Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 43 - January 2009 - by Phil Chambers

Happy New Year


TIME TO READ: Three and a half minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 848. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

If you are not a subscriber to the newsletter click here and fill in your name and e-mail address at the top of the page.

Welcome to the January issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter, Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month we have some tips to help you through the tough time ahead with great success plus the regular Mind Map tip and quote of the month.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Highlight key words before you start your Mind Map if you are making notes from a text. Key words are usually nouns and account for about 10% of the words in a standard piece of prose. These act as triggers to bring the meaning back to mind so you shouldn’t worry if you think that these are insufficient to convey the meaning.

For more tips see '101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps'.

January's Quote of the Month

"I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence.
There's a knob called 'brightness', but it doesn't seem to work"

• American stand-up comedian Leo Gallagher

More Quotes Here


Five Tips To Survive And Thrive In Tough Times.

The global downturn is predicted to get worse before it gets better and most commentators are forecasting a gloomy 2009. Undoubtedly, many more businesses will cease trading and people will lose their jobs. However, with the right strategy almost any organisation can ride out the storm and even flourish. Here are my top five tips:

1) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

If you over-rely on any one sector of business you can be hit very hard when that type of business faces problems. Try to spread your risk. It was a lack of understanding of risk that caught the banks out when they overexposed themselves to the sub-prime mortgage market in the USA. Many car component manufacturers that supply one or two automotive companies as their whole business are facing closure now that the carmakers are scaling down production. In my business I have always maintained a mix of Public Open courses, work with schools and corporate training. As corporate work drops off I can switch to more work in the public sector, local government and schools.


2) Be flexible.

Flexibility is a key asset that allows small businesses especially, to adapt to challenges more rapidly. How can you improve the way you work to better server your customers? What new opportunities are there? Follow the example of shops like TKMaxx and Aldi who have seen a good opportunity to profitably offer cut priced designer clothing and groceries respectively without compromising on quality.


3) Be creative.

Creativity is very important in tough times. How can you set yourself apart from your competition and stand out? Can you develop new products or services that tap into new markets? If you have a clearly defined goal, the brain will naturally generate limitless creative thoughts to take you towards that goal and overcome the obstacles that you will face.


4) Be the best at what you do.

Woolworths had been one of the highest profile stores to go out of business. A very familiar brand in virtually every town High Street in the UK, founded in 1912. The problem with Woolworths is that there are other retailers that specialise in all the areas that they traded. Music and, increasingly video, is more convenient in downloadable format from iTunes or, if you want to buy CDs and DVDs, you can go to Amazon online or HMV or a similar dedicated entertainment retailer on the High Street . If you want Toys you will find a better range and probably cheaper prices at Toys-R-Us. Cut priced clothing is available as Asda (Wal-Mart) and TKMaxx (as described above) or if you want higher quality but for slightly higher prices Marks and Spencer or dedicated clothing stores. Sweets are also available in Supermarkets (although many will mourn the demise of pick’n’mix). So Woolworths, in trying to serve too many different areas each of which was mediocre, was doomed when the going got tough.


5) Never stop learning.

Okay, I admit I have a vested interest in this one, running a training company! But it is true that learning and continuing to develop your skills are more vital than ever in times of change. Eric Hoffer put this very well, "In times of change the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves brilliantly equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists".

Whatever the future holds, I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2009. Please feel free to contact me for information on courses or general learning advice.

Best Wishes