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For the term "Planning".

Advertising and Market Research – Best Skills

The best advertising starts with smart and comprehensive market research. See how to use market research as part of your advertising planning, and see how market research has played a key role in famous advertising campaigns.

Financial Analysis – Best Skills

Math is used at every level of retailing, whether it’s making change, calculating percentages to determine discounts, factoring in sales tax, or figuring out shipping charges. Learn the basics of retail math, and use our retail math equations and formulas to calculate gross profit margins, cash flow, start-up costs, break-even analysis, retail profitability, and dollar planning and control.

Understanding Trusts – Best Skills

A trust is one of the fundamental documents of estate planning, but they come in many forms, from revocable and irrevocable trusts to living and testamentary trusts. Learn which trust is best for you and your family.

Self-Employed Retirement Plans – Best Skills

Running your own business is full of twists and turns. Now, add retirement planning to the mix. Like the rest of your business, retirement planning opportunities abound, and making the right decision is critical. Learn about SEP-IRAs, solo 401(k)s, Keogh plans, and SIMPLE IRAs.

10 Must-Reads To Get You Stoked for Summer

Summer is here, and you know what that means: Vacation time. Whether you’re jetting off to somewhere far away or planning a fabulous few days off at home, get excited with these fun reads from around the web.

15 Jobs for People Who Love to Plan

Love making detailed plans to get things done? From detailed event planning to big-picture planning for the future, we’ve found the perfect gigs for you.

4 Strategies for Your One-on-One Networking Meeting

Networking can be awkward, especially when you’re sitting down for a one-on-one meeting. But with a little planning and preparation, you can make the most of it. Here are a few smart strategies to get you started.

9 Tips to Ace Your Kickstarter Campaign

Thinking about raising money on Kickstarter? Before you get started, check out this advice for planning, promoting, and powering through your campaign, from women who just raised $50K.

Run, Eat, Drink, Play: 36 Hours in Denver

Planning a weekend in Denver? Follow this writer’s itinerary for eating delicious local food, seeing eccentric sights, and hitting the trails in the Mile High City.

See the World and Serve It: A Guide to Voluntourism

Sure a Caribbean vacation or a trek through Europe can be fun, but if you’re looking to do something a little more meaningful with your time off, volunteering abroad can be a great option. Here’s a guide to planning the best trip for you, and for the community you’ll serve.

The Daily Muse 30-Day Challenge!

It’s been said that if you try something new for 30 days, you’re bound to stick with it–so we asked five of our writers to set a goal for the month of October. Think they can do it? Check out the challenges they’re planning to take on.

Why We Left the Corporate World: The Women Behind Design My Meals

Cara Moretti and Carla Bayot left their careers to start Design My Meals, an online meal planning tool for moms, cooks, or anyone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle. We sat down with the duo and learned more about their careers, their mission, and entrepreneurship.

The New Administration’s Shared Services Opportunity

The shared services revolution began in the late 1980s with the adoption of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages by leading commercial enterprises. These highly standardized and scalable technology platforms fully integrate administrative functions and…

Systems Thinking for Social Change

A review of Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Peter Stroh. The book serves as an actionable guide on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning.

Connecting the Dots Among People Budgets and Missions

Managing human capital in the federal workforce is a challenge that has plagued presidential administrations and Congress for the past three decades. Significant issues such as homeland security threats, fiscal imbalances, generational differences, and disruptive technologies have caused senior leaders to rethink the traditional management approaches in use since the industrial age. In addition to these human capital issues, reports by the Partnership for Public Service indicate that nearly half the federal workforce is eligible for retirement in 2016. Experts have described these impending retirements as “the perfect storm,” a “workforce tsunami,” and a “brain drain” to name a few. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he stated, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” By tapping into knowledge management and understanding the distinctions among generation cohorts, managers can connect the dots between succession planning, human capital management, strategic planning, and fiscal responsibility.

360 Feedback: From Insight to Improvement

With increasing frequency, 360-degree feedback is being used for diverse purposes in the public sector, including executive coaching, performance evaluation, talent management, and succession planning. Under the right circumstances, this sort of multi-rater feedback can foster successful behavioral change in the workforce.

