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How to Separate Facts from Fiction Emmanuel Gamor’s 3-Step Strategy

With the advent of social media and the ability of every smartphone owner to become a content producer, we are surrounded by more fake news, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and misinformation than ever before. Worst of all, it can be tricky to determine which information is true and which is false.

As part of our #KeepLearning webinar series, we invited award-winning journalist and entrepreneur Emmanuel Gamor to speak to us about the rapid spread of fake news and how we can protect ourselves from damaging misinformation.

What it really comes down to is actively engaging with the content that you encounter, rather than simply absorbing information and taking it at face value.

1. Examine Reputational Integrity

The single most important thing that you can do to figure out if the information is reliable or not is to examine the source’s ‘reputational integrity’, i.e. its credibility.

You need to consider if the website/company that is publishing this information can be held accountable – do they have to answer to viewers, readers, and/or shareholders?

Accountability incentivises content creators to fact-check their information and ensures that they are publishing only that which is legitimate. This way, if their article’s claims and statements are questioned, they can provide reliable sources and evidence to support their content – in good journalism, these sources will be cited in the article.

2. Build a Trusted Digital Community

Make an effort to limit your online community to people you trust, and who value truth and integrity. This includes friends and family members, but also extends to public figures, brands, politicians, celebrities, and influencers.

If someone is repeatedly sharing content that you believe to be false, misleading, or even harmful, consider calling them out on it, educating them as to why the information that they are sharing is incorrect, and explaining why spreading misinformation is problematic.

The goal is to surround yourself with people that you can rely on to share articles that they have fact-checked and determined to be credible.

3. Look for an Agenda

A clear indicator that information may be unreliable is that it appears to be promoting a particular agenda. A great question to ask yourself is, “Is the purpose of this content to provide information, or has it been created to provoke an emotional response?”

When someone cannot back up their claims with reliable sources, studies, and facts, they will often rely on emotional, argumentative, and sensationalist tactics to convince people that their information is legitimate.

An excellent example of this is conspiracy theory videos – they often use emotionally-charged music, controversial statements and flawed logic to manipulate you into believing their message. They may also try to appear more credible by emulating the aesthetics of widely-trusted information providers such as news stations; for example, they might use similar fonts, colour palettes, and music. This underhandedly predisposes you to be more receptive to their message and misinformation.

By actively implementing these steps and strategies in your daily social media browsing, you will be able to easily separate the lies from the truth and ensure that you remain properly educated and informed. We encourage you to share this information so that, together, we can build a world of truth, integrity, and authenticity.

To help you to #KeepLearning under lockdown, we have recorded all of our webinars and made them freely available for you to watch and share!

Watch the full Fake News and You recording, along with the rest of our expert-led #KeepLearning webinars.

Tech Trends You Need to Look Out for As the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

It’s obvious that technology has been playing a crucial role in our work and lives during the global health crisis. From medicine to retail, the world has relied on new developments in technology to help keep people safe while also keeping sectors of the economy afloat.

Some trends in innovative technology have emerged as a result of the lockdown, and are worth keeping an eye on when considering the way that businesses will operate in the future…

Robotics & Omnichannel Delivery

Ecommerce, which was already on the rise before the pandemic hit, has exploded in the past few months. To reduce risk and contact, people are opting for online shopping and the delivery of products ranging from food to fashion.

As a result, we’re seeing tech companies flock to the industry to offer safer, contact-reduced (or contact-free) methods of delivery. Chinese ecommerce giants have started rolling out robotic delivery to send customers their online orders. Delivery drones (akin to that of Amazon Air Prime, a project still to be launched) are also being developed and tested.

If your business operates in the ecommerce industry, stay ahead of the competition and start considering how you can implement new innovative delivery to offer your customers. Take an Online Programme in FinTech strategies and explore disruptive technologies to add to your armoury.

Digital & Cash-Free Payment Methods

Cash is famously unclean. It also might carry the virus. While some countries are implementing methods to clean cash before banknotes go into circulation, many are opting to encourage cash-free systems.

Digital methods such as cards and e-wallets are certainly not new. However, according to the World Bank, there are still more than 1.7 billion people who don’t make use of banking services and might not be able to rely on digital payment methods. It is anticipated that the pandemic will drive the adoption of digital payments, especially in developing countries where the internet is readily available.

Enhance your understanding of shifting technology to adopt the newest developments. Take an online programme in Digital Transformation and learn the practical ways to execute future thinking.

Remote & Work from Home Approaches

Some companies are working from home until the lockdown lifts. Others are implementing a full work from home (WFH) or remote-first approach. Spotify has reported that employees can work from home until 2021, and Twitter has announced that it will not be reopening its offices, allowing employees to work from home indefinitely.

