Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Attend CCE BootCamp ONLINE

CCE is the premier professional certification in the computer forensics industry. Now is the time to add this impressive credential to your resume. Champlain College can help you prepare for the CCE Certification examination by teaching you how to conduct forensically sound examinations and to preserve evidence for admission into and use in, legal proceedings.

  • Entirely ONLINE… set your own schedule since the course is available 24/7
  • Facilitated by CCE-certified digital forensics experts in partnership with
  • Includes software you keep -- including WinHex Professional and much

Registration is now open for CCE BootCamp® beginning January 11, 2010. Please note that we keep our classes small to ensure you receive the individualized attention you need to be successful. We recommend registering early as typically our sessions fill to capacity.

Earn College Credit!
You now have an option upon enrollment to earn three college credits when you take CCE BootCamp© from Champlain College, a regionally accredited institution located in Burlington, Vermont that has focused on one mission since 1878: offering a career-focused education that leads to real opportunities.

Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions, or need assistance with registration

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Middle Management Excellence

What is the single most important thing a CEO can do to maximize company performance?
Jonathan Byrnes says it is to build the capabilities of the company's middle management team

Champlain College Management Excellence Seminar Series begins September 11, Burlington, VT

Why? Read the full article:
by Jonathan Byrnes

What is the single most important thing a CEO can do to maximize his or her company's performance? The answer is to creatively, aggressively, and systematically build the capabilities of the company's middle management team: the vice presidents, directors, and managers.

Regardless of what high-potential initiative the CEO chooses for the company, the middle management team's performance will determine whether it is a success or failure. And if the middle management team is performing in high gear, the managers themselves will generate the right initiatives, and constantly adapt and improve them during implementation.

I recall several years ago reading a description of one major U.S. automobile company's middle management team. The phrase that stuck in my mind was "the frozen middle." The essential idea was that whatever initiative top management decided the company would pursue, it would be slowed to a standstill by the unwillingness and inability of the company's middle management team to carry it out. Ultimately, this company lost enormous market share to foreign competitors, and even now struggles to recover.

In education, it is well known that the quality of a school system is largely determined by the quality of the principals. If a school has a good principal, it will perform well. If the school has good teachers, but a poor principal, performance will suffer. In all sectors, middle management makes all the difference.

Initiatives or capabilities? Try this mental test. Think about a typical three-month period for your company. What proportion of your company's top management time is spent on each of the following three activities: (1) new strategic initiatives; (2) managing the company's operations; and (3) building middle management capabilities? In most companies, the time spent on the first two dwarfs the time spent on the third.

Yet, building middle management capabilities is the underlying key to succeeding in the other two activities. This occurs for two reasons.First, virtually all major strategic initiatives have to be carried out by the middle managers. Their flexibility and leadership skills will determine how able they are to tailor and adapt initiatives to the company's changing circumstances.
Second, a strong middle management team will produce outstanding operational results, easing the need for top managers to oversee and intervene directly in day-to-day operations. A well-functioning middle management team also will proactively create a constant stream of new initiatives to remedy problems and seize new opportunities. Middle management excellence is the key leverage point for great performance.

The problem is that middle management excellence, like leadership, is a difficult concept to pin down. (See The Essence of Leadership.) Consequently, it is very difficult to specify a systematic program to build middle management capabilities.

In some companies, middle management development takes the form of disjointed short courses, either in-house or outside, that cover important aspects of management. These usually are helpful, but are not enough. Many managers find themselves "too busy" to dedicate much time to their personal development, especially if they regard the content as weakly relevant. A few fortunate managers get to attend lengthier, comprehensive executive education courses.

Mostly, it seems that top managers simply assume that management experience coupled with constructive progress reviews will be enough for middle managers to "get it." While the most able managers can thrive in this situation, more simply settle into a routine of managing "business as usual," accompanied by occasional initiatives when big problems arise.

It doesn't have to be this way. If you look carefully at the great companies of our day, like GE, middle management excellence is in fact one of top management's very highest priorities. Even after GE managers leave the company, they most often have the "look and feel" of GE's management team: a focus on systematically teaching their subordinates to analyze and improve the businesses, and on teaching them to pass this skill on to their own management teams.

The core of middle management excellenceA number of years ago, when I was a doctoral student at Harvard Business School, I was privileged to take a course in teaching using the case method. The course was taught by the late Professor C. Roland Christensen, HBS's legendary teacher of teachers. In the course, he said something that has remained with me to this day, and is one of the organizing principles of my teaching, research, writing, and consulting.

