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Via Forbes : Job Functions Vs. Superpowers: Exploring The Future Of Talent Management

Last month I had the privilege of speaking at Worldz — an annual gathering of thousands of the world’s most influential marketing, cultural and business leaders — with a friend and client partner, who is a talent and learning leader with incredible experience and big vision for how leaders must inspire and empower the greatest asset in every business: their people.

The experience was profound because of the nearly 100 talented people who joined us for the session. I’d like to share what we learned with a wider audience.

Our hypothesis is simple yet powerful: Our reliance on traditional job functions, such as HR or finance, to structure companies will reduce dramatically over the next decade, replaced by a greater focus on skills and “superpowers” — those innate, natural behaviors each of us have grown and developed through our lives. We wanted to prove that there is little correlation between function and skills in today’s companies. The results were exciting, providing a glimpse of a new model for managing talent.

What Makes Every One Of Us Super?

If you had to answer the question “What are you truly great at?” it’s doubtful you would answer with your job function. We asked every member of the audience to turn to a stranger next to them and identify each other’s superpowers. The room struck alight with deep conversation and laughter. We learned in a few minutes that we had superheroes among us. Super Listeners and Super Optimists were two examples. Nothing like job functions but everything like valuable skills for projects we are all working on.

There’s something more profound to draw from this exercise, too. In five minutes of dialog with a stranger, each person got to know each other more deeply than many employers know their long-term employees. Because, as leaders, we just don’t ask these kinds of questions.

We Know Nothing About Our Greatest Asset

Traditional employers seek to know only basic information about their people and little or nothing about what motivates them or what unique skills they have that could take the brand, company and culture in new directions.

It’s the opposite in consumer marketing. The best marketers seek to know as much as possible about who their audience is, how they live and what makes them unique so as to find a meaningful place in their world for our brands. We believe passionately that HR and marketing are actually sister disciplines. Each should be centered on the orientation of everything the company does around a valuable audience. The difference is just in who those people are. For HR, it is employees — which, logic demands, means also that the tag “Human Resources” is woefully out of date. Perhaps “Humanity” is a better functional name?

Focusing On Skills Changes Everything

Take a moment to imagine a future where we no longer organize people by function or staff initiatives with balanced cross-functional teams but instead matched skills and superpowers from our glorious pool of talent to project needs. It changes everything we know about how people work inside companies.

In this new dynamic, we’d start to value individual passions more than functional expertise or experience. We’d form fluid project squads instead of rigid discipline structure. Our people would experience multiple project tours instead of planned career moves. After-action reviews would give way to real-time monitoring and course refinements. Annual individual incentives would be replaced by team milestone rewards.

A Live Experiment: What We Learned From Our Worldz Audience

With nearly 100 people and less than 30 minutes, we had to move fast. Here’s what happened:

Step No. 1: Find your function.

We began by asking everybody to move to the traditional business function that best describes their current role:

• HR: Learning, Talent Management, Internal Comms

• Marketing: Advertising, Brand Management, PR, Sales, Customer Service

• Operations: Leadership, Administration, General Management, Project Management

• IT: Data, Technology, Innovation

• Product: Design, R&D, Production

• Finance: Accounting, Risk Management, Business Analytics

Step No. 2: What’s your superpower?

We introduced six broad “superpower” groups and asked each person to self-identify against their closest match:

• Guide: Building culture, networking, collaboration and teamwork, influencing, coaching

• Storyteller: Casting vision, engaging communication, adaptability, passion, provocation

• Driver: Driving growth, leading teams and managing people, solution-selling

• Builder: Organizing, planning, design thinking, detail-focused, managing projects

• Creator: Creativity, idea and concept creation, problem-solving, innovating, architecting new solutions

• Thinker: Agility, quantitative skills, commercial acumen, data analytics, strategic thinking, critical analysis

Step No. 3: Does your superpower match your function?

