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- 06/20/19--06:51: _How can organizatio...
- 06/20/19--06:52: _20 Must-have Online...
- 06/20/19--06:56: _What is Project Man...
- 06/20/19--22:41: _What is a Risk Asse...
- 06/21/19--10:55: _3 Ways Marketing Au...
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- 06/21/19--10:58: _5 Lessons for Follo...
- 06/21/19--10:59: _CIOs experience str...
- 06/21/19--11:00: _Disaster planning: ...
- 06/21/19--11:03: _14 Early Startup Ex...
- 06/22/19--06:00: _Small Business
- 06/22/19--06:18: _Project Management
- 06/23/19--03:36: _Management Consultant
- 06/23/19--04:11: _Marketing Management
- 01/20/12--05:17: _The Top 10 Highest ...
- 02/19/12--19:27: _10 Deadliest Occupa...
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- 06/26/19--03:08: _Strategic Planning:...
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- 06/20/19--06:56: What is Project Management?
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- 06/21/19--11:00: Disaster planning: How to expect the unexpected
- 06/21/19--11:03: 14 Early Startup Execs Who Missed Out On Fortunes
- 06/22/19--06:00: Small Business
- Lifestyle: Many people start businesses because they want to be in control of their lives. This is both the financial independence to be able to choose their own lifestyles as well as the opportunity to be flexible with their work.
- Professional Freedom: Similarly, many people want to be their own bosses. They want to avoid being beholden to supervisors and be able to set the rules themselves. Naturally, everyone is answerable to someone, whether it be a boss or customers. However, the freedom to make your own plans is a big draw of running a business.
- Purpose: Another major reason for starting a company is the chance to feel a strong sense of purpose. If you want to build something impactful, this is likely an important element of success for you. That impact may be on customers, the community, team members or a combination.
- Financial Rewards: The financial component is an element of running a successful small business regardless of what your goals are. It is hard to live the life you want to live if you don’t have the money to do so. Financial success can be both for yourself and for your business. Additionally, there are many different orders of magnitude of financial success.
- Passion: Getting to do enjoyable and meaningful work is an aspect of success for many people. Living a positive life is difficult if your work is unpleasant. However, for some people, this takes a back seat to other types of success.
- Customer Satisfaction: Meeting the needs of customers is an important metric for the success of any business. However, some business owners consider this to be a core goal rather than a means to an end. Doing work that others are pleased with can be very meaningful.
- Giving Back: Arguably this is a type of purpose, but it is significant enough to deserve its own mention. Giving back to the community through your business can be an important goal. This can be providing useful goods and services, donating a portion of your proceeds or running a social enterprise that helps others as part of the business model.
- A consultant to help you with your strategic, managerial and executive decision making.
- Part-time or seasonal team members to help you with your operations.
- Freelancers to help with marketing, design and other high-skill jobs.
- Fractional team members to take on key roles like process-improvement, accounting or marketing.
- 06/22/19--06:18: Project Management
- Initiating: This is the starting point of the project. During this phase, the team defines what the project is at a high level. Generally, this will involve one or more business cases that need to be addressed by the project. It also involves researching the situation and gathering requirements from stakeholders.
- Planning: Once the project has been initiated, it is time to start creating a plan for how to complete the work. Different methodologies have their own planning systems. However, goals should usually be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. This framework will help ensure that your plan is something that can be executed, tracked and managed.
- Executing: Now comes the main work involved in the project. Once a plan has been laid out, the team gets to work turning those plans into reality. During this phase, the project manager(s) should assign resources, check on the status, update the project roadmap and generally ensure that work is flowing smoothly.
- Monitoring and Controlling: Depending on the methodology, this may be in parallel with the execution of the project or happen afterward. The project manager(s) should use key performance indicators to analyze progress and ensure that quality and scope goals have been met.
- Closing: At the end of the project, there is still a little work to be done to close things up. The team should document what has been done and what hasn’t been. They should also perform a postmortem to identify lessons learned for future projects.
- Project Manager: The project manager is the individual responsible for the project’s successful completion. He or she helps plan the project, organize the work, ensure the team members have the resources they need and oversee the project through to completion.
- Team Member: These are the people who actively work on the project. Ideally, they should be involved in the planning process as well as assessing progress and evaluating results. However, their main contribution is working on the tasks that will turn the plans into an end result.
- Project Sponsor: Usually there is an in-house champion for the project who represents the business interests. This person may be a senior manager but does not have to be. He or she helps to legitimize the project and represent the interests of the team to other stakeholders. The sponsor also helps to set expectations for the project.
- Other Business Stakeholders: Every project is undertaken to achieve some meaningful goal. Therefore, there are always stakeholders who are concerned with the results of the project. They may be other members of the organization, clients, investors or many other roles. They set the requirements and use cases for the project.
- Communication: As with all team activities, project management involves a lot of communication. Managers need to be clear when they speak and write and attentive when they listen.
- Leadership: One of the main purposes of the project manager is to empower others. This requires the ability to lead and inspire team members.
- Team Management: Project manager needs to organize their teams from an operational perspective. Just being able to lead strategically isn’t enough, they also need to get into the details.
- Negotiation: Working with stakeholders is a major part of project management. This can require negotiation skills to make sure the team has the right scope of work, resources, budget and schedule to get the job done.
- Organization: One of the main value additions of the project manager is keeping everyone organized. This starts with him or her being personally organized.
- Risk Management: All work involves risks. Being able to identify, foresee and prepare for those risks is an essential skill in project management.
- 06/23/19--03:36: Management Consultant
- Outside Perspective: Perhaps the simplest and most common reason to hire a consultant is the opportunity to get a new perspective on things. When you are working within a team, it is easy to get used to how things have always been done. Having someone come in from outside can help you to find new practices and ways of approaching problems.
- Identify Problems: Similarly, it can be beneficial to bring someone in to help to identify issues with your current operations. It is easy to miss inefficiencies and problem areas when you are accustomed to your current way of doing things. A management consultant helps you to root out the issues that are holding your team back.
- Additional Workforce: Consultants aren’t just for coming in to evaluate your current practices. They can also help you get important projects done. Sometimes you need additional help for the short-term or need executive help but aren’t quite ready for a full-time team member. A consultant can act as that fractional or temporary boost to your team’s capacity.
- Specialized Skill Set: Certain projects require special skills. It can be helpful to bring someone in from the outside to provide expertise or abilities that your team doesn’t already possess. Similarly, some small and growing businesses prefer to bring in consultants to handle important roles before they are ready to hire someone full-time.
- Unbiased Opinion: Some decisions in the business world are hard to make. They can be even harder when politics, friendships, and other interpersonal factors get involved. For example, if you need to make layoffs, hiring someone with an unbiased and objective opinion can be very beneficial.
- Change Agent: Change is an important and essential part of running a successful business. Nonetheless, teams are often resistant to change because people naturally like to do what they are already good at. Hiring an external consultant to act as a change agent can help to ensure those periods of transition happen more smoothly.
- Understands Your Field: Management consultants are good at getting to know teams and their circumstances. Nonetheless, someone who has at least some experience with your industry is more likely to be effective.
- Is Excited: By definition, the outcomes of consulting are vague. Someone who is very motivated produces substantially better work than someone who is “phoning it in.” Find that management consultant who is excited to deliver results for your team.
- Has A Proven Record: While prior experience doesn’t guarantee results, a track record of success is a good indicator that the consultant you are hiring can deliver. A good consultant can share testimonials and case studies with you to show how he or she has tackled problems in the past.
