Facilitation is a skill crucial in guiding a meeting to make a decision or think of a solution without providing it. Our writer John A G Smith uses his experience to explain why learning Facilitation Skills is so much better than 'B.A. Ping Pong'?!
The Rules of B. A. Ping Pong
It’s a game that every Business Analyst has played. Many do not even have a name for it and, of those that do, it’s usually unrepeatable in polite company. I call it ‘B. A. Ping Pong’ … although maybe that should be ‘wiff waff’?
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
The rules are very simple and any Business Analyst can play. Here’s how it works:
“If I want the job done properly then I have to do it myself.”
How often have you heard that one … probably said by a manager, frustrated by the lack of expertise of some staff member?
Image courtesey of Wikimedia Commons
Why, you may wonder, has the worker not got the expertise? Why must the harassed manager carry so much of the burden?
Several years ago I was working for a major international financial organisation when they offered a Time Management course for senior executives. All agreed the course would probably be useful. But attendance was optional and when the day arrived only four, of over forty, of these senior people turned up. The reason? Go on, you know already, don’t you? Yes, they couldn’t spare the time to attend!
Why are staff at all levels – from the most junior to the most senior – so ‘time poor’ in today’s business environment?
Where, it appears, too many people seem to be taking on an inordinate workload … and not handling it well. Could it be that, to use a common modern phrase, rather than working harder they need to work smarter?
Congratulations you got the promotion, you are now a manager but what does this mean?
Everyone has the intention of being good at their job and with the correct training and support every manager old or new can be a great manager!
Image courtesey of Wikipedia
Join one of our Management Skills for New Managers and gain the skills to take you forward in your career.
For those of you that know Brighton you can be a testament to the fact that it is filled with a myriad of great places to eat and drink for every kind of consumer. When you’re here for just a short time knowing where to go on your lunch break is of great importance to most!
Don’t stick to the boring sandwich but taste a bit of Brighton without breaking the bank, here are a few of our favourites...... our 7 lunch wonders of Brighton!
Our key to pricing:
£ - under a fiver
££ - between £5 and £10
Pastrami Sandwich from Flour Pot, Image courtesy of Restaurants Brighton
The outsourcing of IT and other services is now common practise. Problems can arise when it is seen as a means to pass on responsibility for service management or IT service management.
Image -'Service' by Sascha Kohlmann
As with many technical subjects, a little storytelling makes concepts easier to understand, so we asked our expert John A.G. Smith takes a lighter look at the subject of ITIL Contracts, Services and Agreements.
Although most booking on to the popular Assertiveness and Confidence course are business clients, learning how to be assertive is beneficial in many everyday situations.
Assertiveness and Confidence are often confused with aggression or selfishness.
We asked our business consultant and story teller extraordinaire John A G Smith to weave a yarn to show the difference.
Image by Chris & Karen Highland
This year the city celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Brighton Fringe and the 50th anniversary of the Brighton Festival.
In the spirit of the celebrations this year Heather Buckley and David Smith are exhibiting ‘Fringes of Brighton’ 5th May – 6th June 2016 – a showcase of photographs from events in Brighton taken over the last decade at MADE in North Road Brighton.
The exhibition is well worth a visit, it'll make you smile and so will the the coffee, lunch, and cakes.
The work that goes into putting on an exhibition requires a lot of the skills that we teach here. Photoshop and Lightroom of course, but also social media and content marketing. Many artist need to be thier own publicists these days. I managed to speak with Heather and David about their work and also with Leigh-Anne who opened the Gallery and Cafe MADE earlier this year.
I grabbed Heather today to talk about how she produces some of her amazing shots. I enjoy photography so it was a good opportunity to gain a little insight, particularly into the action shots.
Summer sun floods the warm room and dust motes dance in my blurring vision. The lunchtime ‘pie and a pint’ sit comfortably in my stomach and the final straw is the hypnotic buzzing noise encouraging my heavy eyelids to close and calling me to the comfort of the Land of Nod. Suddenly, sanity returns, my eyelids jerk open and my head snaps upright.
As I look around me, I see an almost universal appraisal of the lecturer in the form of drooping heads and, in at least two cases, total oblivion. And we all have an examination in this topic in just a few weeks!
The great shame of this all is that the guy at the front of the room is a world expert in his subject … but he’s the source of the buzzing. He’s written several renowned textbooks on the subject … we’re all well aware of this because it is almost a prerequisite of passing the course that every student buys them all. Surprisingly, this is not resented by my fellows because sitting for hours poring over the dry text is preferable to listening the esteemed professor reciting, almost word for word, what is on the page.
You could come and be entertained at Silicon Beach Training in Brighton on our Train the Trainer course, we practise what we preach.
As a project management consultant I have bumped up against a number of PM methods … or ‘methodologies’ as we are being more and more encouraged to call them. I’ve used PRISM, PROMPT, PMI PMP and PRINCE but, of them all, my favourite is PRINCE2 … ‘the project method formerly known as PRINCE’.
Image by Yves Lorson from Kapellen, Belgium - Prince
But I have a problem. When I hear a new project manager say, “I’ve just been appointed to run my first project so I’ve got to go on a PRINCE2 course,” I shudder. There are a couple of reasons for this perverse behaviour and it’s nothing to do with the temperature.
When did remote-controlled helicopters and pedometers become drones and wearable tech?
Since now. Today. The future, and you're living it.
But how far will it take us? Where will we end up?
The best way to predict the future is to look at what has already been achieved, and quite a lot has been going on! I'll go through just a few before looking at the predictions being made by experts.
A piece of well-known wearable tech that made a splash was Google Glass. Simply put, it is worn on the head like ordinary eyeglasses but displays information like a smartphone. It's mostly handsfree and controlled by voice commands, though there is a tiny touchpad built into the side allowing you to swipe through a timeline-like interface right before your eyes. If the wearer simply says ‘ok glass’ they have access to Google Search, Gmail, video chats, voice only chats, virtual reminders, voice translations and a whole load of other features. My personal favourite is its ability to take photos and record 720p HD video of whatever you are seeing.