The Measure of a Worker

One of the dramatic results of the current economic situation is that many executives have to reorganize and restructure their workforces, often with little notice or planning. Unfortunately, in the ensuing shuffle, potential talent can be mismanaged or lost. In fact, many senior leaders are confused about how to best navi…

The Leading Edge: Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance Performance

Leadership dimensions are plentiful: visioning, communicating, planning, inspiring, and much more. One thing all leaders have in common is followers – those who help the leader make things happen. As such, relationships are the lifeblood of leadership achievement, and there is no better way to both understand and enrich th…

Road Warrior

Before leaving on a road trip or planning a vacation, most people plan the route they’ll take, the places they’ll visit, and the hotels they’ll stay in along the way. Having a plan eases stress and makes the journey more enjoyable. According to three leadership gurus, executives must have a plan to succeed in the business…

Populate the Pipeline

The learning and development function serves as a major player in an organization’s succession planning initiatives.

Next in Line

For many companies, executive succession planning remains on the back burner.

Managing Performance

That development – discovering and analyzing performance gaps, planning for future improvements in human performance, and designing and developing cost-effective solutions to close performance gaps – lies with middle management. Managers play a crucial role in human performance improvement, but many lack the…

Knowledge Walks Out the Door

For many organizations, the only planning being contemplated for retiring baby boomers is determining how many pizzas to order for the farewell party. A surprisingly low 4 percent of organizations reported having a formal knowledge-transfer process, according to a survey of 2,046 senior human resources and tr…

IDP 2.0: The Future of the Development Dialogue

With advancing technology and an impending labor crisis on the horizon, there is a greater need than ever to find and nurture the talent within our organizations. We have greatly improved in succession planning, but we have failed miserably in the opposite talent development process: “buried treasure” planning….

Creative Leadership for the Win

The recession and the state of business these days has left many organizations in transition, but what exactly are CEOs, especially successful ones, planning strategically in future terms? While 60 percent of leaders are currently experiencing a high to very high level of complexity within the economic environmen…

An Eye on the Future

Career planning is a continuous activity toward goals and success. Here are five steps to keep you on track.

On the Short List

Strong succession planning and development practices that support smooth leadership transitions and build a culture of development across the entire enterprise are critical.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Updates and WIA Subsidized Funding For Work-Based Training Programs.

The House and Senate Committees responsible for its reauthorization have been meeting in February. The full House Education and Labor Committee invited Secretary of Labor Solis to update the committee on the activities at the Labor Department. Time and time again, the issue of WIA reauthorization was brought up by the committee members to the Secretary. And again and again, she told the committee that her department was ready to work in a bi-partisan approach (which may be difficult in this political environment). The Republicans in the House have introduced their version of WIA reauthorization (HR 4271). On the Senate side, the Senate HELP Committee is planning on meeting this month (depending on snow) to discuss how the public workforce system can help with economic recovery. It should be an interesting hearing, and I can only assume that WIA reauthorization will come up in discussion. So, it appears that WIA has a very good chance of getting done this year. ASTD is meeting with key staff on both the House and Senate sides, offering our suggestions and help with this very important legislation. Keep an eye on my blog, and I will update you as we move forward with any new information on WIA. The Department of Labor issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) on January 29th, available on the DOLETA web site ( www.doleta.gov) that put forward the guidelines in using WIA funds to subsidize new employees to an organization who are engaged in workplace training programs. State and local workforce boards will need to read through this notice and develop policies that work for their state, and local boards, taking into consideration current unemployment insurance policies and other factors. Looking down the road, it appears that state and local workforce board will be expanding their responsibilities and policy authority over WIA formula funds. By subsidizing wages, WIA funds will be in more demand and the issue of local workforce boards running out of WIA funding sooner is a definite possibility. We will have to wait and see how many boards will use their resources in this manner. Stay tuned as we watch how this rolls out during spring and summer.

Why is a Mobile Learning Strategy Important?

