Training Article

NIST’s picture


Organizations worldwide stand to lose an estimated $9 billion in 2018 to employees clicking on phishing emails. We hear about new phishing attacks regularly from the news and from our friends. So why do so many people still click? NIST research has uncovered one reason, and the findings could help CIOs mount a better defense.

The findings—distilled in the brief video below—reveal that context plays a critical factor in why users click or don’t click on a phishing email. The more the context of the message seems relevant to a person’s life or job responsibilities, the harder it is for them to recognize it as a phishing attack.

Caroline Preston’s picture

By: Caroline Preston

Editor’s note: This story is part of Map to the Middle Class, a Hechinger Report series looking at the good middle-class jobs of the future and how schools are preparing young people for them.

The program had to be a scam. Why would anyone, she wondered, pay her to go to college?

Even after Sarat Atobajeun found information about the program on Harper College’s website, she remained skeptical. A job with a $30,000 salary, plus college tuition and even complimentary textbooks? She called the community college to verify. The Harper receptionist told her it was true: A Swiss-based insurance business with its U.S. headquarters down the street—housed in a behemoth glass building she’d often driven by and puzzled over—had exported its apprenticeship program to the United States.

Multiple Authors
By: Morgan Ryan Frank, Iyad Rahwan

How do workers move up the corporate ladder, and how can they maximize their career mobility? Increased wealth disparity, increased job polarization, and decreases in absolute income mobility (i.e., the fraction of children who earn more than their parents) all suggest that upward mobility is difficult for today’s workers. It’s as if the rungs on the ladder to career success are there for some and absent for others. But who is stuck, and why?

Marc Le Menestrel’s picture

By: Marc Le Menestrel

Let’s say a store has been selling large snow shovels for $15. The morning after a major snowstorm, the store raises its price to $20. Is this acceptable?

A large majority of business people in my seminars answer that yes, it is acceptable to raise the price of shovels after a storm. They invoke the law of supply and demand; they quote the example of people street-selling umbrellas when it rains; they explain that the competitive context would not let them survive otherwise; they blame the customers for not having anticipated the storm, and many other reasons that resemble excuses.

In reality, they don’t really think about whether it is acceptable or not for the store to raise its prices. They react, and then they think about how they can justify their “choice.”

Their reaction mostly comes from an implicit and unconscious identification with the business owner. From this perspective, they expect that raising the price of the shovels will help them make more profit. This is the way they think.

Tara García Mathewson’s picture

By: Tara García Mathewson

Some of the most celebrated education reform efforts today serve to make instruction more difficult. Personalized learning, project-based learning, mastery-based learning—they all require more work of teachers and more work of students.

But several speakers at the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference on education technology and innovation, recently held in Boston, argued that these reforms are not simply trends that will come and go, but the evolution of an education system that, in the scope of human history, is still quite young.

Devin Vodicka, chief impact officer at AltSchool and a former superintendent of California’s Vista Unified School District, pointed out that the last transformation of the education system occurred during the Industrial Revolution. Education went from being localized—think one-room schoolhouses—to mass produced. Flexibility decreased over what would be taught and when, but quality went up and access went up. The number of students graduating from high school skyrocketed during the years between 1900 and about 1970.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Although automation has been successful in replacing repetitive, simple tasks, the human workforce still plays a critical role in manufacturing. Even the most sophisticated and automated manufacturing operations rely on human operators to configure, run, and properly maintain production equipment.

However, with low unemployment, talent retention in the manufacturing industry is particularly difficult, meaning manufacturers often spend a lot of time and money training employees, only to have them quit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, 38 million people quit their jobs voluntarily. About 77 percent of those individuals quit for preventable reasons—like more structure around career development, better work/life balance, and manager behavior.

When a new employee gets hired at a manufacturing plant they often get little to no onboarding, or are treated poorly by a manager. Perhaps worst of all, more than half of all manufacturing employees report not having proper safety mechanisms in place to prevent an accident. With so many job openings currently unfilled, it is easy for an employee to find a new job where she can get a better experience from day one.

Aiman Sakr’s picture

By: Aiman Sakr

Does your organization benefit from lessons learned? Does it learn from previous quality issues? A vast amount of learning takes place every day in every manufacturing facility. Do global manufacturing companies share experiences gained from resolving quality issues between overseas plants? And what will they gain if they do?

What is lessons learned?

In project management nomenclature: Lessons learned is the learning gained from the process of performing the project. We learn from our own project experiences as well as the experiences of others. Sharing lessons learned among project team members prevents an organization from repeating the same mistakes and also allows it to take advantage of organizational best practices. Learning should be deliberate. Organizations should be prepared to take advantage of the key learning opportunities that projects provide. Unfortunately, capturing lessons learned too often is seen as optional… if time permits.

Multiple Authors
By: Chris Jones, Jake Herway

Studies show that decisions made during the first few months of a CEO’s tenure are disproportionately important in determining his success. However, several issues—unique to CEOs and often overlooked—complicate or even cloud good decision making.

First, new CEOs often spread themselves thin in an attempt to understand every stakeholder and nuance of the business. Second, they are heavily shaped by current employees’ perspectives. These factors can lead to a superficial, biased, or insufficient understanding of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

What you need to know to avoid mishaps new CEOs make

If you’re a chief exec or even an executive leader:
• Do you have a comprehensive understanding of the groups that most affect the organization’s ability to reach its goals?
• Do you know who your top customers and most critical employees are?

Once you’ve identified them, ask yourself:
• Why do those customers and employees choose your company?
• Why do they stay?
• What is the likelihood of their future loyalty?

One Gallup client learned her best customers were leaving not because they had problems, but because too many people were involved in fixing them.

Amanda Hunt’s picture

By: Amanda Hunt

Tensile testing of materials is critical to a wide array of industries, which means preparing specimens for testing is equally important. If a specimen is not prepared correctly, the test results will be inaccurate; this is costly if a material fails a test that it should have passed, and potentially catastrophic if it passes a test it should have failed.

The basics of specimen preparation

The specimen’s cut is critical to the quality and accuracy of its test results. The sample must not have any jagged edges or nicks. Even the slightest such deformity can impact its tensile strength, affect the ability to receive consistent tensile results from the specimen, and render its test results out of line with other similar specimens.

Once a specimen is correctly cut, it must also be handled with care. Dropping, bumping, or otherwise mishandling the specimen may result in nicks, with the same effect on testing as a bad cut.

Jennifer Sillars’s picture

By: Jennifer Sillars

Policies define expectations and boundaries for behavior, but these expectations frequently go unmet.

There are three major triggers for new policy creation or policy amendment:
• An adverse event highlights an operational risk that is not effectively controlled. A policy is required to address this risk and how this adverse event can be avoided in the future.
• A strategic objective: when an organization wants to achieve something important and commits to this in writing. The policy acts as the action plan and guidance for staff, making success more likely.
• A new regulation or law comes into force

All organizations are subject to numerous compliance requirements. Some are common to all—human resources policies, for example. Some are industry specific. Either type requires strict compliance with documented evidence. Policy management provides a formal process for acknowledging a regulatory requirement and translating this to action.

In some ways compliance-based policy management is straightforward:
• The policy objective is clear.
• The need for the policy is compelling.

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