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How To Build A Solutions-Oriented Team – Chris Myers

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I consider myself a fairly even-keeled person, and it takes a lot to set me off. However, one thing that really makes me angry  is when people I interact with present problems but fail to offer solutions. Anyone can point out the existence of a problem; that’s the easy part. The people who bring solutions to the table when addressing a problem are the people who really move the world forward……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/10/03/how-to-build-a-solutions-oriented-team/#21b90a023909

 

 

 

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AI Artificial Intelligence – Future Advantages & Involvements In Artificial Intelligence

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The technical meaning of artificial intelligence is a part of the technology industry to create intelligent machines. in the other word Artificial intelligence Speech recognition, Learning, Planning, Problem-solving (i.e. Humanoid or human mind).    or , Artificial intelligence is a process of creating a computer, a computer AI robot like a human, or a software thinking intelligent like a human mind, and all of the similar processes intelligently humans think…….

6 Essential Content Creation Tips For eLearning Success – Shift

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You’ve been tasked with developing your first eLearning course. Now what?

Let us help you get with it and nail each aspect of the content development process.

Probably you are wondering if there is one perfect roadmap for relevant and engaging eLearning content. However, given that the variables of each project make each session unique, it is difficult to box elements into one plan.

Varying factors include:

  • The size of your team
  • Amount of content
  • The subject at hand and ideal delivery content
  • The audience’s knowledge or understanding of the course
  • Your business goals

These differences will affect the direction of the course. That said, rest assured there is a silver lining. Although the intricacies of the roadmap are not standard, several guidelines can provide the foundation for compelling content and a well-structured course.

Tip #1- Setting the Bulls’ Eye: Forming Your Learning Objectives

By definition, objectives are basic tools that underlie all planning and strategic activities.To accurately guide you through the stages of content development, your learning objective needs to be defined early on and must be crystal clear. Mainly, it’s going to come down to identifying the performance or skill that the learner needs to achieve to be competent in their role.

This statement will serve as the foundation for instructional material. This frame will provide your team with the direction to select and organize content without hesitation. When the outcome is clear, it’s easier to determine the ingredients you’ll need.

Some tips for writing your learning objectives:

  • Use simple language and measurable verbs.

  • Remember to be clear about the knowledge or skill gap that you are hoping to fill. List specific and measurable elements that the learner will have to master upon completion.

  • Make sure you are clear about what will they gain by taking this course.

  • Important! Keep the learning outcomes in mind at all stages of designing a course. Whether you are chunking content, designing activities, planning assessments, or choosing images, you have to remember that every element in your course should align with the learning outcomes.

Tip #2- Consulting the Crowd: Pinpointing Gaps

Questions, assessment, and focus groups often reveal insightful information. You can also survey your audience to learn more about their backgrounds and experience levels. Having your learners take a pre-assessment can inform you that most of your online learners share a skill gap.

Knowing this can allow you to supply additional information or resources to specific areas for improvement. Why?

  • Not all learners start from the same place. This will help you determine where those gaps are.
  • Not all learners will acquire information the same way. You may acquire insights to how to deliver the knowledge that they lack.

 

Pre-assessments help you identify what learners already know, need to know, and how you should deliver the information. After reviewing your objectives, your team should focus on researching the audience’s needs as a priority. These insights coupled with your learning objectives will formulate the strategy for success.

Tip #3- Planning is key

If you are just back from a session with the SME, you are possibly armed with a lot of information that he or she thinks is crucial to learn about the subject. Think twice before dumping it all on the learner. Your SME is undoubtedly an authority on the subject, but you are the training expert. You know the learning outcomes of your course. Best, you know the expectations of your learners.

To begin, create a list of significant topics and sub-points. Still amiss about what to include, here are some points you must enlist too:

  • A list of “Must Know” content (critical to achieve the learning outcomes).
  • “Should Know” content which is concepts that the learner needs to understand as a core part of the training course  (important background information that you can give away as handouts)
  • A list of “Nice To Know” content which adds value to the understanding of the subject, but the learner can do without these points.

