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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Great Ways To Deal With Negative People


Though you can't always avoid the complainers at work, you can make certain that they don't bring you down with them.

There's no question that being positive and optimistic both cushions the blows of adversity and makes it easier to notice and take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

But staying positive is difficult if you're forced to deal with negative people, a category that unfortunately includes a large percentage of the workplace population.

Here's what you can do to ensure that the complainers don't bring you down with them:

1. Avoid them when possible.

This probably goes without saying, but the absolute best way to deal with negative people is to cut them out of your life.

At work, don't hang out with them at the water cooler or sit next to them at lunch. Uninvite them to any meeting at which their presence is not absolutely required.

If they're customers that you can't avoid, stay cordial and friendly but don't get sucked into a deeper relationship.

If you're on-line, don't read the comments sections on political blogs or anywhere else that people vent anonymously. That's like drinking from a sewer.

2. Don't go Pollyanna on them.

When you must deal with negative people, the worst thing you can do is get all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Your display of positivity won't cheer them up. Quite the contrary. They'll see it as a challenge and amp up their negativity to compensate.

Being optimistic around a pessimist is like painting a target on your forehead--a target at which the pessimist will aim his or her hatred and unhappiness.

Don't believe me? Google "I hate optimists" and read some of the spew. Negative people are invested in their negativity. You're not going to jolly them out of it.

3. Agree, then weaken by rephrasing.

Negative people express themselves using negative, emotionally charged words (such as hate, sucks, crap, effing, and so forth).

Because such words are loaded, they make the negative person more miserable and negative. It's a classic feedback loop.

The only way to help negative people out of that loop is to edge them out of it by putting yourself on their side.

To do this, you immediately agree with every negative statement that they make. Then, as part of that agreement, you rephrase what they said using words that are less loaded.

Examples:

Debbie: "I absolutely hate it with a passion when..."
You: "Yes, it's irritating when that happens..."
Debbie: "This totally sucks."
You: "So true. There are some real challenges here."
When you do this, you'll notice that the negative person will actually change her physiology. Her body straightens, her glowering frown lightens up.

Do this long enough and you can actually erode a person's negativity to the point where he can take off the crap-coloured glasses. It can take a long time, though.

4. Clear your head after ward.

Dealing with negative people taxes and drains your energy. Therefore, whenever you're forced to deal with such folk, take time after ward to recharge your emotional batteries.

The best thing to do after dealing with the downer is to call or visit a kindred spirit who shares your basically positive attitude.

If that's not possible, go for a walk, listen to some music, read something inspirational. Do something--anything--that creates a mental break.

Failing to do this is like failing to wash yourself or change your clothes after wading through mud. If you're not careful, negativity can and will stick to you.

In fact, that's the reason that negative people are negative. It's a learned behaviour. After all, most children are natural optimists.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Times You You Are Better Off Saying Nothing!

An interesting piece from our colleague Bill Murphy.....full of simple truths!


By Bill Murphy

You’ve probably read before about the key phrases that greatest leaders say every day.

But great leaders are also wise when it comes to the opposite strategy: Sometimes, the smartest thing to say is nothing at all.

I’m not referring here simply to the advice your mother might have given you about keeping your mouth shut if you don’t have anything nice to say. Instead, think of the big moments when people come close to achieving goals, accomplishing great things, or even just developing good relationships and encouraging people to like them more. Sometimes, a simple slip of the tongue can set them back and destroy all they’ve worked for.

It’s the same issue whether we’re talking about negotiations, investigations, or plain old conversations. So, in the interest of preventing us from wishing wistfully that our mouths had been on mute, here are 10 times when the sounds of silence are the best sounds of all.



1. When the Other Side in a Negotiation Starts Debating Against Itself

Sometimes people get into a spiral of bad negotiating tactics. They wind up outsmarting themselves—perhaps making an offer and then rejecting their own offer because they think you won’t take it. Imagine a customer who opens a conversation by saying that he understands you can’t cut the price on your product before asking for some smaller concession—and then maybe even convincing himself that even that’s too much to ask for.

