But sure April Fools’ Day is true… Happy Fools Day!!!
It is observed throughout the world now!
Practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. – Douglas Adams
Learning is probably most seminal aspect of any life. If one believes in the evolution theory, you can attribute the emergence of Homo sapiens entirely largely to the process of learning. The question that one can ask is – if learning is built into our very genes, why this hullabaloo about education? As the most evolved being (even if by our own admission!) there is a need to bring the finer aspects of this process to the fore of our consciousness. One such aspect is the continuously evolving cycle of learning. To understand this an old Sanskrit subhashita (unconfirmed source: Udyoga Parva of Mahabharata) gives us a great insight into the process.
AchAryAt pAdamAdatte, pAdam shiShyaH swamedhayA |
sa-brahmachAribhyaH pAdam, pAdam kAlakrameNa cha ||
A quarter from the teacher, a quarter from learner’s own intelligence
A quarter from the co-learners, and a quarter from the passage of time…
To truly appreciate the value of this subhashita, one needs to delve a bit deeper and a more bit wider for a complete understanding, most critical of that being the cycle of learning.
A teacher being the initiator of learning is an indisputable truth, the first teachers could be one’s parents, siblings, social connects or the formal school teacher one had at the start our life. This also signifies that learning is first a process of absorbing. Science is just beginning to understand the impact of early learning in our build up to a mature adult. During this part of learning, we develop the medium, the context and the structure for learning. Bear that this goes on to provide the foundation of all learning in the future. If we were not fortunate enough to be born in an intellectually and economically endowed family, the chances are that our learning process is constantly playing a catching up game with those who had this fortune. One of the reason why we see the need to advocate for “affirmative action” or class based quota and offer a privilege of access to people who were not fortunate enough to compensate for the foundational learning component.
As one absorbs the foundation to learning the path for synthesizing future learning develops. The learner’s intelligence that evolves with the first quarter of learning is the backbone or the complete support mechanism for additional learning. It is built upon a learners’ foundations of context and structure intertwined with one’s awareness (to take notice of opportunities to learn), inquisitiveness (ask questions and fill our learning gaps) and ability to interconnect (linking them to the existing learning to make new learning relevant and accessible). This is what gives one the label of being an expert (master of a field) or a novice (a beginner).
As one matures, the learner begins to appreciate the pervasiveness of learning. She can learn from her peers who are all equally initiated into their own pursuit of knowledge. She would learn to respect this pursuit of others and learn to live in a society where multiple points of views co-exists. She gains respect and learns to respect others, their perspectives, likes & dislikes. The harmonious co-existence of differing (sometimes contrary) views builds the critical acceptance of plurality. This learning is also the layer of revalidation and acceptance.
However any learning can never be complete nor can it cease to evolve. In the cycle of time a learner begins to expand their knowledge, understands its relevance, general applicability and learns to question one’s own thinking. By definition learning is about changing and therefore a dynamic concept. The need to improve, pursue perfection and persevere the quest to challenge the unknown continuously keeps the learner involved in timeless pursuit of learning. This is the layer of continuous development of learning.
Once we go through this understanding we reach a deeper understanding of the virtuous cycle of learning. We become a teacher for the future generations. Most importantly we learn that we learn the most when we teach. It is then just a cycle that learning quarters are, probably the bases of the baseball where you play different roles depending on which base you are on. The critical realization hidden in this metaphor is the fact that soon enough the two players would be exchanging roles when the innings switches!
Thanks JK (Unimity) for reminding me of this timeless piece!
If version 0 was using digital technology for publishing and storing; version 1.0 was about actively digitizing available learning content; 2.0 was about serving the content in a more interactive, comfortable and collaborative manner; what could be the next phase of the Digital learning evolution process?
We have already seen some far reaching innovations in the technology side in creating, storing and serving digital learning. We are witnessing huge excitement around open learning resources and platforms to easer their access. Do we see noticeable change in the acceptance and excitement around digital learning an so on?
I think we will now see changes around three dimensions – the meta learning or learning about learning digitally, the ecosystem of learning – content, device, facilitators and the ontology (conceptual map of digital learning) and a fundamental mind set change that makes the regulators, thought leaders and formal degree granting institution to adopt, promote and populate the digital learning ecosystem.
