Simon Jordan's Blog - December 2015

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5 managerial tips Star Wars taught us

This month it’s the big one. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in cinemas in the UK and my son Harry and I (and sometimes I think it’s more me than him who’s the most excited) are really looking forward to it. The complex plots and characters got me thinking as I ploughed through the prequels and sequels in the lead-up to the new film’s release. A lot of Star Wars’ themes and morals are based on real philosophy. Take Han Solo and Yoda for example – those nuggets of timeless wisdom aren’t coming from thin air, you know. So, in honour of the new film and to highlight the wise words of Geroge Lucas and his team, here are five tips for managerial success that I’ve learned from the sci-fi franchise.

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Letting little Anakin know that his future depended only on himself, Qui-Gon Jinn had no idea at the time that he was sowing the seeds for a future galactic dictator. Even so, doesn’t that prove this advice at least gives people the get-up-and-go to make something of their lives?

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan was right. Great results come about through hard work, skill, determination and a whole lot of willpower. Luck often has very little to do with it.

“Never tell me the odds.” – Han Solo

In other words, don’t say it can’t be done. Never say die. There’s no such word as “impossible”. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Always. Even when you’re navigating through an asteroid field with a success rate of approximately 3,720 to 1.

"Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny." – Yoda

One to remember when your better judgement is being tested by a quick win or a compromise you’re not happy with. Stick to your guns and your gut instinct and you can’t go wrong. It got you this far, after all!

"Who's the more foolish, the fool? Or the fool who follows him?" – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Commit to your own values. Following blindly is more dangerous than taking a risk, especially when you know deep down that you’re not being true to yourself. Themis Star Wars Managerial Tips

Festive Themis! Get involved with our yuletide giveaways

For one week only, Themis have dedicated a page on the website to giving away our newly designed bags and festive goodies. There’s also the opportunity to win tea and biscuits for your team – because you all deserve a break! Festive Themis prizes on offer Follow @themisburnley on Twitter and share your decorated offices, workplaces, desk or workbench for your chance to win. Visit www.themis.ac.uk/festive to download our office quiz and find out more information on how to join in.

Make your Apprenticeship job the most desirable vacancy in the UK

Do you have the most desirable job in the UK? A recent study by YouGov has revealed the biggest dream jobs in the UK, and the results were surprising to say the least. The most popular roles that would be eagerly snapped up by the British public were author, librarian and academic. So far, so intellectual. Also popular were jobs as lawyers, doctors and journalists – all of which were far more popular than TV presenters or movie stars. I also liked that in the week of Tim Peake reaching the International Space Station, a large number of subjects also confessed to wanting to be train drivers, formula one drivers and astronauts. Nice to see those childhood dreams still going strong! What I found the most interesting though, is that people dream of jobs that offer more. Most of the careers topping the leaderboard are not glamorous or highly-paid. What entices employees is achievement and fulfilment; the opportunity to do a job they’d excel at while doing something worthwhile, “worthy” or respected. So now you can apply this to your own Apprenticeship vacancies:

  • Focus more on the future career aspects of your Apprenticeship roles
  • Highlight the training and progression prospects within your Apprenticeship programme to let applicants know about the opportunities you offer to elevate them
  • Share case studies from successful applicants who’ve gone on to secure employment with you
  • Talk more about your company policies and employee perks and morale. The working environment is hugely important to employees and can make or break a successful application
  • Use interviews as a chance for applicants to visit your workplace and meet some of the people they will be working with

If nothing else, it’s a great experiment and might show you new ways to hire more successfully and ultimately gain you better, more committed employees.

Is renewable tech the future of business, engineering and everything in-between?

With the terrible floods, the North West has experienced more than two months’ worth of rainfall in under 48 hours. This record-breaking rain has wreaked havoc across the country, destroying homes and businesses, so it’s no surprise that talk has often turned to sustainable resources and the effect we all have on the environment. I’ve been interested in some of the more innovative and exciting eco-developments in tech and beyond. There are examples everywhere of developers, scientists, engineers and construction professionals thinking creatively to innovate now and troubleshoot the problems of tomorrow. Europe’s first zero-emissions building project has been completed in Oslo. The six office blocks were originally built in 1980 and were “enhanced” with the aim of reducing energy consumption and emissions from materials, while creating a building capable of supplying its own energy requirements. Read more about the brilliant construction and engineering innovations in this project here: gemini.no/en/2014/10/zero-emissions-a-european-first Ducky is a climate impact app, developed by Norwegian start-up Ducky AS, which helps to break down the environmental effects of actions you take every day. Think of it like a fitness app, but instead of checking your heart rate and logging your calorie intake, it adds up a number of parameters throughout the day to give you a better understanding of how your life impacts the world at large. “Our goal is to enter into an IRD partnership (Industrial research and development contracts) and develop Ducky for organizations. It’s important to engage employees in questions concerning environmental savings,” says Silje Strøm Solberg, co-founder of the company. It could mean a much easier life for companies who want to check up on their environmental health without the need for full-scale audits. Find out more here. Had enough of scrutinising your own carbon footprint? Why not try a bit of flat-pack gardening? A European company called Human Habitat have been turning shipping containers into pre-made, flat-packed, hydroponic farms, ready to be shipped globally and assembled within 10 days. This story caught my attention because of the novel idea of a flatpacked farm, but looking more closely at the project, there are so many real-world applications. According to Human Habitat, one of these tiny farms could produce three tons of food in a year, with a 538 square foot production area that’s totally portable, moveable and easily deconstructed. Imagine the opportunity for replenishing food stocks in flooded or drought-stricken areas. Inspired! Read more about these mini farms here.

Preparing for our first Professional Development Expo

Professional Development Expo at Burnley CollegeIn the past, Themis, UCLan Burnley and Burnley College Adult Learning have operated advice evenings aimed at providing guidance about applying for courses and troubleshooting any potential barriers to applicants’ continued learning. On January 20th, we’ll be bucking the trend and bringing all three brands together for our very first Professional Development Expo. An exciting shake-up to our usual open events, the evening will showcase the wide range of training options open to learners aged 18+, in a fun, engaging and professional environment (yes, it’s possible to be all three). We’re really looking forward to it – keep an eye out for our ads which will be revealing more about the event towards the end of the year. If you’d like to exhibit, please let us know: employers@themis.ac.uk

And that’s it for 2015

Burnley has had a fantastic year and we hope to continue to be an integral part of the area’s continued success in 2016. Have a fantastic holiday and a very happy new year from all of us at Themis.

Source Url: http://www.themis.ac.uk/simon-jordans-blog-december-2015/
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