By on April 15th, 2015 | Comment on this post

SEC Commissioner Kara Stein has no qualms dissecting the role data plays in today’s financial markets. If anything, she seems to be making it her mission to educate anyone who will listen about the conflicting roles data can play in today’s markets: Data can empower beautiful market efficiencies and enhance beastly market disruptions.

“Data revolution represents dramatic changes in securities markets operations,” Stein said Tuesday at SIFMA’s 42nd Annual Operations Conference in San Diego.

Before outlining the data-related initiatives she deems crucial, Stein offered a brief history of the markets, detailing the evolution of market data from the days of the Buttonwood tree to today’s high-frequency trading superhighways. Ultimately, Stein urged caution about the ramifications of analysis and regulation not keeping pace with microwave- and laser-fast markets, noting “The Flash Crash demonstrated that markets had outpaced their keepers.”

Speaking in the shadow of Petco Park, the home of baseball’s San Diego Padres, Stein seemed to touch all the bases in discussing the hottest data-related topics in the operations and technology space:

Legal Entity Identifiers

Stein is a proponent of widespread adoption of Legal Entity Identifiers.…

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By Julie Phillips Randles on April 15th, 2015 | Comment on this post

This post is sponsored by ISTE

Personalized learning is emerging as the future of education. At its foundation, personalized or student-centered learning recognizes that each student has diverse needs, learns differently and have unique interests. It also respects the role of students as owners of their learning, while expanding teachers’ roles to act as guides who assist individual students on their learning journey.

Think “guide on the side” versus “sage on the stage.”

Cheryl Lemke, president CEO of Metiri Group, a consulting firm dedicated to advancing effective uses of technology in schools, is an expert on personalized learning. And research and practice tell her that schools and districts need to ask some tough questions in preparation for implementing a student-centered learning approach.

Questions like: Why is it important? What do I need to do to change policy structures to create this type of environment so teachers and students will be successful?…

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By on April 14th, 2015 | Comment on this post

“Now, remember, Ben likes to shake things up; don’t be afraid to stand up to him.”

This was my boss, Eric, coaching me on an upcoming first-time meeting with a powerful VP in our organization. I was an ambitious young professional, recently hired from the outside and ready to make my mark at the new company. Eric realized my potential and arranged a meeting with Ben so that I could demo some new training materials that were being set up for Ben’s area of responsibility.

The meeting started well enough but then devolved into a train wreck as I struggled to maintain my composure with Ben’s “shaking things up.” He poked holes in my assertions, challenged my ideas and didn’t let up for almost 45 minutes. I left that meeting thinking, “I will never work for that man. He’s a tyrant.”

I received no sympathy from Eric. “I told you he was going to be tough,” my typically easy-going boss said in stern reproach.…

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By Mark Hamstra on April 14th, 2015 | Comment on this post

The post is sponsored by TraceGains.

Traveling around the world has given Howard Popoola an appreciation for the quality and safety of the food supply chain in the U.S.

Popoola, vice president of quality assurance at Skokie, Ill.-based Topco Associates, the nation’s largest private-label cooperative, gained his global perspective early in his career working in food safety for the United Nations. After gaining his master’s degree in food and industrial microbiology from the University of Lagos in his native Nigeria, Popoola became the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Program Manager for the U.N. Food Program, where he was responsible for establishing HACCP systems — a prevention-based process for food safety — in food donor processing facilities in more than 80 countries.

He gained further experience in quality assurance and food safety positions with major food brands, including WestFarm Foods (now Darigold), Kraft Foods and Nestle before he joined distribution company U.S.

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By on April 14th, 2015 | Comment on this post

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How valuable are your organization’s board meetings?

  • Highly — we get a great deal of value from our board: 21.89%
  • Somewhat — board meetings deliver some value but not a lot: 39.3%
  • Not very — the meetings are more of a formality: 24.38%
  • Not at all — the meetings simply consume time and energy: 14.43%

Stop telling and start asking. The board is tired of hearing you talk and likely frustrated you’re not asking them for more guidance. Spare them the business unit updates. They can read those on the plane on their way to the meeting. Instead, use your limited and valuable time with them to get their perspectives on issues they can help you work through.…

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