7 lessons from Game of Thrones to advance your career

Game of Thrones is one of the most highly anticipated and entertaining series this year, and arguably the most popular show of all time. But what can it teach you about how to advance your career? It turns out a lot!

Business can be competitive, even cutthroat. As we head into the final season, the characters, settings, and plot twists throughout the series offer a rich education on how you can climb the career ladder.

Whether you’re negotiating a deal at the deadline or simply battling to keep your small business afloat, here are 7 lessons you can take away from Game of Thrones.

Read entire post 7 Lessons from Game of Thrones to advance your career | Brandon Redlinger | business2community



College admission scandal grew out of a system that was ripe for corruption

As part of the “Operation Varsity Blues” case that federal prosecutors announced March 12, dozens of people – including Hollywood actresses and wealthy businessmen – stand accused of having bought their children’s way into elite colleges and universities.

In many ways, then, those ensnared in the current criminal case couldn’t have succeeded if the college admissions process wasn’t already biased toward wealthier families.

As a researcher who has studied how young athletes get admitted to college, I don’t see a major difference between this admission fraud case and how many wealthy families can buy their children’s way into elite colleges through “back” and “side” doors.

In my research, I show how most intercollegiate sports are fed by wildly expensive “pay to play” youth sports pipelines. These pipelines systematically exclude lower income families. It takes money to attend so-called “showcase tournaments” to get in front of recruiters.

Read entire post College admission scandal grew out of a system that was ripe for corruption | Rick Eckstein | The Conversation

Terrorists are not lonely, even in wolf form, and neither are counter terrorism practitioners

As a former practitioner in the security intelligence world I have, as do many others, a distinct bias. My understanding of many different social phenomena is informed and framed by the job I did and the particular kind of information I had access to for more than three decades: i.e. classified secrets. In light of that classification it should surprise no one that data of this type is closely guarded and not generally available to the public. I was privileged.

This matters on some occasions and perhaps no more importantly than in terrorism studies. What was once a niche area of inquiry has now become a booming industry (maybe ‘boom’ is not a great word when talking about terrorism!), especially in the post 9/11 world. Whole new journals have sprung up, universities have added programs, and thousands of people have migrated to terrorism studies as a field of interest. As with all things this is a mixed blessing. Some new scholars are wonderful, some not so. The subject matter suffers greatly, as those immersed in it rightly acknowledge, from a lack of good data. Whence this lack? See above note on secrecy. That is why.

Nevertheless, despite this challenge a lot of wonderful work has been carried out and when I was still “on the inside” I tried my best to keep up on this academic area. Now that I am out I’d be doing the same if it were not for the damn paywalls constructed by just about every terrorism journal. Hint, hint to the scholarly community – do a Reagan-to-Gorbachov and “tear down this wall!”

Now that I am out I’d be doing the same if it were not for the damn paywalls constructed by just about every terrorism journal.


Think about it. If a person is truly that isolated and communicates with no one, how can agencies like CSIS and the RCMP even find them, let alone investigate and stop them from carrying out acts of violence?I was reminded of this tension between practitioners and academics the other day when I gained access to a paper by UNB professor David Hofmann (thanks for sharing it David!). Entitled ‘How “Alone” are Lone-Actors? Exploring the Ideological, Signaling, and Support Networks of Lone-Actor Terrorists’ the paper is a good one in addressing an important myth in society, i.e. that so-called ‘lone wolf terrorists’ are truly single actors that are all but unstoppable. Think about it. If a person is truly that isolated and communicates with no one, how can agencies like CSIS and the RCMP even find them, let alone investigate and stop them from carrying out acts of violence?

In truth, those of us on the inside never bought into the lone wolf theory anyway. Thousands of investigations had told us a lot about radicalisation and terrorism and we knew that ‘no man is an island’. We knew that no one radicalised in a vacuum and that there are ALWAYS opportunities to find and watch these terrorists. That some succeed – one of the two case studies Dr. Hofmann discusses is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Canadian terrorist that killed Nathan Cirillo at the National Cenotaph in Ottawa on October 22, 2014 and unsuccessfully stormed Parliament a few minutes later- is not proof that some people are ‘uninvestigatable’ due to their solitude but rather a consequence of finite resources. Zehaf-Bibeau had crossed tripwires: there was simply too much else to look at at the time.

2014 shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada.

What about the outsiders?

In fairness to Dr. Hofmann his ‘policy recommendations’ are solid but they are also unnecessary as everything he advises is already being done, in keeping with the aforementioned resource allocation and availability. Then again, as an ‘outsider’ he would have no way of knowing that, would he?

Sharing can only enhance the understanding of both partiesThis is the crux of the matter. Academics seldom, if ever, gain access to what those of us ‘in the business’ know or what we are doing about it. While secrecy considerations will always be an issue security intelligence professionals have to do a much better job of communicating, within obvious limits, what we have learned. Sharing can only enhance the understanding of both parties: it is certainly something I am trying to do as an ex-spy, although I realise better than most that I have a shelf life and every day I spend outside the security intelligence community weakens my insight into what is going on in today’s terrorism world.