- Has A Clear Plan: Consulting projects should be handled in an organized and professional manner. While the plan will undoubtedly evolve as the problem becomes better defined and more information is gathered, the consultant should be able to give you a strong sense of what he or she expects to do right from the start.
- 06/23/19--04:11: Marketing Management
- Buyer – The buyer is the customer who needs a good or service and is willing to trade money or other commodities for it.
- Demand – A strong market requires supply and demand. Demand is how much a product or service is needed in a region.
- Government Regulation – In most areas, the government regulates how goods and services are bought and sold to ensure illegal products aren’t on the market and that taxes are paid.
- Place – This is the area in which a company and its consumers swap or buy and sell goods and services.
- Product Specification – Your company is responsible for product specification, which means listing ingredients and providing information about how much of a product a buyer gets for the price.
- Seller – The seller is you, the company that offers a good or service.
- Building of a Brand – Building a brand is an absolute necessity for any company, especially in a day and age where people always want to be entertained (including from their advertisements). The process may feel tedious and almost never has instant results, but the strength of marketing a well-known brand will be well worth it in the long run.
- Communications and Promotions – Marketing communications and promotions are essential for fast-moving consumer goods. Also known as the FMCG sector, these low-cost goods rely on strong advertising to keep them in the game. The sector includes some of the top brands in the world, such as Coca-Cola and Samsung. This section includes building strong customer relations, which creates new customers and brings in repeat business.
- Creation of Value – Devised in 1985, the value chain concept is an important component of marketing management that helps companies determine the best places to add value to their products or services. Creating value involves analyzing the chain of processes from conception of a product to the time it’s sold, tweaking the process where necessary to make it even more desirable to customers.
- Development of Plans and Strategies – A strong product or service requires a well-developed strategy for creation, marketing, and distribution. Marketing is a part of each strategic move, from the demand and sales forecast to the promotion options and so on.
- Sustainability Factor – A sustainable competitive advantage is essential for a company. This means that your company will beat out its competitors in the value chain over time. Sustainability means strong marketing skills that ensure your company comes across as innovative and becomes a household name.
- Understanding of the Market – Marketing management is nothing without an expansive amount of market research that helps a company understand its customers and what they want. Understanding the market helps a company to determine which product or service its customers need next and how best to get that product or service into their hands.
- Production – The concept of production means a company should focus on the items it can create and sell with the most efficiency while creating them at a low cost. A marketing manager who takes on this concept must ask whether a company can produce the item and, if so, whether it can produce enough of it in a given time frame. The production concept was very popular until the late 1920s when production was focused mostly on fulfilling true needs; however, it is not as popular for today’s marketers.
- Sales – The sales concept means companies produce the items but also work to convince customers to purchase them. This means advertising or personal selling, which means the marketing manager must ask whether the company can sell an item and, if so, whether it can produce as many as it sells. This concept didn’t focus on needs but on wants and had an entire goal of simply beating out the competition without worrying about customer satisfaction. Of course, that was a problem, which is why hard selling is not as popular as marketing, and although the two words are used interchangeably, they mean two very different things.
- Marketing – Finally, today’s most common concept is the marketing concept. This relies on marketing studies (often referred to as market research) to define the market’s size and its requirements. The marketing team then creates controllable parameters. This concept, which was introduced after World War II, focuses on key questions, including whether the customer wants the product or service, how it can be improved, and whether it will keep customers satisfied in the long term. This means creating marketing rules such as customer focus, aligned operations, and need satisfaction.
- Marketing Type – The type of marketer you need depends on whether your company does business-to-business sales or business-to-consumer sales. The strategies for these two sales types are drastically different, which means you need a marketer who has the right type of experience.
- Research the Options – A quick search shows there are hundreds of thousands of “marketing managers” but that most of them have their own take on what that job entails. By searching both employees and other companies looking for marketing managers, you’ll get a good idea of what you need out of your own manager. This makes it easier for you to create a strong employment ad that fully outlines what you’re looking for and brings in the best candidates.
- Interview Process – Once you know what you’ll post in your job ad, consider your interview process. The best way to determine if a candidate is truly good for the job is to create a position-based assessment. The assessment should include a presentation of strategy as well as a reverse job shadow. It is not only beneficial for helping you to find the right candidate but for giving the candidate a realistic idea of what it will be like to work with your company. However, remember to comply with the local interview and employment laws should you decide to assess your candidates “on the job” so to speak.
- Transparency – Full transparency is the key to hiring the best marketing manager, so be sure you know what your candidates see about your company. Search your business on Glassdoor to find out what current and former employees are saying, so you know how people perceive your company and whether you can do something to improve your image before you begin the hiring process. Be realistic about what you expect from your marketing manager as well as what you can offer him or her.
- Listen Thoroughly – When conducting an interview, it can be tempting to focus on resumes and accolades over the words the interviewee is saying. However, it is important to actually listen to your candidates to make sure they do more than sound good on paper. This ensures you find good employees who not only know how to do their job but understand what is expected of them at your company. Listen to your hiring team as well, as they will have excellent insight into candidates.
- Offer the Job – Once you decide on a candidate, extend him or her the job offer promptly. Following up within a day or two shows that you care about the time and energy your candidate invested in your interview process. However, be sure to follow up even if you aren’t extending the offer. This is just polite and shows good interview etiquette, plus you never know if someone will be a great fit for another role in the future.
- Integration of the New Manager – Finally, you’ll need to integrate your new marketing manager into the rest of your team. Onboarding includes helping the new hire bond with the rest of the team, ensuring he or she has all the pertinent information about your company and the provided compensation package, and helping him or her be successful right out of the gate.
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What is a Risk Assessment Matrix
Any business is likely to face risks. Because such risks arise from many different sources, it’s essential to understand the risk environment of your company. Having in-depth knowledge of the probability and magnitude of each risk will help you implement an effective management plan over the long-term.
But how can you begin to evaluate the numerous risks that are present in your specific industry? A risk assessment matrix is an answer. By definition, a risk assessment matrix is a method of comparing the probability of a risk occurring- and the impact it may cause to your business. In other words, it is a tool that evaluates the likelihood vs. severity of every type of risk.
A risk assessment matrix allows you to develop an appropriate response that falls in line with the goals of your company. Most risk assessment matrixes take the form of a table/grid, with sections that categorize the level of impact vs. the likelihood of a risk occurring.
Why is a Risk Assessment Matrix Important?
Risk management, in general, and a risk assessment matrix, is an important process for any business. You need a solid understanding of your risk environment to develop a plan for managing such risks. And when it comes to cybersecurity, a risk assessment matrix can help you identify, analyze, and mitigate risks promptly.
A Risk Matrix is Critical for the Following Reasons:
1. Prioritize the Most Severe Risks
A risk assessment matrix allows you to identify and prioritize the most severe risks that your company faces. Without this robust analysis, you may not be able to have a clear view of your risk environment and the factors that may significantly disrupt your operations.
2. Develop a Plan for Managing These Risks and Their Consequences
After identifying the most significant risks that your business faces, you’ll be able to develop a targeted strategy for responding to such threats. Every type of risk is different, especially as it pertains to cybersecurity. Therefore, a focused approach is more effective than merely assuming that all kinds of risk will have the same impact.
3. Maintain a Real-time Assessment of Your Risk Environment
Having a method to the madness makes it easier for you to deal with both emergent and recurrent risks. You’ll be able to identify a specific type of risk, its probability, and its severity.