Professor Christensen noted that a great course was like a great musical. If the audience leaves a musical whistling two or three tunes for the rest of their lives, it was a great success. Similarly, if a class leaves a course with a deep understanding of the two or three most important ideas in the field, and with the ability to apply them capably for the rest of their lives, the course was a great success.

The biggest challenge in developing a course is always to identify clearly the two or three most important underlying concepts. With this understanding in mind, a teacher can organize all of the course material in a way that amplifies, explains, and enriches the students' understanding of these underlying ideas. At the end of a great course, the students will indeed "whistle" the course's "two or three tunes" for the rest of their lives.

The "two or three tunes" principle applies to management as well. What are the most important two or three tunes that create middle management excellence? Here are my three candidates: (1) managing at the right level; (2) coordinated profitability management; and (3) managing as teaching.

Managing at the right level. If you look carefully at companies, their business activities generally reflect a combination of what was needed three to five years ago, what is needed today, and what will be needed three to five years from now. In my experience, many companies' activities reflect 40 percent past needs, 40 percent present needs, and 20 percent future needs, at most. This is a critical failure, because it takes up to five years to develop and implement the major initiatives needed to adapt a company to succeed in the future.

The root cause of this problem is a lack of systematic middle management leadership. An essential trait for a successful middle manager is the ability to see which company activities reflect which needs, and to be able to shift these activities from the past to the future. (I described this process in my column Manage Paradigmatic Change.)

As managers progress up the business hierarchy, their focus must increasingly shift from managing the company as it is, or as it was, to building the company of the future. (I described this in more detail in my column Managing at the Right Level.)

In a nutshell, first-line managers should focus on producing great results and improving day-to-day operations. Directors should focus half on structuring the work of their departments and coaching their managers' performance, and half on change initiatives that require coordination with their counterparts. Vice presidents should focus almost entirely on building the company of the future, both by visualizing what the company will need to be, and by coaching their directors in innovation and change management.

Hence, at each level, middle managers should increasingly learn and practice change management and leadership so they are masterful by the time they reach the vice president level.

Coordinated profitability managementIn almost every company I've researched or worked with over the past two decades, 30-40 percent of the business is unprofitable by any measure, and 20-30 percent not only produces all the profits but also cross-subsidizes the losses from the unprofitable part of the business.

There is a pervasive assumption in business that if each functional area is well run, with sales maximizing revenues, operations minimizing costs, and so on, the company will be as profitable as possible. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. This has been a key theme of my columns from the first one (see Who's Managing Profitability?).

It is essential that middle managers, primarily at the director level, develop a broader view of the business. They must learn to coordinate with their counterparts in order to understand which parts of the business are profitable, which are not, and which are somewhere in between. This can be modeled using a PC in a few months (see The Hunt for Profits), and it has vast positive implications for a company's culture and performance.

With insightful profitability analysis, the middle management team can create a set of coordinated, high-impact initiatives that will (1) radically increase current profitability and (2) reposition the company for the future. The first priority is to lock in the most profitable business before the competitors identify and go after the best customers and products. The second priority is to get more business like the most profitable. After that, the middle management team can develop measures to improve the profitability of the marginal business, and when all else fails drop the residual.

All this requires a high degree of interdepartmental coordination at the middle management level. Some sales dollars are profitable, some are not. The best way to increase operations and supply chain productivity is to bring in business that fits the company's operating capabilities. This is the true secret to Dell's historical success. (See Dell Manages Profitability, Not Inventory.) As the company's markets change, profitability maximization becomes a moving target.

Profitability models are a critical core component of this process because they give the whole middle management team: (1) a shared perspective on how they can coordinate to affect profitability, how each manager's activities affect the others', and (2) a foundation for creating a joint, apolitical action plan.

In the absence of this shared view and shared agenda, the company's departments usually create competing initiatives, with all the counterproductive politics that this situation entails. And, politically-charged competing initiatives can indeed "freeze a company's middle," bringing the company's progress to a dead stop.

Managing as teaching The essence of great management is great teaching. You can only create new innovations and advance in the hierarchy if your managers are capable of operating on their own. If you find yourself constantly pulled into day-to-day issues, the underlying problem probably is that you haven't succeeded in teaching your managers to manage.

As a manager ascends the company hierarchy, his or her management emphasis must shift from managing toward teaching and developing managers. The CEO, except in a few very successful companies like GE, typically doesn't do this, so it has to happen at the vice president level and below.

