For those who don’t know the story of Sal Khan and the Khan Academy, a look at the back story and growth rate of the online education portal can be startling. What began as a one-on-one tutoring sessions between Khan and his cousin in 2004 has grown into a platform that touches 200 countries, includes 150,000 educators and welcomes 10 million unique users every month.
Khan’s made a dynamic presentation at CME Group’s annual Global Financial Leadership Conference this week and shared his keen insights on the current and future landscape for education:
On the rising costs of higher education in the U.S.: Khan said an education system where costs grow 5% faster than inflation is not sustainable, adding that the return on investment current students are getting is not good. “The ecosystem is right for alternatives.” Khan says the de-coupling of knowledge and credentials might help solve structural unemployment. (read more…)
It’s easy to be drawn into the rhythm of living and working day to day, doing what we need to do without giving it much thought. We do things because we have to, we do things because we gave our word, we do things because they are expected of us.
Richard was in the pharmaceutical industry. A prospective star in his company, he was brilliant but enough of a bully that he was nicknamed “the monster.” I was called in to help him become the executive everyone knew he could be.
I asked him how he saw himself as a leader. “Well, I never thought about it,” he said. “I am here to do a job and do it well. I am here to get the work done any way I can.”
When I showed him the feedback from those who worked with him — feedback that focused on his moodiness, his temper, his inconsistency — he was surprised, expecting instead to hear how smart he had been. (read more…)
Mark Miller is vice president of organizational effectiveness for Chick-fil-A and the author of “The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow” (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, October 2013). In this post, he discusses the motivations behind this book and five signature leadership traits.
The core idea behind my new book, “The Heart of Leadership,” is simple: Leaders are different. This was actually the book’s working title for many months. The subtitle contains the good news: Becoming a leader people want to follow. The implication for all of us is we can become that type of leader — the leader people want to follow. The key is to identify the points of difference and begin to cultivate those attributes in our daily leadership.
As we approached the day to finalize the manuscript, the publisher decided we needed to do some research around the title. You guessed it — after surveying hundreds of men and women, it was decided “The Heart of Leadership” was a better title. (read more…)
I can’t believe I’m going to do this. I’m about to share my secret weapon for change communications. When I tell you my methods you’ll say, “Right, I knew that all along.” But the real question is, do you apply what you know?
Early in my career, I worked at a heavy-manufacturing plant. We were implementing a new product line intended to improve quality, cost and competitiveness. In one way or another, everyone’s job would change.
The communication team was responsible for delivering a program to help the 2,000 employees support the new product. The changes touched all aspects of the process, including engineering, sourcing and building. Just about everyone would be affected.
On a shoestring budget, we developed a communication plan that hinged on building the big picture for employees. Each communication focused on a major component of the product and where it was built on the line. Month after month, engineers hauled in parts, tooling and diagrams, and we invited everyone to come learn how the whole thing came together. (read more…)
Sandra described the past week of headaches associated with a systems conversion that took place in the call center in which she works as a customer service representative. She outlined the many hiccups and problems they encountered, the way data dropped out of fields and calls were habitually misdirected. She described the 14-hour days that would likely go on for another week or so, the intensity of the customers’ expectations and management’s scrutiny.
When I responded empathetically about how miserable it must have been, Sandra surprised me with her response: “No, it was awesome!” And she went on to explain why.
Sandra reported to a new supervisor, Leah, who had been promoted just before the conversion took place. Unlike her predecessors, who managed these changeovers from their offices via e-mail, Leah moved out of her office to a desk in the middle of the department. (read more…)