How Women Can Stand Out Professionally

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Professional Women|How Women Can Stand Out ProfessionallyTo stand out in the workplace, women must be proactive and differentiate themselves from their male counterparts. This can be done through networking, developing critical skills, and being mindful of personal branding. Additionally, it is vital to showcase your unique value proposition during job interviews and on the job.

Steps Women Can Take to Stand Out Professionally

There are several things that women can do to stand out professionally, like Cynthia Telles. Below are five steps to get started:

Step One: Commit to Continuous Learning

To stay ahead of the curve, women need to commit themselves to continuous learning. This means taking advantage of every opportunity to learn new skills and grow their knowledge base. Whether it’s reading articles online, attending webinars or workshops, or listening to podcasts, there are many ways for women to keep learning.

Step Two: Build a Strong Network

A strong network is critical for any professional woman looking to impact. Women should aim to build relationships with people who can help them advance their careers. This may include colleagues, mentors, and even former bosses. The more people someone knows, the more opportunities they will have.

Step Three: Stand Out from the Crowd

Women need to be creative and think outside the box to stand out from the competition. One way to do this is by developing their unique brand. This could involve creating a personal website or blog, participating in social media, or dressing in a unique way that sets them apart from other professionals.

Step Four: Be Confident and Assertive

Women often struggle with confidence and assertiveness in the workplace. However, these are two essential qualities for any woman looking to succeed. Women should aim to project confidence through their body language and voice. They should also learn how to be assertive without being aggressive or rude.

Step Five: Take on New Challenges and Roles

Many women are afraid to take risks, but they shouldn’t be! Taking on new challenges and roles is one of the best ways to stand out professionally. This could involve applying for a promotion, taking on more responsibility at work, or even starting their own business. Women don’t have anything to lose by trying something new – so go ahead and give it a shot!

Know Your Worth and Ask for What You Want

The first step to standing out professionally is knowing your value and asking for what you want. This is important because if you don’t know how much money or other benefits are worth, you could end up getting less than what’s fair. It’s also essential that women ask for promotions when they deserve them instead of waiting until their boss recognizes this themselves. Women need to speak up in meetings so people will notice their expertise – even if it means interrupting someone else who may already be talking about an issue at hand! By putting yourself forward more often, others will recognize the value of your contributions and give credit where due.

In conclusion, there are many things that women can do to stand out professionally. These include committing to continuous learning, building a solid network, standing out from the crowd, being confident and assertive, and taking on new challenges and roles. By following these tips, women can increase their career chances.

Flexibility Like No Other: Why the Hybrid Work Model Is the Future

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Hybrid work model|Flexibility Like No Other: Why the Hybrid Work Model Is the FutureDuring the recent pandemic, quarantining meant working remotely to keep businesses productive as the world shut down. As a result, many companies scrambled to support remote workers and keep their company doors open. As a result, management and workers soon discovered remote work offers many benefits. Offering both flexibility and functionality, the hybrid work model is ideal today and in scenarios for the future.

Heads in the Cloud

Supporting remote workers during COVID-19 meant investing in cloud Hybrid Workplace Software to ensure real-time collaboration and updates from any location. Working in the cloud is secure and collaborative with the proper software solutions. As a result, workers appreciate the opportunity to choose their work hours based on their schedules and energy levels. Plus, employees on the go can access work updates from any device, including tablets and smartphones.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

Satisfied employees tend to be more loyal and productive, benefiting businesses by putting in their best efforts each day. A hybrid work model is desirable because workers plan their schedules rather than staying in an office for most of their week. The opportunity to work at home and collaborate at the office is the ideal mix to inspire employees and give them the flexibility to achieve the best possible work-life balance.

Effortlessly Increase Productivity

After generations of management attempting to improve productivity, the hybrid work model is the answer. When employees have greater control over their schedules, they become more productive. In addition, the ability to handle personal responsibilities and work when they have the highest energy levels ensures employees always bring their best when working. Plus, the cloud software helps management and employees stay connected to provide the necessary transparency and ensure projects are completed on schedule.