More than half of the audience was “out of position” based on traditional models matching functions to skills. Highlights included:

• 30% of marketers put themselves in the “guides” group (more than the expected fit with “storytellers”)

• Nearly 50% of IT & Product experts identify as “storytellers” (3x more than “creators” or “builders”)

• 40% of people in both Finance and Operations saw themselves as “creators”

• As expected, 70% of HR practitioners found “guide” as the best fit; 20% saw themselves as “builders”

Key Takeaway

There are a lot of lessons to take from this exploration. The conversations afterward were fascinating, deep and wide-ranging and, most enjoyably, engaged everyone from startup founders to large corporate HR leaders. There’s one thing I want you to take away: the knowledge that you can do this tomorrow. The skills you need to solve your next business problem likely exist in the people sitting next to you right now.

Here’s your challenge. Chances are your current project teams are optimized by function, not skills. Imagine what would happen if you assembled your next project team purely by skills and superpowers. What would that look like? Do you have the courage to try? And if a pilot is not physically possible, ask your people what their superpower is — you may be amazed by where the answers will take you.

Via Business.com : How To Improve Your Business Communication

Clear lines of communication are essential if your company is to ever attain financial success.

Clear lines of communication are essential in any sort of relationship and business is no different. If your company is to ever attain financial success, effective and clear communication is a must. Many businesses, however, struggle to get by precisely because the professionals who work there struggle to communicate clearly with one another.

Everybody seems to agree that getting business communication right is a key element to growth, achieving goals and overall long-term profitability. When it comes to understanding the means by which you can bolster your existing communication regime and simultaneously pioneer new forms of communication, many professionals unfortunately flounder.

Here’s how to get business communication right, and what mistakes you’ll need to avoid if you don’t want your signals to get lost in the noise.

Understand the signal and the types of noise

It’s impossible to understand the essentials of stellar business communication (or of any communication in general) without understanding the differences between the signal and the noise. Put simply, the signal is the message you’re trying to broadcast from one party to another. Maybe you’re trying to inform your boss that an important deal has just been struck, or perhaps you’re simply trying to tell another co-worker their email didn’t go through and you’re hoping they can resend it.

In other words, the signal is the pure message you’re trying to transmit undiluted to its recipient. The noise, on the other hand, is the irrelevant background information, useless trivia, unrelated data, external emotion and sound pollution which could prevent your signal from getting to where it needs to go. Pushing a message through this noise successfully is essential if the desired result is to ever be achieved.

If you don’t understand the signal and the noise, you’ll never be able to fully grasp what it means to be a stellar communicator. Business professionals with excellent communication skills thrive when it comes to transmitting their signals and bypassing noise at every available opportunity.

Sometimes, this means understanding “the signal and the noise” quite literally. For instance, you may need to turn down loud music (the noise) in order to understand what the person next to you is saying (the signal). Other times, it may entail something along the lines of keeping your inbox spam-free so that important emails from your co-workers or boss get through to you immediately upon arrival.

There’s little doubt about it that stellar communication services can go a long way towards helping you receive more signals while ignoring the useless noise around you. Sometimes, however, bolstering your ability to receive a signal while avoiding noise begins with a cultural change that must spread across your office if your business’ communication regime is going to be more effective. If the signals within your company are constantly being lost or misread, there are likely some changes that can be made that will immediately clean up the communication path.

Cut down on unnecessary noise

The best cultural change you can make in your office is to cut down on unnecessary noise. It may seem obvious to many professionals, but in some office environments, music and other loud sounds aren’t entirely banned or otherwise regulated.

Ensuring that your workspace is a tranquil environment where people can focus and clearly communicate with one another is a major step in ensuring you get business communication right. When it comes to fostering such change, your leaders are going to be responsible for informing their underlings what modifications are underway in the office’s culture.

If your office leaders aren’t thoroughly studying up on how to communicate cultural changes in the workplace, your efforts to bolster your communication regime will be doomed from the very start. The rank and file employees in your company take note of how their managers and bosses are behaving, so relying on lackluster communication protocols when it comes to your leaders will result in a communications breakdown across your business. When hiring managers and promoting current employees, always take into consideration their ability to understand and communicate clearly with others.

