Offering Opportunity For All

Provo, Utah is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States in terms of business opportunity. As a city with much to offer, it is truly unique for all of its wonderful characteristics. The city is located in the heart of Utah and serves as a base for the Mormon Church. It is also home to Brigham Young University, one of the nation’s most respected schools. The city itself is marked by a mix of small and large businesses, ranging a number of different industries. As a typical college town, it features its fair share of eating establishments, shopping centers, and small shops and stores. Still, there are huge companies calling Provo home, as well.

Provo has gained acclaim in the last few fears for the number of international corporations that are calling it home. Among those are the Generations Network, which is a global company that manages such entities as Ancestry.com. In addition, Novell and Nature’s Sunshine Products are native to the city. Because of the presence of such large, booming, and successful businesses, the area is seen as one with great potential by those living in Provo and those looking on from the outside. It does not simply feature international businesses, though. Provo is home to some of the largest domestic businesses in the United States, as well.

Provo hosts five of the nation’s 5,000 fastest growing companies, according to Inc.com. DieCuts with a View is the biggest one of the five, and it brings in roughly $30 million per year. So why are these companies coming to Provo to try and get going? It has a lot to do with the culture and the people there. The city features a moderately wealthy population, a steady conservative base, and a highly educated center. Because of the university and the setup of the city, it is one of the most enlightened spots on the planet. This has been very attractive for potential business owners, who want to take advantage of not only the area’s natural exploits, but also the human resources there.

In addition to all that is going on with business in Provo, the city is home to some very nice events. Among those is a huge Independence Day event, where BYU’s football stadium is home to a number of popular acts. This is one of the foremost 4th of July happenings in the country, so it figures that the people of Provo would take great pride in it. Though there have been more famous figures perform there, some of the noteables include Bob Hope, Huey Lewis, and Reba McIntyre.

All in all, Provo, Utah is a city with great balance of a growing national profile. People appreciate it for its manageable size and its growing nature all at the same time. Businesses see enormous opportunity and are not shy to exploit it in the least bit. Over the next ten years, Provo is expected to be one of the nation’s best places to live, work, and play, because of all of its diverse holdings and offerings.

The Best Education For Managers

Crisis in management education

There is no consistency today in the way we educate managers. Larger organizations tend to have more comprehensive programs. If we look at the business results of the past year it will show that these programs have not been very successful. In the US over 99.9% of all organizations have less than 500 workers. Many of these organizations have little to non-existent management education. There is a great opportunity now to improve. Most of the big companies use the traditional approach. Their managers are given a combination of classroom education, role plays, and outside experts with their theories. In many cases there is little follow up and measurement around the results of the education.

What does the BEST management education look like?

The BEST management education consists of a combination of classroom discussions and real life practice. While some background theory is important, it is better to have discussions around management practices and different approaches. The problem with traditional management education is that it is standardized and designed to fit all employees at once. For example, a new manager is having attendance issues with an employee. The traditional advice is to warn the employee that his behavior will lead to punishment if not corrected. Then managers are given exercises in class to try their skills at giving tough messages to make believe employees. Managers learn the right way and the wrong way and the training is complete. Unfortunately correcting human behavior is more complex.

Management is both an art and a science

Socrates had it right when he said asking questions was the best strategy to lead people to where you wanted them to go. Management education should be focused around discussing many possible solutions and strategies that might be different for each situation. Most HR policies tend to use the same rules for all people but people are different and have many different issues and managers must learn how to approach each person in a unique way. I had an employee once who was always late.

My peer manager suggested this person was lazy and I should punish him. I took a different approach. I sat down with this person and showed empathy. After asking many questions, I discovered this person was caring for ailing parents at home and his life was just overwhelming. We worked out a new schedule which allowed this person to come to work a little later in the morning. This gave him time to take care of his parents until a nurse arrived. As a result, his productivity soared and he was never absent again. Under a strict set of policies this person would never have been given a second chance.

Invest the time to educate mission, values AND behaviors

Did you ever notice families with well behaved children who just seemed to know what to do at all time? They were very independent and almost seemed too mature for their age? This was a result of good parenting which I suspect was a combination of paying a lot of attention to the goals of the family, values, and what was expected. At work adults are just like children but with bigger bodies. All adults require care, opportunities to thrive, and strong and open communications.