A risk assessment matrix allows you to maintain a real-time view of your risk environment and how it’s likely to change soon.
How to Make a Risk Assessment Matrix
You can think of a risk assessment matrix as a simplified way of viewing and responding to your company’s risks. The same way a bar graph can be prepared to compare sales reports during a specific quarter, an assessment matrix is used to compare risk impact levels and consequences that were obtained from your initial risk assessment forms. In most businesses, the risk assessment matrix is the second step of your overall risk management plan.
After the initial hard work of gathering risk data, calculating probabilities, and assessing impact levels, this second step is simply a way of presenting your findings in a manner that makes sense to relevant stakeholders.
Preparing a risk assessment matrix involves the following steps.
Determining the Likelihood of the Risk Occurring
Your risk data will provide information regarding the probability of each risk occurring. Using this information, you can classify the risk under specific categories.
Most companies use the following five categories to assess the likelihood of a risk:
1. Definite/Very likely
This means that experiencing the risk is an almost certainty. You should place risks with 80% or more chance of occurring within this category.
This category is for risks that have a recurrent chance of happening and will need regular attention. They typically have a 60-80% chance of affecting your business.
A potential or occasional risk is essentially a coin toss when it comes to probability. Such risks have a 50% chance of occurring, and they also need specific attention.
These risks generally have a low chance of happening (less than 50%) but may still affect your business.
5. Very Unlikely
These are rare risks, typically with a lower than 10% chance of happening.
Assessing the Consequences
After you’ve created categories and grouped your risks accordingly, the next step is to determine the impact of each risk within your probability groups.
The consequences of risk can again be ranked and classified into one of the five categories, based on how severe the damage can be:
An insignificant risk is one that will cause barely any harm to your business (or to a specific project). In cybersecurity terms, negligible risks will result in little to no loss of data- and the data is likely to be publicly available information.
A minor risk is one that may result in measurable damages, but the extent of the damage won’t be significant enough to inhibit your operations.
Moderate risks result in clearly noticeable damage, but the extent of the damage won’t affect your operations significantly.
The critical risk will result in significant consequences and potential disruption of your business operations.
A catastrophic risk will result in the interruption of your company’s operations. For example, a ransomware attack that paralyzes your systems is a type of catastrophic risk- because you’ll have to depend on data backups (or paying the ransom) for you to get back online.
Categorizing Risks Appropriately
After you’ve developed a framework for comparing the likelihood and impact, you can begin to place each risk in its appropriate location within the matrix.
There are distinct “zones” within the matrix that fall under the following groups:
Extreme risks are those that require immediate attention, and they fall within the red zone of your matrix (often in the top right corner).
2. High Risk
High risks fall just under the extreme ones, but still, require immediate attention to avoid any possible disruptions. They typically fall in the middle of the matrix.
Medium risks fall near the bottom left of the matrix- and may require risk management strategies to limit any possible damage.
4. Low Risk
This level of risk falls at the bottom left corner, and most of them can be ignored or given minimal attention as part of your operations.
You can also quantify a specific risk (express it in numerical form) by multiplying the probability of the risk by its severity. Assigning a numerical value to each risk makes it easier for you to implement an overarching risk management plan.
A risk assessment matrix is an essential part of any risk management approach. Without it, you’ll be unable to maintain a clear and easily accessible view of your risk environment- including the probability and severity of occurrence. But with this approach, you’ll be on the path towards handling cybersecurity threats in a clear, logical, and effective manner.
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Keys To Finding Success in Small Business
Running a small business is an attractive career path for many. However, there is no denying that it is challenging. Small business owners have to wear many different hats and overcome many obstacles to success.
The difficult truth about running a new company is that only about half of small businesses survive past five years, according to the SBA. The good news is that the longer you keep going, the higher your odds of continuing to thrive. Understanding the keys to running a small business well can help you to realize your goals more quickly and consistently so that you can build something that lasts.
Before identifying the ways to be successful, it is important to understand what the word means. Success is different for every business and every person. Naturally, profitability and the financial rewards of running a business are one way to define success. However, there are other measurements as well that are equally valid:
These different types of accomplishment are all valid ways to define what it is to run a successful business. Understand what success means to you. It won’t be the same definition that other people have. Identify what success means to you. Only then will you be able to apply the keys to success effectively.
If you are running a small business, you already know how to be courageous. Starting a business takes guts, but the courage can’t stop there. You need to be prepared to take risks and innovate.
Often the competitive advantage that small businesses have over their larger counterparts is the ability to adapt and take risks. Be brave and use this advantage. There will be obstacles and many of them will be intimidating. Success takes courage to overcome those bumps in the road.
Keep in mind that courage is rooted in fear. Being brave is being afraid but doing what you need to do anyway. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get scared sometimes along your small business journey. The key is to push forward to success anyway.
Frequently, the hardest part of being brave is taking the first step. Make a habit of taking that first step no matter what. As you develop your discipline, you’ll find that you’re more capable of taking the risks you need to make your small business successful.
One of the great challenges of running an entrepreneurial venture is the number of opportunities available. This is part of why having a clear definition of success is so important. Without knowing what your long-term aspirations are, you will have a hard time developing focused, short-term goals.
This starts with finding the right niche for your business. As a small company, it is impossible to offer something that will appeal to everyone. So, you need to narrow your focus. Obviously, that niche should be one that is sufficiently lucrative to justify the existence of your business. It should also be one that you are passionate enough about that you will enjoy your work and find it rewarding.
Focus isn’t limited to just starting your business, however. It is something you need to remember throughout the life of your company. Having a clear strategy for your small business can help significantly with your focus. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal business plan, especially if you aren’t seeking outside capital. Nonetheless, having a consistent and thought-out plan is a big help.
When you have a defined strategy and several long-term goals, your short- and medium-term decisions become clearer. Instead of deciding from all possible options, you only need to consider the ones that will serve your strategic objectives. Naturally, that long-term plan will evolve over time, but having it as a focusing tool is worth the effort of creating the plan.
Keep Costs in Order
Cash is king in the business world. One of the greatest challenges of running a small business is achieving consistent and reliable profitability. There are upturns and downturns in demand in almost every industry. So, you need to be careful about your costs.
It can be tempting as a small business owner to want to invest in a flashy office and a big team to help you grow your business quickly. In some cases, this is the right move. However, for the majority of small companies, it is better to grow steadily and reliably than to invest too much too quickly.
When you are careful about managing your costs, you will start to build up a war chest that you can rely on during leaner times. Many business owners wait to take on new expenses until they absolutely need to. This can be a great way to manage expenses. However, if your goal is to live an enjoyable and flexible professional life, being too lean may not be servicing your definition of success.
Finding the right balance between investing in your future success and avoiding unnecessary expenses can be a real challenge. Sometimes it can help to get some outside perspective to make the right call.
Don’t Hire Too Quickly
This is an extension of managing your costs but deserves to be its own key to success because it is a major stumbling point for many small businesses. For many organizations, team members are the most expensive resource. Between salaries, benefits, office space and other related expenses, hiring people is no small matter.
Try to be as productive as you can be by yourself as you start your business. You may be surprised how much you can accomplish without additional help. In some cases, it makes sense to stay smaller so that you can do everything yourself. For example, if your goal is to maintain maximum control and flexibility, being the sole employee can be a benefit.