Sometimes, cutting down on unnecessary noise must be taken literally. If there’s a humming light, buzzing fan, or similar source of aggravating noise in your office, your workers and their communication will suffer. Those inhabiting open offices should pay particular attention to this, as one small sound in a distant corner can carry across everyone’s workspace and severely impede productivity and communication. Read up on stopping white noise from plaguing those hard at work in your office, and you’ll be doing much better when it comes to everyday business communication before you know it.

Semantic noise, or noise that results from differences in understanding, whether from using too much technical jargon or simply unclear instruction can quickly sideline a signal. So it’s always advised to ensure that good communication is in play by checking with the recipients that the signal was received.

A huge mistake that managers often make in communication is assuming that the message was clearly understood. When talking face-to-face with somebody, the speaker constantly looking for visual cues that the person is listening and the listener is giving cues back that they’re paying attention.

Those visual cues are, of course, absent when communicating through text or email. If we assume that the message was clearly received we run the risk of it getting lost in the noise or being misinterpreted. You would be surprised by how many managers fail to end a message with a call to action, such as “Do you have any questions?” or “Please reply back that you understand.”

Aside from physical and semantics noise, managers should take into account the potential for psychological noise breaking down communication. Our attitudes, internal thoughts and preconceived notions can all play into how we communicate and receive signals.

Negative emotions often lead to less effective communication. For example, if an employee is fearful of their supervisor’s criticism and in a constant state of worry about being reprimanded for their performance, that’s going to create a communication barrier. When people are in a state of worry it has an adverse effect on their concentration.

The same can also be said though for strong positive emotions of excitement. For example, if a manager is extremely happy about something going on in their life – perhaps a new baby – they may have a difficult time concentrating and be more likely to omit key pieces of information when sending out an email.

Psychological noise is obviously going to play a role at different points in a person’s job – that’s simply life. By considering our own emotional state and that of others, though, we can more effectively mold our signal so that it’s clearly sent and received.

Finally, managers should familiarize themselves with common communication mistakes worth avoiding; knowing to speak less and listen more, for instance, will often save you from communications-induced headaches. Understanding that digital and otherwise intermediated communication lacks a human element and thus must be very clear and precise is another basic step towards good communication that too many professionals ignore.

Remember that these changes must be championed by your company’s leaders, as everyday employees can’t be expected to know these things by themselves. Focus on tapping into the signal while avoiding ugly noise, and your business will be communicating more clearly and effectively in no time.

Via The Ladders : 4 quick tips to put together an outfit for the office in a hurry

Life gets hectic and it can feel like there’s not enough time to look put together and professional, but that is simply not the case. I promise that if you put in some prep work, you can absolutely look polished and professional even when you’re rushing out of the house in the morning. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and swapping out a few items in your wardrobe will make a huge difference in how you look and feel. Instantly amp up your style while still getting dressing quickly! Here are four quick tips to help you put together an outfit for the office in a hurry.

When time is of the essence, opt for one piece outfits

When you’re trying to put together an outfit for the office in a hurry, there’s nothing better than a one-piece outfit. A shirt dress is a perfect one-piece outfit that can be worn in almost any office environment. To keep things a little more modern, try out a midi dress like the one I’m wearing. As the seasons change, sweater dresses and jumpsuits are also great options that save on time. Any time you can reduce the number of items you have to style together, you’ll likely be able to get ready more quickly.

Swap out your cotton shirt for a blouse or a nice sweater

While cotton is comfortable and easy to throw on, it can often appear extremely casual and a bit frumpy. Swapping out your cotton top for something a little more polished but just as comfortable will instantly make you appear more put together while still effortlessly chic.

There are so many blouse options out there that look great and don’t break the bank. Opting for a top in a silk or chiffon material will create a more dressed up appearance while still giving you the ease of throwing on a cotton top.

A nice sweater is also a great option, especially as the weather cools off! Try a bell sleeve sweater for a trendy take on a classic garment.

Invest in a great pair of shoes

Investing in great shoes that you can wear with various outfits will help you put together an outfit for the office in a hurry.

