This ‘idea’ is ground-breaking and far reaching. It is interesting because as a process it presents a potential way to create significant change without the need to negotiate political change. This idea can and would make a very substantial difference to the future of our young people. It would enhance businesses and organisational efficiency in all sectors.
And, by changing fundamental life skills of a generation it would transform our society forever. Intrinsically the idea is simplistic - it’s just ‘training for young people’. It is within the scope and the delivery that makes it fundamentally different from anything considered at present. The processes & methods involved are in themselves straight forward but harness extraordinary power when coupled together.
The profound effectiveness of the course is derived by creating an unusual environment, one that would be impossible to create or maintain in a school or college. This environment, while unique, is repeatable due to the reliance on re-usable modules and well founded technology.
Three weeks duration, 6 days a week, 25 students (in groups of 5)
There are several integrated processes that between them create this transformational learning environment:
For the Business Sponsor
In just a few weeks Super Fast Track aims to take a school leaver and provide a life changing business based training experience. Businesses understand the need to quickly and effectively provide young people with high level business, communication and computer skills. The ability to enhance school leavers so that they have the understanding and abilities of more experienced business people will rock the commercial world. Sounds impossible? Then review the SFT process and decide for yourself. Lets face it, experience business people understand that successful business boils down to getting fundamental issues right. Why then does it often take years to gain the ability to become a dependable business person? Businesses do not have the time or people to train their employees in general business thinking & communication or technology. Businesses need new people to hit the floor running and without making costly mistakes along the way. Organisations of all sorts require problem solvers and people with a true understanding of their business model and their markets. They need excellent communicators and people who understand new technology and can also apply it in ways that create new efficiencies. Mission Impossible – to take the A level school leaver and within just a few weeks provide them with such a well organised and intense training experience that they become the top candidates for every organisation. SFT sets the Gold Standard for business starters.
For the Student
We take you on a journey of discovery. A journey that starts with yourself and ends with yourself gaining a new vision of the real world. Your virtual journey is hard and long and it takes you to many places, visiting many different organisations across the world, including large and small business, desert islands and peoples of different cultures. The going is tough but you persevere and you discover what makes these people and organisations work. You seek and discover the fundamental issues behind mans eternal adventure. You travel through Baltimore and reach out to the cosmos, after all, you are just a child of the universe and you are discovering new ways of thinking for yourself. As your journey nears its end, your last quest is especially long and hard, but eventually, although tired, you are elated, you have reached the summit of your climb. You realise that from this journey’s end your horizons have changed, and from this new vantage point you can see a great distance all around. You look again at the world and with new eyes and you see the world as it really is. You see clearly the paths to new horizons and new lands awaiting your discovery. Your strength is renewed, you are ready to take your first step along your own life-long journey. In just three weeks time you will:
Also, we hope that:
Once a small number of basic concepts are well understood, most business and life issues become commonsense. As the days and weeks progress, the games & projects pull together many of the key concepts and provide significant practice of the skills involved with decision thinking, planning and communication. These projects need to be cleverly designed to provide a rich discovery environment whilst also being involving and entertaining. Subsequent projects are then designed to broaden conceptual thinking by linking the already understood base concepts (such as cost/efficiency, marginal/fixed costs, resources/money systems, markets/demographics etc) to wider political and world issues. These projects still continue to develop the core skills (communication, decision making, planning, risk etc) but provide an opportunity to be immersed in higher level issues that would not normally be considered by this age group.
It is a major challenge to encourage young people to concentrate and work at the necessary intensity. This can be achieved by creating an environment that is pre-programmed with dramatic, fast paced action that both involves and guides the students minute by minute. Such an environment requires quality sound & vision along with coaches/mentors able to interact at the highest level.
To make this process work, the environment and choreography of each minute within each day must be exact. This is demanding, but is achieved in other disciplines such as professionally produced programmes, plays etc.
The vision, therefore, is to create a new type of immersion learning environment, that once entered, holds the young students attention for long enough to overcome their natural reluctance to concentrate. The initial project work will be about the students themselves, providing a naturally interesting subject for young people. Maintaining that concentration is achieved by keeping the environment interesting, stimulating and fast moving, along with the very important aspect of relaxation techniques with regular movement / exercise.
After a few days in this environment, the students will, (hopefully), become realigned to the pace and stimulation and there should be less chance of losing their interest. To ensure this, the pace and immersion process used within the projects needs to move up a level. This can be achieved by introducing role-play within projects using volunteers (pre-trained) to provide external input (as buyers, managers, competitors etc). At the end of each week (Saturday), to keep interest high and to develop a natural bonding of the whole group, fun sessions, (music and sports/games), will be run, followed by an informal session that includes food and refreshment to end the day. For groups all over 18 years, a limited amount of alcohol may be introduced with taxis provided for their homeward journey.
Active listening, observation, eye contact, expression, interest
Speaking techniques (voice control, timing, actions, tel technique, smile)
Presentation (Gobo, 12 word summary, sounds, sight, involve, key points, summary)
Personality types, strengths, weaknesses
Leadership, styles to suit situation
Teamwork, group shift
Selling & negotiation skills & tools
Breathing, structure, stress, stretching, meditation
Developing active calmness
Good habits vs bad habits
Self improvement opportunities, self defence
Life-long balance, I’m ok you’re ok
Re-discovering ‘The Child Within’
Music & singing
Mind & Body, relaxation, alpha wave
Linking words, pictures
Brainstorming with quiet periods
Scenarios, ‘what if’
Magic wand, different viewpoints
An iterative process
Define the problem, then refine it again
‘What don’t you know’, ‘What can’t you know’
Objective setting, stages, iteration
Option, paths, analysis & decision tools, (categorisation, scenarios, looking back from the future)
Risk matrix, risk mitigation
Learning from the past with an eye to the future, Watson, Siri et al, the world in perspective
Small steps – different timescales provide different horizons (is it possible in a week, or what about 5 years)
Know your strengths & weaknesses
What do you enjoy & why
Setting your goals
The journey is important
Sun Tzu – said it all 2,400 years ago!
Authority, resources, people, information
Key success factors (what does success look like in one month, one year – for each party involved)
Can it be measured? (if not, then its not a control). Traffic light control for simplicity
Contingency planning, what if’s, risk control
Objectivity, red flags
Action plans (who, what, when), complex projects control tools
Say ‘STOP’ if you need to
People, appraisal, fairness
Contracts (purchasing, nda’s, sub-contractors, heads of agreement)
Costs, efficiency, margins, profit improvement, funding & ROI
Technology and business tools (the good, bad & ugly)
Different business types – different drivers
Markets – the external factors, defining key issues, research methods
Know your competitors, your USP, define where you stand objectively
Selling – meeting the needs of your customers, professional selling techniques
Marketing methods (online vs traditional), branding, advertising, the media
Purchasing, win/win contracts, nda’s, IP
Monitoring & feedback (sensible performance indicators)
Efficiency vs Technology – the assent of man
Main use of technology within different types of business
Core skills for business & other organisations
Emerging technology & potential uses
Future technologies, the next steps in the assent of man?
What you can expect
Managing your manager (and understanding your colleagues)
Job roles vs personality, strengths & weaknesses
Coping with stress
Managing difficult workplace issues
The ‘One Minute Manager’
Find your coach
Mentors – why you can’t do without them