When corporations jump onto movements like this, it often signifies the beginning of long-term change. We can no doubt expect to continue to see a rise in companies offering remote work on a permanent basis.

Read more: Find out how to thrive in a remote world

Distance Learning

Learning is currently electronic for many students, and while there are social and economic drawbacks, having a taste of remote education is offering vital skills for distance learning in a technologically-driven age. This will have major long-term impacts on the way the schooling system works, as well as how technology is implemented in education.

The sharp incline in online learning has also impacted businesses that see the value in online skills programmes. With the concept of ‘life-long learning’ increasing in popularity as multi-skilled employees become more valuable in companies, there is a major shift towards online courses and digital programmes.

Online learning offers a wealth of value in information, practical insights and strategic skill-sets. Discover what you can learn through GIBS Online Programmes. From learning to negotiate to successfully pitching your idea and discovering how you can implement artificial intelligence systems in your business, there are pearls of wisdom to be gained in every industry.


Regain Control through Proactivity & Education

If the past few months have shown us anything, it’s that we can never be too prepared for what is to come. Many of us are still facing the challenges of this strange new world.  We may even find ourselves losing patience as the days and weeks go on. With all this gloominess around, finding a quick reset button may be exactly what you need right now.

When it comes to staying busy, it’s important to choose the right habits, as they’re inevitably what will determine your future. Finding the right thing to spend your time on can become rather overwhelming, especially at a time like this. That’s why we have the magic of the internet. Whatever platform has led you to read this right now is proof that you can learn something new at the click of a button.

Here are some of the main benefits of learning online:

It’s a distraction!

Let’s be honest, the people around us – however dearly we love them – can become a bit annoying after too much time spent in close quarters. Online learning gives you the ability to escape the chaos of life and learn how to direct it towards success in your career (and, potentially, your life).

It allows you to regain control

One of the biggest advantages of studying online is that you control how much and how fast you want to learn. You could learn from the comfort of your couch, and pause while you run out to take care of some personal admin. It’s up to you to decide how much and how often you’re willing to learn.

It could lead to a better job (or career!)

It’s a given that the more you know, the more you’re able to offer. Companies all over the world are having to adjust their employees’ statuses, and are on the hunt for innovative solutions that perhaps weren’t needed pre-COVID. What if the only thing standing between you and your dream career is some further/specialised education and training on your CV? Our world-class online short courses could just be the key to your future success.

It offers invaluable experience

The more experience you build, the better decisions you’re able to make in your role – and career.  Further education and training that includes skills-based assignments can push you out of your comfort zone and towards a better future.

Every successful leader or entrepreneur will tell you the same thing – the more you learn, the more you realise how little you know. Once you understand this concept, it becomes easy to do just about anything you put your mind to. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the ability to learn something new that could benefit your future is still available to you. You just have to take advantage of the opportunity.


Choose Productivity Over Procrastination

It’s far too easy to waste time these days. With pop-ups constantly vying for your attention, trying to maintain focus can be excruciatingly difficult. Under lockdown, with cyber communication as one of the few social interactions allowed, streams of notifications offer an unparalleled distraction. And it’s only getting worse.

Procrastination, the dreaded inefficient time-thief, has become too easy.

And it’s time to break the habit.

Procrastination is Just a Defence Mechanism

Motivation speaker Mel Robbins sums up procrastination in an unusual way:

“You’re not a procrastinator. You have a habit of procrastinating. Procrastination is a form of stress relief.”

Procrastination comes as a kind of self-defence against stress to avoid tackling an overwhelming task. Stressful triggers will always be there. This simply isn’t a choice. But the way you deal with them is up to you.

Science-Backed Ways to Beat Procrastination Effectively

Following science-backed research, Robbins offers advice to beat the habit of procrastination…

The first step in choosing productivity over procrastination is to acknowledge that the latter is just a behaviour, rather than a fundamental part of your character.

From there, take a breath, count to ten, and interrupt the habit of procrastination.

Then, set out to work on one thing for five minutes. Only five minutes. Statistically, the odds of continuing the work following these five minutes are hugely in your favour. 80% of people are going to keep going once they start.

The more this is repeated, the better you will become at combatting stress avoidance, which will ultimately instil good habits of productivity.

Are You Using Your Time Effectively?

Procrastination also plays strongly into the “play now, work later” approach. It’s an inefficient tactic that leads down a path of time-wasting and diminishes your chances of future success.

It is critical to remember that what you sow today, you’ll be reaping later. If you spend your energy building your procrastination habit, you will have less to build your future now. But if you choose to invest your time and resources productively now, the investment will reward you so much more than you might expect.