If you’re looking for comfortable flats that look great as well, I’m a firm believer that Cole Haan flats are the absolute best. They sell a variety of flats made with Nike air technology, and they’re all super comfortable. I tend to invest in a good pair of Cole Haan’s every few years, and they have become pretty much the only brand of flats I wear. I love how comfortable they are, and they are made really well, which means that they last.

If you’re into boots, chestnut brown boots work well because you can pair them with pretty much any color including black.

Swapping out your flip flops or casual sneakers for a comfortable pair of flats or boots will make you appear more polished and less like you’re a school kid. Something about sneakers always makes me think of being on the playground as a child, and that’s not the impression I want my style to give off.

Swap out your blue jeans for colored denim

While I’m a huge fan of blue jeans, swapping out your basic blue denim for colored denim can make your look a bit more formal and less casual. Dark jeans can definitely be dressed up, however, a pair of black skinny jeans appear more chic and professional. I always love black, but if you like color, mix things up! So many brands offer a wide range of color options that instantly bump up the style of your outfit.

Colored denim is a great option for something a little more formal than traditional blue jeans, but still more casual than a pair of slacks. Colored denim is especially great for business casual offices where you want to look a bit more professional, but still, want the ease of throwing on your favorite jeans in the morning.

Via OnRec : How to Write a Perfect Resume: Best Advice for Students

This will sound like a cliché to many people: a good resume gets you halfway through the door.

People assume they are aware of the statement above, but few take the time to actualize it. Writing a resume is normal and there is nothing new we can teach you about what to include or the structure of your resume. However, we can give you free resume tips to help you enhance your resume. The hiring process is changing and more companies are using tech bots to compare resumes and pick the best ones. So, you need to prepare yourself and deliver something that will attract the attention of the tech bots and managers (those still preferring the manual process). Below are our resume tips for college students.

Review Examples

Writing a good resume starts with reading a good resume. So, before you start working on your resume, get to read good resume examples. You can read resumes that are specific to your career or read resumes for all careers and pick what stands out for you. However, make sure the resumes you review are in line with certain careers. This will help you understand how to approach different situations if in case you find yourself changing fields. These resumes will help you choose a style that not only fits you but also helps you capture what is important. You can find these examples on LinkedIn or resume writing services.

Start with Important Information and Only Include your Most Valuable Information

This is all about prioritization. Your potential employer needs to see your most important information first. Everything that makes you stand out from the other applicants needs to come first. The relevant experiences you have, need to come first. Starting with your most valuable information grabs the attention of the reader. When you intrigue the reader, they want to know more about you, and this means your chances of getting a face-to-face interview increase. As you are looking for resume strategies, do not go any further if you do not understand the seriousness of this tip. Prioritize your information and you will find yourself in a job soon.

Add Jobs you had in the Last Years

While listing your previous jobs, start with the most recent. Here, offer details of your last jobs but do not go past 15 years. If you are an intern, include this piece of information. Your potential employer needs to know your history. So, include your previous job and their expectations. Do not lie in your resume thinking you are increasing your chances of landing a job. You will do an exceptional job if you maintain your integrity and only include truthful information.

Develop your Language Skills

Using the right language or showcasing your language skills is one of the most important tips on how to write a great resume. You cannot express yourself if you do not develop your language skills. A resume gets you halfway through the door. However, before you submit your resume, there is the writing process that you cannot skip. It is possible to have someone else write your resume, but what will you do in a face-to-face interview? Your career path may not involve a lot of talking or report writing. But you need to know how to express yourself. So, growing your language skills is important.

Education

Education is an essential part of your resume. You need to include it every time you are writing your resume. If you are still a student and in need of help with writing your resume, you can place your request with an online essay writing service. However, the most important thing here is to understand how to include education in your resume. You need to prioritize education and this means you start with your most recent academic achievement. In this section, include the name of institution, name of your degree, your major, year of graduation, and honors.