This is so important that it actually defines the true vice president role: vice presidents should be at most 50 percent managers, and 50 percent or more developers of managers. At lower levels, the teaching component is probably 25 percent at the director level, and 10 percent at the manager level.

Great teaching doesn't happen overnight. Even at first-rate universities with engaged, capable students, it takes a semester or more for students to learn a subject. Yet there are some cornerstones to great teaching that apply to managers as well as professors.

Clarity on the essentials. Like professors, managers must not only know their field, but also know how to teach it. The essential first step is identifying the "two or three tunes" that are the key to great performance. These generally are the "whys," not the "hows."

Enriching the understanding. In a great course, the bulk of the course material is organized to amplify and illustrate the two or three underlying concepts. In this way, the more detailed knowledge enhances the learner's ability to work with the core ideas, while making the whole body of knowledge more memorable.

Active learning. Productive learning often takes place in stages. First, the learner is exposed to the core concepts, and then he or she tries to apply them and finds that he or she needs to understand them better. This makes the learner more receptive, and so the process repeats itself. Most effective courses are structured this way. Periodic tests help highlight progress and areas where more work is needed. By contrast, all too often in business, subordinates are simply instructed and left largely on their own.

Teaching managers to manageThe highest calling in management is teaching your managers to manage. Middle management performance is the single most important element in corporate performance. Yet how many top management teams view this not only as a high priority, but also as a core business process subject to rigorous analysis and constant improvement?

Middle management excellence, resting on managing at the right level, coordinated profitability management, and managing as teaching, can be systematically developed and constantly improved. It is the ultimate point of leverage for all corporate performance.

Copyright © 2005 Jonathan L. S. Byrnes.
Jonathan Byrnes is a senior lecturer at MIT and President of Jonathan Byrnes & Co., a focused consulting company. He earned a doctorate from Harvard Business School in 1980 and can be reached at jlbyrnes@mit.edu. Please see his Web site http://mit.edu/jlbyrnes for a discussion forum on his articles and other topics of interest.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Women are Necessary in Senior Management!

Companies with more women in senior management roles make more money
According to new research by economics experts, companies that have women in senior management roles make more money. Here are the statistics.
Consider the following facts:
Economists at Davos this year speculated that the presence of more women on Wall Street might have averted the downturn.
Ernst & Young rounded up studies that show that women can make the difference between economic success and failure in the developing world, between good and bad decision-making in the industrialized world, and between profit and loss in the corporate world. Their conclusion: American companies would do well with more senior women.
Organizations such as Columbia University, McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, and Pepperdine University, have done research that document a clear relationship between women in senior management and corporate financial success.
Pepperdine found that the Fortune 500 firms with the best records of putting women at the top were 18 to 69 percent more profitable than the median companies in their industries.
Catalyst, a research firm focused on women and business, found that Fortune 500 companies with three or more women in senior management positions score higher on top measures of organizational excellence. In addition, companies with three or more women on their boards outperformed the competition on all measures by at least 40 percent.
So, these are the stats. The “why” is less straightforward. Do companies that have female executives fare better on the bottom line because they pay those women less than their male counterparts? That wouldn’t explain long-term success.
Maybe it has more to do with diversity, and the effect that comes from having (and considering) varying points of view before making decisions. According to the piece in The Washington Post, testosterone can make men more prone to competition and risk-taking. Women, on the other hand, seem to be wired for collaboration, caution, and long-term results. In fact, an economist at the University of Michigan, Scott Page, uses mathematical models to demonstrate that a diverse group will solve a complicated business problem better than a homogeneous group. So, maybe it’s not that women make better leaders. Maybe it’s that women and men make better leaders together.
I’m happy to see some solid statistics on this topic. For too long, right-brained skills involving circumspection, forethought, and diplomacy have been denigrated to “soft skill” status (whether the skills are practiced by women or men). It’s about time these skills have come to the forefront and been given some teeth.
Toni Bowers is the Head Blogs Editor of TechRepublic. She has been in the publishing industry for 20 years, with concentration in IT-related topics. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

Get your managers the training they need to be successful...Register today for the Management Excellence Seminar Series beginning September 11

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Earn College Credit at CCE BootCamp!

You now have an option to earn three college credits when you attend CCE BootCamp© at Champlain College, a regionally accredited institution that has focused on one mission since 1878: offering a career-focused education that leads to real opportunities.

Next CCE BootCamp is August 24 - 28, 2009
Best Western Windjammer Inn & Conference Center, South Burlington, VT

Register today!

