All posts by IMar Learning Solutions

The mission of IMar Learning Solutions is to bridge the gap between technical skills and thinking skills to help all learners improve their social and emotional intelligence so that all participants can grow and thrive in a global society.

Are You Hiring for the Future? Or Are You Stuck in the Past?

The Future is Here

We are still hiring as if work consists of repetitive tasks when the core competency most jobs require, whatever the skill level, is critical thinking.”
Rebecca Weicht, Hiring is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

It is time that we face the truth. Our system of hiring employees is outdated and like the latest iPhone has new and improved software and apps to meet the needs of its users, we need the same update to our hiring system.

Rebecca Weicht, one of the co-founders of Bantani Education, had this to say about our current system, “This outdated model does not benefit those who don’t fare well in our test-based, rote-learning education system. The playing field is beyond uneven. It does not benefit learners in vocational education and training, it does not favour those increasing number of young people who have atypical careers, it does not help veterans, it does not help mothers. It doesn’t even help businesses.” 

We currently hire based on a candidate’s degrees and years of experience. Your human resources system filters out candidates that don’t meet the criteria based on the selected algorithm. The problem with this is that computer software cannot predict a candidate’s personal motivation or potential to become your next great employee. Googles former head of human resources, Laszlo Block, once called resumes “TERRIBLE” because they don’t capture the whole person.  

We also aren’t preparing our students in the classroom to prepare for the current and future needs of employers. Students are still over-tested, expected to make a certain grade to show they are worthy, and they aren’t learning the SKILLS they need to be able to think critically as Weicht mentioned in the quote above.

iMar Learning Solutions has been working with youth through our Leadership Academy to help give them the skills that employers. Weicht mentions in her article that “Employers are starting to demand skills-based education to enable skills-based hiring. ” and in Europe, they are adding, “transversal skills such as spotting opportunities, creativity, working with others, and mobilizing resources.”

If skills development is what you need for your employees or students then let’s talk so we can develop the right program to prepare them to become lifelong learners!

Contact us today to schedule a chat session to see if one of our Career Coaches have the answer you have been seeking!

Read More: Hiring is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Schedule iMar’s Live Training

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?

Alice Boyes writes in her article, “5 Ways Smart People Sabotage Their Success” that “very smart people sometimes see their success as inevitable because of their intellect, and don’t see other skills as important.” As I read Boye’s article I thought about the members of the iMar Community that I have spoken with. iMar Community members are innovative, intellectuals that see the future not as something to fear, but as an opportunity to create the things they dream about. But, with all of our intellect, we have to make sure that we aren’t allowing our raw intelligence to stop us from reaching our full potential. Continue reading Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?

The System is Failing Our Students…But We Can Fix It

“Employers (are) reporting that high school graduates enter their roles missing the skills they need to do their jobs well.
The Opportunity Myth Study

Work hard in school, and you’ll be successful. That is something every kid in America hears, and believes. This mandate, though, leaves out an important side of the equation: Is school working for kids?” writes Eillie Anzilotti in her article, Kids aren’t Failing-Schools are Failing Kids, for Fast Company. As a child, I remember receiving that very same advice. So, that is exactly what I did. I am one of those weird kids that actually enjoyed school. I have always had a passion for learning new things and pushing my mind to its limit. I often reflect on my high school and college experience. It was truly the tale of two educations!

I struggled academically during my high school years. I made low B’s, and C’s and I wasn’t very interested in what was going on in the classroom. I worked really hard like everyone said to do, but no matter what I did my grades did not improve. My dream was to play college basketball, but my jump shot didn’t improve either, and I did not see any scholarship offers in my future, and with my grades, I wouldn’t have been able to accept any. At that point in my life, I decided to make the decision to quit basketball my senior year and focus on improving my grades so I could make sure that I was accepted into a university. My hard work actually paid off this time!

College was a totally different experience. I loved every moment of it! The fact that I was able to have a choice on which classes I would enroll in, decide when I would take these classes, and I didn’t have to go to class if I didn’t want too, made all the difference for me. The X-factor in my college versus high school experience was choice and the options that ‘choice’ gave me help me to fall in love with learning in a new way. James Bach in his book Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar focuses on keeping an open eye for new learning experiences and teaches you to ‘size-up’ every situation and decide if there is a learning opportunity there.