As formal learning gets closer to the natural involuntary learning, some of the assumed aspects of learning needs to brought to fore. Do we all have the answers to the questions like – “what is learning?”, “why do we learn?”, “how do we learn/what is my preferred learning style?”, “where do I learn?” and “who do I learn from”. each of these question weigh heavily on the way we would experience the unfolding of digital learning 3.0 and beyond…
Right through one’s life, you face a constant tryst with problems. For eons now, we have always looked at problems as a part and parcel of every life and every activity. But really, how much do we understand them?
As a part of my work in the area of business analytics and decision making, I have been looking at multiple facets of a problem. One of my early eureka moments in this endeavor came, when I realized that I was possibly missing the forest for the trees when I concentrated mainly on diagnosing a problem. Plainly speaking, the value to be had by trying to diagnose the antecedents to a problem is fairly limited. There are two reasons for this:
- One can never establish beyond reasonable doubt a clear cause-effect relationship between the problem and its antecedents (bounded rationality being the primary reason)
- However complex or simple the precursors, it is most unlikely that the sequence of events would repeat itself to throw the same problem again (no two snowflakes are alike)
More value can be harnessed, if the impact that a problem would have is given higher importance. The logic points towards looking ahead, and not in the past, to establish the nature of a problem.
So, what is the nature of a problem? Drawing from the universal laws of motion, I propose the following “Natural Laws of Problems”
First, why should laws of motion be relevant to problems?
There have been many such instances where extending the context to establish wider relevance and generalizing the interpretations have helped further the frontiers of our knowledge. A reason to use the laws of physics in this realm is simply to bring in a degree of separation between the emotional connect and objective assessment of situations which many a times has been seen as a valuable approach to addressing things.
Sooner we realize that we are constantly juggling a fine interplay of problems and our response to it, easier and more prepared we are to lead a better life. Just as the laws of motion and gravitation explains the delicate cosmic balance and any physical happenings, one could see problems and our response as the natural forces explaining the social and personal balance.
The Natural laws of Problems
- A life continues to stagnate in a steady problem state unless one keeps enhancing it with an evolved change
- A problem can neither be created not destroyed, one can only recognize its existence and address it by being more aware of the situation
- Every problem has an equal and opposite opportunity
The explanation of the laws:
1st law – the Law of Steady State: “A life continues to stagnate in a steady problem state unless one keeps enhancing it with an evolved change” – often we find ourselves in a state of artificial bliss by assuming that the steady-state is a desired state of being and it maximizes the value of one’s life. The reality however is that our life is in a state of constant flux. By being stationary we would be worse off than before. It is therefore important to keep a pace of change even if we want to maintain status quo. Intuitively as we collect more information about the future, we would be better served if we continued the process of evolving our life. Therefore change is a necessary and valuable part of each life
2nd law – The Law of Perpetuity: “A problem can neither be created not destroyed, one can only recognize its existence and address it by being more aware of the situation” – we spend a considerable amount of time establishing the cause of a problem. We would like to find someone or something to blame for every problem. This however is a wasteful exercise, by being able to find someone to blame doesn’t necessary make the problem vanish. Instead we just create another artificial bliss that we won’t be affected by it. A better approach is to think that a problem will always be around if we look for it closely. There are some triggers around us that helps us see these otherwise hidden problems. Related to this is also the treatment of the problem, we lose a significant amount of energy trying to rid the factors that cause the problem. One actually just needs to move on having spent adequate amount of time and energy to capture the learning associated with it.
3rd Law – The Law of Returns: “Every problem has an equal and opposite opportunity” – if the earlier two laws made you uncomfortable, this final law should help ease the discomfort. Hidden in every problem is an opportunity, an opportunity to enhance, evolve, grow and excel. By trying to see a problem in this manner ensures that you will have the best response in your favor. Remember your personal or social life is not a zero sum game and resolving a challenge is not equal to passing it to someone else. It is a less efficient and effective response. Looking at the opportunity in every challenge would ensure that you find most effective and efficient response to it every time.
So, how does it affect us?
