Though networking of all kinds remains a white-hot IT concern and technology area, nothing is hotter than wireless technologies for everything from local area networking with 802.11ad to the widespread proliferation and adoption of fourth-generation (4G) wireless wide area networking technologies, such as LTE (with 5G now also starting to make its debut.)
The five certifications we cite in this article represent a small sample of the wireless IT certifications available in today’s marketplace. This year, we continue to feature two ever-popular Cisco certifications – the CCNA and CCNP Enterprise – along with the CWNA and CWSP credentials from the Certified Wireless Network Professional organization. Rounding out our top five list is the CompTIA Network+ credential.
Salaries for wireless-savvy professionals vary considerably. According to SimplyHired, entry-level wireless networking professionals can expect to make roughly $67,000, although there were highs reported at nearly $154,000. Of course, these are just average salaries. Indeed, other factors, such as job role and experience, greatly influence earning potential. When looking at salaries by job role rather than individual certification, you’ll find average salaries are much higher. For example, SimplyHired reports average earnings for network architects at more than $130,000, with earnings on the high end at almost $181,000.
In preparation for this article, we conducted a random survey of various IT job boards to see what certifications are being requested by prospective employers. In reviewing the results, it’s important to remember that factors, such as geography, the current climate of the employment market, and the complexity of the cert, influence outcomes.
You can expect to see lower numbers on more senior certifications, because, quite frankly, they’re more difficult to earn. Thus, fewer people possess them as compared to entry- and mid-level wireless certs.
Cisco offers some of the most widely known and recognizable certifications in the industry. It offers a wireless specialization for each Cisco networking credential at the Associate (CCNA), Professional (CCNP Enterprise) and Expert (CCIE Wireless) levels.
As of February 24, 2020, Cisco has rolled out a new CCNA exam. Currently, there are no prerequisites for the new exam, although ideal candidates should understand IP addressing, network fundamentals, and possess at least one year of direct experience implementing and administering Cisco solutions.
Candidates must also pass a single exam (excluding any exams required for prerequisite certifications) to earn the CCNA credential. The new CCNA exam is a consolidated exam and replaces all current CCNA exams, regardless of concentration area. According to Cisco, the new CCNA exam focuses on a broader range of fundamental skills, including automation and programmability, security fundamentals, IP services, IP connectivity, network access and network fundamentals. The new CCNA credential is valid for three years after which credential holders must recertify by passing an approved exam or earning 30 Continuing Education Credits (CECs).
Professionals who earn the CCNA Wireless prior to February 23, 2020, will receive the new CCNA credential and a training badge.
200-301 CCNA (120 minutes).
|Certification Name||Cisco Certified Network Associate|
|Number of Exams|
|Exam delivered through Pearson VUE.|
|Self-Study Materials||The CCNA certification web page listed above provides a great list of self-study materials, learning network resources, training videos, practice questions, course syllabus and study groups, as well as learning partner content. Candidates can prepare for the exam with the Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions v1.0 course. The course is available online or in virtual or live classrooms. Plan on five days of classroom instruction and three days of self-study. The cost is $800.|
As with the CCNA Wireless certification, Cisco rolled out a new CCNP credential – the CCNP Enterprise – on February 24, 2020. Two exams are required to earn this CCNP Enterprise certification: a core exam (focused on enterprise technologies) and an enterprise concentration exam. There are no prerequisites for the CCNP Enterprise credential, but successful candidates should have at least three to five years of experience implementing enterprise network solutions. The CCNP Enterprise is valid for three years. To recertify, certification holders must either pass a professional concentration exam plus earn 40 CECs, or earn 80 CECs.
If you’ve had or have been working toward the CCNP Wireless credential, your hard work is not in vain. You’ll receive credit toward the new CCNP Enterprise credential for all completed work. Cisco’s CCNP Wireless Migration Tool is an easy-to-use tool that shows you exactly how your current work translates to the new program. For example, if you passed the CCNP Wireless Design exam prior to February 24, 2020, you’ll receive the Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Wireless Design credential. To earn the CCNP Enterprise certification, you would need to pass the CCNP Enterprise Core exam.
|Certification Name||Cisco Certified Network Professional Enterprise (CCNP Enterprise)|
|Prerequisites & Required Courses||There are no formal prerequisites for the CCNP Enterprise. Candidates should have a three to five years of experience implementing enterprise network solutions.|
|Number of Exams||The core exam is 350-401 ENCOR (Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies).
In addition to the core exam above, choose one of the following concentration exams:
300-410 ENARSI (Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services)
300-415 ENSDWI (Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions)
300-420 ENSLD (Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks)
300-425 ENWLSD (Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks)
300-430 ENWLSI (Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
300-435 ENAUTO (Implementing Automation for Cisco Enterprise Solutions)
Exams are 90 minutes in length. Exams listed above are in addition to examinations required for any prerequisites.
|Exam Details||Exams delivered through Pearson VUE.|
|Self-Study Materials||The CCNP Enterprise certification page contains additional information about the exam and study resources.|
CompTIA is a well-recognized certification provider of vendor-neutral industry credentials. The CompTIA Network+ credential joins the IT Fundamentals+, A+ and Security + credentials as part of CompTIA’s four “core” credentials. The Network+ certification serves as a prerequisite to several other CompTIA credentials including Security+, Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) (formerly CSA+), Linux+ and PenTest+.