I believe that if schools want to stop failing our kids, then students need more choice. Students need a voice, and students need to fall in love with learning. This is a brand new generation in our classrooms, in our homes, and at our job sites. Students need to be able to explore different career choices so they can get a feel for what their future might be. My high school didn’t have opportunities like this. I believe that if I would have had a chance to explore my future, then I may have realized a lot sooner that I enjoy teaching, training, and helping others find their passion in life! Educators, the ball is in our court to help our students find their path to “learning to love learning” and not just learning to pass a test! Business leaders make sure you support your local educators because they are the ones preparing the next person that will walk through your doors for an interview.

Read More: Kids aren’t Failing School-Schools are Failing Kids

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Schedule iMar’s Live Training

What are Power Skills? Do I Need Them?

‘Soft Skills’ is a Major Misnomer

Critical thinking, persuasive writing, communications, and teamwork are not fluffy, nice-to-have value-adds. They’re hard-won and rigorously maintained abilities that are better referred to as “power skills.
-Anant Agarwal, Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

Mark Cuban made a prediction that many people in the technical fields found shocking: in ten years, “a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree,” writes Agarwal in his article for Forbes Magazine. This news was shocking but as he stated in his article it does actually make sense.

To succeed in the near future will require employees and leaders that are capable to think outside of the box and solve problems creatively. The cookie cutter method of doing things is on its way out of the door. Automation will take care of a lot of the easy task. Employees of the future will need high levels of social and emotional intelligence to go along with their critical thinking and communication skills. The reason why social and emotional training is so important is that millennials and the next generation will continue to flood the job marketplace, and ‘old school’ managers will need to adapt to their needs.

The term ‘Soft Skills’ really is a misnomer because the people that have these so-called ‘Soft Skills’ have to be strong mentally to deal with the ever-changing attitudes of those that don’t have those same skills. I agree with Agarwal that the term soft skills should be changed to “Power Skills.” In order for this to be accomplished will also require a mindset shift. We have to start the process of looking at “Power Skills” as skills that require power to perform them at a high rate. These skills must be put at the top of our training sessions and asked about thoroughly in interviews. These are the skills that must be invested in financially because we find value in what they will bring to our teams and organizations.

Agarwal also shared the results of a Google study, he wrote, “Last year, Google announced the findings from an internal study…they found that their best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. Instead, their highest performing teams were interdisciplinary groups that benefited heavily from employees who brought strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further research revealed that important predictors of success within Google were skills like good communication, insights about others, and empathetic leadership.” Today is the day to invest in your future and your organization or be left behind!

Read More: Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Schedule iMar’s Live Training

Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Question Everything

Innovation means change, so we have to learn that our students need more than the skills needed to pass the state assessments given every spring. We have to give them tools that will make them productive in their future careers.
-Kimberly, Innovation in Education: What Does it Mean, What Does it Look Like?

Albert Einstein said, “if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask…for once I know the proper question to ask, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.” I love this quote because I love questions. I am not talking about simple questions that can be googled or can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” I am talking about questions that require you to analyze a situation, mentally test all outcomes in your mind or questions that leave you with more questions after you have discussed and debated the topic with your peers. Continue reading Can Asking Questions Help You Become a Better Innovator?

Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

The Robots Need Our Help

“The future world would be one where the focus will be on collaboration and one where AI will become the “chief of staff” allowing societies an equal access of technology and therefore flexible models of working. “
-Stuart Templeton, The Future is Exciting

I have some GREAT news to share! The robots and A.I. aren’t planning to take our jobs. Recent studies and reports are stating that our technological advancements will actually create more jobs, and the robots need our help to complete their task. Stuart Templeton, the head of Slack UK, said, “the future would be one where the future is focused on collaboration and one where AI will become the ‘chief of staff.” Continue reading Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Set the Genius FREE!