Improve Mental Health

Supporting optimum mental health is crucial for modern employers in a world filled with unexpected stress, ranging from natural disasters to a pandemic. Offering a hybrid work model gives employees essential time to process stressors without bringing anxiety to the workplace. As a result, employees’ time in the office is more meaningful and collaborative. Additionally, workers away from the office have an equal opportunity to collaborate remotely through cloud software.

Support Continuous Learning

Finally, a hybrid work model supports continuous learning. Consider the time it takes for workers to get dressed and commute to and from work every day. Some employees gain hours in their day when they work remotely. The extra time in a worker’s schedule can be used for continuing education classes, training sessions, and personal enrichment.
Additionally, companies offering educational incentives show they support their team members and want them to succeed. When employees feel valued, they do their best work at all times, which is a competitive advantage for progressive companies that realize the value of adopting a hybrid work model. Team members who continue educational opportunities bring their talents to benefit the business.

Beyond supporting employees’ success, a hybrid work model helps companies maximize resources and save money. Fewer workers in the office mean less space is required and the need for utilities is reduced. Plus, happier workers are more productive, helping companies gain a competitive advantage. Invest in software today to support the inevitable hybrid work model that top talent will demand in the years to come.

Six Meaningful Lessons you can Learn from Entrepreneurs

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Lessons from Entrepreneurs|Six Meaningful Lessons you can Learn from Entrepreneurs“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”-Peter Drucker.

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new venture, manages it, and takes on the many risks that come with owning a company. Other than that, an entrepreneur has a keen eye for opportunities and a strong will to see things through.

Being a successful entrepreneur does not come easily because learning to operate a successful company takes long. Influential business people know how to capitalize on adversity and learn from their failures.

They didn’t learn this expertise through formal education but rather through on-the-job experience. The road of an entrepreneur’s life is filled with both challenging and rewarding lessons. These lessons, if implemented, can help you take your company to greater heights.

Some of the most important lessons for achieving success can be learned from entrepreneurs. Six of them are outlined below.

1. Discovering New Opportunities

You will not succeed if you wait for someone to tell you what to do. You may need to inquire at times actively because sometimes, there are opportunities when you least expect. All you have to do is take the first step of putting yourself out there.

One of the most common myths in the startup industry is that it’s all about the money. It isn’t about the money. Go out and do something else if you are starting businesses with the expectation of becoming rich.

The majority of startups fail, but it doesn’t mean you should not invest in startups anymore. Do it because you have a great ambition to fix problems, and there’s nothing more thrilling than bringing a new product to market.

2. Build A Strong Team

It is essential to value other people’s skills and talents. Nobody runs a firm alone, and a visionary entrepreneur will look for people who have specific skills. The people you engage with daily influence how you think and behave.

It is crucial to have a good team in place from the start that will assist you in difficult times. So, surround yourself with people who inspire you and help you grow. It’s easier to grow a business when you start with two strong team members instead of one.

Remember that employees are one of your most valuable assets in business, and hiring suitable ones will help you achieve success.

3. Failure Is Part Of Success

Nobody here wants to fail, including entrepreneurs. Failure is regarded as a symbol of shame in our culture, and as a result of this attitude, the fear of failure may force us to miss out on possibilities for achievement.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, keep in mind is that failure is not the end of the world but rather the opportunity for a fresh start. You can’t expect to go down this road and not fail once or twice.

If you begin with the assumption that you will fail along the way, you will be better prepared. Failure is simply another lesson that will help you get back on track to success.

You cannot eliminate the risk of failure, and the road to success is riddled with them. Failure is necessary for learning and preparing for future success.

4. Learning Is Crucial

Entrepreneurs should be aware of current advancements in their industry at all times. Being stuck in one spot or failing to keep up with updated information and skills will undoubtedly cause you to fall behind.

Regardless of their business, intelligent entrepreneurs understand the value of enhancing their knowledge because the secret to practical entrepreneurship is continuous learning.

