Tag Archives: training

Dying for education

Without knowing while writing my blog last month, “don’t gamble with education”, a young lady would be fighting for her life a month later because she refused to gamble with her education. Malala Yousafzai, a school student from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as a result of her campaigning for girls’ education. As a father of two girls and founder of non-profit organization, Beyond Education, we’re doing all that we can to support this young lady and her fight for education rights. Right now we’re all hoping for a smooth recovery as she gets expert medical treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Aung Sang Suu Kyi, famously said, “it is not power that corrupts but fear of losing power”. Education is so powerful that it causes a little girl to be such a threat to men with guns! I’ve been fortunate that most of the leaders in my life have never denied my pursuit for education in order to advance my career. Those that did are a distant memory.

If ever there was a campaigner for education in the world of casino protection, it’s Willy Allison. As the “Chief Education Officer” of World Game Protection, he’s once again preparing a five star program for the next World Game Protection Conference. If you have staff that could benefit from further education in the world of casino protection, the M Resort, Las Vegas is the place to be from 25-27th February 2013.

A well educated team is a powerful team. Keep protecting with insight.

My first WGPC in 2010 with Willy on the right

Don’t gamble with education

My daughter and I are coffee shop connoisseurs and had a great time exploring the many London coffee shops during the Olympics. One thing we’ve noticed is how the size of muffins at most coffee shops have slowly decreased. You may not have noticed but many of your favorite products are getting smaller, but the price is not. It’s a marketing technique called “downsizing,” a way of passing on a price increase without technically raising the price.

Starbucks might gamble with the size of their muffins, but one thing they don’t gamble with is the size of their training budget. Starbucks set out in the late 1990’s to create a new training program for its frontline workers that would transform staff self-discipline. Executives felt that in order to justify the high cost of coffee, employees needed to be trained to deliver a bit of joy alongside lattes and muffins. Charles Duhigg in his book “The power of habit”, writes that Starbucks management felt, “if a worker knows how to remain focused and disciplined, even at the end of an eight-hour shift, they’ll deliver the higher class of fast food service that Starbucks customers expect”.

Starbucks spent millions of dollars to come up with a curriculum that would train employees in self-discipline and is one of the reasons why the company is so successful today. Essentially, the curriculum draws on the principle of the cue, routine and reward loop to instill reliable and successful customer service habits in employees for when things get difficult at Starbucks. For example, employees are trained in how to respond to particular cues, such as a screaming customer or a long line at a cash register, with preset routines that are designed to minimize conflict and stress, and maximize customer satisfaction.

The program is not only helping Starbucks with their bottom line, it is also turning out to help the employees in their own lives. As Duhigg explains, “Starbucks—like a handful of other companies—has succeeded in teaching the kind of life skills that schools, families, and communities have failed to provide”. One particular Starbucks employee named Travis Leach—who came to the job with severe self-discipline problems, but who has since been transformed into a very successful individual largely as a result of the training—went so far as to say that “Starbucks is the most important thing that has ever happened to me… I owe everything to this company”.

As a qualified teacher with international teaching experience, training is a big part of our CHEETEYE offering. We see the benefits and so do our students from their comments. If you’re leading a group of people, make sure you don’t gamble with their education. The odds are against you.