An intermediate-level credential, the Network+ certification targets professionals in junior-level roles, including network administrators, system or field engineers, help desk and support technicians, and network analysts. Network+ validates a candidate’s skill and technical expertise relating to network configuration, design and implementation, virtualization support, troubleshooting, security standards, network devices configuration and more.
A single exam (N10-007) is required to earn the credential. Launched in in March 2018, the exam digs into several domains, including new hardware technologies, cloud computing, technical service models, virtualization and security concepts.
The credential is valid for a period of three years after which candidates must recertify. There are several paths to recertification; candidates can view the current requirements on CompTIA’s renewal web page. Professionals who are on a timeline to recertify quickly should explore a CertMaster CE course that allows candidates with valid credentials to recertify in as little as four to six hours for a nominal fee of $189.
|Certification Name||CompTIA Network+|
|Prerequisites & Required Courses||CompTIA A+ (recommended)
Nine to twelve months of networking experience recommended
|Number of Exams||One exam, CompTIA Network+ (N10-007) (90 minutes in length and up to 90 questions)|
|Cost per Exam||$329|
|Self-Study Materials||CompTIA maintains a list of learning opportunities on its Network+ training web page. Here, you’ll find links to study guides, classroom training, e-learning opportunities, and with CompTIA’s adaptive learning tool – CertMaster. You can also find numerous self-study materials available through Amazon.|
The Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) credential from the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) organization has been around for more than a decade but still represents a terrific general-purpose IT certification for those who install, configure and maintain wireless networks in the workplace.
CWNP describes this credential as a foundational-level career certification for networkers, and it acts as a gateway to more senior credentials. These include the Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP), Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP) and the Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP).
The current exam for the CWNA is CWNA-107, which is available at Pearson VUE testing centers. courses covered include basic RF technologies; regulations and standards; protocols and devices; network implementation; network security; RF site survey; antenna concepts; 802.11 network architecture; wireless LAN hardware and software; along with network design, installation and management, troubleshooting, and site surveys.
The CWNA is good for three years, after which candidates must recertify. Recertification is straightforward: Candidates need only pass the current CWNA exam or any CWNP professional exam, including CWAP, CWDP or CWSP. To stay current, a recertification exam must be passed before your existing CWNA certification expires.
The CWNA is probably the most worthwhile and useful wireless networking credential for administrators, thanks to its vendor-agnostic approach to wireless technologies. Unless you’re firmly ensconced in some vendor’s wireless tool and technologies – most notably, Cisco’s, from the perspective of this article – the CWNA is the place to start.
<table”> Certification Name <td”>Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) Prerequisites/Required Courses None
Recommended: Certified Wireless Specialist (CWS) and Certified Wireless Technician (CWT)
Number of Exams One exam, CWNA-107 (60 multiple-choice questions, 90 minutes, passing score of 70 percent required; instructor candidates must earn 80 percent) Cost per exam $200. exam administered by Pearson VUE. URL www.cwnp.com/certifications/cwna Self-Study Materials CWNP offers numerous training opportunities, including exam objectives, books, white papers and more (list and links appear on the certification page), the official study guide ($74.99), CWNA Training ($2,495), and the CWNA Self-Paced Training Kit ($325).
Another part of CWNP’s certification program, the Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) targets security professionals working with wireless LAN networks. The CWSP validates a candidate’s ability to assess network vulnerability, employ best practices, make recommendations to prevent security breaches and attacks, conduct WLAN security audits, monitor security compliance, design and architect network security, and implement Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WISPS).
To earn the CWSP, candidates must first obtain the CWNA certification and then pass the CWSP exam. While not required, training is recommended. The CWSP serves as a steppingstone to the more advanced Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE) credential. The CWSP credential is valid for three years. To recertify, certification holders must possess a current CWNA and pass the then-current CWSP exam.
|Certification Name||Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)|
|Prerequisites/Required Courses||Valid CWNA|
|Number of Exams||One exam, CWSP-206 (90 minutes, 60 questions)|
|Cost per Exam||$275|
|Self-Study Materials||CWNP offers numerous training opportunities, including exam objectives, books, white papers and more (list and links appear on the certification page). From the CWNP Store, you can purchase a study guide ($74.99), an e-learning bundle ($905), practice exam ($125), self-paced training kit ($395) and more.|
While not a part of the leaderboard, the Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP) and the SANS GAWN certifications (the GIAC Assessing and Auditing Wireless Networks) are worthy credentials to add to your certification portfolio. In addition to CWNP’s Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) and Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP), we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention CWNP’s other wireless certifications: the Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP), Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP) and Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE). Together, these certifications provide CWNP with a powerful wireless certification portfolio.
Other vendor-neutral wireless certifications worthy of mention include the iNARTE Wireless Device Certification Professional (WCDP).