Just as laws of motion brought a new found clarity into everything to do with mechanics, the “Natural Laws of Problems” could be used to bring a new perspective into the way we approach problems. While traditionally we think of a solution the moment we have a problem; we associated problems with failure. Using the laws, one could begin to give a more robust and closer look at the problem itself. Understand the importance of problems in any life or situation and approach them with an excitement of learning rather than the burden of failure.
On the basis of the first law – “The Law of Steady State”, we could use it to look at the absence of a challenge as a possible early signs of stagnation and evolution. On the basis of the second law – “The Law of Perpetuity”, we could use it to develop a better sense of developing response to problem and also draw energy from each problem we face rather than feeling drained and defeated by it. Finally on the basis of the third law – “The Law of Returns”, we could use it to harness the hidden value in each problem. Look beyond the obvious sheath of hindrances to unveil the core of opportunities that comes with the recognition of each problem.
The Greek approach to problems was one of dialogues and questioning. The relevance of such an approach has become more established in the knowledge age we live in. We might not have Socrates, Aristotle or Plato to hold our imagination through a web of smart questions; but we have numerous possibilities of enhancing our learning with every problem if we can learn to ask the right question and deep dive into the digital web to seek it.
So remember, next time you have a problem, value it and look straight into it with a question that gives you the larger value for your problem, than just a way to skirt it.
Flower of the woods is a fictional narration of a junglekid Mali, presented in poetry form.
Mali is born in a very beautiful village called Floria which is nestled in a faraway land among the forests. Mali’s parents – Giri and Nadia go through the usual anticipation of her birth but choose too abandon her because of the evil omens at birth amplified by eerie looks she had.
Not known to anyone, Mali is bestowed with a special gift that spreads as she grows up. Abandoned in the jungle, Mali is adopted, cared for by a hog family with piglets as her siblings. As Mali grows, her special ability of making everything around her merry by just her smile manifests unbelievable miracles in the jungle. Animals, birds, plants and everything around her just blossom in unified exhilaration of her presence.
As everyone begins to experience this miracle, The news of a special junglekid Mali’s spreads, first within the jungle and then to the villages. It reaches Giri and Nadia who are still trying to find their lives and happiness before they let Mali go. Nadia is especially unable to bear her plight and she finds herself losing her love for Giri unable to convince Giri to change his mind. She finally sneaks out into the jungle hoping to get a chance to hold her precious angel one more time. She is in for a surprise and fate does a turn for her too…
The story weaves around the interaction between good & bad as the characters and emotions mingles with happiness, grief, optimism, envy, trust, fear, compassion and resent shaping the consequences. The interplay unfolds a wondersome world of fantasies and dreams. Using a rhyming form and subtle illustrations, I try to convey this message in the form of a story woven around characters of the jungle and the village.
The key characters of these books are “Mali” – the junglekid whose story unfolds as the she is born and grows up with the forest animals; her parents – “Giri” and “Nadia”; “Sante” – village wiseman, “Balon” – village Strong man, “Ari” – wood gatherer, Mali’s hog parents “Swarna” and “Swari”, “Swupi” the hog kid and Maali’s best friend, the king of Jungle “Kesha” and “Aema” the lioness, “Kalan” the scheming fox who feasts on helpless animal kids and is the King’s sworn enemy.
While the target audience for this book will be children between the ages of 8-14, I believe that there is enough excitement for serious readers and some general readers with an exploring mind. Being in rhyming poetry form, it would be a great learning tool for children with different abilities and learning disorders.
This book also offers an opportunity for parents of younger kids to use this as a read along book for them. The poetry format allows both of them to paint the details with their own imagination and build a life-long memory.
To give an easy and sustained pace this book is organized in chapters and each chapter has a distinct start and stop. I would also got some illustrations worked out to enhance the appeal of the book to kids. I haven’t finalized an illustrator, but have some sample illustrations and I am on a look out for someone who would be committed to illustrate the whole book.
The plan is to have about 60 chapters with 8 stanzas of 4 lines each for the book one. The plot however offers the scope to be expansive and can be extended into a series based on the readers response.