All it takes is consciously working to break the bad habits and build good ones instead.

Take a GIBS Digital Programme to focus your time and finances in a way that will see you reaping great rewards in the future.


Generations of Learning: The Evolution of Education

In the past decade alone, education has seen an extraordinary transition. From electronic screens in every classroom to tablets or personal computers mandated for students, technology has become so deeply integrated into the classroom that it’s difficult to imagine a time when it was just paper and pens.

Everything About Learning Has Changed

The significant changes in education are obvious in both how things are taught and what is being taught.

Think back to when you were at school. Pluto was likely featuring as one of the Milky Way’s planets. A generation ago, there would be little to no focus on cyber safety. As more information comes to light, the details of what we know – and are taught – shift. And as technology continues to develop, information is becoming more accessible to more people.

With Father’s Day coming up, it’s an interesting exercise to look back and reflect on how things were just a generation ago. Data shows how young adults today are more likely to go to university. According to research, around 39% of millennials have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is a significant spike compared to the 29% of Gen Xers who have graduated, and the mere 25% of Baby Boomers who boast degrees.

Is Theoretical Teaching Effective?

It is crucial to recognise that a university degree is not fully indicative of knowledge. This is especially true as more companies are leaning towards practical comprehension and tangible skill-sets over paper certifications. This has led to the evolution of education at a more holistic level – practical development is more appealing than mere theoretical knowledge.

This means that the process of learning has adapted beyond formal schooling. Now, education and life-long learning are encouraged in all industries, not just academia. Online learning has shot up in popularity over the past 10 years, and even more so during COVID-19.

Read More: Digital Learning: The Sharp Upwards Trajectory

How Education Has Evolved Beyond Itself

Education has evolved to become more inclusive for both individuals and industries. Digital Programmes offer a fascinating look at how technology entwines industries with one another. For example, Artificial Intelligence a Practical Approach ties the four industries of academia, engineering, business, and economics in one neat bundle.

You no longer need to choose one hard focus on your career. Having a hunger for information about different topics is both rewarding and rewarded – and it’s become easy to satiate.

Signing up for a Digital Programme will help satisfy your need to know more – and you’ll gain valuable insight into your industry and others!

5 Ways Online Learning Can Reignite Your Productivity

The past few months have been an absolute whirlwind that has seen workers and students all over the country struggling to maintain motivation, discipline, and productivity. Now, as we slowly return to normalcy, we are all having to pick up the pace again and get our efficiency back up to pre-pandemic levels, which is no easy task.

Luckily, the universe has provided the perfect opportunity to reset, reconsolidate, and restart our engines… World Productivity Day! This special day is held on 20 June each year to allow us to celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on how we can do better in the future, and that’s exactly what we all need right now.

The question now becomes – what can you do this weekend to really get your productivity going? There are about one million blogs and listicles that will tell you that all you need to do is dress up your workspace and start every morning with a run, and you’ll be good to go. However, while these tips can be helpful, at the end of the day they are just preparing you to be productive. We argue that the best way to actually increase your productivity is to throw yourself headfirst into a new challenge like, for instance, enrolling in one of our online courses!

Now this might seem strange (how could adding more to your plate help you to deal with what’s already on there?), but there is actually a multitude of ways that taking up online education can boost your productivity:

1. Become a Time Management Master

Poor time management is arguably productivity’s arch-nemesis. When you take on the challenge of completing an online course along with the rest of your work, you have no choice but to optimise how you use your time and figure out a routine and system that allows you to motor through your work like a well-oiled machine. Best of all, this is a skill that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

2. Rediscover Your Passion

There is no doubt that this has been an incredibly stressful time, and that many of us have been left fatigued and drained, making heightened productivity seem impossible. Taking up the challenge of learning something new about your field can remind you why you got into it in the first place and reignite your passion for what you do.

3. Develop Your Focus-Shifting Skills

Nowadays, employers are looking for people with a diverse set of skills who can perform a number of jobs that stretch over a wide range of disciplines. Therefore, being able to switch focus easily between different tasks is an essential skill in the modern workplace. Taking an online course will teach you how to clear your mind of the stresses and anxieties of your work tasks, and narrow your focus to the lesson or assignment that you need to attend to that day.

4. Build Team Morale

If you really want to get your motor running, take a course with your colleagues or, better yet, approach your superiors and ask them to cover tuition as an investment in your training (you can read our guide for getting your company to pay here). Not only will this hold you accountable to finishing what you started, but you will be able to discuss what you’ve learned with your peers and grow together as a team, which will help to boost both individual and group productivity.