Several industry players also offer wireless certifications, including Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia), Extreme Networks, HPE and others. For those wishing to specialize in vendor platforms (such as Alcatel-Lucent, Extreme Networks, etc.), vendor-sponsored programs are the ticket to recognition and specific jobs. IT professionals working with Cisco will (of course) want to take a closer look at the creme de la creme of the Cisco certification tier, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Wireless (CCIE Wireless). As with the CCNA Wireless and CCNP Wireless, Cisco released a new CCIE credential – CCIE Enterprise Wireless – on February 24, 2020.
For those interested in specific areas of wireless technology – particularly security – numerous other options also present themselves, depending on the person seeking other credentials that bear on wireless networking, either broadly or narrowly.
Many years ago, when I enrolled in law school, my dream was to become a state prosecutor. Since then, much has changed.
I wanted to be the “Man of Justice”, bringing criminals to pay a price for their crimes resulting in a change in society and teaching those criminals that “crime doesn’t pay”.
Since those old and faraway days, after years as a litigator, I have changed my mind drastically. I could never work for the prosecution because I am a natural defender (even if I don’t work – and never worked – for the public defender’s office).
Rabbi Elimelech Lizensk teaches us: “On the contrary, let our hearts see everyone else’s good traits and not their faults and let all of us talk (relate) to each other in a respectful way before YOU, and exceed our hearts any hatred forbids one of his friends …”.
It’s obviously much easier for us to judge others and see their faults and bad traits than look at the positive and good side of others and this is why we all have to strive to do so, because it’s not so “natural and easy”.
For me, the hardest part of my work is to bring people down to earth and help them choose the realistic expectations approach.
I’ve learned that to turn good people away from their unrealistic expectations is the hardest part in my daily work as a lawyer. I don’t exclude myself from the list, and as a lawyer I am always doing a double check with myself to make sure I am not letting my emotions take over my professional approach.
The greater the expectations, the greater the disappointments. The legal system is by nature an anti-emotional system. Emotions are not welcomed at all. Emotional people are the most vulnerable and this is why they need a “non-emotional guide” in the form of a good lawyer who knows how to separate emotions from facts, chances from hopes, and be realistic enough to know when to retreat in order to save whatever can be saved.
When approaching any lawyer, a client should know how to separate the emotions from the real issue.
The first question the client must ask himself is “What do I want to achieve in this case or what do I want to avoid?” All the rest is to be left to the lawyer who knows how to achieve your goals or avoid mine fields in the legal system.
You set the goals, but the lawyer knows the best way to achieve them.
Israelis can be very rude. Lawyers and judges are in general “rude”, highly focused people with one purpose in mind: they want to end the case as fast as possible, and as satisfactorily as possible.
The judge wants to find the best solution, one where everyone is happy (mostly impossible to achieve) and the case ends fast. The lawyers are in charge of their client’s best interests.
It’s impossible to fulfill all client’s wishes. As a lawyer, I never make promises! My job is to guide the client through the system and find the best viable solution for your problem using my experience and my expertise.
It’s not easy to trust others, especially if you don’t know the system well or if you can’t master Hebrew, but in order to win, you must trust the lawyer you are asking for help or paying for his representation.
I know how important chemistry is between a lawyer and a client. Mutual trust must exist in order to accomplish your realistic goals.
I am committed to advocating for my clients to reach the best possible solution.
We are a group of business and non-profit organizations, operating under one umbrella to provide a variety of related services and information. Please visit our service page to learn about the variety of services we offer and our Channels page to gain an understanding of who we are at the SZAJNBRUM GROUP. Tzvi Szajnbrum, founder and director, made Aliya (immigrated) to Israel in 1977. He is a licensed Attorney & Notary and professional mediator. Mr. Szajnbrum is personally involved in the new immigrant community, giving “pro bono” guidance through the Voleh Organization which serves as an adviser to new immigrants during their initial absorption phase, thus helping to ensure a successful absorption into Israeli Society.
This article is part of a series providing a framework for incorporating sustainable investing into your advisory practice.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of my financial-planning career. As I look back at the last decade, I see that the sustainable-investing industry has grown dramatically, both in volume of assets managed as well as public awareness of sustainable investments as an alternative to dominant investment models that do not consider negative externalities causing direct and indirect harm to people and the planet. However, the efficacy and limitations of sustainable investing as a market-based solution to address these global issues is a conversation I have often with advisors and nonadvisors. There is a wide and growing menu of public and private sustainable investments—but how can advisors differentiate these products in a meaningful way?
I’m using the term “sustainable investing” to encompass three commonly used terms: ESG (short for “environmental, social, and governance”), socially responsible investing, and impact investing. Unfortunately, these terms aren’t used in a standard way within the investment industry. “ESG” investing integrates research and data representing environmental, social, and governance indicators of company practices, as long-term material economic risks, to guide security selection and portfolio construction. “Socially responsible investing,” or “SRI,” focuses on excluding or including certain industries based on the ethical or moral values of investors. Shareholder engagement and proxy voting are other key features of SRI-based strategies. “Impact investing” traditionally refers to private sector investments outside of public markets, such as direct investments to benefit specific communities, small businesses, and burgeoning industries. Impact investing can also refer to public investments, with a focus on positive outcomes to the environment and society.
You can say that ESG data looks back, SRI focuses on present action, and impact investing aims to influence what’s possible in the future. “Sustainable investing” can mean one of those tools or any combination of the three.
