Digital Literacy

Of late, I have attended a few webinars to kick off the year. Nearly all of them touched on digital literacy looking at it from designing trends, user experience and learning perspective. Is this a buzz phrase? Online learning has been around for a while but is now taking off faster than the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut (If you are wondering, this is the car named as the fastest car in the world in 2021).

There are many definitions of digital literacy, but this one from the Australian Government resonates with me as it has a holistic view; “Digital literacy involves knowing how to use a range of technologies to find information, solve problems or complete tasks. Digital literacy is also about knowing how to act safely and respectfully online. (Australian Government, 2016).”

The world is full of learners with a variety of needs and learning styles. For each of us and our organisations to continually top up our potential and remain ‘up-to-date in this increasingly changing and competitive world’, lifelong learning must become a way of life. COVID was the catalyst, igniting a positive marker for us to change from face-to-face to a digital platform, where we can find numerous opportunities for learning especially if we have access to the internet. Through this medium, access to information is endless. I am working on a backyard project and found some awesome tutorials and videos on YouTube.

As part of your learning path, let’s say you want to learn a new language e.g., Zulu, Google would be a good place to search. You are not limited to that; you can find television shows with subtitles and because you can listen to the actors you become familiar with the accent as well. Don’t forget about the social media platform with so many awesome channels which are easily accessible, inclusive, diverse, flexible and fast, catering for all types of learners.

A very close friend of mine has an MBA but is adamant that there is still a lot she needs to learn to complement her formal education. She, like myself, takes short online courses to remain relevant in this competitive world.

Missing hanging out with your friends? Not any longer, you can do that online in the comfort of your home.

 

Funeral services are streamed online, and you still get to pay your respects.

On the 24 March I am participating in a “Live Cook-Along” with Chef George Jardine, supporting another industry affected by COVID, having fun and enhancing my culinary skills.

Ponder on that for a minute as it is all done digitally. No one should feel isolated or lost when it comes to technology. At Growth in Motion, we have taken this into account and have been hard at work to boost our learning offerings on a digital platform so that both this, and the next generation of learners, have a minefield of opportunities at their fingertips.

  • Are you looking to enhance your core/soft skills?
  • Do you need to meet the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) deadline of 31 May 2021?
  • Maybe you are looking to advance your career into the field of finance?

Look no further – check out our academy website where you will find a selection of courses and a career opportunity package waiting for you.

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Traditional Classroom Preparation Workshops for Regulatory Examinations

Different learners benefit from different approaches. As a training company with a panel of expert facilitators, we know how important it is to identify the best ‘vehicle’ to support the needs of our learners. In the current environment, we are all juggling family, work, social, and our career commitments.

We have taken this into account and adapted all our offerings for a seamless execution on a hybrid platform. The choice lies with you, the learner. Digital transformation is here to stay, so please try our online workshop if that is your preference.

However, if you are still yearning for the face-to-face interaction. We’ve got your back – attend one of our much sought-after traditional classroom sessions. What are you waiting for, contact us and register for the classroom training?

Our team of experts will conduct the training at the IBTC training venue in Sandton where COVID-19 protocol is in place and strictly followed.

Here are the dates for the next two months.

Name of Workshop Targeted at Date Venue
RE1 Key Individuals 24-25 February 2021 IBTC in Sandton
RE5 Representatives 15-16 March 2021 IBTC in Sandton
RE1 Key Individuals 17-18 March 2021 IBTC in Sandton

For enquiries and further information, please contact:
growth@growthinmotion.co.za

Simon Snek

Financial Services Industry Opportunity for New Entrants

Many of us made new year resolutions, and I am sure one of them was that we are going to work on enhancing our careers. If you’re serious about following through with that resolution and have decided on a career in the financial services industry or you perhaps know of someone, then we at Growth in Motion have packaged a learning opportunity just for you. You will receive online training from our experts, learning material that is up-to-date and user friendly, a free training course (when you have successfully completed the full programme) and the support and guidance you need to reach your goals. What are you waiting for? Read through the brochure below and contact us as we are eager to assist you.

28% Discount on Continuous Professional Development CPD) Courses

Discount-CPD-Courses1

What we are offering

We are all going through some great difficulties and respite at some level is always welcome. Our team at Growth in Motion are aware of this and have created an opportunity to make it financially viable for you to maintain your learning journey with a fantastic 28% discount for the month of February 2021.