With mobile learning getting a lot of interest recently (roughly 50% of businesses surveyed say they have plans to implement some form of mobile learning in the foreseeable future), it’s becoming clear that many companies don’t have a plan to successfully create a sustainable, robust mobile learning strategy. This is evidenced by the quick jump from talking about goals and roadmaps to the proverbial “We need an app for that!” conclusion that is being reached in meetings and boardrooms across all industries and company sizes. This rush to deploy without proper planning is a big oversight and will ultimately make it difficult to understand if your mobile efforts are successful. A mobile learning strategy can help give your work grounding and a solid base on which you can build. This approach helps you bring mobile in where it will provide the biggest impact. A metered, reusable framework is far more useful than a scattershot approach. When apps are pumped out and then discarded it’s often because they didn’t perform as expected. These apps likely don’t fix the problems that were considered but not dealt with fully during the design phase. Perhaps the app shouldn’t have been built at all. Maybe its focus should have been narrower, or altogether different than what it turned out to be. A mobile learning strategy’s importance is not only limited to savings during the design and development of the applications that may be created. Real, actionable metrics can only be established for individual efforts when the bigger picture is considered. What will you measure? How will you know when you are successful? What sorts of changes are you able to and prepared to make when you start to get data back from your learners? The creation of a strategy will allow outside stakeholders to help weigh in on your anticipated mobile learning efforts to come, giving your work a much needed validation. The strategy’s strengths will help build support throughout your organization, creating trust between your partnering departments and content creators allowing them to create great work. The concerns that could arise about the focus of the efforts or how it fits in with or aligns with other work will already have been addressed. This proactive approach works with other facets of business planning, why would mobile learning be any different? Over the next few weeks, we’ll investigate topics related to this, covering the building blocks for a mobile learning strategy, the effects of creating one, what happens when you neglect to create one, and then finally how to get started on implementing your completed strategy. Come back and check out our next installment.

What would you like to see in a Leadership Handbook?

Yesterday, we had a great meeting with Elaine Biech to start talking about a new project that we are planning for next year: a Leadership Handbook. Having worked on the ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, I am excited to get the chance to expand that product into new areas (we are also working with Patti Phillips on a Handbook for measuring and evaluating, but I will talk more about that in another post where I will also introduce her forthcoming blog). Some of the ideas we tossed around in the meeting included at least three sections (development, characteristics/competencies, and tasks or roles of leadership). We came up with a huge list of potential contributors. We also thought about opening up the scope of the book to include chapters on leadership that focused on the military, politics, global politics, the ministry, as well as specific business sectors such as financial, healthcare, and so forth. As a bit of a news junky, the idea of opening up the scope like that sounds like big, juicy, exciting fun. (At least, until we get into the nitty gritty of editing, proofreading, managing the schedule, bugging the authors for answers to queries, and so forth!) At present, no outline exists, the topic list is wide open, and only a loose timeline is in place. Those of us who attended the meeting have been tasked with coming up with five to six contributor names or topics to give Elaine as fodder for her ideas, so I thought I would cheat a little and see if any of you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see covered in a Handbook on Leadership.