One consequence of a lack of standardization in terminology is different conceptions among investment professionals and the public of what sustainable investing is—which has fostered distrust of investment products and strategies that claim to be “sustainable,” “social,” or “green.” “Greenwashing” describes practices that falsely claim to be sustainable. The term is akin to “pinkwashing,” the practice of using gender-based marketing—and usually the color pink—to superficially or falsely support women. You can think of “______washing” as painting a thin, glossy finish in order to mislead. Still, the term “greenwashing” also fails to define what the standards for being “green” are. In reality, sustainable investments use a mix of strategies, each with its own set of practices and theory of change.
When I speak with advisors and investors with a basic awareness of sustainable investing, many know the difference between two dominant approaches: divestment and shareholder advocacy. Divestment is the opposite of investment and in practice means excluding a company, industry, or another category of investments from one’s portfolio. Shareholder advocacy is the act of owning shares of a company with the goal of influencing its practices. However, outside and within divestment and shareholder advocacy, there are other approaches used by sustainable-investment managers and they may also employ one or more of these approaches at a time. I believe this is one of the biggest areas of confusion—and source of potential criticism of sustainable-investment products—for advisors and their clients.
One tool that I’ve found helpful in differentiating sustainable-investment approaches is the Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework, represented in the Framework MAP (Motivations, Approaches, and Portfolios) below:
Source: Morningstar. (2022) “The Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework.”
The Morningstar Sustainable-Investing Framework identifies six distinct approaches along a continuum, from avoiding negative outcomes to advancing positive outcomes:
“Applying Exclusions” and “Limiting ESG Risk” refer most closely to divestment yet differ on the types of data being used to make divestment decisions. These approaches can also be described as negative or exclusionary screening because data is being used to make decisions on what to exclude from the portfolio. “Seeking ESG Opportunities” also uses data but instead can be described as positive or inclusionary screening, because data is being used to make decisions on what to include in the portfolio. “Practicing Active Ownership” refers to shareholder advocacy. “Targeting Sustainability Themes” may include targeting investments in renewable energy, clean water, or gender equity. The strategy of “Assessing Impact” also uses data on company practices to guide investment decisions but focuses on the results of those practices in relation to an impact framework, typically the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, benchmarks such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, targets set by the Science Based Targets initiative, or goals such as number of affordable housing units built.
The explicit premise of the framework is that sustainable investing’s primary focus is shareholder return on investment—and it underlines the importance of aligning business practices with sustainable environmental, social, and corporate governance practices to mitigate long-term economic risks that stem from unmitigated extraction.
Another tool that has helped me differentiate sustainable-investment approaches was created by the Center for Economic Democracy and published in its report Social Movement Investing: A Guide to Capital Strategies for Community Power. Social movement investing is a continuum of approaches ranging from divestment and shareholder advocacy (“Resist”) to targeting long-term impact aligned with social movements (“Build”), as represented in the Strategic Alignment Spectrum below:
Source: Center for Economic Democracy. (2022). Social Movement Investing: A Guide to Capital Strategies for Community Power, p. 45.
Like the Morningstar Framework MAP, the CED Strategic Alignment Spectrum identifies six distinct approaches (that is, investment tactics or capital strategies), along a continuum from avoiding negative outcomes to advancing positive outcomes:
A unique aspect of SMI is its explicit inclusion and analysis of private market investments, such as Community Development Financial Institution loans and worker-owned cooperatives, within their own investment category (”Build”). The explicit premise of SMI is that purely market-based solutions are limited in their ability to foster structural change—and it underlines the importance of organizing to shape culture, laws, and institutions. This key factor is visualized in CED’s Movement Alignment Map, which situates an investment across two axes: 1) its place on the Strategic Alignment Spectrum, from “Exclude” to “Sustain,” and 2) its level of coordination with social movements, from no coordination to full accountability.
Source: Center for Economic Democracy. (2022). Social Movement Investing: A Guide to Capital Strategies for Community Power, p. 52.
Both Morningstar and the Center for Economic Democracy’s frameworks described above differentiate the varied approaches, tactics, and strategies often used within sustainable-investment-focused funds, products, and policies. The next step is to apply them to your evaluation of sustainable investments. One way to accomplish this is to have these frameworks on hand to reference as you recognize the key terms used in the disclosure materials for investments, such as fact sheets, prospectuses, proxy statements, and shareholder reports. As you conduct your research and due diligence process on investments for your clients, note which approach(es) the investment is/are using—and how. Develop questions to ask sustainable-investment managers if their approaches are unclear. You may even start an advisor study group to evaluate sustainable-investment options using these frameworks. You can also share these frameworks with your due diligence team or the investment committee at your firm to help evaluate sustainable-investment options. These frameworks provide a strong foundation and shared language for advisors, investors, and fund managers to engage with sustainable-investment strategies, and with each other, in a meaningful way. I’m excited for even more-robust conversations to build on this work.
Having multiple frameworks for sustainable investing may seem confusing at first. But I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the ones above, and others. Comparing and contrasting multiple frameworks helps us learn—and ultimately deepens our understanding of sustainable investing as a spectrum of distinct, complementary, and evolving strategies.