However, in most cases, there will come a point when you need extra help. These are a couple of alternatives to hiring permanent, full-time staff:
Finding creative ways to get work done without hiring can help you manage your costs more effectively. Sometimes expanding your team is the right move, but make sure to explore other options first.
Ensure You’re Making an Impact
There is an old saying that “time is money.” This is truer for small business owners than for almost anyone else. You want to make sure you are being productive and having an impact every day. Time management is a major part of this. It goes well beyond just staying busy, however.
Measuring your success can be a powerful tool for evaluating your own work. Track important metrics such as customer reviews, return on investment for projects, sales conversions and more. These should go beyond just how much you are earning. Even if you are turning a profit, you may be spending time on initiatives with a poor return. Keeping yourself honest with metrics can help you make smarter choices.
Always Be Marketing
Marketing is essential to business success. This is especially true for small operations. There is likely so much noise in your market that you need to put in consistent effort to break through and get your message to your prospective customers.
According to HubSpot, nearly two-thirds of businesses report generating traffic and leads as their top challenges. Drawing people to your business can be a real struggle. So, you need a well-executed marketing strategy to find the success you seek.
A major component of this is offering value with your products or services. If people like what you do, you will earn repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Hopefully, as a small business owner, you’ve already covered this aspect of marketing yourself.
Learn how to sell yourself and your business. Every business owner is a salesperson, even if he or she has a sales team to support him or her. It is a core skill for commercial success. So, get comfortable making your pitch to prospective partners, customers and other stakeholders.
Networking is often helpful to business owners to market their offerings. This is especially true for business-to-business operations but can also be helpful for consumer-facing businesses, too. After all, consumer products need distributors and other partners to help them succeed.
If you struggle with marketing, consider getting some assistance from an expert. Even a small amount of guidance can help put you on the right track.
Get Outside Help When You Need It
Running a successful business is no simple matter. Fortunately, others have the expertise necessary to help make your venture a success. You don’t need to rely solely on your own abilities.
Try finding a mentor who can guide you with his or her experiences and insight. Someone who can complement your skill set and challenge you to think differently is ideal. It can take a few tries to find someone who is the right fit for your needs.
Hiring an outside expert can also be very beneficial. Someone who has faced some of your current challenges before. Again, it is ideal to work with a person who will approach problems from a different perspective than you will. Otherwise, you are simply hiring someone to agree with you.
Project management is a component of all work. Whether you are a small team casually collaborating or a large enterprise with a strong, formalized set of policies, project management is playing a role. It can boost your team to success through organization and focus or hold you back with confusion and inefficiency. Getting experienced, professional help with project management is worth the effort.
An Overview of Project Management
In short, project management is the process of planning and overseeing a team’s work with specific goals and a stated time frame. In other words, it is all of the work done to manage a given project and ensure that it is completed successfully.
Typically, the main concerns and constraints of project management are scope, time, quality and budget. Scope is the definition of the work to be done and, perhaps more importantly, the work that will not be done. Time and budget are the schedule and amount of money allotted for the project. Quality is the expectations for the performance and precision of the work and end result.
Project management can take a variety of forms but it typically involves five major categories of work, according to the Project Management Institute:
These phases are present in all project management methodologies. However, they don’t necessarily happen in such a linear fashion. For example, Agile emphasizes a continuing loop of planning, executing and evaluating in short sprints rather than a single workflow for the entire project. The way that you implement these phases of project management should suit your team’s needs and style of work.
The Important Role of Project Management
Project management is an inherent part of work. Any time you approach a specific definition of work in an organized manner, you are applying project management. More complex projects call for more complex management. Staying organized as an individual is easier than doing so with a group. However, even on the simplest projects, well-planned management can be invaluable.
All work in an organization should be aligned with its strategic goals. It is easy to get off track when you let your project become disorganized. This can lead to time and effort invested in work that isn’t truly aligned with the overall strategy. For example, you may add an interesting sounding feature that doesn’t support the originally defined business case.
Similarly, realism in planning is essential to producing high-quality results. In most projects, the exact definition of work changes over time. This is okay and is even encouraged by many project management methodologies. However, if unchecked, this can lead to expectations that aren’t grounded in reality. A good project manager keeps the goals of the project focused and attainable.
Maintaining consistent quality of work is another important consideration. This is a major issue for large groups but can even affect individuals. As you progress through a project, the quality of work can vary. The project manager’s job is to watch for those inconsistencies and ensure all the work is up to specifications.
Another essential aspect of project management is capturing and maintaining knowledge. On every project, team members learn new techniques, best practices and other helpful information. This can easily be lost or only learned by a single individual. Project management seeks to turn that knowledge into usable insight for the whole team.
Projects can also get expensive when improperly managed. As with all other aspects of running a business, poor planning and oversight can lead to runaway costs and unnecessary inefficiencies. One of the key goals of project management is to eliminate those unnecessary expenses.
Clearly, project management has a lot to offer. However, it isn’t enough to just apply some management methodologies. In many cases, an experienced and knowledgeable project manager can turn these potential benefits from aspirations into realities.
People Involved in Project Management
As previously mentioned, there are several different methodologies used for project management. Each one has its own set of roles that are involved in the project. Nonetheless, there are a few core roles that are involved no matter what project management style you apply. These may be named differently but their involvement is always similar.
The specifics of each of these roles can vary, but every project should have a manager, team members, a sponsor and some other stakeholders. On some small teams, one person may fill multiple roles. In other teams, a single role may be split between multiple people. However, this basic framework helps with understanding who is involved and why.
Project Management Methodologies
There are many ways to manage a project. Historically, the most organized approach was Waterfall in which the team defines the requires of the project from the beginning and implements those requirements exactly as specified. This is generally out of favor today because it fails to handle the ever-evolving realities of most projects.
One of the main responses to the shortcomings of Waterfall is Agile. In Agile, teams are self-organizing and work cross-functionally with the involvement of customers and stakeholders. The goal is to maximize communication and adapt to the changing needs of any given project. Agile is more a set of principles than an actual methodology. Most teams use a more specific system that is based on Agile.
Scrum is an implementation of Agile. In it, a project owner represents the business stakeholders and a scrum master organizes the project. The work is then completed by team members. Scrum focuses on regular, minimally formal communication, openness and deploying work early and often. The end of each sprint in Scrum should produce tangible work.
Kanban is another agile methodology that arose from Japan. It focuses on the visualization of work, minimizing the amount of work in progress at any given time and maximizing feedback. The Kanban board is the most famous symbol of this methodology. It is a visual system for easily showing the progress of each task.
Lean is another Japanese methodology. As the name implies, it focuses on running a lean project, ones with minimal waste and maximal value. It looks at Muda, waste from non-valuable work; Mura, waste from inconsistency; and Muri, waste from work overload. The principal goal is to reduce or eliminate these three types of waste.
Six Sigma is a methodology based on reducing errors in projects. On a normal distribution curve, the sixth sigma is the 99.99966th percentile. In other words, only a tiny portion of opportunities to produce value should result in defects. Six Sigma applies a method of defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling to ensure consistent success.
Key Project Management Skills
The most effective project managers focus on a few core skills. Ideally, managers should empower their teams to complete successful work rather than trying to control the process themselves. These skills can help with that:
When To Get Outside Help
Project management isn’t easy, especially when dealing with complex teams and work. The largest corporations regularly hire consultants to help them improve their project management processes. This can include learning a new methodology, identifying issues with management or even overseeing the project directly.