Long time ago, there was a Guru of far reaching fame and unparalleled accomplishments. His pupil could learn from him just by thinking of him and practicing the basics again and again… He came to know about one such pupil and was really surprised to find that a pupil he had once rejected on the grounds that there was no room for him among his more illustrious students (Pandavas & Kauravas) who he felt had a higher potential to reap benefits from Drona’s efforts. This pupil had taken rejection as a challenge and just by his dedication and unwavering resolve mastered the art by himself. His only failing, he dedicated his learning to this one man – Drona. The Guru feels cheated; he after all felt that he had an unconditional and exclusive right to all the knowledge that existed in that field – archery. He wanted his returns (vengeance?) – he got that by incapacitating this brilliant pupil – Eklavya, from ever practicing archery again!
How can one justify such an act? After all teaching has been defined as a selfless service. How can the idea of guru dakshina (meaning – alms to your teacher; interpreted as an equivalent to genie’s all-encompassing wish) be held together with the concept of vidya daan (meaning donating knowledge; equivalent to the toughest promise of performance). The age old belief of Guru being the highest form of relationship (even higher than the Almighty himself) one possesses is founded on the importance learning has been given in our legacy. In the same thinking is held a belief that the teacher is a sea of wisdom and answers to all the questions that a fertile students mind is capable and willing to soak. It is humanly impossible for any teacher in the current information age to accomplish such a feat.
Modern learning has unfortunately not seen much progress from that mindset at least in India. The other day I was sitting in a key note address given by a renowned and veteran teacher who compared a teacher to a tree. Like a tree, a teacher should unconditionally spread the fruits, wood, shade and other valuables to all the seekers. Teacher should expect nothing in return as teaching is a noble profession. Wonder, why no one stood up and raised the question – why should the charity begin and stop with the teacher?
Being a teacher once myself, I can accept that there is a Drona lurking behind each one of us. Any amount of cover up to make the profession noble and all giving just doesn’t cut ice. After all who is not looking for a return for the investment they make? How can one find their motivation to continue the process of transferring the learning if you don’t get the returns? Modern teachers do make a packet today if they are capable and catering to the needs of value conscious learners.
The conundrum seems to be resolving itself (for me at least) when I try and understand learning in its truest form – mutual, expansive, evolving and transformational. At any point in time when I reflect back on my teaching experiences I can easily remember the classes where I felt happy. I can relate to them on all the four counts mentioned here. I was mutual because I learnt something in that class too. It was expansive as I did not rule out the natural connections the class (including myself) made as we progressed. It was evolving because I had new experiences to share even when I was running the same course for a new batch and it was transformational because both me and the class felt that we went through a noticeable change either in our awareness (or expertise), behavior (overt or implied) or just the way we looked at ourselves (most difficult one to achieve).
After all wasn’t the objective of my class to learn? The course outline I shared with my class clearly mentioned something to the effect that “at the end of the session a participant would learn to…”. Did it not apply to me too? I feel really sorry when I meet a “professor” (quotes restressed) who seek applause because their course material did not change decade after decade. I only wonder, if they did not learn anything from their own course in decades, who could have possibly learnt any thing by being taken through it just once?
That brings us to a new paradigm critical in modern learning. An age where content is free and readily available for anyone, an age where you can create a one-to-one learning relationship with each of your student using technology, an age where memory no longer establishes you to be a higher intellect, and most of all the age where learning is so evolved that the returns have to be visible for everyone.
Today it is implicit that the teacher plays more of a role of learning facilitator. To my mind that was always the case, only that today it has become more explicit. Please remember, learning is a very personal act, a teacher can only lead a learner to the water, but the act of soaking it is entirely the call of the learner. The effectiveness of a teacher is measured by her ability to facilitate the process of efficient (input/output) learning. This I contend can only happen, when unlike Drona, we seek our Dakshina in the mutual, expansive, evolved and transformational learning we acquire after each session we conduct.