Phuong Luong, CFP, is an educator and financial planner focused on economic justice and closing racial wealth divides. She is a Principal at Saltbox Financial, a virtual, fee-only RIA. She is also the online facilitator for the Boston University Financial Planning Program. Phuong is a subject matter expert in ESG and regenerative investing. Follow Phuong on Twitter: @pt_luong The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Morningstar.
Melbourne, Nov 14 (IANS) In the final analysis, England's professional approach to the limited-overs version of cricket scored over the flamboyance of Pakistan and the superstar culture of India in the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup that concluded on Sunday night with England crowned champions.
The planned way in which England dismantled Pakistan's potent pace attack on Sunday night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the final was reminiscent of a similar type of attitude that Jos Buttler and his victorious team adopted against the star-studded Indian batting line-up in the semifinal clash at the Adelaide Oval on November 10.
The no-frills outlook and attention to details worked wonders for England as they restricted Pakistan to a total below 140 in the summit clash.
And when they chased the target, England's batsmen were put under severe pressure by the top-class Pakistan bowling attack but came out with glory, led by the cool and calm demeanour of Ben Stokes, who stroked his way to 52 not out in 49 balls.
Stokes was the bowler who suffered at the hands of the big-hitting Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 T20 World Cup final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata when he was smashed for four successive sixes in the final over by the West Indian batsman who turned the match around in those four balls when 19 were needed for a win.
England's victory march turned into defeat all of a sudden with that ferocious assault by Brathwaite on Stokes. It was little wonder when Buttler was asked about it in the post-final media presser after Stokes had led England to a five-wicket win without the need to play out a 20th and final over.
'Yeah, it's an amazing story really, isn't it? Yeah, he's been on an amazing journey. I think all these big moments, like I'll always remember his words to Jofra (Archer) about how things don't define you, and I think he's obviously never let that 2016 final sort of push him back, and you think of the things he's gone on to achieve in his career since then is just amazing,' Buttler said.
His retort was to the question, 'How pleased are you for him on a personal level given what happened in 2016.'
Stokes had stood tall in the 2019 ICC World Cup final at the Lord's against New Zealand with a brilliant 84 not out that helped England finally triumph on a controversial count-back of boundary hits after a tie on scores and in the super over contest.
'He always stands up in the biggest moments. He's a man who can take a lot of pressure on his shoulders and perform, and, absolutely with him in the middle you know you've got a good chance. Yeah, just so proud of him, pleased for him that he's stood up and done it again,' Buttler said in praise of Stokes.
'He's a true match winner, and he's been there in those scenarios time and time again. He just has a lot of know-how for how to do that. I think it certainly wasn't his most fluent innings or probably didn't time the ball as well as he can, but you knew he was never going to go down without a fight and stand up and be there at the end,' the England skipper added.
England's contrast in approach with the Indian performance was stark.
While England, who were surprised by Ireland in the league phase, did not rely solely on individual excellence, Rohit Sharma and his men couldn't deliver through team work when it mattered most --in the semifinals.
Pakistan too couldn't come up with a defining magical moment with the ball after Sam Curran, Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan choked their batting line-up.
Among other teams, New Zealand's approach was similar to that of England but they encountered a charged up Pakistan, lucky to be even in the semis, in the fight for the spot in the final.
Hosts and 2021 champions Australia came up short in maintaining a healthy run rate after the washed out game against England while teams like South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands, Afghanistan and Ireland had their moments to savour in the tournament which was mostly held in cold and chilly weather with rains too affecting some games.
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CEO & Founder of National Business Capital, the leading fintech marketplace offering streamlined small business loans.
Almost everyone has heard, “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” While this phrase sounds okay on the surface, adopting this belief is actually more damaging than you’d think for your employees and customers.
Business is inherently personal because companies are made up of people who aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all approaches. No one wants to feel like a cog in a wheel, which is why taking a personal approach in business often leads to better performance and greater satisfaction in your work.
If you want to take a personal approach in your business, this starts with how you treat your employees and customers. If these relationships aren’t as strong as you would like them to be, here are some strategies for improving them.
Salary will always play a role in an employee’s job satisfaction, but now, a higher salary doesn’t have as much negotiation power as before. The “great resignation” has forced many companies to see that their old ways aren’t cutting it in the current environment. It isn’t just recommended to take a more personal approach to your business relationships—it’s a necessity to keep your team from migrating to the competition.
Employees need to feel that their work has meaning and, more importantly, see how it contributes to the greater good. Here are a few ways you can begin taking a personal approach with your employees:
Be transparent: There’s nothing more frustrating than working in a job where it feels like management is constantly withholding information. You’re not protecting your employees from anything—you’re creating unnecessary anxiety in the office. Be honest with your team and let them know what’s happening in the business—they’ll be more committed to the company because of it.
Provide opportunities to advance: It’s hard to experience job satisfaction if you don’t feel like you’re growing and getting better at what you do. Look for ways to supply your employees opportunities to advance, and talk to them about new positions that will be available as the company grows.