If you are facing difficulties delivering work on time and within the budget, you may need some outside help. Additionally, if you believe your team could be operating more efficiently, the answer may lie in your project management.
In short, if you are asking whether you need outside help, the answer may very well be yes. A small amount of help can have a dramatic impact, so it is worthwhile spending a little time learning what you could change about your project management. Even small and flexible teams can benefit from a formalized approach to managing their work.
What To Expect From Your Management Consultant
Most people in the business world have some sense of what a management consultant is. However, far fewer people know exactly what impact and outcomes to expect from working with one. Management consulting can be a powerful tool for your business team if you know how to leverage it.
What Exactly Is Management Consulting?
In short, management consulting is the practice of an outside expert helping a business team improve its performance. Consultants provide expert advice and a new perspective to management teams to empower them to solve problems and achieve growth.
Consultants can perform a wide range of tasks, from helping with overall business strategy to fine-tuning specific projects’ management. Additionally, organizations in almost every industry and in both the public and private spaces hire consultants. Everyone can benefit from some extra help with applying best practices and being efficient.
According to IBISWorld, management consulting is a more than $250 billion industry that grew 3.2% between 2014 and 2019. There is so much demand for consulting services because businesses large and small rely on getting an outside expert opinion to tackle the most substantial challenges they face.
Why Do Businesses Hire Management Consultants?
The possible roles of management consultants are varied, as are the reasons why companies hire them. In general, teams hire consultants because they need someone from the outside to help them succeed. However, this can mean a lot of different things depending on the circumstances of the organization:
These are just some of the many excellent reasons to hire a management consultant. The right outside perspective can have a major impact on your organization and enable you to realize the success you’ve been chasing.
How Does Management Consulting Work?
Generally, the management consulting process involves defining the problem, planning how to approach the issue, gathering and analyzing information, providing advice and then implementing those recommendations. Every project will be a little different; however, most more or less follow this framework.
The problem-definition step is extremely important and sets up the rest of the process to be successful. This definition ideally should explain what the problem is and what a successful outcome will be.
In some cases, you may have a specific problem that you want to solve through management consulting. For example, you may understand that you need a plan to scale your operations in a new market. Alternatively, you may just know the symptoms of the issue. For example, you know that your production wastage is high, but you don’t know what is causing waste.
Following this is planning the approach. During this phase, the management consultant lays out plans for investigating the problem and identifying a solution. This helps to set up expectations for the rest of the management consulting process.
A lot of the work of management consulting happens while gathering and analyzing information. This process can take many forms depending on the nature of the problem. It may involve interviewing team members, observing work, reviewing hard data or a variety of other information-gathering methods. More often than not, a combination of techniques is needed.
The process concludes with the consultant providing recommendations on what to change and then implementing those changes. The implementation may be done by the team alone or in coordination with the management consultant.
Of course, as previously mentioned, management consulting can take a wide range of forms. Consequently, this process may be very different. For example, someone acting as added workforce likely won’t use this structure. Nonetheless, it is a helpful framework for starting to understand how management consulting works.
What Outcomes Should You Expect From Management Consulting?
Management consulting is a complex and varied process that can offer a lot to your business. You may still be wondering, what should you be expecting when all is said and done? Since the inputs of management consultants can vary, so too can the outputs. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines for what you can anticipate.
Assuming that your consultant is performing in an advisory role, at least partially, his or her deliverable should be a strategic plan you can implement to improve your business’s management. He or she may take part in the implementation or may only make a recommendation.
Chances are that this plan or recommendation is for something significantly different from what you would otherwise be doing. This difference sometimes tempts managers to ignore it. However, it is always worth seriously evaluating the recommended strategy, even if it is a major departure from your current manner of operating. After all, you brought in outside help for a reason.
Provided that you found a consultant who is a good fit for your organization, you can expect the recommendations to be custom-made for your current situation, focused on your industry and specific needs, carefully thought-out and grounded in data and reality. Additionally, the strategy should be feasible to implement, with clear guidance on how to do so.
One of the key benefits of management consulting is the objectiveness with which a consultant can look at your organization. Consultants can avoid getting caught up in the emotions, pride, and relationships that affect your permanent team. This allows the outcomes of the consulting project to be more objective and realistic than may otherwise be possible.
Beyond this general outcome, your expectations for the deliverables should be set out early in the relationship. They may be outlined when you engage a management consultant or after you have worked with him or her to define your problem.
How Can You Maximize The Impact Of Management Consulting?
A management consultant can bring a lot to the table. He or she can help your business and team to rapidly improve in a short period of time. However, the responsibility for ensuring positive outcomes does not rest solely on the shoulders of the consultant. You and your team also need to play a role in ensuring the maximum impact of the project.
First and foremost, it is important to define the problem as effectively as possible. The consultant is starting from square one when he or she first starts working with your team. If you don’t point him or her in the right direction, you can be certain the outcomes won’t be helpful. Working together to properly define the problem is perhaps the most important step in management consulting.
Try to be clear about your expectations. You know what you want to get out of the consulting project. Don’t be secretive about what you hope to achieve. The clearer you are, the most likely you are to see those desired results. Furthermore, when everyone is on the same page about the scope and aims of the project, the relationship will be smoother and more fruitful.
However, try to avoid being overly specific with objectives. Ideally, set your expectations in terms of challenges you would like to overcome and how you would like your performance to be affected. If you get too specific, you may be boxing in your consultant too much. Consultants are experts at problem-solving, so don’t try to do that part of the job for them.
It is also essential, to be honest with your management consultant and provide access to the necessary data. Most of the time, consultants are brought in to identify and address problems. As such, being dishonest or evasive achieves little more than prolonging the issue and avoiding getting it properly fixed.
Once you reach the advice phase, try to be open and receptive to the recommendations. In some cases, suggestions can be difficult to accept due to pride and attachment to the old way of doing things. Being aware of these feelings and actively trying to be open to advice is an important step in maximizing the impact of management consulting.
Last but not least, implement the recommended changes. Unless you intend to reject the advised strategy, make sure to actually use it. It is easy to listen to suggestions, agree that it was a very productive endeavor, then get right back to business as usual. Implementation can take a lot of effort and time, but it is usually worthwhile.
How Do You Choose the Right Management Consultant?
One of the best ways to get the maximum possible impact from a consultant is to hire the right one. Naturally, who is right depends on your circumstances, budget and goals. These are a few characteristics you should look for in a highly effective management consultant:
You want your management consultant to be able to efficiently tackle the project and to provide effective recommendations on what to do. Without the above qualities, he or she will be unable to do so. Fortunately, with the right management consultant and a strong understanding of what to expect, you can make the most of what you get and help ensure the ideal outcomes for your business.
A Guide to Marketing Management and What It Means for Your Business
When it comes to a company’s market, it has a simple definition: A company’s market includes the buyers and sellers in a region, which can be a city, a state, or an entire country. Markets, which sell goods and services, require a supply and demand to thrive. However, because so many companies sell the same types of products and services, it is important to know more about the type of market you plan to buy and sell in as well as how marketing management can affect your bottom line. Read on for this guide to marketing management and how a marketing professional can benefit your business.
Defining the Market
Before you can determine what marketing management is, you need to understand the characteristics and elements of a market itself. A market’s characteristics go beyond a place for swapping goods and services. It is also a place where people can negotiate commodities, meet customer requirements, innovate and create, and share in consumption as a part of supply and demand. In terms of the elements of a market, there are several keys
The History of Marketing Management
Marketing management may seem like a new term ushered in with the digital age, but the practice has a history dating back hundreds of years to the first trading system humanity adopted. After all, how could people trade their goods and services if they didn’t market them well enough to make others want them?