For a fun, extreme example of this in action, see this video from The Princess Bride. Often your best move in that situation is to keep your mouth shut and simply stay out of their way.



2. When You’ve Asked a Question

We all know these people, right? They ask questions but can’t wait for you to finish so they can offer their own viewpoint. Sometimes they don’t even bother waiting and instead try to hurry you along with verbal cues—“uh-huh, uh-huh, right, right, right...”

When they asked for advice, what they really meant was, “Let’s fast-forward to the part where I tell you what I think, instead.” Don’t be like them. To paraphrase baseball great Yogi Berra, you can observe a lot by watching, and you can also learn a lot by listening.



3. When the Other Side Misunderstands (and You Don’t Have a Duty to Talk)

A lawyer once told me about selling a client’s company. To make a long story short (lawyers love that phrase), the negotiation went much more smoothly than she’d expected. Eventually, she realized this was because some whiz-kid MBA on the other side of the table had made a simple math error. That led him to overestimate vastly how much money the acquiring company would likely make after the deal was done.

The lawyer was overcome with apprehension, until she realized the right thing to say: nothing at all. That way, she wouldn’t be breaching her duty not to misrepresent facts to the buyer, but she also wouldn’t do anything to scuttle her client’s deal. The moral of the story is that you don’t always have an obligation to correct someone else’s mistakes.



4. When You Don’t Have Any Idea What You’re Talking About

Silence is awkward. As a result, people often rush to fill it. I used to use this tendency to my advantage when I was a trial attorney taking depositions in civil cases. Sometimes, I’d ask a witness an open-ended question, and even though the witness’s tone of voice suggested he’d finished his answer, I’d just continue to wait expectantly, as if anybody with half a clue would understand he had to keep it coming. Sometimes, the witness would keep going and dig himself a bigger hole.

You never have to fill a silence, especially when you don’t have anything useful to fill it with. (In those cases, it’s true: Everything you say may well in fact be used against you.)



5. When You Need Someone Else to Get the Credit

As President Harry S. Truman once said, you can accomplish just about anything if you don’t care who gets the credit. Sometimes, that means staying quiet just long enough for someone else to think of your solution and propose it as his or her own.



6. When You Are Bragging, as Opposed to Sharing

This one is among the scourges of social media. Go on Facebook, for example, and sometimes it seems as if everyone you know is eating well, taking amazing vacations, running marathons, and enjoying storybook relationships.

Is all of this about social sharing or social bragging? If you find you’re leaning toward the latter with the things you talk about, maybe it’s time to be quiet.



7. When Your Comment is More About You Than the Other Person

Suppose your co-worker Sally is excited for her plans for the weekend. You catch yourself ready to tell her about a better place than what she’s planned or why she should take her trip on another weekend—maybe when the weather is better, when the traffic will be less hectic, or when she’ll have fewer competing commitments.

Aw, that’s really nice of you—as long as you’re sure your comments are truly intended to improve her experience or offer good advice. If there’s a chance you’re commenting out of jealousy or pride, however, maybe you’d be better off zipping it.



8. When You Want Someone Else to Grow

This is a similar point to when you want someone else to get the credit for a good idea. If you have a second grader in your family, chances are you could do her homework for her without much effort. But what would be the point? You want her to learn and grow, which means she has to be the one to come to the conclusions on her own.

The same thing is true in many other circumstances. Instead of leaping forward to answer a thoughtful question that you know the answer to, sometimes it makes sense to hold back and let others figure it out.



9. When You Are Clearly Boring People

I admit it. I’ve got what’s called “the Irish gift of gab.” I enjoy telling stories. My wife laughs at how often I seem to wind up telling total strangers the story of how she and I met and got together. It’s a good one, though! You see, we’d gone to college together and dated for a while, but then broke up...

OK, I’ll hold off on it for now, and that’s the point. Most of us can tell when we’re holding court for an audience that simply couldn’t care less. In that case, cut it short, wrap things up, and stop talking.



10. When You Begin a Speech

I love this example, and it’s something I first put into practice when arguing appeals in court.

