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Kaizen: The Process of Continuous Improvement In The Workplace

Without Kaizen

  • No structure to the improvement process; few set procedures
  • Goals are not defined or are vague/difficult to measure
  • Changes are made to processes infrequently; little reflection on their effectiveness
  • No plan exists for improvement; improvement is haphazard

With Kaizen

  • Consistent, ongoing process of improvement takes place
  • Improvement process has clearly defined, measurable goals
  • Constant review of successes occurs and the improvement process itself is evaluated
  • Consistency of the process leads to new, higher goals

Find out more about Kaisen and how you and your organisation can benefit from implementation

with this comprehensive resource from our Pivotal Network member, Creative Safety Supply.    ...  Kaizen Training and Research Page -  CSS Research and Training Center

Mum – the Official Job Title

Pivotal Mother

A woman, was renewing her driver's license at the Motor Registration office,
The counter clerk asked her to state her occupation

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
"What I mean is," explained the counter clerk,
"do you have a job or are you just a ...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.
"I'm a Mum."
"We don't list 'Mum' as an occupation,
'housewife' covers it,"
Said the clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare office.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar." "What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
In bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest,
"just what you do in your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
"I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are
more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
Completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
Testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mum." Motherhood!





What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers
"Senior Research associates in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations"
And great grandmothers
"Executive Senior Research Associates?"
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts
"Associate Research Assistants."

Career quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Strategies For Workplace Success: Confidence, Connecting, And Advocating

Millions of women across the country are building careers in today's workplace, but that does not mean that there are not still numerous challenges that many face as they look for success and opportunity. Sexism is still an issue in many work environments and female employees often need to do more than their male counterparts in order to achieve success. The glass ceiling is still an issue for many who are looking to rise up in the ranks, but there are some key strategies available from those who have already traveled this path that can lay the groundwork for success.

As Live Career notes, women are finding success in the corporate world, but issues of pay inequality and a lack of advancement opportunities continue to remain obstacles for many young women in the workplace. Despite these continuing challenges, experts do have a number of recommendations detailing how female employees can break through the barriers.

Embracing opportunities for education and connecting with others is key

Those who embrace the opportunity for as much training and education as they can get may well stand out and increase their odds for gaining significant career opportunities to advance at work. Many companies provide additional training or reimbursement for continuing one's education and the wise working woman will look for chances to focus on transferable skills that can help procure advancement possibilities not only at one's current company, but elsewhere in the future as well.

Developing strong interpersonal skills is critical for young women in today's workplace, as connecting with others and managing to stand out in positive ways are key for advancement. Networking is essential, and many experts point out that connecting with experienced female leaders who can act as mentors should be a top priority for young women beginning in their careers.

Exuding confidence makes a big impact

It is not uncommon for women to hold back in promoting themselves and their achievements in the workplace, sometimes being reserved in order to avoid labels like being perceived as being aggressive or bossy. However, experts do recommend some key strategies that can help young women stand out with confidence.

As Market Wired shares, communications expert Kimberly Gerber suggests some simple changes that can help to build up a positive image. For example, women may embrace posture shifts that exude confidence by facing audiences head-on and bending forward slightly from the waist. Looking others in the eye while communicating is critical and it can be helpful to set aside any anxiousness by focusing on the message that is being projected rather than the people who are listening.

Unfortunately, women frequently find themselves needing to strike a balance when it comes to assertiveness more often that what men typically face. Sexism is still all too common in varying aspects in the workplace and as the New Yorker details, this often comes to the forefront during negotiations. Women who are assertive in negotiating job offers, for example, seem to be dismissed or penalized more often than men, and this type of experience is frequently visible in other workplace aspects as well.

Be ready with solutions and be your own best advocate

While sexism is a very real problem in many work environments, and finding a balance when it comes to being assertive can be difficult, young women who want to advance and break the glass ceiling would do well to be aware of these issues and be strategic in how they are addressed. Women who are ultimately successful in their careers work at becoming comfortable with pointing out their assets and successes and do not shy away from advocating for themselves. It is wise to be prepared with solutions to problems and connect with others as much as possible.

Advancing in the workplace is not a guaranteed path for women, as breaking through the glass ceiling can still be difficult to make happen. However, young women entering the workforce these days can find opportunities and success with a strong focus and determination. Experts recommend looking for mentors, connecting with others, and building skill sets in order to stand out. Many women find themselves having to do things differently than what male counterparts may do, but success is achievable with some strategic moves and focus.

Author:  Gloria Martinez  I think it’s important to celebrate women-dominated industries. I created WomenLed.org to educate people about the many women-led achievements that have shaped our world.

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5 Steps to a Better Career

Figure out what you're good at

Each one of us has a unique combination of strengths, skills, and talents. But because it's hard to view ourselves objectively, we often have many more marketable qualities than we give ourselves credit for. Studies show that we most enjoy doing things we're good at, so when we take the time to figure out our skill set, we're well on our way to finding a job that excites and stimulates us.