Empty organizational mission

Many organizations invest the time to place charts around the building describing what the organization stands for. Missing are the charts reflecting organizational values and expected behaviors. Best manager education invests time getting people to do more than just memorize the organizational mission. Best manager educational programs discuss why the organizational mission is important and what the organizations’ values are. For example, if the organization says serving the customer is the most important value, there are countless definitions and examples of what this means. Finally, people are clearly given examples of what behaviors are expected to support the mission and values. In the above example, people are told that they are expected to make decisions at the lowest possible level using creativity when solving customer problems. This BEST manager education makes work come alive for people.

Measure for development not for rewards and silly contests

The best way to destroy management education is to surround the activities with rewards and silly games. For example, I can remember one program which gave tests and the managers who scored the highest were given dinner coupons. I can remember another program which gave out candy and movie tickets in class for participation. The BEST management education activities are open to all employees and have follow up opportunities after class to manage!

Everyone can benefit from management education

Many organizations only offer their management education activities to their star performers, emerging leaders, and other equally silly and useless categories. First, the BEST system gives opportunities to all people to go through management education. The BEST management education figures out a way and then process to enable all people to manage right after the education. In some cases, people will directly lead others. In other cases, people will lead projects. For the majority of people they will be allowed to manage their own work free from micro-management, limited decision making ability, and free from the threat of punishment AND the promise of reward.

The BEST management education is a creative and inspiring process not an event. Just one look at the collapse of the US economy in 2009 is alarming enough to know that the past management practices at a global level have led us down a path of destruction and reduced quality of life. Now is the time for new management models and practices. It starts with new ways of education and what it means to be a BEST manager!

Craig Nathanson

Committed To Fitness: Training And Continuing Education For Yoga Teachers

Yoga blends spiritual, athletic and artistic disciplines. It promotes health and relaxation through the practices of calming the mind, controlling breathing, and conditioning the body. Students who are serious about fitness and consistent yoga practice can receive training and continuing education for yoga teachers.

How to Become a Yoga Instructor

Individuals who are interested in becoming yoga instructors should be committed to their yoga practice with concentration on the poses (asanas). Dedicated students will have one or more asanas mastered. However, becoming a yoga teacher is not all about mastering the poses. Yoga is part of a spiritual path. Those seeking to lead others in yoga should be balanced and grounded both spiritually and physically. Yoga instructors are beacons and shed light for their students as they guide them on the path of self-discovery.

What to Consider

Find a mentor – Teachers are always learning and thus, are always students. Find an experienced mentor to assist with continued personal growth and skill development. The yoga mentor can be a personal yoga mentor, outside the facility conducting the yoga instructor training.

Know and understand the reasons for wanting to become an instructor – Yoga is a wonderful art that can be shared for the simple joy of sharing. Yet, individuals who will be using yoga teaching as the sole or main source of income should consider the following:

Financial investment for training

Whether to work for someone else or open their own business

Liability insurance

Advertising

Continuing education

Ensure that training fits the desired career/personal goals

Become a Yoga Instructor

Research courses and schools online or in-person

Select and enroll in a program that meets the personal criteria for budget, ultimate goal, and style

Maintain yoga proficiency and master any principles required for entrance into the selected program

Complete program and obtain certification/diploma

Yoga Teacher Certification/Registration

Students who wish to become a registered yoga teacher should ensure that the training they complete meets the requirement for this credential. Currently no state has a licensing board for yoga instructors. There are a number of organizations that offer certifications. Also, a student can voluntarily choose to be listed with a registry to show that they have attended an approved program and met the required number of training hours.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is an important aspect of professional development. All yoga instructors should stay abreast of the latest advancements and trends for the industry. There are a variety of programs offering yoga training and continuing education. Students should ensure that agencies offering continuing education are composed of highly experienced board members, concerned with the promotion and evolution of yoga training standards and offer additional benefits or other services to its registered members. Continuing education can be achieved by attending classes, conferences, workshops, and study groups. Teachers can also receive continuing education through distance learning. As the yoga industry continues to evolve, yoga instructors must enhance their professional development. Continuing education will allow yoga teachers to evolve with the industry while providing safe and up-to-date training for their students.