Whenever I give a speech, I try to start out with a long, uncomfortable pause. Doing so puts the audience ill at ease for a moment and gets them rooting for you. They worry that you’ve lost your notes or that you’re about to keel over from a panic attack. That way, when you start talking, you’ll have at least a few of them on your side, happy that at least you haven’t made them witness an embarrassing meltdown (h/t, Winston Churchill).

What is Public Relations?

Although the formal practice of public relations is said to have emerged around the early 20th century, most historians point to the creation of the Publicity Bureau in 1900 as the founding of the public relations (PR) profession. Today, the Public Relations Society of America defines PR as “A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Your “publics” could be anyone—governments, stakeholders, non-profits, individuals or your customers—and can include the many groups that possess a stake in the organization’s future.

While seemingly simple and straightforward, even this definition of PR may not be enough to clarify what is often perceived as an ambiguous field that traverses numerous specialties. Still, most marketers can agree that the No. 1 job of PR specialists is to generate positive public awareness around a brand. These specialists accomplish this by using earned media rather than paid media to inform the public about the organization’s purpose, products and services.

PR: Why Is It Important?
Despite the ongoing debate about PR’s role and its relevancy within the marketing mix, for many organizations, PR remains an integral component of a marketing plan. As stated by Brandchannel’s Dannielle Blumenthal, “One implication is that PR grows the reputation to protect the brand.” In other words, PR is essential to protecting a brand’s reputation and increasing brand awareness.

Time and time again, bad crisis management has damaged powerful brands beyond repair. For example, BP’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon incident is ranked as one of the worst public relations disasters in corporate history. The company’s failure to establish prompt crisis management measures, which included the botched cleanup of an oil spill estimated to have released over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, has attached a negative stigma, perhaps permanently, to the company’s public image.

Additionally, PR is just as important for small organizations as it is for multinational corporations. PR creates a sense of transparency around your brand, communicating to your customers, investors and even your employees that your business is trustworthy and dependable. The theory is that, as you continue to be transparent and build your organization’s trustworthiness, you also help to insulate it from future crises and public scandals.

For new entrepreneurs and startups looking to build a name in their industry and attract future customers, brand reputation will be a significant part of the success of those new companies. Ultimately, consumers and other businesses avoid purchasing from companies that are unethical or that fail to deliver on their brand promises. PR’s job is to communicate your company’s values and actions objectively, so as to build trust with your target audience and credibility around your brand.

Elements of PR
Public relations is considered part of promotion, one of the four pillars of the marketing mix. It can either be done in-house with PR specialists, managers and directors, or it can be outsourced to an agency. Hiring an outside consultant can give you access to resources and media connections that you lack inside your own organization. On the other hand, doing PR in-house gives you more control over the PR budget and process from start to finish.

Regardless of which route you take, some industry proponents advise doing PR before you even launch your business. Luckily, there are a myriad of tools you can use to carry out an effective PR campaign and increase your visibility in the media.

Here are a few examples of what you’ll need to get your PR activities off the ground and start building relationships with reporters, bloggers, analysts and other media outlets that will have an impact on your stakeholders:

Content
Writing press releases is an inexpensive yet effective way to get media attention. Companies typically write press releases for the editor of a newspaper, magazine, trade journal or other publication that focuses on your target audience.

For instance, if you’re planning to launch a catering service, you’ll want to send press releases to food magazines, blogs and other media in the food sector. The press release will include your contact information, headline and, most importantly, the main angle of your story (e.g. new product release, leadership announcement, acquisition, etc.).

While sending a press release via email is always an option, PR specialists commonly use PR Newswire, Marketwired, SBWire and other popular wire services for disseminating press releases to subscribing news organizations. Mashable also has a list of 20 free press release distribution sites for more affordable newswire options.

Although a press release can serve as the basis for a news story, blogs and informational articles can also serve as endorsements of your brand. Entrepreneurs and executives of big brands often guest-blog on major blogs that have a wide following of readers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How should in-house lawyers and legal teams market themselves?

How should in-house lawyers and legal teams market themselves?

Grania Langdon-Down speaks to some pioneers.