It would hold equally true even in the eLearning context. All the comments that you leave for me after you read this post is my learning…
Karmanye Vadhika Rastey – 4-7, Bhagwad Gita
Verse and the word meanings
yada yada hi (as and when) dharmasya (the code of greater good), glanir (challenged) bhavati bharata (of Bharat’s lineage), abhyutthanam (rise) adharmasya (lawlessness) tadatmanam (realize at such time) srijamyaham (resurrect yourself) Paritranam (reinforce) sadhunam (the good), Vinashayah (terminate) dushkrita (evil deeds) Dharma sansthapanarthaya (establish the code of greater good) Sabhavami (possible) yuge yuge (for ages)
Whenever one is challenged to pursue the code of greater good leading to rise of ambiguity; one needs to rediscover ones conviction and the strength of belief in goodness and not follow any evil acts thus giving the strength to persist with one’s duty to make the greater good last eternally
Karmanye vadhika rastey – 2-47, Bhagwad Gita Verse and the word meanings Karmanyev (only action) adhikaraste (in your control), Ma (not) phaleshu (of outcome) kadachana (ever) Ma Karma Phala (outcome) Hetur (to cause) Bhurmatey (you do not) Sangostva (link) Akarmani (inactive) My interpretation One only needs to take charge of one’s action and not try to let the outcome take charge, without letting outcome drive your actions or losing the focus on things to be done.
Employability is an economic qualification that any of us (actually any economic entity) should have to be an active part of the economy. It is equally applicable if you are self-employed or in a non-for-profit set up or a classical corporate job. We have tried to capture the multi-dimensionality of the construct to sensitize the current and future employees by way of creating an A to Z of employability. While we have made a choice among the most relevant trait for a particular letter, we are by no way claiming that any other trait starting with the same letter is not important. Also, a variation of the trait that you might find relevant for a particular letter might be represented by some other letter in our lexicon. We hope to keep updating this list as we get feedback from you all for the same.
A is for Aims & Ambition
Having optimism for your career, dreaming about being a success and working hard to make that dream come true is what gives career a meaning. When you face challenges it would remind you why you’re doing this and what it will be like when you get to the top. Your goals need to be tough but achievable. Struggling with impossible goals that cannot be achieved will not build resilience. You need to see a consistent progress towards your goal in return for the strain involved.
B is for Basics
Remember whatever levels your reach, the basics never change. Be it asking the basic questions, making the basic assumptions or remembering the basic rules, they apply to all situations. Keep refining your basic skills like literacy, numeracy, listening, intuitions, and mentoring etc. Make sure that you never forget the basics because it is the most fundamental skills that you have.
C is for Conviction
To move successfully into a career you need to believe in yourself, your capability and your ability to make things happen. In essence, you need to know you can make it a success whatever happens. No-one is going to be totally self-confident all the time. As a very successful business man once said “If things are going really well you can’t get overexcited because you’re not a genius; but if things get difficult you can’t get too downhearted because you’re not a fool either.” Remember you will only find your conviction within yourself.
D is for Dare
Dare to aspire to whatever heights you wish and let no-one tell you that you can’t achieve the impossible as it is simply beyond them and their mindset not yours! To make a success of career you need the courage to do more than what you think you are capable of doing. There is no challenge in being average and so there are no rewards for it either. You will need to learn to lean on all the support from people close to you who can help you through the tough times. Don’t try and build external safety nets and fall back options, your career has to be your safety net and you can only thrust forward with it.
E is for Enthusiasm
As a young professional the organization expects you to be a source of boundless enthusiasm. When you’re employed, you’re a critical source of energy for your firm. You need lots of energy within yourself. You must have the energy to be self-starting, self-inspired & self-enhancing. Your vivacious and exciting persona is a value that your superiors and contemporaries would surely appreciate. You will need to consciously replenish your faith so that when going gets tough you find your inspiration and ability to bounce back and keep the enthusiasm. You also need to keep a good control on your enthusiasm and remember you can’t replace your professional role with enthusiasm.
F is for Flexibility
Research shows that people who are successful in careers are flexible & resilient when the going gets tough. Inevitably, there are pressures associated with your career which would seem like making a compromise. If you are inflexible, these pressures lead to worry and anxiety which in turn reduce the drive to keep going. Flexibility also gives you the window to peep in and give you facts to decide whether you want to accept the change or is it truly a compromise. Flexibility is also the starting point of resilience which is a critical to keep pushing on the progress path.
G is for Group effectiveness
Remember that all through your career you are a part of a team that jointly works towards producing results. You are only as good as the weakest member of your group. Your output would be hugely dependent on the ability of the most inefficient person to deliver for the team. When you start your focus should be to ensure that you are not bringing the effectiveness of your group down. As you move up in your career, remember all the mentoring and support you received when you were learning and extend higher support to the newer members of your team.