Remember birthdays: Don’t let staff birthdays come and go without acknowledging them. Mark the dates of all your employees’ birthdays in your calendar and order them a cake, or something similar, to celebrate. It may seem like a small gesture, but it will go a long way toward showing your employees you care about them.
Your customers drive your business, so you need to consider their interactions with your company from their point of view. Staying connected to your customers and showing them you care about their opinion will build long-term brand loyalty, much like it would if you were in their shoes.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply thanking your customers for their business. If you’re a small business, you may be able to call each customer personally and thank them for their support.
Another option is to send cards thanking your customers for their business. You can also send holiday cards to show your appreciation, but you don’t just want to engage your customers when things are going well—it’s just as important to reach out when there’s a problem.
Instead of seeing complaints as a hassle, use them as opportunities to strengthen the relationship with your customers. Mistakes are inevitable, and when you apologize and do what you can to fix the problem, it builds trust with your customers.
As a business owner, you need to find ways to motivate and inspire your employees. Happy employees will be more productive, more engaged with their work, and more creative, which can also lead to lower employee turnover rates and help your bottom line.
Your goal with each customer is to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV). A high CLV means that customer brings in more revenue for your business. By building credibility and trust with your customers, you’ll lower your customer churn and, of course, make each customer more impactful for your longevity.
As technology becomes more advanced, it’s easy for businesses to lose sight of what really matters. We can automate processes and communicate with our team/customers through apps for convenience, but if we don’t focus on the human component of our relationships, simplicity becomes much less important.
When you take a personal approach in business, you treat your employees and customers as individuals and look for personalized solutions to every problem. You look beyond your CRM and Slack to find ways to build strong relationships—an old approach to a new challenge. Take the time, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and strategize to implement systems that benefit your team and customers just as much as your profit line.
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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015, tackle a wide array of contemporary issues such as food, water, and energy insecurity, biodiversity loss, climate change, and rapid and spontaneous urbanization. Achieving these goals requires a strategy aimed towards overall progress, rather than improvement in isolated areas.
The nexus approach is a method for dealing with sustainable development challenges in an integrated manner considering multiple variables at once. The word "nexus" is conventionally understood to mean "link" or "connection," and the aptly named approach involves the assessment of several interconnected components. Components can be based on resource sectors, issues, or a combination of both.
The interactions between these components can be studied in a structured manner, where progress on one front might require a compromise on another (trade-off), or where two components mutually benefit from one another (synergy). Originally emerging in the early 1980s, the nexus approach has since evolved to become more complex (more components) and diverse (more distinct nexuses) and has recently garnered interest for its integrated approach to tacking global sustainability challenges.
In a recent review of the complexity and diversity of nexuses published in Science of the Total Environment, Dr. Ronald C. Estoque, a Senior Researcher from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan, explains how the trends of development in the nexus approach can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The article was made available online on September 8, 2022 and will be published in Volume 854 of the journal on January 1, 2023.
"Examining how the complexity and diversity of nexuses have progressed over the years, especially in recent years, might provide some insights into the future direction of the nexus approach and whether such a direction is consistent with or geared towards helping to achieve global sustainability," says Dr. Estoque.
Through a systematic review of over 300 publications, Dr. Estoque found that nexuses have become more complex and diverse over time. This implies that a particular nexus now deals with many more components than included earlier. In the context of sustainability, this is advantageous, as it allows for a more fine-tuned analysis of real-world situations. Increased diversity also means that the components in different nexuses now cover a wider variety of resource sectors and issues.
While the nexus approach was introduced in the early 1980s, tracing its history revealed that it was popularized in the sustainable development context much later, in recent years. The trends in the development of this approach since then have only made it more suitable for application towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected that, with time, several different issues and resource sectors will be linked as components to the existing nexuses, allowing better planning and management.
Currently, the nexus approach offers a platform for systems integration, with careful consideration of the interactions between different components; a platform for collaboration between scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders; and an explorative method for prospective evaluation of potential future impacts of an intervention.
Although the nexus approach is promising, exactly which components should be included while planning for sustainable development policies remains a big question. In Dr. Estoque's own words, "Determination of the key nexus components for, and in the context of, the global sustainability agenda is an important task, although it is certainly not an easy nor a straightforward one."
More information: Ronald C. Estoque, Complexity and diversity of nexuses: A review of the nexus approach in the sustainability context, Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158612
Provided by Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
Citation: Using the nexus approach to identify systematic solutions for sustainable development (2022, December 6) retrieved 14 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-nexus-approach-systematic-solutions-sustainable.html
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Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory helped measure how unpaired electrons in atoms at one end of a molecule can drive chemical reactivity on the molecule's opposite side. As described in a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, this work, in collaboration with Princeton University, shows how molecules containing these so-called free radicals could be used in a whole new class of reactions.
"Most reactions involving free radicals take place at the site of the unpaired electron," explained Brookhaven Lab chemist Matthew Bird, one of the co-corresponding authors on the paper. The Princeton team had become experts in using free radicals for a range of synthetic applications, such as polymer upcycling. But they've wondered whether free radicals might influence reactivity on other parts of the molecule as well, by pulling electrons away from those more distant locations.
"Our measurements show that these radicals can exert powerful 'electron-withdrawing' effects that make other parts of the molecule more reactive," Bird said.
