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Thinking is the cognitive activities you use to process information, solve problems, make decisions, and create new ideas.

You use your thinking skills when you try to make sense of experiences, organise information, make connections, ask questions, make plans, or decide what to do.

There are several different types of thinking or ways to think.

Creative Thinking: Refers to the ability to conceive new and innovative ideas by breaking from established thoughts, theories, rules, and procedures. It involves putting things together in new and imaginative ways. Creative thinking is often referred to as “thinking outside the box.”

Analytical Thinking: Refers to the ability to separate a whole into its basic parts in order to examine the parts and their relationships. It involves thinking in a logical, step-by-step manner to break down a larger system of information into its parts.

Critical Thinking: Refers to the ability to exercise careful evaluation or judgment in order to determine the authenticity, accuracy, worth, validity, or value of something. In addition to precise, objective analysis, critical thinking involves synthesis, evaluation, reflection, and reconstruction.   And rather than strictly breaking down the information, critical thinking explores other elements that could have an influence on conclusions.

Concrete Thinking: Refers to the ability to comprehend and apply factual knowledge. It is about thinking of objects or ideas as specific items, rather than as a theoretical representation of a more general concept. It involves thinking only on the surface, always literal, and to-the-point.

Abstract Thinking: Refers to the ability to use concepts to make and understand generalizations then relating or connecting them to others items, events, or experiences. It involves paying attention to the hidden meanings thus allowing you to observe and understand theories and possibilities.

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Understanding your talent profile is the key to successful succession planning, according to Clyde Marwick, group HRD of Baxters Food Group.

The company aims to futureproof itself by assessing its talent profile as it continues to expand internationally. Marwick told HR magazine that a review of the family-owned global business has provided key talent insights that are now driving robust succession planning.

Baxters is in a major growth phase and has a presence in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. It is this growth, said Marwick, that prompted the business to examine itself and its employees through its 2020 Vision review that sets out a five-year plan.

“There are interesting political and socio-economic issues, particularly in the UK and the US but also in Europe, and we have to look at what that means for us going forward,” he said.

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Robert Metoli, 57, spent eight years as a skilled technician setting up the machines on the factory floor at Lee Spring, a small firm based in Brooklyn that makes coils to be used in a variety of objects, including cell phones, eyeglasses, rockets and robots.

It took a toll. Mr. Metoli’s back started bothering him, and his job, which involved standing most of the day and lifting wire, gears and tooling, became impossible for him to do.

“We gave him an opportunity to take an office position that would be less physically strenuous,” said Steve Kempf, the chief executive. “He joined our team of engineers charged with creating the work orders for jobs going out into the factory.” The company arranged and paid for the necessary training courses.

It worked.

He was immediately able to pass his insights on to the younger engineers, who had never operated the machines, Mr. Metoli said, and “the engineers were able to explain their knowledge of spring design and software to me.”

Mr. Metoli has continued to work in a position that doesn’t hurt his back, Mr. Kempf said.

More than half of American baby boomers plan to work past age 65 or not retire at all, according to a report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Many worry that they will outlive their savings, that Social Security benefits will be reduced, and that they may someday need expensive long-term medical care.

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Organisations no longer have the luxury of hiring everyone from the outside. Now more than ever, they need to develop talent from within — which is where succession planning comes in. The goal, of course, is to have talent ready at the time an opening occurs.

It's absolutely essential for organisations to think about the "what ifs" associated with an employee not being able or available to do their job. That's why the process of identifying and developing new talent who can replace current employees when they become incapacitated, resign or retire is important.

Five Reasons to Revisit Succession Planning

Organisations need to be aware of the possibilities within their workforce of baby boomers headed for retirement. Further, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that median employee tenure has dropped (to 4.2 years as of January 2016), signalling an increase in voluntary resignations. Indicators point to an increasing number of employees feeling confident they can find work that better meets their needs.

At any given moment in time, your organisation could be faced with a job opening. We have a tendency to only think of succession planning in the context of senior-level positions, but really any job opening could be worth considering for succession planning.

Here are five reasons that leaders should put succession planning on their to-do list.

  1. It's taking longer to find qualified candidates

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Q. How do we go about creating a blog?

A. If you have decided that blogging is something you would like to encourage in your organisation, the following steps will help you get started.

Familiarise yourself with blogs: It is important to know about them before you decide to start one. Research as many as possible, especially blogs in your line of business – what are their features? What do you particularly like or dislike about them?

Is there an appetite for blogging in your organisation? Remember that the whole point of the blog is for employees, customers, clients and the public to use and develop it. The communications department is not responsible for posting on it or maintaining it. There is no point in creating a blog if your target audience are not likely to use it.

Be clear about your purpose: What exactly do you want your blog to do? It may fulfil a number of purposes, e.g. by providing a way to interact with customers and obtain feedback from them; sharing information; encouraging collaboration between employees, and keeping employees and customers up to date with the latest news.

Ask yourself if you really need a blog: If you have fully addressed point 2 and decided on your purpose, you will be in a position to answer this, as there may be other/better ways to fulfil these purposes rather than a blog.

Assess the communications culture of your organisation: A blog needs an organisational culture of openness and honesty to thrive. (more…)


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If your next career goal is to become a people manager, then there’s one crucial skill you need to develop: adaptability.

The best manager will shift and flex in response to the changing environment around them and, crucially, the different motivations of the individuals they lead. In short, they are a chameleon who can adapt to suit the situation at hand.

For instance, they’ll look at the rapid changes occurring in today’s world of work with an open mind, consider and experiment with new ways of performing tasks and motivate their team to adapt and grow accordingly to remain successful.

They’ll juggle multiple responsibilities effectively and won’t drop the ball when priorities change suddenly.

They’ll adapt their leadership style for each team member according to what works best for them. For example, one team member may value regular feedback and direction but another may consider this to be micromanagement.

The best people managers also adapt development plans to suit the needs and goals of the individuals in their team. For example, an employee who wants to grow their skills in a particular area could be offered a relevant stretch opportunity while a poor performer may need one-on-one coaching.

How to demonstrate adaptability: A recent survey of ours shows that half of skilled professional workers have left a job wholly or partly to get away from their manager. (more…)


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When was the last time you actually used a dictionary to check out how a word was spelt?

For most of us that will be some time ago – having ‘spell-check’ facilities in our word processes means we are taking less and less time to actually learn how words are spelt.

However, when having to hand-write a note or heaven forbid, say draft a performance appraisal review - spelling poses a problem for a surprisingly large number of people.

An Oxford University Press survey found that up to 50% of those questioned were confused over the spelling of common words and phrases.

This individual activity allows you to test your own spelling ability.

MY SPELLING TEST

 


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