It’s vital to plan time for reading and learning, whether in business strategies or just general information. This learning does not have to take place in a traditional classroom setting.

Conduct online research, enroll in a course and interact with professionals who work in your desired fields. There are numerous successful examples of individuals who have benefited from self-directed learning skills.

For instance, during his career, Bill Gates read a book every week. Many of the world’s busiest and intelligent people, including Warren Buffett, devote at least an hour per day to purposeful study.

5. Believe In Yourself

To believe it and achieve it, you have to see it, feel it, smell it, and taste it. It requires a shift in mindset. Consider a child’s energy: it is daring, fearless, unapologetic, inspiring, and persistent.

After a few losses, most entrepreneurs lose their spark of self-confidence because they believe failure is unavoidable. However, this is the most critical time to focus on reprogramming your brain to succeed, so you can turn around, learn from your mistakes, and move forward.

Get clarity on your vision with a strong passion. Reflect on what you want out of life and how you got off track. You will experience more flow than resistance after defining your actual objectives, allowing you to work more successfully and effectively.

Always have confidence in your skills and abilities, regardless of what others may think.

6. Ignore The Criticism

Whether you are a superstar, an artist, a tv personality, or an entrepreneur, you will always face criticism. Haters will always try to tear you down and put you off your game.

You may utilize your social media accounts to alter the message when people criticize your company. It would be best if you never lashed out at people personally, but you can use your social media accounts to publish generalized statements that explain, defend, or clarify why you do things the way you do.

Respect other people’s viewpoints, but also present your own. The bottom line is that you must grow tough skin and attempt to ignore the haters.

The Takeaway

Becoming an entrepreneur can provide you with numerous benefits in life. And we understand that starting a firm and embarking on the path of entrepreneurship can be stressful, which is why we want you to succeed as an entrepreneur.

If you follow the six lessons mentioned in this article, you will have a peaceful experience on your path.

How to Facilitate Retrospectives in Scrum-based Continuous Learning

StrategyDriven Project Management Article | Scrum-based Continuous LearningFor the connoisseur of Agile project management, Scrum is undoubtedly shown up on your “To Do” list. First formulated as an Agile strategy to assist software development teams in pursuit of sustainable project initiatives, the method has since found roots in a number of cross-industry projects.

Now, for those relatively new to Agile, Scrum can be thought of as an empirically-oriented strategy of project management, delivering the highest-valued outcomes with a focus on fluid adaptation. It’s footprint is small; Scrum teams strive to reduce waste by organizing work in short bursts, typically two weeks in length. The method loves focus, commitment and introspection to influence adaptation.

To best pursue Scrum, a team has to use retrospectives. Retrospectives are a vital instrument that triggers actions and serves as the ideal launchpad to changing team behavior. Any team identifying Scrum as a strategy would be wise to consider how powerful retrospectives can change the face of their product outcomes with a self-aware and dynamic approach to project management.

So… what exactly is a retrospective?

For your Scrum team, a retrospective is conducted at the conclusion of an iteration. An iterations is a short project schedule, typically ranging between one and four weeks in length, with two weeks being ideal. Keeping iterations as short as possible is key to Scrum’s success; it’s all about avoiding dragging out poor performance strategies, which means minimizing the time they’re in use.

At the conclusion of these iteration cycles, teams are tasked with reflecting on observations during this time period. Specifically, teams are faced with a combination of hard data and anecdotes and asked to consider how well everyone worked together and what problems influenced their team and individual performance.

How do you hold an Agile retrospective?

The environment for the retrospective needs to feel like a safe, open discussion forum; it simply won’t work if team members don’t feel that there’s space to share what amounts to criticism. When looking to introduce the retrospective into your Agile/Scrum team, consider the five step method for conducting a retrospective:

1. Preparing Your Audience
2. Examining Team Data
3. Generate Powerful Insights
4. Create Workable Strategies
5. Work The Closer

Let’s delve further into each of these retrospective steps.