H is for Hard Work
Success takes hard work. To accomplish your aspirations in a career there’s only you who you can bank on, you have responsibility for everything and have to take on tasks that you once considered well beneath your status. Since you’re always in charge, there’s no deferring and you can often be torn between priorities and juggling the many factors beyond your control. People who make a success of a career are motivated to work hard. They know what they really want out of life, they’ve identified that employment will help them achieve it and they’re prepared to put in the necessary effort to make it happen.
I is for Inspired Spirit
In the early days of career and working with many people, you might struggle to adjust to the office environment and people around you. You need to build around you a group of like-minded people who are in a similar position to you who you can socialize and interact with. And those interactions don’t have to be face to face. With the wonderful technology now available to us, it’s never been easier to engage with others no matter where they are. You would require all your imagination, inspiration to ensure that all your interactions are worthwhile and create long term value for you.
J is for the Journey
When you’re starting up on your career, you are embarking on a long journey. While it’s important to have a destination, focusing on it can have the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to achieve. It can seem such a far way off that it paralyses and demotivates you. So don’t worry about the big picture for now. Instead, think about what would be different if you were just one step closer and what you need to get there. Keeping your focus on the journey would make the experiences apparent and help you learn from them and enjoy them.
K is for keeping focus
You have to be very clear right from the start on what is your target market is and what you are offering them and avoid the temptation to be all things to all people or what people want you to be. The challenge is not about lack of value that you could offer. Instead it is about finding something that you love doing, are skilled at and that others will pay you for and that can involve a fair bit of letting go of things that you could do and used to do.
L is learning orientation
That means that self-development has to become a constant element. Nurture relationships with mentors. Surround yourself with other people who are successful and respected in their own careers. Apart from helping with the occasional lack of social contact, only they understand what you are going through and will be more than happy to share their personal stories of having traveled the employment journey themselves, the barriers they’ve encountered and how they’ve kept going! The work you do to continually develop your knowledge and skills will determine your employability and how marketable your skills are.
M is for moral values
In an employment you need to remember that you are most often working on behalf of people who have trusted you with their valuable resources. Keeping this trust and ensuring that you maintain highest standards of ethics and moral conduct is critical. There would be times when opportunism might seem like a natural choice and you could even see a clear get away without being caught in the act; however, your efficiency and commitment would be surely compromised and in the long run, you will see the value of maintaining ethics.
N is for Network
Networking and relationship building is part and parcel of being employed. It’s not just an element in working; it’s one of the requisite skills to ensure success. If you don’t enjoy networking, then the quality of your work will be lower and less healthy than it should be and you will feel rather lonely and left out in the business world.
O is for Overtness
Be ready and willing to be open and observable; not hidden, concealed, or secret outsource to others the things that they can do better than you. If you are really bad at something in the long list of things that need to be done to be successful or if it’s something you really don’t want to do, get help from someone who’s good at it. It’s better to get the basics right and then coordinating with the team to ensure that the output is not compromised.
P is for Positive Attitude
Being employed can be very rewarding but also very sapping. You need to stay positive, keep your focus on the good and not get too caught up with the bad. Learn from your mistakes but sustain the belief in yourself and what you have to offer. This means picking yourself up after challenging times, being determined to win through and having the tenacity to keep going when you may feel like giving up. Positive emotions and a positive outlook are very powerful in producing an upward, positive spiral of achievement. It would also make you the respected buddy among your peers.
Q is for Quality
Above everything else you need to deliver a great product and service. You don’t need to be unique in your offering; you simply need to be better than anyone else at delivering it. Make sure that you keep highest standards of perfection and do not willingly deliver or accept suboptimal output. However, you will need to be productive at the same time. Learn to ensure that you follow the path of excellence and in the quest for quality, learn to work around the oversights and errors,
R is for Return
Remember the primary motivation for your career is the returns – financial and non-financial. The same should translate to all the activities that you undertake as a professional. Be generous in putting the efforts but build a sense of return on efforts for everything that you do. Build your own list of rewards that would keep you motivated. Besides monetary, it could be recognition, comfort, personal space, self-realization and social contribution.