The conventional wisdom for in-house lawyers is not to dedicate time to marketing yourself and your activities when everyone in the company knows you are there.

But the cost of keeping a low profile can be high in times of austerity, when budgets need to be justified and you need your voice to be heard.

So, how do you build your profile both individually and as a team? And what are the benefits in terms of defining your role within the organisation, nurturing external relationships and attracting good recruits?

The secret of good marketing is communication and relationships, says Geoff Wild, director of governance and law at Kent County Council. ‘Building and sustaining trusted and long-term relationships with the people who matter is a skill that should be a joy. But so many people want to market their services from the comfort of their desk.’

When you are leading a team, you get into many difficult situations and give a lot of difficult messages, he says. ‘If you don’t have people’s trust and confidence, however right you may be, that message may not be heard or accepted. But you need to bank goodwill. To earn the right to say “no” to people, you have to say “yes” to them at least 10 times.’

Building internal credibility also requires constant nurturing, he says. ‘It is like reputation – it takes a long time to create and a moment to lose. Never take your position for granted. The moment you think you are indispensable is probably the moment you get a rude awakening,’ he says, ‘so I say to my staff you must keep justifying your existence both personally and organisationally.’

It is important that colleagues understand ‘what we do, how and why, and that our team is visible across the business’, agrees Richard Tapp, director of legal services and company secretary at Carillion. ‘That way, professional relationships can be built which help to ensure we are included early and automatically in discussions, and our view is sought and respected.’

The in-house legal team at the Wellcome Trust has done a lot of marketing internally since its new general counsel Susan Wallcraft joined 18 months ago.

‘It sounds counter-intuitive,’ says the trust’s senior legal counsel Eleanor Boddington, ‘but your aim is to reduce rather than create demand. Yes you want to market yourself but you need to do it in a way which enables you to focus on what really adds value.

‘Legal teams shouldn’t be used as comfort blankets so you need to make sure your role and responsibilities are clearly defined. Most teams in the charity sector probably don’t know what they are spending their time on, but they need to stop firefighting and focus on priority areas. You can’t do it all.’

Your starting point, she says, should be a compelling vision of purpose. ‘We have a strapline which sets this out – “going beyond the legal detail”,’ she explains. ‘We want to work in partnership with the organisation. We don’t see ourselves in a kind of servant/master relationship or as a service department.’

Internal issues have the potential to go viral in seconds, so in-house lawyers must always be aware of the principles of protecting information

Nina Barakzai, BSkyB
Over the last year, Wellcome has changed the way work is allocated to a business partner model. Each lawyer works with between one and three different divisions so they develop a strong relationship with the team.

They also track what they do. ‘We record how we spend our time, not in private practice six-minute chunks, but to see what proportion of our time is spent on medium- and high-risk matters,’ says Boddington. ‘IT tools such as document management and time recording know-how platforms can also help identify trends.’

Paul Gilbert, former general counsel with two major UK financial companies, is chief executive of the consultancy LBC Wise, which specialises in coaching and mentoring in-house lawyers.

Gilbert is a big advocate of activity analysis and recommends that, once a year, teams should spend six weeks looking at what they do, who they do it for and the impact it has. This is to make sure they are not being diverted by unexpected issues or resourcing problems. ‘Without that data, how can you honestly say you are managing your resources efficiently? Don’t turn it into a cottage industry, but do an exercise once a year and get yourself some data.’

He is frustrated by in-house teams who complain about being inundated with low-level risk work and say they want to move towards a more strategic, high-risk activity role. ‘I ask, “what steps have you taken to do that?” Generally all they have done is to ask the business not to send them low-risk work. But influencing behaviour isn’t about being kind to people or trying to be their friend, it’s about making sure your organisation “gets” what you do and uses you properly. That takes constant effort.’

So what other practical steps can in-house teams take to get their message out?

Tapp says Carillion’s team uses a formal exposure plan, which is reviewed twice a year and sets out in detail how each team will interact with their businesses.

Ways to prove your worth

Articulating your value to your organisation in terms of how busy you are isn’t good enough, says consultant Paul Gilbert. There are three ways to prove you are providing real value, he says.

