How to develop interest in something

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Imagine a scenario where you have successfully obtained a job after a grueling interview and selection process. You have had two interviews. One with the HR Manager and the other with the Director and have also completed a practical exercise. You answered all the questions with great accuracy and intelligence and aced the practical exercise. The job you have been recruited to do requires knowledge of several industry sectors that you aren’t really familiar with but the employer has decided to put you on their payroll on merit.  It is your first day on the job and your first task is to find out about an industry you know nothing about and have zero interest in.

So what do you do, where do you start? The first thing to do is not to panic. Interest can be developed. You just need to ignite a little spark in you. It is said that it takes around 10,000 hours (416 days) to become an expert in something, and there may even be set backs along the way in your quest to achieve this. Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb failed 10,000 times before he got it right so don’t let your head drop if you fail a few times. So what does the master plan of developing interest in a subject involve? Interest is basically a by-product of experience. Generally, the more experiences we have in life, the more exposure we get to certain things and this in turn helps fuel the appetite for developing our interest in something. Exposure therefore is a pre-cursor to developing interest. What must follow is a pursuit to actively and purposefully develop the interest. Here are a few tips to do just that:

  • Gather information about the subject
  • Immerse yourself in the subject matter
  • Learn some basic knowledge about the subject by devoting 15 minute each day
  • Gradually ramp up the time you spend learning about the subject
  • Enroll on a course if possible – structured learning aids the process of developing interest in a subject because the information is presented in a way that is easily digested by the reader
  • Talk to other people – have discussions about the subject
  • Renew your interest and knowledge in the subject by staying in touch with the literature – sign up to blogs, subscribe to newsletters and RSS feeds, bookmark favorite websites.

In summary, the above points represent simple tips that can be adopted to help us generate interest in a subject and in the long run develop a better understanding of it. All that is needed is a little adjustment on your part and a can-do attitude. If you can do that then you are already half way there.

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3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 3rd June 2013

MOTIVATION: “A remarkable gift, creativity. No other aspect of the human psyche is as powerful. It can exist unused for many years and then, with the right encouragement, creativity can be expressed, improving our lives and the lives of everyone around us”. – C. Diane Ealy, Ph.D

SUCCESS: “Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which come only to the man who has found the work that he likes best.” – Napoleon Hill, 1883-1970, American speaker, author, Think And Grow Rich

LIFE & WISDOM: “When I was a young man, I observed that nine out of 10 things I did were failures. I didn’t want to be a failure, so I did 10 times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright

Tackling Workforce Planning – A Challenge to Companies in a Post Crisis World

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In a follow up to my recent post ‘Talent Management in a Changing World’, I would like to address the issue of workforce planning which will be a critical game changer for many companies operating in a post financial crisis world. The old rules companies lived by no longer apply. The global financial crisis has brought about significant change in corporate strategy for many companies across the world in the way they allocate financial and human resources in their business environments. Companies have had to adjust their business plans because the company goals have had to be redefined.

For many companies, this means achieving maximum gain with limited resources without compromising on quality. This is a challenge faced by Government’s in the Euro zone with job losses predicted for many industries. Whilst the impact will be felt significantly in the public sector, analysts believe there will be impact on the private sector which is expected to compensate for some of the job losses in the public sector. However, critics believe this is a risky strategy because the linkage between public and private sector through collaborative projects will result in job losses in the private sector too.

This is very much the case in the UK but other countries face continuous challenges such as Greece and Spain and further afield. The new economic reality is that certain industries have disappeared, countless jobs have been lost, markets have declined, and skills have had to be redefined. Companies now need to be more proactive in the deployment of their human capital if they are to meet the challenge of remaining competitive in a post crisis world.

This challenge is faced by western and eastern companies alike. However, there is a greater urgency for companies operating in emerging markets to keep pace with talent management practices of their western counterparts in order to fully capitalize on emerging markets. As companies look to exploit opportunities in BRIC and Future 7(Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam) and indeed Frontier markets (Bangladesh, Philippines, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan), a better understanding of business needs is required by organisations to help them develop effective talent management strategies. Madeline Laurano of Bersin & Associates highlights seven elements that may help executives to better establish their human capital needs:

  1. Support from senior management
  2. Creating “centers of excellence”
  3. Ensuring workforce planning, succession planning and internal mobility are in sync
  4. Identifying and forecasting talent gaps
  5. Ensuring HR departments are involved from the very beginning
  6. Continuous review of workforce planning
  7. Investing in the latest technology

The ultimate goal for companies now is to be lean in every way possible. Correct alignment of business needs with talent requirements will allow companies to get the right people for the right roles in the right markets.