When the industrial era came to be and factories were established, a need-based market became the most popular “marketing” method. These days, things are much different. Marketing management is now responsible for helping consumers all over the world differentiate between companies selling the same products and services, so they can best decide which ones fit their needs.
The Necessity of Marketing Management and Its Role in Society Today
Today, marketing management is necessary to get customers to purchase products, which in turn creates profitable companies. Marketing accomplishes this via several roles in today’s society:
The Objectives of the Marketing Manager
A marketing manager is responsible for ensuring a product meets customers’ needs and keeps them interested from conception to the time it makes it to a customer’s home. Marketing managers have several objectives during the process of planning and implementing new products or services. The organizational discipline required focuses on techniques and methodologies that include objectives such as satisfying client requirements, growing the business, developing a repeat customer base, creating the right marketing mix, building a good image for the company, and maintaining the momentum of the marketing techniques. This includes three major concepts.
The Three Largest Concepts in Marketing Management
Marketing management, and therefore, the job of marketing managers, is built on three main concepts: production, sales, and, of course, marketing. To further understand these concepts, you must break them down:
How To Hire the Right Person To Head Your Marketing Department
Now that you understand more about what marketing management is and why it is so important for a successful business, it is time to learn how to find the best marketing manager to join your team. Consider the following factors as you begin your search:
Key Areas of Modern Marketing
The final step of creating a strong marketing management plan with the right manager is to understand the most common areas where modern marketing is used. For example, content marketing is popular because it helps businesses build audiences and provides information, but email marketing is also common and can bring in a large return on investment when done properly. Social media marketing, online videos, search engine optimization, and even pay-per-click advertising campaigns are all quite popular as well.
When it comes to your marketing management plan, you need a strong manager who understands how to meet your company’s needs. If you are planning a large launch of a new project, you may even find that bringing an expert onto an already existing marketing team is beneficial. A marketing manager provides a wide variety of consultation services to help businesses of all types research their customer bases, create new products, and build better business brands. Learn more about his services and find out if he is the right addition to your team by contacting him today.
A human resources MBA can be the ticket to a lucrative career, especially if you choose your job and industry carefully. Even for the same position, annual average pay can vary by $25,000 or more, depending on company or organization and location.
Featured Top-ranked HR MBA Programs
Featured Top-ranked Master’s in HR Programs
Choose one of these ten highest-paying human resources jobs to ensure a fulfilling career with good compensation. (Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Salary.com)
#10 – Employment, Recruitment, and Placement Manager
Median annual salary: $56,110
Employment, recruitment and placement managers oversee how and when a company hires employees. They direct their team on where to find talent, how to screen candidates and how to decide which candidates to pursue. Employment, recruitment, and placement managers must have good discernment skills and an eye for recognizing high-quality potential employees. They should have excellent interviewing skills and the ability to work closely with the hiring managers in different departments within the company. Most employment, recruitment and placement managers work under an HR manager or a director of human resources.
#9 – International Human Resources Associate
Average annual salary: $62,400
An international human resources associate plays a generalist role within a company’s human resources department, but with global responsibility. Such an associate may post jobs for staff, assist in recruiting efforts by screening candidates, review benefits and compensation packages and engage in other standard human resources activities. The difference between a human resources associate based at company headquarters and one who is international is that the latter must have a solid grasp of employment markets around the world—the cultural aspects, benefits and compensation, and how to best go about screening candidates. This is why they are paid more than national human resources associates. It also helps to be multilingual and live or have lived in the countries the associate is focusing on.
#8 – Executive Recruiter
Average annual salary: $78,785
Executive recruiters, sometimes called headhunters, look for individuals to fill senior executive job positions, generally at corporations or nonprofits. Executive recruiters need to know their industries well enough to be able to convince prospects, who are often employed at other companies, to come work for a competitor or a different corporation. Executive recruiters interview candidates for skill and cultural fit, presenting the perfect candidates to the corporation seeking to employ them. The executive search industry can be incredibly profitable for those who are successful at finding candidates to fill positions. They are often paid on retainer, paid in full when the candidate is presented to the company or paid a portion, up to percent, of a hired candidate’s first-year compensation.
#7 – Labor Relations Specialist
Median annual salary: $83,298
Labor relations specialists are the bridge between the corporations where they work and the labor unions that company employees participate in. Labor relations specialists must be experts in local, state and federal labor issues, so that they can devise contracts that adhere to the laws and politics of labor. A labor relations specialist also is a representative for the company in any legal action and sometimes public relations. The labor relations specialist must always keep a close eye on regulations, ensuring that his or her business is compliant at all times. Negotiating skills, the ability to read, write and interpret legal documents, and good communication abilities are a must.
#6 – Human Resources Consultant
Average annual salary: $87,000
Human resources consultants help corporate managers devise policies, employment structures, benefit issues, performance incentives, and anything else that corporations need help with. The consultant, usually a contractor, will come in as an independent expert who provides much-needed insight into a company’s human resources problems. An HR consultant analyzes a company’s human resources situation—its labor- and employee relations, the success of its employment system, how well benefits are panning out, and more—and recommends productive changes to that system. Oftentimes, HR consultants come from a background of in-house human resources work and have accumulated years of experience in their profession. Human resources consultants should be competent across the board of human resources skills.
#5 – Training and Development Manager
Median annual salary: $87,700
Training and development managers are in charge of all facets of employees’ training, education within the corporation, and career development. They organize orientation sessions for new employees, training sessions for all employees, personal development courses and any other in-person training that employees require to build their careers. Training and development managers are also in charge of composing any training collateral for staff, including manuals and books. People in this position must have excellent people skills, as they commonly hold meetings that require employee interest and motivation. Training and development managers should also have deep knowledge of the laws and compliance requirements within their workplace, so that they can keep employees up to date.
#4 – Compensation and Benefits Manager
Median annual salary: $94,291
Compensation and benefits managers are in charge of selecting and implementing the compensation and benefits programs for their corporations. Such managers use their grasp of corporate policy, insurance, and different benefits programs to pick the perfect programs for their company’s employees. They review and modify compensation and benefits programs, making sure such programs enable their business to attract and retain top talent. Compensation and benefits managers must have an excellent grasp of both pay and perks—how they work, how they must be allocated and matching what employees demand with the company’s budgetary constraints. A compensation and benefits manager generally has at least five years of experience in the field.
#3 – Human Resources Manager
Median annual salary: $96,130
A human resources manager is an HR generalist who oversees staffing, benefits, training, labor relations, compensation and all other components of a company’s human resources department. HR managers ensure that all procedures are compliant with both company policies and business laws. Human resources managers spearhead teams of recruiters and other specialists, create and facilitate projects, tackles problems and communicate with the director and executive level of a corporate management team. HR managers generally have at least five years of human resources experiences and come from a generalist background, or have the ability to competently juggle an array of human resources tasks.
#2 – Human Resources Director
Median annual salary: $142,860
A human resources director is in charge of all human resources activity in a company. That includes creating and implementing company-wide policies, recruitment and retention of employees, insurance, pensions, promotions, the termination of employees and benefits. HR directors also study the industry to devise a compensation system that both attracts talent and takes the employer’s cash flow into consideration. An HR director ensures the morale of existing employees by designing programs and benefits plans that keep employees motivated and working hard. In order to fit personnel activities within the company’s strategy, the human resources director must also ensure that all activities fit within the company’s budget. HR directors generally have around a decade of experience in the human resources field, and many get promoted into the position from an HR manager post.