Granular. What are you doing, who are you doing it for and what is its impact? You can do this through activity analysis, which doesn’t need to be bureaucratic, and good management information, which doesn’t need sophisticated IT support, so you can demonstrate you are not being pushed towards activity over value.
Policy process improvement. You can transfer knowledge into the business through formal training, process redesign and policy development. Use your influence – if you see a process isn’t working well and could cause legal risk, don’t be the ambulance waiting for problems to arise, be the engineer higher up the food chain who sorts it out. Leverage the fact that you can see things external lawyers cannot.
Leverage the skills of the team. Don’t see your team as property, employment or commercial lawyers. See them as bright people with creative, problem-solving skills who can be influential outside the legal remit in helping the organisation be more successful. The team then becomes a really clever resource that will be highly valued.
At the Wellcome Trust, the legal team works regularly with about 100 of its 550 employees. ‘We survey them to gather data on their experience of working with us,’ says Boddington. ‘Allied to that, we have put together some KPIs so we can track whether we are adding value to the organisation.’

This provides data for the general counsel to report to the executive board how the team has performed. ‘We are very aware of the need to be visible so we regularly hold catch-up meetings with our partners,’ she says. ‘We also hold monthly team meetings called The Knowledge, where we share know-how with each other and with lawyers from other parts of the business, such as the innovations team. We invite members of the business to relevant sessions.’

When it comes to your individual profile, you should start building it from the day you join the company, says Nina Barakzai, immediate past chair of the Commerce & Industry (C&I) Group.

She recommends a structured induction programme but accepts this can be hard to organise if the lawyer is expected to hit the ground running. However, she says a good way to start is to identify champions who can help get you embedded in the business and support you while you assess the key legal and commercial risks for your area of responsibility.

Another benefit of building and maintaining a visible profile is in attracting good recruits.

‘We are very pleased to have an excellent response whenever we recruit,’ says Tapp. ‘People tell us they are attracted by the way we work and are perceived.  It also helps us attract lawyers who have worked with – or even against – us on projects or transactions.’

Boddington says Wellcome’s model of partnering with different teams helps make the job attractive. She partners with the culture and society division, which has responsibility for funding films with scientific content, so she has had to learn about film financing deals.

‘Being a generalist is enjoyable because of the variety of work, but it can be frustrating. So focusing on an area gives our lawyers the opportunity to dig deeper into a subject. It means we don’t have to “sell” our roles when vacancies come up, as we get hundreds of applications.’

Local government can be perceived as a ‘bit of a dead end’, says Wild, so having a certain standing is invaluable in generating awareness and encouraging good candidates to choose your organisation. ‘It has allowed me to recruit some extremely good people from all different backgrounds – private sector, in-house commercial as well as public sector. They come to us because they have heard about us and that is priceless.’

There are two sides to joining a visible in-house legal team, says Barakzai, who is BSkyB’s group head of data protection and privacy. A good internal profile means many business queries come in, so newly recruited lawyers can quickly build commercial resilience. If the team has a good external profile, lawyers who join may feel it allows them a degree of reflected glory. ‘But if you aren’t competent, that will soon wear off as internal clients will just bypass you,’ she warns.

Working as part of a bigger organisation means there are internal resources to tap into for soft-skills training.

‘We are fortunate to have an excellent communications team within the business that allows us to utilise their skills and knowledge on these issues,’ says Carillion’s Tapp.

Wild encourages his team to build on their skills in public speaking and to write articles to help raise their profile externally, though budgets are so tight this has to be on top of the day job.

‘We get ourselves in the media as much as possible in a positive sense,’ he says. ‘Being willing to appear in front of a camera or be quoted is a very important ingredient in raising our profile. It is how we have attracted a lot of our clients.’

Building an external profile

Innovation is driving some commercial and public sector in-house teams to look outside their organisation for work. But how do you market your team externally?

Kent Legal Services (KLS) was one of the frontrunners in local government in becoming income-generating. It teamed up with Wales and Midlands- based solicitors Geldards to provide a joint offering to public sector bodies through Law Public.