For assistance or more information, contact wdc@champlain.edu.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How Popular Are Social Media Tools - We Asked Our LCA Participants

In preparation for our Leadership in a Connected Age (LCA) conference on June 9th at Champlain College, we surveyed participants ahead of time to find out which social media tools they currently use. We thought it would be interesting information and helpful to the instructors and industry experts presenting at the conference in preparing their remarks.

The question was: Which social media tools do you currently use?

Here is what we learned.

Facebook - 36
Twitter - 22
Blog - 19
Listserv - 17
Email - 74
None - 1

We are expecting over 90 people from diverse backgrounds, i.e. education, business, nonprofits, government, students, and while the survey was not completed by everyone, this information does give us some indication about how popular these tools have become. Hopefully after this event, these numbers will increase!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Google Talk

Have you heard about Google Talk? Steve Shepard, international telecom expert, living right here in Vermont, talks about it on his 7.5 mins podcast. It's worth a listen. Keeping up with the latest technology can have a real impact on your ability and effectiveness as a leader.

When are social media tools an important part of an integrated marketing plan and when do they lose their impact? Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, mySpace...the list goes on.

How do you find information online and how do you know it is current and factual?

How do you navigate and filter the tsunami of information available on the Internet and find reliable content that aligns with your values as a business person and community member?

How can you use technology to create an environment of transparency and knowledge sharing that promotes creativity, trust, and innovation?

These are all critical questions that require thoughtful investigation. This conversation is happening on a daily basis in Burlington, Vermont by hundreds of people at a time by social media and technology experts, business leaders, educators, elected officials and community leaders. Join the conversation and learn how to connect technology with effective leadership practice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Seven Principles of Knowledge Management

1. Knowledge can only be volunteered it cannot be conscripted.

You can’t make someone share their knowledge, because you can never measure if they have. You can measure information transfer or process compliance, but you can’t determine if an expert has truly passed on all their experience or knowledge of a case. (acknowledgement to Drucker)

2. We only know what we know when we need to know it.

Human knowledge is deeply contextual and requires stimulus for recall. Unlike computers we do not have a list-all function. Small verbal or nonverbal clues can provide those ah-ha moments when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled, in context to enable us to act. When we sleep on things we are engaged in a complex organic form of knowledge recall and creation; in contrast a computer would need to be rebooted.

3. In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge.

A genuine request for help is not often refused unless there is literally no time or a previous history of distrust. On the other hand ask people to codify all that they know in advance of a contextual enquiry and it will be refused (in practice its impossible anyway). Linking and connecting people is more important than storing their artifacts.

4. Everything is fragmented.

We evolved to handle unstructured fragmented fine granularity information objects, not highly structured documents. People will spend hours on the internet, or in casual conversation without any incentive or pressure. However creating and using structured documents requires considerably more effort and time. Our brains evolved to handle fragmented patterns not highly structured information.

5. Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.

When my young son burnt his finger on a match he learnt more about the dangers of fire than any amount of parental instruction cold provide. All human cultures have developed forms that allow stories of failure to spread without attribution of blame. Avoidance of failure has greater evolutionary advantage than imitation of success. It follows that attempting to impose best practice systems is flying in the face of over a hundred thousand years of evolution that says it is a bad thing.

6. The way we know things is not the way we report we know things.

There is an increasing body of research data which indicates that in the practice of knowledge people use heuristics, past pattern matching and extrapolation to make decisions, coupled with complex blending of ideas and experiences that takes place in nanoseconds. Asked to describe how they made a decision after the event they will tend to provide a more structured process oriented approach which does not match reality. This has major consequences for knowledge management practice.

7. We always know more than we can say; we will always say more than we can write down.

This is probably the most important. The process of taking things from our heads, to our mouths (speaking it) to our hands (writing it down) involves loss of content and context. It is always less than it could have been as it is increasingly codified. (Acknowledgement to Polyani)

...From a post by David Snowden on March 20, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting an Online Degree

Interested in how online schools compare to one another? The Online Education Database (OEDB) uses numerical metrics to rank the top online schools in the U.S. For 2009, the top three online colleges are Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., and Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. in that order.

Read the full article

Friday, March 20, 2009

Healthcare Management Program

New for fall 2009!
This fall, Champlain College will launch its new Healthcare Management Program. The program will include a full spectrum of professional certificates on the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as a Bachelor’s Completer Degree (for students who have already earned a 2-year Associates Degree) and a Master’s of Science degree.