Why you should take up this offer

The current continuous professional development (CPD) cycle started on 1 September 2020 and ends on 31 May 2021. That doesn’t leave many of us with sufficient time to meet this CPD deadline.
Click on this link https://gimacademy.africa/main, peruse through our certified CPD courses and register to ensure that you and your learning remain competent and relevant in your professional field.

How it Works

Purchase your course/s during the month of February 2021 and use it by the 31 May 2021.
All our content is accessible on your mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop for your convenience providing you with the opportunity to study whenever or wherever you want to.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
~ Albert Einstein

All About Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

All About Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

The FSCA introduced Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as part of the competency requirements for Fit and Proper status in 2017. This was announced in Board Notice 194 of 2017, Chapter 4, Section 31 (1). It stated: Subject to subsection (2) the fit and proper requirements relating to CPD contained in this Chapter apply to all FSPs, key individuals and representatives.

This requirement was initially met with a lot of negativity and understandably so. What has changed since then? Why are more and more people in the financial services industry engaging in quality CPD programmes? Let’s investigate!

Everyone in this industry knows that they are competing in an ever-changing environment. How do you distinguish yourself from your competitor and how do you ensure that you are always one step ahead of your competitor when it comes to financial advice to your clients?

The regulator introduced CPD to ensure that FSPs, KIs and Representatives maintain their competence and that their knowledge, skills, and abilities remain up to date in this changing and dynamic environment. Consequently, customers will have access to fit and proper knowledgeable and skilled financial advisors.

What are the other unique benefits and advantages of engaging in CPD programmes? Let’s look at CPD from a different angle.

Continuous learning is essential to our existence. Good food nourishes our bodies, relevant information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Lifelong learning (CPD) is an indispensable tool for every advisor and FSP.

Today, continuous professional development forms a crucial part in acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to your client’s needs and addressing those needs in the most appropriate manner.

We all experience changes in our career, changes in our personal lives, changes in our community and organisations. One of the most effective ways to deal with these changes is with lifelong learning or continuous professional development.

What is continuous development?

Continuous development is a self-motivated determination in acquiring knowledge, skill, and abilities to create future opportunities. It is part of personal development to avoid stagnation and reach one’s full potential.

Benefits of Lifelong Learning

  • Stay relevant.
    Don’t be left behind. Ensure you remain relevant in your industry, keep up to date with trends and adapt your skill set. To function effectively in this changing world of financial services, you need to become aware of all changes to remain valuable.
  • Create new ideas.
    Acquiring new skills will unveil new opportunities. In-depth knowledge will help you identify new opportunities and help you find innovative solutions to your client’s financial needs. This could earn you more money in the long run.
  • Competence leads to confidence.
    Learning new things will give you a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn boosts your confidence in your own capabilities. Also, you’ll feel better prepared to take on challenges and enable you to advise your clients across various financial disciplines.
  • It creates greater career opportunities.
    Companies are looking to recruit the best and brightest. A person with a good CPD record has a better chance. According to a study, 40% of the FSPs that participated named CPD as a top consideration when evaluating a new job prospect.
  • It will improve standard of performance.
    When you develop your knowledge and enhance your skills and abilities, you are simply more able to do the job, rendering financial advice to your clients. CPD develops skills, it makes you more aware of processes, and makes you more confident and knowledgeable of the industry. All of this make you perform better both now and in the future. CPD also keeps you informed of new industry trends and developments, which will help position you and your company as a leader in the field.
  • Satisfied Clients
    Probably the most important benefit of CPD is clients who reach their financial goals due to the professional advice provided by a competent and skilled financial advisor. A financial advisor’s main objective should be to guide their clients to financial freedom. CPD will help you achieve that. Through continuous learning you will become a better advisor, aware of the various needs that clients might have, but most importantly, you will have the knowledge to know what the best and most appropriate solution to those needs are.

Embrace CPD, make it part of who you are. As I mentioned, make it a self-motivated determination to acquire knowledge. Like all other professions i.e., medical, accounting, law and so many others who use CPD to stay relevant, improve and develop, you need to do the same. It benefits you, your company but most of all, it benefits your client!

With four months left before the end of the current CPD cycle, now is the time to engage. Identify a development need and select a CPD programme that will help you meet the requirement.