While secrecy considerations will always be an issue security intelligence professionals have to do a much better job of communicating, within obvious limits, what we have learned.

I’d like to end by giving recommendations of my own, at the risk of sounding arrogant. I know that terrorism studies especially have this perceived need to be ‘policy relevant’ (do other fields have the same outlook?). The gaining of knowledge does not seem to suffice here. So, a word of caution to academics. Given that you will never have a full idea of what is happening in the lives of practitioners, phrase your recommendations carefully. No one wants to be told what to do, particularly by well-intentioned but by design not fully informed outsiders. By all means continue your excellent scholarship but add in a dose of humility. Heaven knows that humility is a required trait in the intelligence world even if it is not always so overt. When you chase terrorists for a living your reputation is good only until your next failure. By the way, oh dear ex-colleagues of mine at CSIS, that bears remembering.

In the meantime let’s continue to strengthen the practitioner/policy wonk-academic bond. We have a lot to teach each other.

How well do you think about risk and uncertainty?

No one can guarantee what the future will bring – but we can try to make an intelligent gamble on the available options.

Whether you are a doctor trying to decide whether to trial a new treatment, a CEO trying to forecast business post-Brexit, or you simply want to know how to interpret the weather forecast, the capacity to weigh up different potential outcomes is essential for good decision-making.

Unfortunately, many people are surprisingly bad at this. Luckily, a very short test – called the Berlin Numeracy Test – now allows you to assess your ability to cope with risk and uncertainty.

Before you read on, you might want to try the test yourself. It takes just five minutes to complete and at the end you will discover how your own “risk literacy” compares to the average person.

> Measure your risk literacy: How well do you think about risk and uncertainty? | David Robson | BBC

Cali, Colombia explores how cities can build more resilient school infrastructure

Schools are more vulnerable to natural hazards than any other type of building. Worldwide, not only is most educational infrastructure underfunded and overextended, but post-disaster reconstruction often fails to meet standards for resilience.

The city of Cali, Colombia is changing that. Chief Resilience Officer Vivian Argueta is leading an ambitious intervention to overhaul the education system and its infrastructure. Under the name “My Community, My School,” the initiative aims to strengthen the educational infrastructure of Cali for early childhood education, primary, secondary and high school – with the potential to impact the resilience value of more than 50% of the city’s 342 school buildings.

To identify new solutions and practices, we convened partners from six municipal agencies and a host of subject-matter experts from around the world for a 100RC CoLab on school infrastructure resilience. The resulting report outlines a number of proposals for Cali, with implications for urban centers around the world.

> Read entire article 100RC CoLab: Cali, Colombia explores how cities can build more resilient school infrastructure | 100 Resilient Cities

Education sector to benefit from a new international management system standard

From pre-school to university, to vocational training and coaching, the world of learning is constantly changing and evolving. As the trend to move away from the traditional customer-supplier relationship towards a collaborative partnership grows, so, too, do learners’ expectations. Learning providers now need to adapt to these new ways of working, while at the same time providing a high level of service.

ISO 21001Educational organizations – Management systems for educational organizations – Requirements with guidance for use, is intended to meet this challenge by defining the requirements of a management system that will help education providers better meet the needs and expectations of their learners and other beneficiaries, and demonstrate greater credibility and impact.

Developed by project committee ISO/PC 288, the new International Standard focuses on the specific interaction between an educational institution, the learner and other customers.

Read entire article Education sector to benefit from a new international management system standard | ISO.org

Loving to learn: A new management system standard for educational organizations


Education is not only a basic right, but a fundamental part of society, so the quality of educational providers is everyone’s concern. While they can’t necessarily guarantee outcomes, there is a lot that educational institutes can do to stimulate learning and ensure learners are getting the level of quality they expect. A new standard is being developed to help them do just that, and it has just reached a critical stage.

While an educational organization can never guarantee the success of its learners, there are a number of ways that it can more effectively meet their needs and contribute to better learning outcomes. ISO 21001, Educational organizations – Management systems for educational organizations – Requirements with guidance for use, is a management system standard that is partially aligned with ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems. It provides a common management tool for educational organizations aiming to improve their processes and address the needs and expectations of those who use their services.

The future standard will also help educational providers align their activities effectively with their mission and vision and offer more personalized learning, both of which benefit not only learners but, thanks to improved processes and a system in place for their improvement across time, educators, parents and other stakeholders who will also reap results from the more consistent outputs.

ISO 21001 is intended to be useful to all kinds of educational providers, from kindergarten to higher education, vocational training centres and e-learning services.

The DIS version of ISO 21001 can be purchased through the ISO Store.

Source: iso.org

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