3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 27th May 2013

MOTIVATION: “Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups.” – Davies, British composer and conductor

SUCCESS: “As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.” – Benjamin Disraeli, – 1804 to 1881, British statesman, Prime Minister

LIFE & WISDOM: “My father used to say to me, ‘Whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency, become the calmest person in the room and you’ll be able to figure your way out of it.” – Rudolph Giuliani

Talent management and retention in a changing world

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The economic changes brought about by the global financial crisis have reshaped the business world. This is a challenge of considerable importance for way human capital is developed and managed.  Successful talent management begins with a proper understanding of how people work effectively and more importantly what it is that makes them tick. Built on to this is the notion that people are motivated by different things. According to renowned author Daniel Pink, there are three things that motivate workers:

 

1)      Workers want to be given autonomy – they want to be in control of their time

2)      Mastery – workers want to make a contribution at work

3)      Workers want to make a contribution likened to a broader purpose in the company

The key takeaway for companies is that they must synchronize these three motivations with their own goals. If these three fit well, a winning situation is created. However, companies also need to address the issue of staff retention. Compensation is not the only reason to ensure employees stay happy and committed. Daniel Pink’s analysis of employee motivation, highlight non – financial factors as being increasingly important in dictating the motivation of employees in a post crisis world.

However, in practical terms the focus must also be on the economic cost. It costs more to hire a new worker than to train an existing worker, so the focus must be on retention. The time has come for companies to think of employee retention in an innovative light.

Socio – economic factors have radically altered the make-up of the average workforce that will impact a company’s recruitment and retention practices. People work across international boundaries and live longer. The work forces of the future will probably be made up of a 20 something, a 40 something and a 60 something worker. Multi – generational teams will be more prominent in the years to come. Companies need to actively think of creating balanced workforces that are rich in both age and experience, and focus on the human side of management. By adopting such practices, companies will be better prepared to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

3 for the week: Inspirational quotes to get you through the week – 20th May 2013

MOTIVATION: “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey, Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator

SUCCESS: “Success is to be measured not by wealth, power, or fame, but by the ratio between what a man is and what he might be.” – H.G. Wells, 1866-1946, British-born American author

LIFE & WISDOM: “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” – Virgil Thomson, American composer and critic

Getting Ahead in Your Career – Tips from Bordan Tkachuk

Getting Ahead

Bordan Tkachuk is CEO of Sir Alan Sugar’s Viglen IT company. He is also a trusted business advisor for Lord Alan Sugar, is also known from his appearances on the BBC-produced British version of The Apprentice, interviewing for Lord Sugar. He is known for his sharp attention to detail as many candidates interviewed by him on the TV show have discovered. Just ask Lee McQueen.

  1. Be courageous and take advantage of emerging consumer markets
  2. Carry out a self-appraisal of yourself. Ask yourself. Do you enjoy what you do? Do you get fulfillment from it? Are you financially rewarded for your efforts? Addressing questions like these will help set the direction of what you truly want from your career
  3. At the interview, always make a good impression and sell yourself well to the company. To really make this work look at the company website, find out who the competitors are, what the products are, the market size, or ring the company and ask them to send you information.
  4. Make sure your CV is readable.  Be honest about your skills and don’t try to bluff your way through
  5. The key to being successful in your career is to be persistent
  6. A degree will give you a good foundation but sticking with something and continuously developing your skills is central in shaping your competencies
  7. Working your way up through an organisation will give you a lot of confidence
  8. Having passion and believing in yourself is the fuel that will drive your forward.
  9. Always view mistakes as learning opportunities not failure

Integrity is a highly valued quality by employers.  If you can demonstrate that in your interview and on the job you will be on the right track. Don’t try to be something you are not. You won’t come across in the right way to others. The importance of being genuine and being yourself is essential.