Please find attached the Draft Program for the Project Pontifex Conference, scheduled for this coming Monday, 17th November 2014. Please note this conference is by invitation only. If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me on email: email@example.com
Lusia Latu & Team
Let's be honest here - all of us in the private small and start up businesses, NGOs and public enterprises have moments when we seriously question the difference we are really making. Being on the front lines of economic and social justice means that we are constantly bombarded with injustice, challenge and scarcity at a level that few others know.
Of course our passion and love for our busineses and communities ultimately sees us through - but there is no denying that we are prime candidates for this type of despair. I am sure we've all had our share of doubting moments and until one decides that enough is enough - nothing will seem to move forward or change.
So what to do?
I want to share this note that have been shared amongst another one of my networks in hopes that it will also help as you run into those moments.
I know you are feeling doubtful today - so I need you to read this now, and remember just why it is you do what you do for others
If you have changed one life, you have changed the world. I know the world faces massive challenges, and they can seem overwhelming, but the fact is - if you change the path of just one life, you have changed the path of the world. Remember this the next time you think the world is beyond saving.
It is more about consistency than the amount of time. In economic, social and political work, you will often feel like there is not enough time to solve all the world's problems - and there isn't. It is a good thing that consistency is what really matters. So remember, whether you are choosing to spend an hour or 10 hours with a customer, supplier, partner, family you are serving, just be honest about what you can consistently commit to.
Focus on what you are best at. You need to be sure that in every way possible, you are seeking to serve others in your areas of strength. Far too many change people burn out because they try to e all things to all people. Don't do this. Know what you excel at, and serve your people, your community and the world in those areas.
Keep things right with yourself, so that you can be right for others. If you get burnt out by trying to be all things to all people, you will be no things to no people.
Keep it Real. I know at times it may appear that the struggles our families face are too great to be overcome - but this is marathon we are in, not a sprint. Be sure to laugh along the way, to sing, to cry, dance randomly and never take yourself to seriously. The people you serve will love you for this.
I love this note and I have been sharing it ever since.
"If the average citizen of Tonga is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place...."
Why Markets are Good Opportunities for Minorities
Markets have and always will provide great entrepreneurial business opportunities for minorities because they require low set-up costs, with little risk.
Identify and choose your market and then Choose what to sell is as important as finding the right market. You have to be comfortable at your stall and knowledgeable about your products. If your English is limited, sell something that does not require a lot of explaining. No matter what you decide to sell you must have product knowledge and credibility, a passion for your products and enthusiasm with your customers, capacity and reliable suppliers who can get you what you need.
It is easier to grow your business if you start small.
Keep your expenses and risk low in the beginning. A market business can e started from very little money. Product displays look better and fuller in small spaces. It is also important to be a good listener and observer. Grow your business by learning what people want, you can make little changes every week and watch your business grow.
As you business builds, you can increase your inventory and make changes based upon experience. This is the best way to grow a market business.
Many markets have repeat customers every week - you will get to know these people and establish social relationships. You are developing a business reputation through personal connections. If your customers learn to trust you and you know you have good products, they will tell friends and help you grow.
Start small and grow wisely. To be continued.
The answer is Yes! Back to the future with workforce planning.
HR’s role in the downturn is, if anything, more vital than in normal times: the tasks change but the business impact grows. Yet there is equally more of a risk that HR spends its time firefighting. If the organisation is facing oblivion then
it might be legitimate to prioritise quenching the flames, but HR should also be helping the organisation look to the future and to look at both the external and internal environment. This is the reason for emphasising workforce planning
in a downturn. This should guide the organisation’s understanding of whether its
internal resources will match business demands, not just now but in the
longer term. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need to think about
the future, not in a linear way but such that the various possible outcomes
can be described. Hence the value of scenario planning.
If old-fashioned manpower planning often suffered from simplistic forecasting, in the hands of some it treated labour supply only in terms of numbers. As has become all too apparent, it is necessary to plan against skill requirements. When downsizing, it is especially important that organisations consider the skills profile needed to get through short-term crisis, but also that will be needed for future growth.
There is also more interest than during the last recession in employee engagement. In the current context this means keeping employees focused on the business imperatives, understanding the requirements of the job and delivering the best possible results. As my survey has shown, keeping staff feeling valued and involved (which may be tough given the degree of business uncertainty), making sure there is good two-way communication, and ensuring fair treatment to those that leave as those that stay,
should help to engender the right sort of positive atmosphere.
Given the continuing interest in employee engagement, I have just completed for few organisations a review of its survey into the subject. It includes practical advice about what works best, and what HR can do to raise engagement levels. In tandem, I have just completed a survey study into the ‘engaging manager’. It looks at the line manager’s crucial role in fostering and nurturing engagement. It identifies ‘engaging’ characteristics that can be built into line manager assessments and training programmes.
For further information please contact me direct: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The effects of the global financial crisis on organisations have impacted a lot of owners and investors but since then, employees were partly the victims of job lost, scaled down income and still plays a major part of it today in some organisations especially for small medium enterprises thus limiting their chances to develop and grow.
But beyond the evident effects of unemployment on individual workers, what are the consequences of the credit crunch for those still in work and are there any issues that employers need to think about? Some of my findings throw a light on the connections between the economic downturn, employer' struggles and employee performance in the workplace by assessing individual ‘financial well-being’.
I have conducted a survey around the main island, Tongatapu with around 200 employees in the public and private sector, rather than the general public. The research defined ‘financial well-being’ as a mixture of behaviours that showed people were handling their finances effectively, and attitudinal measures about savings, credit and risk. The findings showed a direct connection between financial health and individual performance, in that employees who reported better financial well-being were more likely to report increased productivity.
However, some findings were more disturbing and suggest a need for action. At least a quarter of employees are worried about debt, with one in five reporting they are being kept awake at night by financial worries and over ten per cent saying their health was suffering as a result. This does not bode well for optimal performance at work during the day.
Additionally, over one-third felt they were not in control of their finances and less than a quarter think they will have sufficient savings for retirement either through their own personal savings and the current government retirement scheme. This is unsurprising when we look at some of the evidence on employees’ financial behaviours. Two-thirds of employees were attempting to budget but only half managed to stick to their budgets and budgeters were most likely to be vulnerable to debt.
So can and should employers get involved to help employees manage their personal finances? Employers are increasingly turning towards financial education programmes, run independently by organisations such as the local Training Providers, banks and experts consultants from outside of Tonga. My research showed that employees who participated valued these programmes. But only a minority of staff were attending the workshops, and employees from groups most vulnerable to debt such as those with a serious health condition or disability and those working shorter hours were least likely to attend. My findings suggest that employers may need to market financial education more prominently and ensure they are accessible to employees who might most need advice.