KLS’s next initiative is to look for a commercial partner to create an ABS law firm, jointly owned with Kent County Council, which will open up a much wider market. It has held open days for about 26 organisations, from City law firms to barristers’ chambers, to accountants and firms such as Capita, G4S and Civica. Kent Legal will hold a procurement exercise this summer with the aim of launching in April 2015.

When it comes to marketing, Geoff Wild, director of governance and law, says Kent learned the ‘hard way’ what works and what doesn’t when it first set up KLS as a trading entity.

‘Hard-selling doesn’t work in the public sector,’ he says. Local government isn’t impressed with glossy brochures or foot-in-the door salesmen, while leaflet drops, cold-calling and blanket emails ‘singularly failed’.

‘I quickly realised that what did work was building up good relationships with colleagues by getting out of my office and meeting them,’ he says. ‘You need to become a familiar face, a trusted colleague, because once one person uses you and tells their friends, the work grows organically.’

Wild takes full respon-sibility for marketing as there is no separate budget for it. ‘One of the reasons for setting up a joint venture,’ he says, ‘is because we need an injection of capital as well as additional skills such as marketing and business management to enhance our offering. I simply can’t do it on my own anymore.’

In the commercial sector, Richard Tapp, director of legal services for Carillion, was named the most Innovative European In-House Lawyer in the FT Innovative Lawyers 2013 Awards. This was for launching Carillion Advisory Services (CAS), an onshore legal resource providing legal support services to Carillion, its network of law firms and other major companies.

He has also developed a pioneering partnership with law firm Clarkslegal, to provide full-service employment law services to businesses, organisations and individual clients, with CAS teams providing back-office tribunal and project support as well as direct contact with clients.

‘At the moment we do little outside marketing,’ he says. ‘But as we grow and develop CAS, there will be a wider focus.  We promote the integrated offering with Clarkslegal through their channels and our own business.’

C&I Group board member Nina Barakzai says that, for most in-house teams, there has to be a real business need to market externally. ‘The difficulty is that you can find yourself besieged by external lawyers wanting to help, without having a clear view of your business.’

However, following the liberalisation of legal services, an external profile can have unexpected benefits, she says. In-house lawyers are now getting more sophisticated approaches of support from global service providers offering flexible solutions to legal and non-legal issues.

Consultant Paul Gilbert says it is ‘rare’ for in-house teams to market for business outside their own organisation.

‘I can see for the public sector there is a need for income generation to offset massive funding cuts. I suspect what may happen – and Kent and Carillion are in the vanguard of this – is that a new type of legal entity may develop which has something of the ethos of an in-house team but is looking after the legal needs of a bunch of companies or public sector bodies.’

Marketing, media and non-legal skills will always be of value, says Barakzai, but it is also important to stay true to your legal skills and deliver sound advice as an officer of the court and within your applicable code of conduct: ‘Internal issues have the potential to go viral in seconds, so in-house lawyers must always be aware, particularly in relation to social media, of the principles of protecting information, and being transparent and responsible, whether the interaction is with internal or external stakeholders.’

Gilbert says professional training is essential and probably under-resourced in most organisations, partly because budgets are tight, with about 80% expended on legal update training. ‘For me, that is a pointless waste of money,’ he says. ‘Spend it on presentation skills, thinking strategically, understanding how to plan change management, managing people, even managing meetings – which is shockingly poor in most organisations.’

Another way of raising your profile is to join special interest or lobbying groups.

Boddington has been joint chair of the Commerce & Industry Group’s In-House Charity Lawyers Group for six years. The group is working on plans to rebrand with more formal roles and structure so it can grow in influence.

‘From the Wellcome Trust perspective, we have achieved a lot through membership of the group,’ she says. ‘The Charity Commission is more likely to listen to an umbrella group rather than one charity with a particular axe to grind.’

Having a voice in national bodies and focus groups beyond local government is ‘absolutely vital’, says Wild, ‘in gaining recognition not only for your sector, but as an organisation and an individual.’

Raising your profile both internally and externally is very important, agrees Gilbert. But he shies away from the idea of ‘marketing’ in relation to in-house teams, because it makes it sound as though it is a separate activity.

