Training Article

The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson’s picture

By: The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson

Over the years, I’ve beaten myself up over business breakdowns, lost relationships, and countless other failures. I would only look at what I’d done wrong and where I was at fault. And, of course, this would only make me feel worse.

People would tell me, “Rob, you need to love yourself.” Wow, that sounded great, but the problem was I didn’t know what that meant. I knew that they didn’t mean that I should be self-absorbed or narcissistic. I also knew it didn’t mean soothing myself with several shots of whiskey.

I understood how to love others—at least the feeling that made me want to give attention, caring, and respect to someone—but feeling that for myself? I was completely confused on where to even begin.

It took me years to learn, but I finally did, and I would like to share with you what I found. Here are 13 ways you can start loving yourself:

Acknowledge your gifts and talents. Whether you realize it or not, you have knowledge and skills that other people don’t have. Work with your strengths. Find ways to share these with others for fun and fortune.

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

Steve Klasko, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, is the co-author of We Can Fix Healthcare (Mary Ann Lieber Inc., 2016) with Wharton adjunct professor Gregory P. Shea and Michael Hoad. In the book, the authors propose 12 disruptive transformations to the healthcare industry. Recently, Klasko and Nishad Rahman, a medical student at Jefferson, stopped by the Knowledge@Wharton business interview program to talk about this changing industry.

Knowledge@Wharton: How are the changes in healthcare changing what students like Nishad are learning in medical school?

Multiple Authors
By: Afaq Ahmed, Yves Van Nuland

New technologies have empowered customers to seek out the best products and services at the lowest cost and shortest delivery times. Customers can compare price and delivery information as well as reviews about product quality. Thus, the importance of sustaining outstanding quality in order to stand out from competitors and be profitable is critical. It requires a sustainable quality culture with intrinsically motivated employees who view quality not as a chore but as a source of satisfaction.

Of course, integral to a quality culture is the work environment that promotes team spirit, growth, and fairness. A sustainable quality strategy depends on creating a culture of quality. In this article, we’ll describe four key success factors for creating a quality culture as well as a way to measure where your organization stands.

Critical success factors for a quality culture

Although factors that affect a quality culture vary from industry to industry and country to country, it’s safe to say that these four major factors are common among all:
1. Leadership
2. Motivation
3. Empowerment
4. Work environment

Multiple Authors
By: Stephan Manning, Marcus M. Larsen

One of the big themes in the current presidential race is how decades of free trade have dealt a heavy blow to the U.S. worker as millions of jobs were shipped overseas to take advantage of cheap labor.

That’s even turned some pro free-trade Republicans into protectionists. As a result, the candidates are promising to bring these jobs back to the United States—whether by lowering taxes (Donald Trump), improving skills (Hillary Clinton) or building infrastructure (Bernie Sanders).

Helena Lui’s picture

By: Helena Lui

There’s an old saying that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Every project manager knows that she has to create a realistic project budget before the project begins. This step is not optional because when you’re midway through your project and realize you’ve run out of money, you’re in big trouble.

Although every project is different, there are some commonalities in the steps to creating a project budget. Here are six steps to creating and maintaining healthy finances for a project.

1. Look through lessons-learned documents

If there are records of similar projects within your company, use their project budgets as a model. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel, and this will save you a lot of time and effort. You may want to talk to other project managers to fully understand how their budget models work. Also, consider having a team member look through similar activity costs from past projects to help determine the activity costs for your project. This is called analogous estimating.

Kevin Cundiff’s picture

By: Kevin Cundiff

Ask how you can help, always keep a smile, respond to requests promptly... the list goes on. You’ve probably been exposed to an abundance of tips and tricks about how to become more customer-friendly.

That kind of advice can definitely be valuable, but what you likely don’t hear—unless you’re a downright terrible salesperson—is what you’re doing that’s not so customer-friendly. These unfriendly things, that you may not even know you’re doing, are scaring away potential customers and sales, and eliminating return business.

A single action can change the tone of your sale in a second, steering it for better or worse. If your actions lead a customer down the path of bad experiences, it could affect your business well beyond that one person. Once an unpleasant interaction takes place, word of it can quickly make its way to other potential customers. A bad review here, a personal recommendation to bypass your business there, it all adds up—very quickly. When this happens, you have to put out fires and rebuild your reputation before you can return to the good graces of those valuable consumers again.

What’s the answer? Avoid a bad reputation altogether. By dropping these six insulting actions, you can do just that:

Leo Sadovy’s picture

By: Leo Sadovy

Having a mentor is the No. 1 factor in increasing the steepness of your personal learning curve. So says my oldest, Garik, a Park Scholar at North Carolina State University (class of 2012), during a discussion he recently had with the incoming Park Scholar class of 2019.

To accept the value of mentoring first requires one to understand the centrality and importance of the learning curve. Garik asked the students to imagine plotting the characteristics of two people on a simple X-Y axis. Person A comes to the game with only a moderate amount of resources at his disposal, but importantly, also a relatively steep learning curve, such that a plot of his capabilities has him crossing the Y-axis at an intercept of 1 and with a slope of one-half. Person B, in contrast, has much greater resources at her current disposal: time, talent, smarts, money, education, experience, but for whatever reason has a shallower learning curve, such that her plot on the graph intercepts higher up the Y-axis at 2 but with a shallower slope of only one-quarter.

Ken Miller’s picture

By: Ken Miller

Your employees are your greatest asset—and your greatest cybersecurity risk. That statement may sound harsh, but hackers often prey on unwary employees because employees can provide easy access to otherwise secure systems.

Remember the Anthem breach earlier this year? Hackers gained access to nearly 80 million consumer records containing personal data, at least in part by using stolen employee credentials such as user IDs and passwords. It’s likely that Anthem employees unknowingly handed over their credentials online or inadvertently allowed hackers to insert malware into company systems.

How can you keep your data secure? The short answer is to train your employees. They must understand the critical role they play in the company’s cyber defenses. Make sure they understand company policies about security, use of personal devices, and keeping mobile devices secure, among other issues. You must work to engage employees in abiding by these policies. The ideal company culture is one that expects and rewards compliance with cybersecurity policies.

Dawn Marie Bailey’s picture

By: Dawn Marie Bailey

I recently had the great experience of speaking as part of a panel on the value of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, but what meant the most to me was the chance, I hope, to dispel some common misconceptions about what the Baldrige is actually all about. And, no, it’s not just an “excellence award”—there’s so much more.

Following are a few of the questions from the panel and how I answered them:

“I once looked at the Baldrige Criteria to start an improvement initiative, but the process looked like it would take too long.”

I answered by suggesting that we go back to the whole point of the Baldrige Criteria. In 1987, the Baldrige Program was tasked by Congress to develop a set of criteria that would include all of the considerations that go into successful leadership (category one), successful strategic planning (category two), a successful customer strategy (category three), etc. The Baldrige Criteria have been reviewed, refined, updated, and reviewed again for 28 years to ensure that they reflect the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.

Marta Collier’s picture

By: Marta Collier

The lazy days of summer are a thing of the past. Through a remarkably diverse set of summer camps and other enrichment programs, kids all over Arkansas spent the summer of 2015 participating in activities designed to spark their curiosity and teach them the joy of creating. That joy—and the 21st century skills they learned—will hopefully stay with them and lead some into the rewarding, high-paying manufacturing jobs that require those skills.

Recognizing that one size does not always fit all, businesses, educators, and government officials in Arkansas are teaming up to create a network of opportunities for students and job seekers that could serve as a model for others areas of the country facing the challenge of recruiting skilled labor in manufacturing.

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