Preparing Your Audience

The retrospective meeting doesn’t have to take off at high speeds. Let your team warm up before diving into the substance of the meeting.

Throw out a question for the team and ask for a think/pair/share scheme; it’s a classic discussion method used by school teachers. Let your coworkers come up with their own answer to the question, which might be something like, “What’s one moment from this past iteration that sticks out as a true ‘lightbulb’ moment?”

They’ll then share with a partner, discuss together and bring to the bigger group. It’s a great way to gauge the room, gather further thoughts and navigate the direction of the retrospective.

Examining Team Data

There are a myriad of ways to structure a retrospective on data and produce hyper-efficient results, and there really isn’t any single perfect approach. With that said, let’s think about some general ways that can serve as launch points for obtaining data.

A common method to think about is the sailboat method. Think of it like this: the wind that pushes the boat ahead represents items in the data that assist the team in performing well. Anchors are pulling the team down, keeping them from forging onward in their pursuit. Organizing data into these columns, wind and anchors, will help the team think visually about what metrics can be pinpointed as an absolute success and what needs improvement.

Retrospectives also don’t have to be too quantitative in terms of the data points, or even discussing about areas of improvement. Consider a method called “Success Criteria”. This strategy centers around clearing up what the intentions are as a unit and targeting outcomes and results for success. You plan for the success of a goal, but you also try to prep by thinking ahead about what total and complete failure could look like. You list out your intentions in precise terms and what the target is for a project, and by considering the worst-case scenario, you’re able to minimize being caught off guard.

Generate Powerful Insights

After you’ve assembled your data, it’s time for the main event: the discussion. Get ready to bundle up problems, ideas and opportunities in a way where actionable measures can be taken.

An Affinity Map is a key Scrum retrospective technique for insights. Take one post-it with an idea and put it in a group; grab a second and decide if it belongs in the same group. Once the groups are formed, attach names to the groups and decide which post-its are most important, taking note of how big the clusters are and the overall themes of the notes.

Create Workable Strategies

In this final step, you’ll think get to move forward with actionables. Use the method of “Start, Stop and Continue” originally brought forward by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

Draw three sections (Start, Stop, and Continue), and place clusters from the Affinity Map in these headers. Give each person a dot to vote on most crucial items, and pick the ones with the most votes to make an actionable decision on. Reflect on feasibility and consider the short and long-term.

Work The Closer

It’s the end of the line! Closings can be underestimated and skipped over, but don’t fall for that. There are a ton of ways to close the meeting out that are forward-looking and positive, from sharing final reflections to ending on a powerful quote gathered during the retrospective itself.

Use the closer as an opportunity to garner self-reflective feedback. It’s a bit meta, but that’s the power of Agile and Scrum. It cuts through to serve as a focal point by which we can address all matters of progress within a forward-thinking environment.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Project Management Article | Scrum-based Continuous LearningAs chief evangelist, Lean-Agile strategy at Planview and former co-founder of LeanKit, Jon Terry helps enterprises around the globe discover how to increase effectiveness, optimize processes, and deliver value faster with Lean-Agile principles. Jon actively seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of Kanban and visual project management and is a highly sought-after presenter within the Lean-Agile community. In addition, Jon has been a leader in Agile transformations for some of the largest organizations in North America, including hospital-giant HCA Healthcare and its subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. Jon earned his Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

Connect with Jon Terry –

Professional Development Best Practice 3 – Acquiring Experience Beyond that of Your Position

The StrategyDriven Professional recognizes that a critical combination of knowledge, skill, and experience is needed to ascend into positions of increasing authority and responsibility. Acquiring the prerequisite experiences, however, can be extremely difficult. While many organizations’ succession plan deliberately guides candidates to positions providing the needed experiences sought, these programs are often limited to senior executives and managers. Consequently, individuals with high potential residing lower within the organization or those not having been favored by inclusion within the program may find themselves lacking the immediately apparent means of acquiring the experiences needed to achieve their career goals. Thus, it is important for these individuals to find alternative ways of gaining the critical experiences necessary to achieve their goals.

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