‘You don’t hear of the finance team or HR team having to market itself,’ he says. ‘The work has to speak for itself and the quality of the people has to speak for itself. For me, it isn’t about saying “this is what I do and this is how I market it”. It is about being properly influential so people in all parts of your organisation understand and see the contribution you are making.’

Grania Langdon-Down is a freelance journalist

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Career Planning is Wrong!

Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Career Planning is Wrong


No offence to previous generations, but careers used to be kind of easy.

What I mean is that, in general, you would settle into a company where you would have a career path lined up for you for years down the road—especially if you were really good at what you did. Sure, you had to work hard, but at least you knew where you were going.

These days, things are a little different. As Rita McGrath argues in her new book The End of Competitive Advantage, both businesses and individuals can no longer ride the wave of what they’re good at forever. Things change fast in this economy, and something that’s desired one day might be outdated the next. Instead, we live in a world where what McGrath calls transient advantage—meaning, constantly innovating and anticipating which skills or services will be most valuable next—is the key to success.

What does this all mean for your career? It means you have to constantly stay on your toes, or, as McGrath puts it, “permanent career management is here to stay.” Instead of just trekking along one career path, you have to think as if you’re permanently looking for your next job, regularly making connections and updating your skill sets to stay relevant.

Not sure how you’ll fare in the transient advantage landscape? McGrath provides a simple assessment in her book to help you figure out where you stand. Simply answer yes or no to each of the following statements:

If my current employer let me go, it would be relatively easy to find a similar role in another organization for equivalent compensation.

If I lost my job today, I am well prepared and know immediately what I would do next.

I've worked in some meaningful capacity (employment, consulting, volunteering, partnering) with at least five different organizations within the last two years.

I've learned a meaningful new skill that I didn't have before in the last two years, whether it is work related or not.

I've attended a course or training program within the last two years, either in person or virtually.

I could name, off the top of my head, at least ten people who would be good leads for new opportunities.

I actively engage with at least two professional or personal networks.

I have enough resources (savings or other) that I could take the time to retrain, work for a smaller salary, or volunteer in order to get access to a new opportunity.

I can make income from a variety of activities, not just my salary.

I am able to relocate or travel to find new opportunities.

Any “nos” are areas where you could stand to improve—and if you answered “no” to five or more, you've got some serious career development to do:

None of this is to scare you, but to help prepare you. By seeing where your gaps are now, you can work on them and be ready to face any changes in your career that come your way.

Your legal rights if injured in a public place.

The owner, manager or proprietor of a public place is legally obliged to ensure that the place, when it is The owner, manager or proprietor of a public place is legally obliged to ensure that the place, when it is accessible by the public, is safe and free from risk. This duty of care requires there to be a certain level of cleanliness, tidiness and warning of potential hazards.

What is defined as a public place?
Supermarkets, parks, pubs, schools, etc. all are designated public places. Essentially, any person that allows members of the public onto their premises has a duty of care to take reasonable responsibility for their safety whilst on their premises.

Even public footpaths and roads are considered public places, as they are owned, managed and maintained by the council. Hence, if an accident is the fault of a poorly maintained footpath, it is the council’s responsibility, or lack of duty of care.

All owners or management of public places are expected to have public liability insurance. If compensation is sought, much like a car insurance policy, funds are paid from the insurer to the victim.

The thin line between liability 
It is often difficult to know whether you’re in a public place. Is that footpath council owned, or is it a private property? Is the car park part of the supermarket or are they only liable when shopping inside the store, and what about the entrances and doorways? Plenty of accidents take place on escalators, at doors, emergency exits or on stairwells, so is the manager liable?

In the legal sense of the term, a public place is anywhere which is privately or publically owned, and, either by direct, expressed or implied invitation is accessible by the public. On the other hand, places which are used exclusively by individuals or groups for personal purposes are not defined as public places.