Listing out topics is an essential way to help your team visualize and scope each lesson. Be as detailed as possible about your main ideas when creating this list of topics so that it highlights all of the key aspects of your course. Be sure to include an estimate of slides, screens, and interactive elements you’d like to incorporate into the course. Integrating each of these points will help your team avoid redundancies and irrelevancies.

HOT TIP! During this stage, experts advise that you gather your team and stakeholders to review and evaluate the relevant topics. This step will be instrumental in identifying which content is missing.

Here are some tips on how to draft your course outline:

  • Think about the topic and all it conveys. Once you’ve created a list that is thorough you can start grouping like steps into sections or modules.
  • Break your course topic down to steps.
  • Then, you’ll need to buff each individual step out further. Basically, turn the goals established in point one into subtopics/sections. Create at least 3, but no more than 8 titles that make up the “modules” or sections of the course.
  • Decide how you’ll present your content. As you fill out the steps, decide whether you’d rather create a screen with bullet–points or a talking head video that shows your audience what you’re trying to teach them.
  • Plan your intro carefully too. The first minutes of your course are key to grab attention!
    Plan practice activities and assessments.
  • With each proposed lesson, refer back to the learning objectives; say true to what your learner needs to know.

Also read: The Art of Creating Short but Effective eLearning Courses 

Tip #4- Always Conduct a Content Inventory

It makes perfect sense to know exactly what you have in the inventory, regarding existing content, before starting out on any new project. The opportunities for reusing and repurposing existing content, text, images, and video are endless, once you know exactly what you currently hold in your repository.

Go down your list and check off the items you have available in your company and highlight the ones that are missing. Why should you do this? The benefits are obvious, but we will list them out happily:

  • Reviewing the material you already have ( it can be PDFs, Powerpoint presentations or any other material available)  and identifying what needs to be created will provide your team with some direction.
  • When you realize how much information you already have at your disposal, you will have a better idea of how much development time you saved.

Once you have certain content available, here are some questions that you can run this material by:

  • Is this material outdated, incomplete, inaccurate or un-engaging?
  • Is there any feedback available on how it performed?
  • What isn’t working with the current program?
  • What was missing from this content?

Separately, some questions that you can run this material by can include:

  • What don’t employees know that they should?
  • Without letting the existing content dictate the new material, how can this new content be coupled with the previous information?

Read more: The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Inventory for eLearning

Tip #5 – Working Smoothly with SME’s to Translate their Knowledge into Engaging Content

Working with an SME (Subject Matter Expert) is vital to get the right information down. Working together, you can collect the most crucial information needed to align with all the objectives and points listed above.

The thing to keep in mind when working with SMEs is being particular about what you want. This detailed communication is essential to have before meeting with the SMEs.

You can do this by providing a questionnaire, that way everyone can provide insights and feedback.

This post highlights an actionable roadmap for engaging SMEs and collecting their require information so that you can develop quality content on time and within budget.

Here are some amazing tips for working effectively with SME’s.

The Essential Guide to Better SME Kickoff Meetings

Tip #6 – Design Last, Storyboard First

To avoid overloading your audience with irrelevant content, it’s imperative to organize your content. Use storyboarding to determine the direction of content, without trying to load too many concepts into one course. With a storyboard, you can maintain an outline while you create your course. This level of organization ensures you include all main points without venturing into less important topics.

Storyboarding brings all the elements that will make up the elearning course together. Much like a story, each element contribute to the understanding of the next, creating an narration for a lesson or feeling of resolve in the end.

With the use of Powerpoint or your own storyboarding tool, your process can go a little like this:

  • Write your course title; make this brief, but descriptive.
  • Write your course overview, here you’ll want to list key points from your learning objectives
  • Use the text and images in your screens. Make sure any visuals you include add impact.
  • How-To’s need to be done right. Make sure that each sequence is clear and provide additional resources in case the learner is interested in reading more.
  • Use real life scenarios and brief examples to illustrate application of the skills being learned.

 

 

 

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6 Things Successful People Do Before 9 a.m. – Timothy Sykes

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What do successful people do differently? For one thing, they typically wake up very early. Long before they hit the office, they’ve been up and active, performing tasks that will set them up for success throughout the day.