What Makes Successful Salespeople

What do sales coaches need to know in order to help their salespeople succeed? More importantly, what does a complete, well-rounded, super-star sales professional do anyway? Surely, if you cornered one of these high-performing sales professionals at a social event and asked them what they actually did as a sales professional, there would be more to it than “I help people.” What exactly is it that salespeople DO anyway? I’m talking about what they actually do, not what their company does or what their value proposition is, but what THEY DO day in and day out as a sales professional? To be a complete sales professional, their daily activities should be in support of creating customer satisfaction and loyalty. What are these daily activities? I have analyzed the outputs and deliverables of thousands of sales professionals. I found that these tasks can be grouped into eight key areas. The idea is to help them become highly competent (i.e. superstar) sales professional through helping them: 1. Manage Themselves – highly competent salespeople keep their personal life in check. They stay healthy. They set goals, they make plans for your future. They keep their finances in order. They find stress-reducers. 2. Manage the Sales Cycle — The highly competent sales professionals seek out continuous comprehensive training and education to support their sales process. You should also be able to initiate, plan, and execute a sales process in order for your product or service to be assimilated into the buying organization. There are many systems out there to choose from. 3. Manage Opportunities – Highly competent sales professionals understand how to identify, manage, develop, and close the right sales opportunities. To do this, they’re experts at opportunity planning, territory management, opportunity development, and closing. 4. Manage Relationships- Highly competent salespeople become a trusted advisor to the buyer only happens when the sales professional is successful at building relationships, communicating, distributing information, and influencing others ethically through collaborative dialogue. Building relationships within your own organization is just as critical. Make sure that you take the time to forge relationships with your support teams, delivery teams, management or any other party that is involved in your sales process. 5. Manage Expectations – Highly competent salespeople continue their relationship after the sale. Providing top-notch service to buyers ensures repeat business and a solid sales reputation. 6. Manage Priorities – Highly competent salespeople understand the crucial elements of managing personal time to achieve ones goals and objectives. Great sales professionals understand that they must define the right tasks for the day or month, prioritize them, schedule them and execute. 7. Manage Technology – Highly competent sales professionals utilize technology in order to maximize personal and organizational effectiveness. 8. Manage Communications – highly competent sales professionals understand their choices in selecting, delivering, and leveraging communications strategies and mediums in order to effectively get their message across. There are many people that wonder why sales professionals are “harried,” have short attention spans, are always too busy, or seem a “little flustered”. Perhaps by identifying and understanding these eight areas, you have a new found appreciation and an understanding of why? So the question is, does you sales coaching program help salespeople become better in each area? How can you help them understand which area they are the strongest in? Or which area they are the weakest? A well designed sales coaching program provided by a reputable organization can help sales managers and sales coaches build action steps and coaching programs that help salespeople improve in each area every single day.

What Does a Good Mobile Learning Strategy Look Like?

Last week we established a few baseline expectations of the benefits of a mobile learning strategy. We talked about how it affects your immediate team, your external stakeholders and how it improves the long-term success of your mobile learning efforts. With those points in mind, you’re probably ready to get your efforts underway in creating a strategy. Hold on there, partner. Before venturing in this direction it’s vital to get a good understanding of what components comprise a great mobile learning strategy, what you need to avoid, the basics on what it takes to get started and what resources are out there to help you on all of this. What’s in a Strategy? In essence, a strategy is a comprehensive high-level view of your mobile learning roadmap and technology landscape. The roadmap for a successful mobile learning should take in account your learners, their goals, the organization’s pedagogy and value on training/learning, the focus placed on just-in-time learning and performance support, and the companies views on augmentation. These topics should be considered in terms of where they are now, but also with an eye to the future, possibly thinking out 6 months, 1 year, or maybe 2 years. Planning much further out than that would be very difficult due to the constantly quickening pace of the mobile landscape. The practicality of estimating where technology will be that far out, when you yourself are not one of the technologists inventing it is a fruitless exercise. The technology landscape can be comprised of the Six P’s of a Mobile Technology Strategy, published by Float, here. These six P’s are: Platform, Procurement, Policies, Provisioning, Publishing, and Procedures. By carefully weighing your options in these areas, completing the necessary analysis, and then choosing a recommended path or paths in each of them, you will know you are making the correct steps to achieve success. A strategy is useless unless it can be implemented, so in that light, be sure to ground your planning in the practical and don’t get too theoretical. You’ll need to make sure that scope, schedule, and budget are always aligned with your business strategy, resources, and funding you have available to you. What’s Not In A Strategy? It should be clear that a strategy should be full of big ideas tempered with implementation practicality as a backdrop. A strategy is not an app, or really for that matter a series of apps (though it could potentially be, depending on your analysis outcome, natch). A strategy is not an edict of platform nor policy, though these are likely to be components of your larger effort. A strategy should not be a dead tree. This mobile world moves quickly. What was once unthinkable becomes reality with the next major keynote by a hardware or software vendor. What was once only the territory of an app becomes possible on the next OS revision’s improved webbrowser. Mergers happen, OSes evolve, consumers’ buying habits change. Speaking of consumers, your strategy needs to take into account the likelihood that your learners will be bringing their own devices into the workplace, and that this pattern is likely to increase as IT deals with pressure to support more and more smartphones, tablets, and other form factors. A strategy missing this point will be seen as having a gaping hole in understanding the learners’ profiles. Basics Make no mistakes, an effort of this scale takes time and hard work. You’re going to need to dig in. Research the market place. Investigate where your competitors are going. Talk to other like-minded departments in your organization. Survey your learners. You’ll likely find common threads in your discovery process. It’s important to be expansive in your thoughts at this point. Then once you’re ready, start the analysis. We’ll go deeper into detail on this topic in a subsequent post in this series. Finally, you’re going to have to consider how to present your findings, curating, and then collating the important content. Keeping the deeper findings in order to back up your analysis and provide a sold foundation for the team that will implement your strategy is crucial. Business cases, estimations of the work to be done, and considerations on the skills and whether or not you will need to enlist outside vendors to produce the work should also be included in this body of findings. Until Next Time Well, we’ve covered a lot of great ideas here. Be sure to come back next week, when we’ll discuss the effects you’ll start to see after you’ve created and begun the implementation of your strategy.