#1 – Chief HR Officer/Vice President of Human Resources
Average annual salary: $214, 427
The Chief HR Officer is in charge of all of the human resources systems, policies and goals within a company. The CHRO oversees every aspect of the human resources department, from recruiting and hiring to training and development, as well as contracts, labor relations, benefits, services to employees, disputes, policy creation, and more. The CHRO, as part of the executive management team, reports to the CEO and is intimately involved with the strategic direction of the company. The Chief HR Officer should have one or two decades of experience in positions of increasing responsibility in corporate human resources, as well as well-honed decisionmaking and judgment skills.
Featured Top-ranked Master’s in HR Programs
Featured Top-ranked HR MBA Programs
The world of work is full of surprises. The modern job market, for example, can take a candidate into areas where they undertake many unusual and unexpected activities. However, most of the time, present-day job seekers can at least count on being safe and not at risk from serious illness. Or can they? Throughout history, not everyone has been so lucky.
While the closest most of us get to occupational disease is a brush with carpal tunnel syndrome, we’ll soon see that there is a fascinating and disturbing assortment of illnesses and diseases that have made hay in the workplace – particularly in times past. Definitely not for the squeamish, what follows is a look through the murky world of work-related illness.
10. Chimney Sweep’s Carcinoma
Chimney Sweeps’ carcinoma, also known as Soot wart, is a form of skin cancer affecting the scrotum. Its name derives from the fact that it was first noted occurring among chimney sweeps – young men in their late teens and early twenties who had worked with soot for most of their lives. The disease was first identified in 1775 by Sir Percivall Pott, an English surgeon, and one of the first scientists to theorize on the link between cancers and environmental hazards. The disease into which Pott researched proved fatal if it was not treated. Left unchecked, the warts developed into a scrotal cancer that would make the testicles balloon in size before invading the abdomen with deadly effect. The only treatment available to medics at the time was surgery – cutting out the diseased flesh – a terrifying prospect for the young sweeps. The true cause of the disease was not proven until 1922, when carcinogens were discovered in soot.
9. Phossy Jaw
Phossy jaw, also known as phosphorus necrosis of the jaw, was most commonly seen among match workers in the 19th and early 20th centuries – famously, the “London matchgirls,” whose strike of 1888 brought the problem into the public eye. In those days, matches were made with white phosphorus, and prolonged exposure to the vapor of the substance caused deposits to form in the victims’ jawbones. Throbbing toothaches, extreme swelling of the gums and abscesses in the jawbone followed. The afflicted bones would also take on a green-white tinge, while severe brain damage also lay in wait for those already suffering. The only known treatment was to surgically remove the jawbones; if it were left unchecked, organ failure and death would result. The disease also caused tremendous pain and disfigurement, and the rotting bone tissue emitted a putrid-smelling discharge. Phossy jaw did not begin to decline until 1906, when the use of white phosphorus was officially banned.
8. Radium Jaw
Radium jaw was a particularly unpleasant affliction that affected the so-called “Radium Girls” of the early 20th century. These workers were in the employment of the United States Radium Corporation, which enjoyed no small success with the production of its glow-in-the-dark radioactive paint. The paint, known by the trademark Undark, used radium as its chief ingredient. Unfortunately for the employees, they were told to lick the brushes they were using, the pointed tips of which were useful for painting fine details on clock faces or watches – but not so beneficial for the girls’ health. A painful swelling, bleeding and porosity of the jaws would follow, and ultimately, so too would death. Although radiation necrosis was initially denied by the company, the negative publicity created by the many cases of severe illness and death could not be ignored forever. Relatively simple worker safety laws were put in place and the outbreaks of radiation sickness eventually stopped altogether. The tragedy is that so many of these deaths were eminently preventable.
Also known by the somewhat poetic name “Monday fever” – as well as the not-so-poetic “brown lung disease” – byssinosis is primarily associated with textile workers, especially young girls working in factories or mills. It is thought that exposure to cotton dust in poorly ventilated environments leads to the disease and its accompanying symptoms – namely, tightness of the chest, coughing and breathing difficulties. Experts believe the cause to be endotoxins from certain bacteria growing on the cotton. In extreme cases, the disease results in scarring of the lungs and, ultimately, death. During the 1990s, there were 81 bysinosis-related deaths in the United States alone. Such figures would likely have been much higher around the time of the industrial revolution, when cotton and fabric production increased dramatically throughout the world.
Anthrax, which often affects grazing animals, is caused by a type of bacteria, and most forms of this acute disease can be fatal to humans. Ingestion, inhalation and direct contact are all paths to infection and, for some workers, contracting the disease is a distinct possibility – particularly in countries where it is common. Many people who deal with dead animals or their skin and meat are exposed to anthrax spores, but most of the time the levels are not high enough for the full-blown disease to develop. However, when anthrax does develop fully, the results can be devastating. This was the case in April 1979, when the town of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the then-Soviet Union was exposed to an anthrax leak from a nearby bio-weapons facility. It is thought that the accident caused the infection of at least 94 people, 68 of whom died. An extensive cover-up operation was undertaken before Russian President Boris Yeltsin eventually admitted to the disaster in 1992.
Asbestosis is an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that is directly caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. It often occurs among workers exposed to high levels of the dangerous mineral, or those dealing with it over an extended time period. The most obvious symptoms of asbestosis are shortness of breath and, in extreme cases, respiratory failure. Sufferers also face a greater risk of contracting lung cancer, not to mention mesothelioma (see entry 3). It can take several decades for the condition to manifest itself – but for people working in the mining, removal or manufacture of products containing asbestos, by then it may be too late. The disease is essentially characterized by scarring of the lung tissue by asbestos fibers, and at present there is no known curative treatment. In the worst cases, asbestosis can prove to be fatal.
4. Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning is a potentially deadly medical condition caused by high levels of the eponymous toxic heavy metal in the body. Symptoms range from anemia and headaches to seizures, coma and death. Unfortunately for workers, occupational exposure is the main reason lead poisoning affects adults. Moreover, it has been estimated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that, in the US alone, over 3 million people could be exposed to lead while at work. Such exposure might occur in a myriad of ways: factory workers producing products containing lead, lead miners, plumbers, glass manufacturers, welders, printers and those involved in many more industries are all at risk. Lead poisoning was one of the first known environmental hazards. The metal was discovered around 6500 BC and its harmful effects were noted by as early as the 2nd century BC. Yet it can still cause illness and death even today.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that arises in the mesothelium, the protective membrane covering several of the body’s organs. The majority of people who fall victim have worked in occupations that expose them to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos fibers. The disease, which can take between 20 and 50 years to appear, is identified by various symptoms, including chest pain, fatigue, neck or facial swelling, and in severe cases blood clots, jaundice and internal bleeding. The dangers of exposure to asbestos were identified in the early 20th century, but this did not prevent the ongoing risk of mesothelioma to workers around the world. In Western Australia, the deaths of over 500 people from the disease appear to be linked with asbestos mining that took place between 1945 and 1966. And in recent years – from 1980 to the late 1990s – the number of people dying from the disease went up from 2,000 a year to 3,000 in the US alone. Many buildings built before asbestos was banned may contain it, and renovators and builders should proceed with caution.