By waking up early, you can get an edge on the day ahead. You’ll clear your mind and schedule so that you can focus on your work, which can help you reach your goals faster. Curious about how to make the most of your morning? Here are 6 things successful people do before 9 am, and how you can incorporate them into your routine.

1. Get physical

You’ve probably heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind.” It’s important to take care of yourself physically. For most people, early on in the day is the best time to exercise, before the responsibilities of the day kick in. Whether it’s a brisk walk with your dog, an early run or a bike ride, get your body moving. Not only will it make you feel good, but studies have shown that exercise can improve brain function, so it might even make you smarter at work.

2. Eat something

If you’re a busy person, chances are that eating a healthy breakfast is the last thing on your mind. But in terms of the day’s productivity, skipping breakfast can be a huge mistake. If you don’t eat something, chances are you’ll be hitting a vending machine or gorging on donuts at 10:30 am. How productive will you be, and how clearly will you be thinking at work, after that? If you want to be thinking and working at your best, make time to eat a balanced meal in the morning.

3. Take care of the necessary stuff.

Picking up the dry cleaning. Walking the dog. Packing school lunches. Everyone has things that they have to do. To get a leg up on the day, get these things out of the way early. When you wake up early, you have time to attend to these quotidian tasks that can take up valuable mind space during the workday. If you get them out of the way, then you can focus solely on work, and your day will be far more effective. It’s a small change that can have a massive impact on your career.

4. Cross off the most annoying to-do list item.

Everyone procrastinates on one thing or another. Start the day right and get at least one of those hard to tackle tasks off of your to-do list. In the morning, you’re at your most energized and refreshed, and best prepared to take on a difficult task or project. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter it makes you feel for the rest of the day. Not only will you have the sense of accomplishment at having completed that task, but it won’t be looming ahead and causing stress all day.

5. Learn something

To truly be successful in the long run, you must make a lifelong commitment to learning. There is never a point at which you’ve learned “enough”. Learning keeps the mind elastic and allows you to remain nimble in your work. This is important, as the landscape of every business will change over time.

Every day, make a point of spending some early AM time learning something. This might be by reading the newspaper, learning a new skill, or it might be by listening to podcasts relevant to your work. It might be a self-imposed study routine on a certain sector of your business. There are many ways to continue educating yourself. You never know what might give you your next great idea.

6. Make a plan.

The best time to map out your day is in the early morning, before the distractions of the day set in. This is a time to consider your goals for the day and how to prioritize tasks to realize them.

Be realistic in mapping out your day: don’t set a mile-long to-do list that you’ll never be able to complete, or schedule yourself in such a way that you’ll be running from thing to thing and getting stressed out. Leave some room for breaks. Consider this plan like a road map, as if you’re on a cross-country trip. You have the freedom to veer off course if needed, but the structure of a general plan will help keep your journey on the right path.

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How to Position Your Business for a Strategic Acquisition – Mark Daoust

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In the past year, I’ve had multiple competitors approach me to acquire one of the businesses that I own.

Being approached by competitors — or anyone for that matter — is always flattering, but, more importantly, it opens a door for many business owners that they have not considered in the past: selling their business. If you’ve ever thought about selling your business, you likely thought about selling it to a strategic buyer — a larger company in your industry, a competitor or a business in a neighboring industry that could benefit from something you’ve buibuyers stlt.

While most acquisitions that occur are not strategic exits — most businesses are sold to financial buyers (i.e. buyers who like the financials of the business but do not necessarily gain a strategic advantage by acquiring that business) — there can be significant benefits for you if you are able to find a strategic buyer:

  1. More money. Strategic buyers often see stronger returns on their investment which allows them to pay more for your business. For example, an ecommerce business that has a large warehouse may be able to acquire a smaller, but similar ecommerce business without adding new warehouse and order fulfillment costs. Strategic acquisitions can often represent huge gains in the value you get for your business.
  2. Easier transitions. Because the buyers are already familiar with your industry, the transitions are often easier to manage — but not always.
  3. Strategic buyers can often do more with your business. Because strategic buyers know your industry, they can often build your business rapidly after the sale. If you are interested in seeing your business grow, strategic sales can be a great way to go.