CPD programmes are categorised as follows:

  • Knowledge
  • Skill
  • Ethics
  • Market and Regulatory Updates

For CPD programmes visit https://gimacademy.africa/main

Summary and Video on Man’s Search for Meaning

Summary and Video on Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Granted this is a painful read. Especially the first part of the book looking at the harrowing experiences of the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camp. For me, the book promotes hope, makes us look at our purpose on earth and count our blessings especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic when there is so much of suffering and despair and a sense of failure.

There is a lot of reference to Frankl’s experiences, some quite vivid, so a box of tissues will come in handy.

When I visit friends and family, I have a strange habit of rifling through their book collections and always finding hidden gems. In my early twenties, I picked up this book from a family member and couldn’t put it down. I was still quite young for the book to have any kind of impact. When I read it again for the third time in December 2020 it ticked so many boxes based on what is going on in the world today.

The book refers to the Tragic Triad of Suffering, Death and Guilt. Yes, we will all go through these stages at some point in our lives, many of us going through it right now. However, there is a positive outcome, as we learn to deal with the suffering that we encounter in life, it makes us emerge stronger and positive. I encourage you to start a gratitude journal.

If you are a therapist or leaning in this direction or just keen to expand your knowledge, then you will enjoy Frankl’s explanation about “Logotherapy”. The use of examples and case studies, helps to bring the understanding home in the second section of the book.

Watch a video summary of this meaningful book below:

Key Takeaway

Check out here for some information as you start your gratitude journal, “Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Let me leave you with this wonderful quote as you start looking to purchase your copy of Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Find us at www.growthinmotion.co.za and be sure to hit the subscribe button so that you don’t miss out on our News items.

Happy Reading!

Ringing in 2021

Ringing-in-2021

Some of us have hit the ground running in 2021 and some of us can barely get out of bed. Why do these two extremes exist? Is there some middle ground?

I fall into the category of the former as I spent my December break doing the things that give me joy – reflecting, reading, gardening, donning my Julia Child apron and laying out what I was told were taste bud awakening meals. All these tapped into my feel-good hormones.

I needed something to keep my gratitude barometer on track, so I browsed through my collection of books and pulled out an old favourite, Viktor E. Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”. I thought under the current circumstances where COVID is hitting many of us so close to home, Frankl’s story is so fitting with a clear message telling us not to give up as there is hope for the future. Check out Growth in Motion’s leadership book club later this week for a summary on this book so that we can better understand the meaning of life. Then you can wander onto something to get your creative juices going, like Clem Sunter’s “What it really takes to be world class”. Enjoy

My garden is in bloom with flowers, vegetables and herbs and with that comes a sense of personal achievement. We’ve had a few days where the temperature dropped low enough to warrant a boeuf bourguignon straight out of Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. What a yummy delight!

I had a few light bulb moments which materialised in the form of the video below. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed scripting it.

Hopefully by now you have moved out of the “barely can get out of bed” category and mustered up the motivation to put one foot in front of the other as you check out your gratitude barometer.

If you are struggling and are not certain what you want to focus on, when you want to start and how you want to move ahead, contact our coaching team at growth@growthinmotion.co.za and let us help you open those countless doors of opportunities.

As always, continue practicing acts of kindness in this year of hope.

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Who moved my Cheese?

Who-moved-my-Cheese

Dr Spencer Johnson

The first time I heard about this book, I was amused – as were most of my colleagues. Really, a book about cheese. A good mature cheddar does have its appeal, but I wasn’t going to invest my time on it.

Identified as talent, a few of us were booked to attend a leadership course where we encountered a wise man who introduced us to the video on Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson. I was intrigued and searched for the book, wiped the cobwebs off and leafed through the pages hungry to learn. The lessons in this book are simple and as with most things in life, we tend to take what we have for granted and only after it is gone, do we realise what we have lost. Sometimes, we still don’t learn and continue on the same path and occasionally, don’t make that change which is so necessary.

So, ask yourself, are you a Sniff and Scurry or a Hem or a Haw? Still don’t know what I am talking about, click on the link below to watch the video, or even better, grab hold of the book, have a good read and take extracts out of it as you lead yourselves, your teams, your families and friends forward. Especially now during COVID-19, it teaches us to appreciate what we have and hold onto it.