The importance of signs
Hazards in public places are unavoidable; people will always spill things, move items and generally cause dangerous situations for other visitors. However, it is how the management deals with such a situation which can cause more of an issue. We’ve all noticed ‘caution wet floor’ signs and similar warnings when out and about, but these are vital to ensure the management is safe from liability should an accident happen. Any spillage should be cleaned and warned of, similar with debris being removed promptly and all hazards being addressed. That way, the general public is aware of, and will avoid, possible accidents.

Many accident claims are down to the fact that the management of a public space has not taken sufficient steps to warn the public of a hazard.

Your right to make a claim
If you were harmed in a public place, in an accident which was no fault of your own, you’re entitled to make a claim for compensation. An owner’s public liability insurance is in place to deal with such claims. A good solicitor will help you to decide whether it was a public place and whether you’re eligible to claim, so after an injury it helps to detail as much information as possible.

A court case, and any financial settlement received by the victim, will help to address the serious issues poor health and safety in a public place can cause. Often, slips, trips and falls cause terrible injuries and further implications for an individual, for example, being unable to work for a long time, extensive rehabilitation or having to rely on family and carers to support the home and family. Compensation will help considerably to cover these costs, leaving a victim free to recover at their own pace.

What is defined as a public place?
Supermarkets, parks, pubs, schools, etc. all are designated public places. Essentially, any person that allows members of the public onto their premises has a duty of care to take reasonable responsibility for their safety whilst on their premises.

Even public footpaths and roads are considered public places, as they are owned, managed and maintained by the council. Hence, if an accident is the fault of a poorly maintained footpath, it is the council’s responsibility, or lack of duty of care.

All owners or management of public places are expected to have public liability insurance. If compensation is sought, much like a car insurance policy, funds are paid from the insurer to the victim.

The thin line between liability 
It is often difficult to know whether you’re in a public place. Is that footpath council owned, or is it a private property? Is the car park part of the supermarket or are they only liable when shopping inside the store, and what about the entrances and doorways? Plenty of accidents take place on escalators, at doors, emergency exits or on stairwells, so is the manager liable?

In the legal sense of the term, a public place is anywhere which is privately or publically owned, and, either by direct, expressed or implied invitation is accessible by the public. On the other hand, places which are used exclusively by individuals or groups for personal purposes are not defined as public places.

The importance of signs
Hazards in public places are unavoidable; people will always spill things, move items and generally cause dangerous situations for other visitors. However, it is how the management deals with such a situation which can cause more of an issue. We've all noticed ‘caution wet floor’ signs and similar warnings when out and about, but these are vital to ensure the management is safe from liability should an accident happen. Any spillage should be cleaned and warned of, similar with debris being removed promptly and all hazards being addressed. That way, the general public is aware of, and will avoid, possible accidents.

Many accident claims are down to the fact that the management of a public space has not taken sufficient steps to warn the public of a hazard.

Your right to make a claim
If you were harmed in a public place, in an accident which was no fault of your own, you’re entitled to make a claim for compensation. An owner’s public liability insurance is in place to deal with such claims. A good solicitor will help you to decide whether it was a public place and whether you’re eligible to claim, so after an injury it helps to detail as much information as possible.

A court case, and any financial settlement received by the victim, will help to address the serious issues poor health and safety in a public place can cause. Often, slips, trips and falls cause terrible injuries and further implications for an individual, for example, being unable to work for a long time, extensive rehabilitation or having to rely on family and carers to support the home and family. Compensation will help considerably to cover these costs, leaving a victim free to recover at their own pace.


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Strategic Management

Strategic Management

We are very proud to deliver the only short course on strategic management available in Ireland. This course has been designed to be delivered in house and is specifically tailored for the Irish multi national IDA high value manufacturing and services sector. The programme is delivered over 20 hours as an integrated format over modules decided by the client. Strategy only works when everyone is on the same page and for this reason we offer this programme for each management forum to take advantage of this unique opportunity. It is fundamental knowledge that companies that have a strong foundation and understanding of strategy and how it shapes future sustainable success are the business units that achieve prolonged success within the greater company structure. Simply put, the business unit that talks the language of the CEO attracts the greatest interest and capital input. Success is always built on strategy. See a sample of our strategic training work.
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