This program was designed to meet the enormous job growth in the healthcare sector which is expected to outpace that of the overall economy over the next decade. Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 16% from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. Increases in medical innovations, as well as challenges in controlling costs, while maintaining high quality care, are driving the demand for managers in this industry.

Building on our strengths in management and information technology, Champlain’s new comprehensive program in Healthcare Management focuses on management in the healthcare environment, performance management, and information systems as strategic tools for quality improvement and cost containment.

The program which was built with the involvement of a wide range of industry representatives and is designed to meet the current and future workforce needs of this growing industry. For more information about this program or to enroll this fall, please contact Dr. Mika Nash, Associate Dean.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Nonprofits (or any organization) Can Succeed...

How nonprofits can succeed in the new sustainability paradigm: 6 big lessons from social media.

1. Be nimble but think long term.

Resist fear-based crisis thinking and strive for focused clarity. Respond quickly when it’s advantageous or necessary, but make sure even your quickest actions are in the long-term best interest of your organization.

2. Experiment and analyze.
As one foundation executive recently put it—this is not about doing more with less but doing differently with less.

3. Build and use networks strategically.
Social media are about everyone getting into the conversation; network-building on a world-wide scale. Nonprofits and foundations have been paying lip-service to networking for years, but now it’s time to get seriously intentional and collaborative. Going forward, working together will be a more successful business model than competing with each other.

4. Let the public in.
If you haven’t already, consider opening up a conversation with the public. Don’t just ask for support, ask for their ideas and participation–then listen, keep them engaged, and thank them.

5. Engage young people.
Many young people are passionate about social causes and talented at using the Web 2.0 media that can help you raise awareness and even money. Reach out to them now.

6. Focus on impact.
Activity is important, but impact is more important. Impact is becoming more significant in not only foundation and government funding decisions but also among donors who view themselves as investors looking for the highest yield. Nonprofits need to develop effective, systematic ways of measuring and communicating the human impact of their activities.

Read the full post

Learn more...attend Leadership in a Connected Age, An innovative series offered by The Snelling Center for Government and The Workforce Development Center at Champlain College. Gain insights, share ideas and build strategies to incorporate emerging technologies into your workplace and community.

Lyndonville * April 28
Springfield * May 12
Montpelier * May 19
Middlebury * May 26
Burlington, VT, Champlain College * June 9 Full Day Conference

Monday, March 9, 2009

Management Excellence Seminar begins April 17

Champlain College’s Workforce Development Center will again offer its highly successful Management Excellence Seminar Series beginning on April 17.

The Management Excellence Seminar Series is targeted to new and recently promoted managers and provides a set of skills to meet the challenges of:

  • Managing, developing and motivating people
  • Decision making
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Allocating financial resources
  • Understanding employment law basics
  • Managing across generations

Tapping into Champlain’s talent pool, the seminar series is delivered by highly qualified practitioner faculty from the Continuing Professional Studies and Business Divisions including an attorney specializing in employment law. Each day will also feature a keynote lunch speaker.

Seminars are scheduled for April 17, 24 & May 1, 7 & 8. A $200 early bird discount is available until March 20. Additionally manufacturing, healthcare, environmental, IT and telecommunications companies will receive $800 in tuition reimbursement with each full registration from the Vermont Training Program.

www.go.champlain.edu/management provides more information as well as easy and secure online registration. For questions or registration assistance email wdc@champlain.edu

Monday, February 9, 2009

What is your Blogging Personality?

Did you know your writing style on your blog may have little or nothing to do with your self-perceived personality. Enter your blog address in Typealyser to find out what your blogging style says about you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New CCE BootCamp Options

Champlain College now offers access to four different CCE BOOTCAMP® experiences to help you prepare for your CCE designation. CCE BootCamp® will teach you how to conduct forensically sound examinations and to preserve evidence for admission into, and use in, legal proceedings while helping you prepare to become an Official Certified Computer Examiner. Choose the best option for your learning style and work/family schedule.

1. In the Classroom -- Face-to-Face Intensive Training – Next class May 11 - 15, 2009, Champlain College, Burlington, VT
2. 100% Online Training -- Instructor-Led, 24/7, 15 weeks - Next Online Class begins April 13
3. At Your Own Pace – Guided Self-Study
4. At Your Work Site- Call Toll-Free (866) 531-9666 NEW!

Register today => www.go.champlain.edu/cce

For more information email => wdc@champlain.edu