“Mozart acknowledged that his great work was simply a by-product of diligent and consistent hard-work on his craft for many years.”
-Mayo OShin, Ladders Magazine
In last weeks newsletter, I focused on encouraging you to switch your focus from “finding your passion” and challenged you to switch to the Carole Dweck approved phrase of “developing your passion.” This week I would like to discuss the hard-work and effort that actually goes into taking your skills to the next level.

Mayo Oshin in his article, Mozart on How to Unlock Your Inner Creative Genius, writes, “there is a destructive myth that the ‘creative genius’ is born with an innate, godlike ability to create extraordinary work at the snap of their finger…this couldn’t be further from the truth.” Oshin’s article states that the inner genius is developed through consistent practice. Continue reading Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion

Develop Your Passion

We need to carefully consider what we communicate to people about interests and passionsParents, teachers, and employers might get the most out of people if they suggest that interests are developed, not simply found.”

-Paul O’Keefe, Yale Psychologist
Before reading Ephrat Levni’s article, “Find Your Passion” is bad advice“, I would always tell my students to “get out there and find your passion, and your destiny awaits you!” I would speak these words with such conviction because this is what I was always told.

Levni’s article was truly an eye-opener. The article suggests that we have to STOP telling our co-workers, students, and even family members to stop seeking their passion and we need to start telling them to DEVELOP their passion.

This is really good advice because as Levni described in the article, your passion isn’t sitting there waiting for you and all the questions to life will be answered once you find it. No, Levni says that you pick your passion and develop it to the best of your ability and keep working at it.

I challenge all of you to STOP trying to find your passion and telling others to do so. Today is the day we tell others (and ourselves) to DEVELOP your passion because this will put you in the driver’s seat and in control of where your future is headed. Click here to enroll in our online training course or here to schedule a LIVE Training for your team so we can work together to DEVELOP your passion.

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Is it Ever Okay to Fail?

Help Them Fail!

“The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

As educators and leaders, our job is to help our students and employees to fail. Before you delete this e-mail please give me 2 minutes of your time to explain why students need to fail.

As a professional educator and entrepreneur, I have failed many times over. Unlike Zuckerberg, I didn’t have the freedom to fail, but the lessons I learned were priceless and have fueled my success. Looking back on my failures I wouldn’t change one thing, because iMar Learning Solutions is the result of those failures.

The quote from Zuckerberg is from his 2017 Harvard commencement speech but his message is still relevant a year later. I agree with Mark 100% because students and employees need a safe space to try their crazy ideas that might not work but also might change your entire industry.

The threat of automation coming to take jobs is real and now is the time to prepare our students and employees for these changes. As leaders in the workforce and classroom, it is our duty to prepare our followers and students by first mentally preparing them to fail. We can achieve this by giving them permission to “take a stab at it” and take the fear of a failing grade out of the equation. David Nigel of Campus Technology reported in his study that, “Creativity needs to be infused more deeply into the curriculum. However, according to a new study, testing, federal and state mandates, and a dearth of time and resources, among other factors, are getting in the way.”

I challenge you to take the first step with your employees and students. Share your ideas and stories here with the iMar community so we can all learn from each other!

Read More: Mark Zuckerberg: Success Comes from the Freedom to Fail

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Will Your Skills Be Needed in the Future?

Will You Matter in 2030?

Demand for higher cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making, and complex information processing, will grow through 2030 at cumulative double-digit rates.”
-Adam Jezard, The World Economic Forum

I know that 2030 is a long time from now, but it is never too early to start planning for the future. If you have been following iMar Learning Solutions then you already know that 2020 is the year that the way we “work” is scheduled to be impacted the most. A lot of reports originally reported doom and gloom, and there is some truth to that. Here is a list of the Top 20 Jobs that will be eliminated by 2020.

New reports are actually stating that A.I. will create more new jobs than they eliminate, and that is GREAT news. But, do you have the correct skills to land one of these new A.I. created jobs? Skills like creativity, social and emotional intelligence, and creative problem solving will be more important than ever because we need leaders that can navigate the new landscape and lead their respective teams to the promised land. Oliver Cann, Director of Public Engagement for The World Economic Forum, said, “A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term.” Don’t forget to check out the article below to learn more about what you skills you will need to succeed in 2030.

Read More: The 3 Key Skill Sets for the Workers of 2030

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