S is for Self-Awareness
When you’re employed you need sufficient self-awareness to know what to do to set yourself up for success. It is about making decisions that allow you to meet the needs of your clients and perform at your very best. That means knowing how to manage your energy levels, knowing where your skills and talents lie and knowing what support and resources you need to do a good job.
T is for Transformation
Many people who start up on their career do not have the plan to transition into a role from a student, and then to transform from an entry level executive to a corporate leader. The thing to remember is that there is a lot to do to get into the shoes of a responsible, respected and rewarding career professional. The more you can do and prepare for before the actual move, then the better position you’ll be in.
U is for Unique Talents
To have a sustained success in your career, you need to have a unique value proposition. That means you need that special quality, that X factor that means when people have a problem that you can solve, you are the name that comes to mind or gets recommended to them. What stands you apart from the crowd? Reflect on the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained. It is worth asking your friends, family and colleagues for their feedback on this. Quite often our unique talents come so naturally to us without conscious effort that we don’t realize they’re talents.
V is for Vision
Research shows that people who are successful in their careers have a clear vision for what they want to achieve both commercially and personally. In other words they know what the skills to work on, to which sector and to which geographical markets to concentrate on. They also know what is important to them as individuals and what personal success looks like.
W is for Wisdom
One of the most critical components for career growth is to accumulate one’s own wisdom. Wise men do not achieve enlightenment in a single moment but through a painful process of accumulating wisdom from their personal and shared experiences. Be active and responsive to your experiences. Learn to listen intently and take time to reflect upon your experiences, seek counsel for the ambiguities and questions that you cannot answer for yourself. If possible maintain a personal blue book of success mantras that is applicable to you.
X is for eXcellence
Sustained pursuit of excellence is the fundamental mindset that would take you from a college graduate to a corporate leader of repute. Remember this is a long continuous journey drawing on foresight, application, and commitment. Set for yourself marginal achievable progress and improvement targets and commit wholeheartedly to accomplish them. You might not feel immediately how you are setting yourself apart from the crowd, but when you look back into your past, you will understand your accomplishment. The corporate world would surely notice your orientation and reward you for it.
Y is for Your (personal) Life
When you become employed your personal life and your work life become blurred, especially early in your career. You need periods of respite. One of the most challenging things for people dedicated to their career is the pressure to work all the time. Such attitudes are unhelpful and counter-productive – both in the immediate term and in the long term. Tough challenges will build resilience but only if they don’t go on too long. So you need to take regular breaks. This simply needs to be something different. Shutting your mind at he the end of the day is critical – but do relook at your interests that you had to ignore when you were going through the pressures of study – bring out your stamp collection or your bird book or the camera. You now have the money to fund them better.
Z is for Zeal
To make a success of a career you need to have huge servings of zeal, not only for the work you do but for turning it into a long term goal. You need a passion that can stimulate self-motivation and give you a reason to get up in the morning and go to work – even if it is not done at the most exciting place of work. If you’re passionate about what you do you’ll find it easier to ride the waves of change and keep going when starting out. You’ll also find that others will be attracted to your zeal and will be more likely to help you make your career a success.
Advances in technology and tools are the center of modern civilization and education has seen its unprecedented impact in multiple ways. The faster pace of business has made it unpredictable thus rendering the old education systems less effective. While such turbulence increases the inherent risk faced, it is also the key driver of education innovation and growth. Opportunities are ripe for creating quality, affordable and relevant education services to cater to the growing needs of the knowledge economy. It is equally vital for education and learning systems, thinking and approach to reinvent itself. The changing lifestyle and comforts globally lays new demands on the education. Higher education in particular has been on the positive end of this impact. All the key areas of education including learning conceptual development, delivery, assessment and improvements are the beneficiaries. The key aspects being interactive repository of content and learning tools that is enriched by the interactions between users the content and tools, providing teachers with tools they can use to make learning effective by using richer pedagogy and for students to learn in an expansive, collaborative and outcomes based approach.
While, the thinking and initial implementation has been promising, a fresh look at the way the education preparation, dissemination and revaluation is needed to take on the challenges of scale and scope. This paper proposes that the stage is now set to look at the education maturity in the process of higher education design, delivery and enhancements to take on these challenges.
Presentation at the “International MTEP Conference September 2009”