I have made things slightly easier for you and am sharing the summary of the book courtesy of my newly acquired associate Niklas Göke from Four Minute Books. Check out Nik’s website where he shares summaries of his favourite books and many other excellent much-loved volumes that we have all heard about over the years. If you haven’t had the time to read through them, don’t despair. Nik provides a summary that, I kid you not, takes four minutes to read – hence the title of his site.

Lesson 1: Stop thinking too much about your cheese and start chasing it.

The two mice inside of our maze are called Sniff and Scurry. They spend most of their time running up and down the corridors of the maze, looking for cheese. Turn a corner, run to the end, see if there’s any cheese, and if not, turn around and go back. That’s their pattern, and, while it seems kind of mindless and unstructured, it actually saves them a lot of time and energy.

Hem and Haw, two little people, also spend their days in the maze looking for cheese, but not because they’re hungry – they think finding it will make them feel happy and successful. However, because of their complex brains, they think a lot about

  • how they can find the cheese the fastest?
  • which strategies will work best in getting through the maze?
  • how to keep track of those strategies?
  • what finding the cheese will feel like?
  • when they’ll finally find it?

…and of course, they wonder if there even is any cheese in the maze at all every time, they turn another empty corner.

Takeaway:

Life is the same. Every minute you spend wondering what success looks like, how to get it, whether it’s possible and how you’ll feel in the future is a minute not wasted working towards it. Humans are complicated beings, but that doesn’t mean we have to make everything complicated.

Be more like a mouse and just start running!

Lesson 2: Even the biggest cheese doesn’t last forever, so try to see change coming.

Sniff and Scurry soon found a big stash of cheese at Station C, and even though they enjoyed snacking a bit of it every day, they kept paying attention. The amount of cheese kept declining, slowly, but steadily, every day. Once they realized they were about to run out, they decided to move on of their own accord and soon found another huge cheese at Station N.

When Hem and Haw found station C, however, they settled there, and quickly grew accustomed to the new status quo. The cheese fest they indulged in every day soon became the centre of their lives, as they thought it was the fair reward for all their hard work. They were so preoccupied with the cheese that they didn’t notice how it was disappearing, one piece at a time, and how some corners of it even got mouldy. One morning, they woke up, only to find someone had moved their cheese.

This left Hem and Haw sad, depressed, feeling treated unfairly and in denial. Instead of venturing out to find new cheese, they kept returning to Station C, getting ever hungrier and weaker.

Takeaway:

No supply of cheese can last forever. Change is always bound to happen, sooner or later. Instead of fooling yourself that things will stay the same forever, always keep an eye open for change.

Lesson 3: Don’t worry, there’s always new cheese to be found. The minute you start moving things will improve.

The best part about cheese isn’t that once you’ve found it, you’re set for life. It’s that there’s always more cheese to be found. Haw eventually got sick of sitting around, so he decided to go looking for new cheese all by himself.

Takeaway:

Once he started moving, his situation instantly got better. Yes, he just found a few bits and pieces of cheese here and there at first, but this was a lot better than doing nothing and being paralyzed by fear. After having found the courage to move on despite your fears once, fear’s grip on you will never be as strong as it used to be.

Haw realized the accumulated fears in his mind were a lot worse than even the biggest challenges he encountered. Full of confidence, he kept exploring the maze, until he eventually found Sniff and Scurry at Station N, where the three of them shared the new cheese they had found.

Watch the video below

A summary and a video – a winning combination satisfying your visual and audio learning style. We all pride ourselves on our service excellence here at GIM.

Find us at www.growthinmotion.co.za and be sure to hit the subscribe button.

Happy Reading!

This summary of Who Moved My Cheese was originally published on Four Minute Books.

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Exponential Success starts with Exponential Listening

Sounds like a strange topic. You will be amazed how many people struggle with listening. They hear the other party/parties, but they are not listening. Or based on their background, their perception of the message is different. Listening is the key to your journey, to your learning and to your successful future.

Here is some food for thought on the three levels of listening. Depending on the level you’re using, you will hear very different things. I use this all the time. It took discipline to start with. We listen or we think we are listening, but how often do you find yourself already formulating a response when the person who you are conversing with hasn’t even finished what they are saying? Yes, we all are guilty of this. Well, that can change – overtime of course with a bit of practice. Try out the techniques below.