But for all the benefits of strategic acquisitions, most small business owners who decide to sell their business will end up looking for a financial buyer. Why is this?

Why strategic exits are often difficult to pull off

While many business owners think that a strategic exit is the most natural or the easiest type of acquisition to complete, the truth is that it often has the lowest chance of success. Most acquisitions occur to financial buyers — acquiring companies who may not have specific industry knowledge, expertise or advantage when buying your business, but like the potential financial return on investment your business provides.

There are several reasons for this. First, if you are trying to sell your business to someone within your industry or marketplace, you often lack leverage. The reason for this is simple. Rather than having potential buyers line up to acquire your business, you are approaching potential acquirers with your business opportunity. Unless you can generate interest from multiple suitors, this approach tells potential acquirers that they have more leverage when dictating the terms of a potential deal. They know you are looking to sell, and they know that you prefer to sell to them.

Second, strategic exits often fail to materialize simply due to bad timing. Unless the company you are approaching to make a deal is a massive enterprise, most acquirers need to plan out their resources — both in capital and work requirements — in order to successfully complete a merger or acquisition. When you approach a potential strategic acquirer, even if there may be a good fit between your company and theirs, the timing might simply not be right.

Finally, the pool of strategic acquirers is usually quite small. How many companies would benefit from a strategic acquisition of your firm? Two? Five? Fifteen? The fact is, when selling any company, having a larger pool of buyers gives you better leverage and better chances of success.

Tips for planning and executing a strategic exit.Despite the obstacles above, planning a strategic exit is possible. This very publication is filled with tips on how to get your company acquired. However, too few business owners put any thought into what is actually needed in order to pull off a successful strategic exit. With that in mind, here are a few practical tips to prepare for a potential and hopeful strategic exit:

  1. Strategic exits usually start early. A strategic acquisition rarely happens as the result of picking up the phone, calling a competitor and asking if they want to buy your company. Sure, there are the rare cases where this approach succeeds, but most strategic exits happen more organically. The two companies know each other, have known each other for some time, and see that the acquisition would be good for both companies.
  2. Build your strengths to address other business’s weaknesses. If a wholesaler decides to enter into the direct to consumer market, they often do so by acquiring one of their clients. This is because they recognize that their weakness (direct to consumer) is their client’s strength. If you are hoping to be acquired by a larger competitor, get to know their relative weaknesses, and build your company to be strong in those areas. This isn’t just good acquisition advice, this will help you differentiate your business in the marketplace.
  3. Have more than one potential suitor in mind. Acquisitions work best for the selling company when they have the option to decline any particular offer. If you have multiple companies that could acquire your business, you not only increase your chances of a successful acquisition, you also set yourself up for potentially having leverage in a negotiation.
  4. Let potential acquirers know in advance that your business might be acquirable. In most strategic acquisitions that I’ve seen successfully completed, the company that is acquired had a previous relationship with the acquiring company and informed them that selling might be an option they would explore in the future. By letting your intentions be known early, you give potential acquirers the time and the ability to consider acquiring your business as a part of their strategic plans.
  5. Be patient. The strongest leverage any business owner has in an acquisition is the ability to walk away from the negotiation table. If the terms you are receiving aren’t right, walk away.

Finally, consider a non-strategic acquisition

When I started Quiet Light Brokerage, my very first client owned a business in an industry that had aggressive strategic acquisitions occurring on a weekly basis.

In this industry, valuations were mostly based on a simple monthly revenue valuation approach. Businesses in this vertical would sell for anywhere between 10-18 months worth of gross revenue. For my client, this translated into a valuation of roughly $500,000 for his business.

While we could have sold his business for that price and had a closed deal in just a few weeks, we decided to look for a financial buyer. Three months later, he closed on the sale of his business for $625,000 to a buyer who was not a part of his industry, but loved the opportunity he saw.

The fact is, while strategic acquisitions often result in higher — sometimes significantly higher — valuations, this isn’t always the case. The fact is, more deals are completed in a financial acquisition space simply due to the fact that there are so many more financial buyers looking for good investments.

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