U.S. Tech Industry Likely to Lose Thousands of Experienced IT Professionals to India

(From PRNewswire) — U.S. companies might face a brain drain as thousands of Indian IT professionals contemplate returning to their homeland according to a new survey conducted by Corp-Corp.com, one of the fast-growing U.S.-based technology job portals. They conducted a survey recently among the Indian IT professionals in the U.S. about returning to India trends. “The results are very important for American businesses because they may face challenges in filling the gap of these resources,” said Prabakaran Murugaiah, CEO of Corp-Corp.com. “Businesses cannot replace an experienced workforce overnight.” Over 1,000 responses were received and the results reveal that almost half of the IT professionals of Indian origin are planning to return to India. 50% of the people who responded said that they will be returning to India soon, while 6.4% of them have already returned to India. The survey participants include permanent residents, citizens and visa holders. The survey results show 69% of visa holders and over 57% permanent residents or citizens intend to return to India. Read more.

UAE consortium formed for INSEAD Executive Leadership Programme

(From AMEinfo.com) — Translating the UAE’s leadership vision of establishing the country to be the centre of leadership excellence in the region, Du, Dubai Holding, DUBAL and First Gulf Bank have formed a UAE-based consortium of principal companies in the country, and launched an Executive Leadership Programme in collaboration with INSEAD, one of the world’s largest and leading graduate business schools. The INSEAD Executive Leadership Programme (ELP) was conceived and designed to bring a higher level of training to executives at the Vice President and above levels in the UAE. “INSEAD’s Executive Education Programmes create an environment where individual, group and organisation-wide learning is achieved simultaneously. We are honoured to partner with the consortium made up of leading UAE companies, in order to bring comprehensive leadership training to future leaders,” said Dipak C. Jain, Dean of INSEAD. With an aim to expound upon the skill set already demonstrated by those in senior executive managerial levels, the ELP, which will be delivered by INSEAD, will hone the attributes necessary to becoming a company leader, focusing on Strategy and Planning; Customer Centricity; Financial Management; Strategic Human Resources and Supply Chain Management. In addition, the course develops team building leadership and incorporates personalised executive coaching, with participants taking part in live case studies and CEO panels.

Top Five Ways to Advance Your Training Career in 2011 – Number 1

This is the first in series of five podcasts on how to be the most effective training professional you can be by producing business value for your organization. Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick shares a valuable tip with you in each podcast of 10 minutes or less. Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick is the son of Dr. Don Kirkpatrick, the creator of the Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM training evaluation model. Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM Developed in the 1950s, the Kirkpatrick Four Levels, also known as the Kirkpatrick Model, have become an industry standard for measuring the value of training. Jim Kirkpatrick carries on the work of his father by teaching the true and correct four levels. He has also expanded them with the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership ModelTM, which shows how the four levels apply during the planning, execution and demonstration of value phases of any initiative. The first podcast in this series is entitled “Align Training Efforts with Level 4 Results”. It explains how to use the Kirkpatrick Four Levels during the planning phase of an initiative. Click to listen to the podcast: http://www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/Resources/tabid/56/Default.aspx