Courtesy of Henry Berman and Jen Lachman.

Internal listening

  • Awareness is on me, the listener. I’m hearing my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas, and my judgments.
  • The question I’m asking myself here is, “What does this mean to me?”
  • At this level of listening, you may be listening to respond.
  • As a philanthropist, you may use internal listening to ensure your foundation’s needs and priorities, or your own goals as a leader, are being advanced in a conversation.

Internal-listening

Focused listening

  • I lose all awareness of self at this level of listening. I have laser focus on the other person.
  • I notice what the other person is saying and not saying (emotions, energy, and body language).
  • Focused listening allows us to hear people in a much deeper way. In philanthropy, you can use this level of listening to understand someone else’s unique ideas, thoughts, and perspectives.

Global listening

  • I have a 360-degree soft focus when I’m listening globally.
  • I’m listening to everything I can observe with my senses—in the person talking, in myself, and in the environment.
  • Global listening gives you greater access to your senses and intuition. As a philanthropist, you could use global listening during a site visit or a meeting with a group of people.

Having read this, which level of listening is easiest for you to access? And what does it take for you to shift into the other levels of listening—so that you can hear and understand others more deeply?

Rate yourself. Repeat this exercise on a weekly basis. Ask your friends, family, colleagues, etc for feedback. Is there a difference?
Good luck!

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Overcoming Digital Fatigue

Overcoming-Digital-Fatigue

Since July this year, between friends, family members, colleagues and clients, there was a huge outcry for ways to identify and manage digital fatigue.

On Saturday during an online dinner with friends, this topic surfaced again with a vengeance. Some mentioned carrying excess weight around their abdomen which is an additional factor that is making them irritable and, in some cases feeling very low. We discussed ways to cope and simple things we can all do so that the holiday season doesn’t become a time to sleep our vacation away. The conversation definitely gave them hope, so I thought why not share with many other people who are going through the same pain.

What is Digital Fatigue?

Digital fatigue is a recognised state of mental exhaustion and disengagement that occurs when people are required to use numerous digital tools and apps concurrently and in an ongoing way.

How to Identify and Overcome Digital Fatigue?

Are you experiencing any of the following? If you are, then chances are that you are showing symptoms of fatigue, feeling worn out by endless virtual meetings & events and of course end of year examinations and assessments. For each of these symptoms, we have outlined how you can become accountable for yourself and with some tried and tested coping mechanisms make small, but effective changes in your life.

Symptom

Solution

Sore, tired, burning, or itching eyes Take regular breaks from your computer screen.

A splash of cold water to provide relief to tired eyes.

Sore neck, shoulders or back Take regular breaks from your seated position.

Participate in one online meeting in a standing position.

Stretch your arms overhead

A few shoulder rolls will do wonders.

Difficulty concentrating Take a break.

Go for a brisk walk, even if it is around your home office.

Factor in a few stretches for your neck, back and shoulders.

Drink a tall glass of water.  Add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or a few berries.

Displaying snappy or irrational behaviour Take a few minutes at the end of every day to reflect.

Identify what is bringing on your change in behaviour.

Make a change and check in again during your reflection time.

Continue adjusting.  You got this!

Headaches Take a break.

Choose healthy foods to strengthen your immune system.

Drink lots of fluids.  The weather is warm, and a few tall glasses of water will go down well and get rid of toxins.

Ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

Increased sensitivity to light Limit your screen time.

Many of us enjoy unwinding in front of the television after a hard day in our home office.  Try something different like going for a walk, jumping into the pool (if you are fortunate to have one), playing a game or just relaxing your eyes while listening to music or in complete silence also works.

Feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by the repetitive nature of your day The work/life balance has become a bit of a blur, so it is up to each of us to create some variety in our day.

Start your morning with a few gentle stretches.

Start a veggie patch or plant veggies in a container if you have limited space.

Include a new recipe in your menu.

Ask your family to rate your recipe.

Include some meditation or relaxing music in your bedtime routine.

Get a good night’s sleep.

Our current way of working is here to stay. We do have choices; continue as we are now or be kind to ourselves and start making some smart and effective changes to boost those feel good hormones. Holiday season is around the corner. Have you started planning how you are going to unwind after this difficult year? Look out for our next blog as we share more of our thoughts with you.