The Princeton team demonstrated how that long-distance pull can overcome energy barriers and bring together otherwise unreactive molecules, potentially leading to a new approach to organic molecule synthesis.
The research relied on the combined resources of a Princeton-led DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) focused on Bio-Inspired Light Escalated Chemistry (BioLEC). The collaboration brings together leading synthetic chemists with groups having advanced spectroscopic techniques for studying reactions. Its funding was recently renewed for another four years.
Robert Knowles, who led Princeton's role in this research, said, "This project is an example of how BioLEC's combined expertise enabled the team to quantify an important physical property of these radical species, that in turn allowed us to design the resulting synthetic methodology."
The Brookhaven team's major contribution is a technique called pulse radiolysis -- available only at Brookhaven and one other location in the U.S.
"We use the Laser Electron Accelerator Facility (LEAF) -- part of the Accelerator Center for Energy Research (ACER) in Brookhaven's Chemistry Division -- to generate intense high-energy electron pulses," Bird explained. "These pulses allow us to add or subtract electrons from molecules to make reactive species that might be difficult to make using other techniques, including short-lived reaction intermediates. With this technique, we can step into one part of a reaction and monitor what happens."
For the current study, the team used pulse radiolysis to generate molecules with oxygen-centered radicals, and then measured the "electron-withdrawing" effects on the other side of the molecule. They measured the electron pull by tracking how much the oxygen at the opposite side attracts protons, positively charged ions sloshing around in solution. The stronger the pull from the radical, the more acidic the solution has to be for protons to bind to the molecule, Bird explained.
The Brookhaven scientists found the acidity had to be high to enable proton capture, meaning the oxygen radical was a very strong electron withdrawing group. That was good news for the Princeton team. They then demonstrated that it's possible to exploit the "electron-withdrawing" effect of oxygen radicals by making parts of molecules that are generally inert more chemically reactive.
"The oxygen radical induces a transient 'polarity reversal' within the molecule -- causing electrons that normally want to remain on that distant side to move toward the radical to make the 'far' side more reactive," Bird explained.
These findings enabled a novel substitution reaction on phenol based starting materials to make more complex phenol products.
"This is a great example of how our technique of pulse radiolysis can be applied to cutting-edge science problems," said Bird. "We were delighted to host an excellent graduate student, Nick Shin, from the Knowles group for this collaboration. We look forward to more collaborative projects in this second phase of BioLEC and seeing what new problems we can explore using pulse radiolysis."
Brookhaven Lab's role in this work and the EFRC at Princeton were funded by the DOE Office of Science (BES). Princeton received additional funding for the synthesis work from the National Institutes of Health.
Substituting can be a tricky art, especially when stars are involved.
When massive stars explode, they can collapse into extremely dense — and mysterious — objects known as neutron stars. But neutron stars are too far away and much too small for even the most powerful telescopes to look inside, so scientists want to find a way to figure out what a neutron star is made of. In new research, astrophysicists tested a potential approach to determining the state of the matter inside a neutron star. (More familiar states of matter are solid, liquid and gas.)
What scientists want to know is a neutron star's equation of state, or EoS. This equation describes the properties of matter in an object or substance. But getting the precise measurements needed to solve this equation for a neutron star, especially its radius, has not been easy.
Related: Hubble Space Telescope finds neutron star collision's jet travels nearly as fast as light
So the researchers tested whether they could simplify the effort by substituting another measurement for the neutron star's radius. They turned to what scientists call the peak spectral frequency of the gravitational waves — ripples in space-time — that are emitted when neutron stars merge into one larger neutron star.
The glob of dense star stuff that remains after such a collision will spew out massive gravitational waves as it moves back and forth while rotating at breakneck speed. The signal from these waves can be picked up by the hypersensitive instruments of a gravitational wave observatory like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
"At least in principle, the peak spectral frequency can be calculated from the gravitational wave signal emitted by the wobbling remnant of two merged neutron stars," Elias Most, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey and co-author on the new research, said in a statement.
Until now, scientists assumed f2 could stand in for a neutron star's radius because the two values are often linked to each other. But that is not always the case, the new research determined. Instead, to make the substitution work, scientists must incorporate a second value related to the neutron star's mass and radius.
The researchers hope that this determination will help scientists shed light on a theory that the neutrons in the cores of these stars break down into even smaller subatomic particles, called quarks.
The research is described in a paper published in July in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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More than 50% of the world's river network is made of temporary or intermittent rivers: those which, during a certain time of the year, mainly summer, present dry riverbeds or some isolated ponds. These rivers show high variability, both spatially and temporally, which makes it impossible for the same tools used to gauge the state of health of permanent rivers to be applied to them.
A study led by researchers of the University of Barcelona, recently published in the journal Ecological Indicators, has identified new potential biological indicators -- organisms such as insects and other water invertebrates -- that will be used to assess the human impact on the quality of the waters in these rivers, which are home to a very important fraction of both terrestrial and water biodiversity.
