What we find when we are looking for our first job, a promotion or to get more engaged in our career is that our formal education only serves as a foundation for the full scope of our career. To reach our full potential, our personal and professional development must be an ongoing initiative. If we agree that education is not enough, that leadership and other career skills are best learned with education in place, it then boils down to choosing how best to learn these skills.
Peer group learning is a form of cooperative learning that emphasises the interaction between students and mentors who have a common interest and/or shared knowledge about a particular topic or concern. One of the unique qualities of peer group learning is that it often benefits the student participants and the mentor.
Mentors can choose from a number of teaching strategies. The framework for peer learning is usually described as “intellectual scaffolding.” The idea of intellectual scaffolding is to raise questions or issues that prompt individuals in the group towards sophisticated levels of thinking. The mentor and students participate in collaborative processes that are designed to keep all participants engaged and contributing. Continue reading
Peer learning groups are an innovative way for companies to keep their culture attuned to the ever-evolving open innovation and collaboration practices that dominate companies of all sizes. Peer learning groups are used by businesses who want sustainable and proactive workers and teams. In today’s marketplace where businesses of all sizes have unique opportunities to play important roles in the global economy, peer learning is the bridge from the local, regional enterprise to a business that can compete on a larger playing field. Continue reading
Owning and operating a small business is more demanding than consumers realize, especially if the business is running smoothly. The small business owners works countless hours, fine tunes every aspect of the business and hopefully grows the business to profitability.
What successful small business owners are finding in the 2013 marketplace, is that the strong are not only surviving but growing. Growth may be the result of other business failures or it can be the result of increased demand from unfamiliar markets.
Whether your business is growing or managing to hang on until the economy fully recovers, you know the job you assumed in earlier times is not the job you are filling today. Today’s small business owners and managers have new and exciting challenges and opportunities that often require reshaping the business model and the leadership role.
Many businesses and just about all SMEs face the very real challenge to transform business cultures from what Henry Chesbrough termed closed innovation cultures to open innovation cultures that are conducive to collaboration. There are so many financial and sustainable advantages to this transformation.
Yet, this is not a transformation that is easy. First of all, this transformation requires concessions by management. Secondly, the transformation requires the business to acknowledge that the marketplace has shifted. Despite a preponderance of confirming data, existing SMEs remain stubbornly ingrained in the culture that got them off the ground. Continue reading
Many small and medium business owners and managers do not understand the difference between business training and business consultants. There are many, but in a nutshell, the biggest difference is that business consultants are analysts. Business trainers are analysts with implementation and training capabilities.
The business consultant looks at a business and identifies issues that should be corrected. Those issues could cross any number of business systems. The business trainer identifies the issues and lays out a step-by-step guide how he or she will bring about the necessary changes.
In this era of innovation and collaboration, each small and medium business stands the opportunity to enter into highly productive collaborations. The problem is that many SMEs stubbornly refuse to prepare themselves for new age business systems that emphasise fluid efficiency, big production capabilities and outstanding communication skills.
Businesses that lack succession plans, updated marketing plans, innovative product development and outstanding customer service simply cannot compete in the new environment. If your SME is doing business the way it did five years ago, you are behind the competition and giving away ground every day.