2. Coalworker’s Pneumoconiosis
Coalworker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP), widely known as “black lung disease,” is another killer. Mentioned in the same breath both as silicosis (see entry 1) and Caplan’s syndrome (a lung condition caused by exposure to coal, asbestos or silica dust), CWP is brought about by long-term exposure to and inhalation of coal dust. It can lead to inflammation and in extreme cases the death of cells in living tissue (necrosis). Despite the fact that mining conditions have improved dramatically in recent times, 10,000 American miners have died from CWP in the last decade alone – an astonishing 7.5 percent of the country’s active underground coal miners. What’s more, rates of black lung disease are actually on the increase, nearly doubling over the past decade. In an effort to tackle the problem, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is currently offering miners a health evaluation every five years. Whether this measure is enough remains to be seen.
Silicosis, also known as Potter’s rot, has the dubious distinction of being the most widespread occupational lung disease. It affects people the world over but is more prevalent among workers in developing countries. Directly caused by the breathing in of crystalline silica dust, it inflames and scars the lungs’ upper lobes. Alarmingly, from the early to mid-‘90s, each year, China recorded over 24,000 fatalities as a result of the disease – the telltale signs of which include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Respiratory problems from the inhalation of dust have been acknowledged since at least Ancient Greek times, but of course, with industrialization, the problem only worsened. There is no known cure for silicosis; treatments instead focus on symptom-relief and reducing exposure to any lung irritants. The use of respirators has brought the mortality rate down in the United States, but silicosis remains an ever-present danger for others in the less developed world – from silver miners in Bolivia to denim sandblasters in Turkey.
What is it that makes someone successful? What is it that makes someone happy with their work? In the following TED talks, some of the sharpest minds on Earth share their experiences with work, success and happiness.
Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work
Jason Fried, co-author of the best selling book Rework, explains in this talk why the modern notion of getting work done in an office building is worth challenging. He explains that some of the most productive minds almost never identify the office as the most important place to get work done, so why do so many businesses place so much emphasis on it?
Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work
Author Nigel Marsh speaks on the problems associated with giving too much power to an employer. In his talk, he outlines the fundamental problems that come with losing family and personal time to excessive work, and gives valuable suggestions for balancing working productivity and personal life.
Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything
Tim Feriss shares his personal experiences and thoughts on the various ways that fear impedes learning. Author of The Four Hour Work Week and an in-depth blog, Tim explains the subtleties and nuances of going from a place of fear to a place of understanding.
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Psychologist and CEO Shawn Achor entertains his audience with his unique take on happiness: work is not necessarily the root of it. He explains instead why happiness acts as a catalyst for productivity, effectively reversing the roles of work and emotion.
Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation
In this eye-opening talk, Dan Pink uses his experience with law to make a case against the way that rewards are presented in the modern era. He explains that several studies have shown current reward systems to produce worse results in an unusual way.
Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success
Alian de Botton gives critical insight of how our perception of success and failure can distort our ability to relate to others, while simultaneously explaining the power of transcending the traditional habit of judging others by their profession.
Diana Laufenberg: How to learn? From mistakes
Teacher Diana Laufenberg shares wisdom from her years of experience. In this very easy-to-follow talk, she speaks on some of the key problems and misconceptions in the world of education and sheds light on how learning from mistakes is quite possibly one of the most valuable approaches to personal growth.
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
In this moving TED talk, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert articulates the problems that creative minds face by assuming all of the responsibility of being a genius. She explains how many other cultures have lived in assumption that genius was something that resides outside of the body, rather than something that lives within the confines of one’s own mind.
Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?
Dan Ariely, writer of Predictably Irrational, makes a strong argument against peoples’ common belief that they are rational. In his talk, he gets his evidence in a compelling way that helps to illustrate why he has come to believe that the average person’s decision-making process is not as rational as they might assume.
Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success
In this short yet powerful talk, Richard St. John encapsulates the elements of success. Over his years of research, he has conducted various interviews and found that the factors of success are different than the traditionally-assumed factors like luck and book smarts.
Are talent management systems worth it? The answer may be found in the overall recruiting process and the associated legal issues. Finding the right people for a specific position is not a simple function to perform since it is labor intensive and regulated by state and federal agencies.
To streamline the required procedures in this operation, small and large companies are utilizing various kinds of talent management systems. When a company implements a system with the best features, recruiters can capture accurate applicant information, save time and money, comply with state and federal regulations, increase applicant pool, reduce HR workload, improve cross organization support, identify trends and make better decisions. Listed below are four brief descriptions of its worth.
Captures Accurate Applicant Information
A talent management system is essential for companies that hire people on a regular basis because they provide the company with the tools needed to capture the required information. The data that the company captures usually includes the name of each candidate, position that they apply for, social security number, and other essential personal information. This information is used for numerous reasons including providing reports, analyzing data, and to responding to a diversity of requests. These requests may come from upper management, finance or from outside sources like various governmental agencies. Without these automated solutions, entire operations can be stopped to comply with one crucial request to avoid large penalties.
Talent Management Systems Improve Cross Organization Support
Today’s talent management systems are integrated with other databases. These systems create a seamless way of collecting essential information, while it also cuts down on the duplication efforts across the board. As a result, once the recruitment area has collected the personal information for an applicant, it is fed to others systems that need the data. This data may be used to hire the applicant into the company as a permanent employee or it may be used in a statistical report. Whatever the case, talent management systems can reduce the processing time in the recruitment area as well as on other sides of the house like benefits administration.
Strategic Planning and Decision Making Tool
The role that recruitment plays in any company is multi-faceted. From attracting the best talent in the industry to keeping whole operations functioning with the right human resources, recruiters are responsible for a wide diversity of things. One of which is ensuring the company saves money on human resources by developing a plan for the present as well as upcoming years. To accomplish these and other tasks, the recruiters must have accurate statistical data so that they can identify specific trends. For instance, these trends can determine how many full-time, part-time or seasonal employees are needed during peak times. With this information, the finance department can allocate a specific amount for these resources.
Comply With Governmental Regulations
The talent management systems are also used to ensure the company can comply with specific employment regulations. Based on the circumstances, EEO can request a detailed report of the company’s employment activities. These reports are used to make sure recruiters are providing all diverse groups an equal opportunity. When the company does not have diversity in their candidate pools, they can use the talent management systems to assists with identifying the areas of lack. After the areas have been identified, the recruiters can seek a remedy to the problem so that EEO will not charge the company with fines.
Strategic planning is an extensive and dynamic process used by organizations to develop a plan for achieving their long-term goals. It encapsulates the organization’s vision, mission, goals, objectives, and strategies while providing a framework under which the organization operates. It guides the decision-making process and serves as a roadmap to assist in implementing the tactical steps necessary to execute the plan. It plays a crucial role in identifying and establishing the values and work culture of any enterprise. Most importantly, it defines the business’s vision, purpose and thus, its identity.
The following infographic was adapted from Understanding the Strategic Planning Process: A Guide for SMEs
A veteran of multiple industries, Kevin A. Nye has parlayed more than 20 years of management and leadership experience into a consultancy designed specifically for the benefit of small businesses. Having served in roles in Supply Chain, Operations and Regional management, Mr. Nye was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of a regional steel company and is currently focusing his expertise to help small business owners create the organizational foundation required to grow their enterprise.
Having a good vendor management process can help identify, manage and mitigate risks associated with third-party vendors.
Read the full article at: securityboulevard.com