Here are five steps to uncover your hidden strengths:

Step 1: Review Your Education and Experience

Your resume will give you an excellent snapshot of your education and previous experience. Since it probably doesn't include every job you've ever had -- for the purposes of this exercise only -- add them. Under each position, write down what you did each day, even if they were simple duties. Do the same for any volunteer work and/or hobbies. You can often find transferable skills in the most menial of tasks.

Step 2: Note the Skills Required for Each

Skills typically fall into four categories:

1. Communication and people skills - expressing yourself well, teaching others, relaying ideas, actively listening, and persuading.

2. Research & planning skills - identifying issues, brainstorming potential solutions, and setting goals.

3. Leadership & management skills - delegating and supervising others, motivating people, making decisions under pressure.

4. Knowledge-based skills - speaking another language or having substantial technical knowledge.

Write down the top three skills you needed for each job, hobby, and volunteer activity. Did your previous work as an office manager require strong organizational and planning skills? When you worked in sales, did your powers of persuasion help you rise to the top? Did your time volunteering at a pet adoption centre demand a lot of energy and compassion? Don't worry if you find yourself writing down the same skills for different roles -- you'll most likely see some overlap.

Step 3: Add Things You're Good At

Think about the activities you show a natural aptitude for. Are you the person everyone just assumes will plan the next get-together? Do other people complain about balancing their checkbooks, while you handle yours with ease? Really think about what comes easily and naturally to you. People often take their innate gifts and talents for granted and assume everyone else possesses them too, when in reality that's not always the case.

Do certain people compliment you over and over? Do they admire your hard-working attitude, your dependability or punctuality, or even how well you dress? Did past managers consistently praise you for having innovative ideas or achieving goals?

Remind yourself about any major difficulties or hardships you've overcome in the past. Potential employers love to see transferable strengths, such as determination and perseverance, in candidates.

Step 4: Ask Other People
Your co-workers, friends, and family, and even your boss can recognize strengths and capabilities you don't see on your own. Ask them for the first three qualities that come to mind when they think of you.

Step 5: Look for Similarities
Now that you have a full list of strengths to work from, group your skills together under common headings. For example, coordinating meetings at work, putting together your family reunion, and planning a neighbourhood party all fall under the umbrella of strong event-planning and organizational skills.

After you complete these steps, you'll have a much better sense of your skill set, which you can then use to effectively market yourself to potential employers. A great way to showcase your talents is to highlight an issue or problem you faced in the past, show how you used your skills and strengths to solve it, and then explain the end result (i.e. an increase in numbers or any quantifiable, successful outcome).

Once you understand the full scope of your knowledge, talents, and expertise, finding a job that meshes your skill set with your interests becomes much easier. You'll not only be more fulfilled, you'll also be more productive and command a higher salary. So, take time to figure out all you have to offer.

Author: Brooke Betts

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Join the revolution and be a … Career Renegade

Career Renegade

Career Renegade

Jonathan Fields

There’s a revolution brewing across the nation--a movement that’s changing lives and revealing little known paths to passion and prosperity. 

It’s about building a great living around what you love to do most. Once you’ve been touched by it, you’ll never be the same. This book is your way in, your admission ticket to the world of the career renegade. 

Jonathan Fields, mega-firm lawyer turned successful lifestyle entrepreneur, blogger and writer shows you how to turn your passion–whether it’s cooking or copy-writing, teaching or playing video games–into a better payday and a richly satisfying life. => http://bit.ly/14dWGCY

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Think strategically for your career

If you feel isolated at work, that your ideas aren't being listened to, or that you might get laid off at any minute, then you need Workplace Survival Skills.

workplace_survivalDo you have all the talent in the world, but are being shut down at work?

How are you going to get a promotion if you aren't able to get anything done? How are you supposed to be an effective leader when you have no power?

You can blame your ineffectiveness on the organization you work for. You can blame your co-workers. Or, you can do something about it.

Learn to Think Strategically

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Close Deals with the Right People: Faster and with Less Effort

Today's read:  The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors And Closing Deals Online

by David Teten and Scott Allen 

If you want to sell to more clients, raise capital, find companies in which you can invest, recruit star employees, or even look for a new job: Let The Virtual Handshake be your guide...

The Internet offers powerful tools to help you find the right people, connect with them, and close deals with them quickly and cost-effectively. This book will give you all the tools you need to use the new generation of "Web 2.0 technologies" for sales, marketing, and capital-raising: blogs, social network sites, virtual communities, and many more.
The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, is the manifesto... companies, technologies, and practices.

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Is it time to change career?

Money is often a worry for people when they are debating whether to change careers. The fear of not having any keeps most in their current positions as it is safe, they know that the income is secure for as long as they stay there. It is easy for money to take over people’s lives and have power over them. It can get in the way of making important decisions due to already conceived beliefs and attitudes towards it.

How do you perceive money?

Read more => http://bit.ly/cK6pJ6

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How are your Communication skills?

From the NACE Press room...

Employers look for their job candidates to exhibit strong communication skills, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Employers taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2010 survey, ranked communication skills at the top of the skills they seek in potential employees. Rounding out the top five were analytical skills, the ability to work in a team, technical skills, and a strong work ethic

Read more >>>