparity in STEM. In India, while women form nearly 43% of their graduate cohorts in STEM subjects, only 14% of the scientists, engineers and technologists in research and development institutions are women, as per the United Nations. The gap begins to rise with fewer women pursuing doctoral degrees, which translates into fewer tenured positions in the field.

India’s economy has seen a steady rise in STEM jobs every year.i In fact, the demand-supply gap for skilled talent to fill these jobs is fast-growing, with India expected to have 12 million vacancies for engineering jobs alone in the next 5 years, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Not only do these jobs pay well, but they also offer opportunities to change the world.

Also Read | Are early learners losing out because of a broken education system?

Yet this is not enough to change the fact that many women and girls exploring these fields believe that they are at a disadvantage. According to a survey carried out by EdTech platform ‘Avishkaar,’ 30% of parents felt the work environment in STEM-related fields in India is more suitable for males relative to females. This disconnect is also present amongst students themselves, with only 57% of girls, compared to 85% of boys, indicating interest in pursuing a career in STEM.

With parents and friends having significant influence on such decisions, we should encourage the young people we know to follow these dreams by sharing information about the many ways to succeed in STEM.

Why I Love Science

My career as a virus hunter with Abbott’s Pandemic Defense Coalition has taken me on an exciting journey through new scientific discoveries. Two years ago, I was part of a team of Abbott scientists that announced the identification of a new HIV strain, and last year we mapped coronavirus variants in Senegal. My work is constantly changing, and I get to do something every day that helps people.

Not all scientists wear lab coats. There are many pursuits in STEM which can get overlooked. If chasing viruses isn’t for you, perhaps building skyscrapers, designing video games or tagging sharks will be.

Role Models Are All Around

We can inspire girls to enter STEM fields by ensuring they have female role models and mentors – like teachers – to support them. Its also important to celebrate the many women making a difference in STEM so that girls can see themselves in these kinds of impactful roles.

Also Read | Engineer’s Day: The top 5 skills that engineers must acquire in 2022

Such role models shine bright across the world. My scientific hero is biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who won the Nobel Prize in 2020 with Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work with CRISPR gene-editing technology. In India, Sudha Murty was one of the first female engineers at TATA Engineering and Locomotive company. Since then, she has paved the way for young girls from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in science.

With STEM, we can help Improve lives all over the planet, through our work and our health, science, and sustainability outreach. When we combine curiosity with confidence, we can inspire our sisters, daughters and friends to succeed.

(The author is Principal Scientist, Abbott. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 18:32:00 -0500 en-IN text/html
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