Include Your Skills and Experience

Your skills and experience are important and you have to include them in your resume. However, as a student, you may not have any experience to include in your resume. Well, some have and some do not. If you have some experience, do not hesitate to share it. When it comes to skills, everyone has their strengths and skills that are unique to them. A resume is a way to convince your potential or future employers to hire you. So, do not be afraid to include your skills. A resume for college students with no experience should not be set for dismissal because one can share their skills, and make their resumes stand out.

Include Your Contact Information

You should work on writing all your contact information in your resume. This makes it easier for potential employers to find you and hire you. So, give your full name, phone number, email address, your city, zip code, and street address. If you have a profile on any professional website, it is good practice to share this as well. Offer your potential employers enough information about yourself.

Proofread and Edit

Never send your resume out without proofreading and editing it. You will not leave your potential employers with a good picture of you if you submit a resume with spelling or grammatical errors. You can either use proofreading tools, grammar-checking tools, or request editing services from a platform like write my essay for me . On this platform, you will have an expert review your resume and enhance it for you. This will be at a fee but in the end, you have a resume that is error-free.

In conclusion, it is important to take your time and learn how to write your resume. Everything in life is a process and learning how to write a good resume is a process. When you start the process, do not give up. Write with the best attitude and soon you will be able to submit resumes that not only put you halfway through the opportunity door but kick the door wide open.

Via Nevada Today : Navigating through your internships

How internships are foundational for a successful career.

Internships prepare students for a full-time job and expand student networks that later help in the growth of their careers. The Reynolds School of Journalism Director of Internships and Experiential Learning, Claudia Cruz, is here to help students attain and make the best of their internships.

“It’s a foundation for professional development,” Cruz said. “Being in an environment that exposes you to what it might be like when you enter the professional world gives you a leg up.”

Cruz is well versed in reporting and the media industry. Originating from New York, Cruz moved to California then to Reno for her current position which she found through Twitter.

“Most of the work I was doing was daily reporting,” Cruz said. “My career has mostly focused on local communities and recent technology.”

Cruz has aided in nurturing the talents of younger journalists and remains connected with all of the media relationships she built. She hopes to use her connections to help students find internships and jobs not only in Nevada but across the country.

“Throughout my career as a journalist, I’ve helped younger journalists,” Cruz said. “I’m still in touch with people I interned for in 1995. What got me hired here was the same skills I used to get my internships in high school.”

On the importance of an internship, Cruz mentions that without this foundation, it is difficult to stand out during the hiring process.

“I’m encouraging internships because your resume needs to start reflecting the job you want; this is how you transition,” Cruz said. “Internships are how you start laying the ground work to show people, when you start interviewing for that first job after college, that you’ve been thinking about your profession.”

She encourages students to start gaining experiences that teach them transferrable skills and stresses that even if an internship is not in an area or with a company where a student wants to work in the long run, the experience will still allow students to become more knowledgeable about the field and the employer.

“A lot of students don’t have a lot of experience or experiences that they are very proud of, it doesn’t matter,” Cruz said. “During the application process you just have to be able to present your transferrable skills in a way that’s well written and shows you’ve learned something.”

Cruz also mentions that writing is the backbone of attaining an internship and a future job.

“It’s so important be a great writer,” Cruz said. “The first step is having a meticulous resume and a meticulous cover letter. When someone looks at a resume or cover letter, you’re presenting yourself; it’s the first step of personal branding.”

Cruz emphasizes that internships and jobs will not be handed to students, and students must be open and resourceful.

“Be personable,” Cruz said. “Learn how to navigate this space where you need to be forward and ambitious, but also be comfortable with that. People will notice you if you let yourself get noticed. There are opportunities out there, you just have to be savvy about getting them.”

Cruz can personally attest that networking is valuable and connections lead to opportunities. In 1998, Cruz was the manager of her university’s men’s varsity soccer team. This opportunity had a domino effect on the success of her career.

“The internship connection I made in college, I used again in 2006 to get myself back to Major League Soccer to intern for their legal department,” said Cruz. “Network! Write letters; write Christmas cards. Now it’s easier! You can write emails.” To this day, she still uses those contacts though now as a reporter.

Lastly, Cruz urges students to “take your passions and turn them into job opportunities.”

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