Creative work isn’t like operational work. Being creative is not about doing the same thing better; it’s about finding something new. Forget continuous improvement; think innovation.
Real creativity is self-motivated. We’re driven by the challenge itself: by the intrinsic enjoyment and satisfaction of creating, by the thrill of the risk. We go on the creative journey because we want to go.
Of course, it helps if your organization actively manages creativity, separately from its operational work. If it supports idea development, manages risk and tolerates (or even celebrates) failure, then going creative will come more easily. Research by Teresa Amabile suggests that many operational features of organisations can seriously inhibit creativity: performance reviews, excessive supervision, rules and protocols. (more…)
Even with the explosion of information and communication channels available today, the pace of life has accelerated to where you probably feel that getting someone to stop, listen and and pay attention has become a real communication challenge. (more…)
Today we will chat about project and team success rates and the choices we can make at the onset of a task or tasks to ensure success. We rarely do tasks alone, and a team needs to be actively managed toward successful completion of tasks. (Please see Creating Great Teams and Volunteering.) When volunteers are involved, you must accomplish this carefully and purposefully. You need to be ready to make choices along the way for each project and understand what the consequences will be. (more…)
Recruiting software and applicant tracking systems are increasingly used by employers to pre-screen job candidates’ resumes. While these programs save invaluable time for hiring managers and recruiters, they are also flawed and error-prone, sometimes even eliminating excellent job candidates from consideration.
To ensure that your professional resume isn’t mistakenly thrown out, follow these 5 easy steps. (more…)
From my experience working with job seekers there are many misconceptions about resume writing and the job search in general. As much as we hope that every hiring manager sits and studies our resumes every time we submit for a job, this unfortunately just does not happen. When a company posts a job on a major job board, that company can receive in excess of 300-500 resumes. I have once received over 1500 resumes for one particular job within 48 hours! As such, when it comes to writing your resume, it’s important to focus on providing value added content that strictly targets the job you are applying for. (more…)
Thomas Merton wrote, Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. Flaubert said and here I paraphrase, Keep order in your life. Put drama into your work.
It is so easy in our lives to have too much going on. We are used to overloading ourselves and most of us think we can gain peace of mind by handling MORE, rather than less. The odd truth is that more of anything becomes demanding of more of your attention… and there goes serenity. Here are seven ways to bring balance back into your life so you have time to think about what you want to write, time to actually write, and time to enjoy the process. (more…)
A good manager can inspire you to great achievement, while a bad one can be thoroughly de-motivating and make your life a living hell. The qualities most often associated with good managers include fairness, concern for others, supportiveness, consistency, and the ability to inspire workers to deliver their best. (more…)
I was looking at the download figures for Bookboon books the other day- 50 million projected for the current year - and it suddenly struck me how many subscribers to this site probably speak and write English as a second language.
If you are one of them, I take my hat off to you.
Unlike many of the world’s languages, English is not phonetic. In other words, you can’t hear a word spoken and then work out how it should be written; or see a word for the first time and figure out how to pronounce it correctly. There are too many non-standard spellings for that.
Down the years, this tendency has infuriated many people; not all of them non-English speakers.
This blog post is primarily for two groups of folks: 1) encore volunteers, that is, volunteers who are engaged in service activities after having spent much of their work lives doing something else and 2) managers of encore volunteers who need to very specifically understand what encores have to offer and how they need to be managed differently. Encore volunteers are often 50+ and come to the table with 20-25 years of experience in a workplace to bring to your volunteer organization. In case you missed it, you may want to check out the related post from last week, “10 Transition Steps to Move into Successful Encore Volunteering.”
Encore volunteers, your previous work experience has provided you with much knowledge about how to work with others, how to accomplish goals, and how to help an organization succeed. Volunteer managers, realize that your encore team members have special contributions to make, and assign them tasks and leadership roles accordingly. (See Chapter 8 in “Volunteering”.)
What advice would graduates give themselves if they had to start university all over again? There are a few things some of us wish they had known before starting their studies. My friend Jen for example almost set the house on fire in our first week of uni when she tried to microwave a tin of beans. Or our friend Ben who didn’t buy any books until one week before the exam when he realised that all the books he needed were already checked out at the library.
These are things, I wish someone had told me before I started university. Each one of them would have made my student life much easier!
1. Check your starter packet
When you enrol for your course at university you will be provided with some kind of starter packet. It contains useful information on your course and the university in general, so make sure you read it!
2. Go to Fresher’s Week Events
Fresher’s week, which takes place at the first week of the semester every year, offers a great chance to meet new people. In this week many events will take place, so make sure to check out at least a few, you might meet other students with similar interests and learn more about upcoming events at the university.