The study, based on data from 33 rivers in Catalonia, analysed the aquatic invertebrates present in intermittent rivers and classified them according to their resistance to the duration and frequency of dry phases. These results could allow managers to adapt some of the indices currently used in Spain -- such as the IBMWP index (Iberian BioMonotoring Working Party score system) -- which evaluates anthropic impacts on water quality -- which are not adapted to this type of intermittent river.
The study, led by Professor Isabel Muñoz, includes the participation of the researchers of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Biology of the UB Rebeca Arias-Real -- first author of the study -- and Margarita Menéndez. Among the participants is also Cayetano Gutiérrez-Cánovas, researcher at the Doñana Biological Station (EBD) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Searching for indicators of anthropogenic impacts
Despite the extent and importance of intermittent rivers, these ecosystems have been excluded from almost all conservation and assessment programmes, because it is very difficult to establish reference conditions, due to the different aquatic and dry phases they go through. "Current biomonitoring tools are based on species living in permanent rivers and are therefore not efficient if we apply them, without adaptations, to intermittent rivers," says Isabel Muñoz.
The organisms found in these intermittent rivers have adaptations that allow them to live in conditions of change between aquatic and terrestrial phases. The aim of the study is therefore to find out which species can live in intermittent rivers, or under which hydrological conditions they are able to do so, in order to adapt and modify the current indices for assessing the ecological status of rivers. "Our approach could lead to the identification of taxa and indicators that respond to anthropogenic impacts and not to the stress of the dry or terrestrial phase," notes Rebeca Arias-Real. "In other words, the fact that a species does not appear in an intermittent river does not necessarily mean that it is due to anthropogenic pollution; perhaps it is because that species does not have the necessary adaptations to survive in such fluctuating ecosystems."
Aquatic invertebrates resistant and sensitive to dry phases
With this aim, the researchers measured hydrological variables of intermittent rivers, such as the exact number of days the rivers were "dry" or the number of times they dried up during the course of a year. "In recent years, the use of sensors capable of measuring temperature or water level in situ has provided us with more and more quantitative approximations that help us to better understand the effect of intermittent flow on biodiversity," says Rebeca Arias-Real.
Using these variables and the detailed study of the characteristics, abundance and density of aquatic invertebrates in the different hydrological phases, the researchers were able to construct the hydrological niches of these organisms, i.e. their limits of resistance to desiccation. With the results ready, four different groups of invertebrates were established: one sensitive to desiccation and three with different levels of resistance. Thus, species with niches resistant to the dry phase could be used to develop or adapt current biomonitoring indices and establish reference conditions for intermittent rivers, while species with sensitive niches "should be excluded from the indices, since their absence is not due to anthropic impacts but to the impossibility of their presence," says Rebeca Arias-Real.
"For instance -- she continues -- we identified pollution-sensitive taxa with partial desiccation tolerance, such as Lepidostoma; moderate, such as Corduliidae; or high, such as Nemoura, which could serve as potential bioindicators for intermittent rivers."
Intermittent rivers and climate change
These results open the door to implementing this methodology in other regions and using it with other species in order to Boost the conservation of these ecosystems, which are expected to increase in the coming years. "Due to climate change (increase in temperature and decrease in rainfall), it is expected that many rivers that are now permanent will become intermittent and that those that are already intermittent will increase in frequency and duration of their dry phases," warns Rebeca Arias-Real.
Therefore, it is very important "to continue working to understand how biodiversity responds to the continuous cycles of water and dry phases and how this affects its functioning in order to make progress in the conservation of these unique ecosystems," concludes the researcher.
The UK government, as part of the Levelling-Up agenda, has advocated that all primary schools should develop a 'whole school food policy', which outlines how a school approaches food across the entire working day to support children in making healthy food choices.
The policy paper states that primary schools should produce a statement on their website that includes their commitment to food learning within the curriculum, as well as how children and stakeholders can get involved with decisions around food culture, and how the school maintains a consistently high quality food offering.
Researchers, supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and in partnership with the Department of Education, held several workshops with school leaders, teachers, caterers and parents, where they reported difficulties in understanding what is meant by a whole school food policy, and concerns around time pressures, staff training, and available funds.
The feedback from these workshops has informed the development of a new online resource, called CONNECTS-Food, which helps schools work out how well they are already doing at implementing their whole school approach to food, as well as provides templates for school leaders to use in drafting their food policy statements, and sets out key principles that they should follow to implement their 'whole school' approach.
These principles, covering areas such as the priorities of school leaders, stakeholder engagement and pastoral care, will support schools in considering what may be feasible for them to implement in their school.
Professor Maria Bryant, from the University's Department of Health Sciences, said, "Children consume a third of their food at school, providing an opportunity to promote healthy diets and reduce levels of obesity."
"It is the Government's recommendation that schools adopt an approach to food linked to activities across the whole school day, but there is enormous pressure on schools at the moment, with recovery post-pandemic, and funding issues to contend with, so expecting school leaders to do even more, means that they need extra support to understand what is required of them. "
"We hope that our online resource, which was built based on the workshops that we did with schools on this topic, will make the job of developing a food policy much quicker and easier."
More information: Website: www.connects-food.com/
Citation: Online tool to support delivery of 'whole school' approach to food (2022, December 2) retrieved 14 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-online-tool-delivery-school-approach.html
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