5. Improve Your Stamina

Often the first thing that we want to do when arriving home from the office is fall face down on the couch, which leaves us with a long list of personal projects and hobbies gathering dust. Taking an online course will encourage you to develop a strategy for recovering energy after a long day so that you can continue to be productive even when you’re off the clock.

It may not be easy, but we promise that it will be worth it.

So, what are you waiting for?

Join us and make this World Productivity Day your fresh start.

2020 Mid-Year Reflection: A Look Back on a Crazy Rollercoaster Ride

The South African national lockdown was announced nearly three months ago. Very few individuals could have predicted 2020 to go the way it has so far. And those who did would have been labelled as crazy.

So far, this year has faced raging fires in Australia, members of the royal family renouncing their duties, a United States impeachment trial, the United Kingdom officially leaving the European Union, the declaration of the Rand as junk, and a global pandemic locking down almost the entire world.

That all happened within the first 100 days of the year.

Needless to say, 2020 will be featured in the history syllabus as a year that rocked the world.

What Good has Come from 2020 So Far?

While it may be difficult to find positives in mostly negative circumstances, it is important to note the silver-lined goodness that the year has offered so far. Beyond the massively popular and inarguably bizarre Netflix series about Joe Exotic, there have been several things the world has enjoyed this year.

The second person in the world who has been cured of HIV

As a result of a stem cell treatment in the United Kingdom, London resident Adam Castillejo has been successfully cured of the human immuno-virus. While the treatment is high-risk and subsequently not available for wide offering to patients, the success does mark a massively positive step towards a future cure for the disease.

Environmental benefits from people staying at home

As people stay home, both the individuals and the planet stay safe. Quarantining, remote work, and less mobility across the globe has meant that Earth has had a chance to catch its breath. With fewer carbon footprints making their mark on the planet, there have been fewer harmful gas emissions, reduced coal use, and better air quality recordings. 

Read More: How the Internet Benefits the Environment

The acceleration of technology in everyday life

As businesses have adapted to remote work, the powerhouse that is technological development has had a massive spotlight shone on it. With such a strong call to take advantage of the internet, volumes of eCommerce sales have increased, shares for decentralised services (such as Zoom) have shot up, and the focus has shifted to online resources. This is an undeniably crucial move with considerable perks. 

Remote work, for example, has numerous benefits ranging from increased employee productivity to lower costs without overheads and rental space. Moreover, employees have better opportunities now to upskill without having to worry about the time and cost of commuting. Online learning has seen a massive increase in popularity, as people are driven to train and improve their skills in different industries. This uptick offers insight into how valuable online learning is. 

Whether for your career or for a productive way to maintain sanity, consider taking a Digital Programme and put a positive pin on the year 2020 in your own personal history notes.

Which MasterStart Course is Right for YOUR 2020 Comeback?

Now, we’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that your 2020 hasn’t exactly gone as you had expected. As they say – pandemics are what happen when you’re busy making other plans. 

Luckily, we offer world-class online courses, each of which has its own unique benefits to arm you with whatever skills, knowledge and strategies you need to turn 2020 into your year of success despite the odds…

1.    Project Management

Duration: 8 weeks

Weekly commitment: 6 hours

About the Course

Our Project Management Course will teach you all of the relevant PM theory, along with examples, exercises and case studies (all up to date and aligned with industry standards!). You will be guided through the development and execution of a project plan, with supervision from a mentor – through this, you will learn how to use a Gantt chart, set up a budget and evaluate the project’s success along the way. 

Why is This Course Important?

Thousands of businesses and industries have had to completely reset the way that they operate, and they are looking for innovative and well-equipped individuals to take on the challenges of managing projects in this unchartered territory. Our course will also allow you to amp up your qualifications by gaining essential portfolio evidence necessary for earning an official Project Manager designation from Project Management South Africa (PMSA).

Sign Up Today

2.     Operations Management

Duration: 8 weeks

Weekly commitment: 4 – 6 hours

About the Course

You will learn all you need to know about effective and efficient operations management, including how to streamline an organisation’s goals and practices to maximise success. We’ll teach you the fundamentals of supply chain management, inventory management, risk assessment and control, and project management protocols – all super useful and important skills if you want to market yourself as an asset for any business.

Why is This Course Important?

COVID has forced many businesses to look for ways to cut costs and maximise efficiency in order to maintain a good profit margin. Businesses are in need of effective operations management, and equipping yourself with the diverse range of skills and knowledge taught in this course will allow you to easily convince any interviewer of your value.

Sign Up Today

3.    Business Management

Duration: 8 weeks

Weekly commitment: 6 hours

About the Course

This is a comprehensive course that will enable you to employ a variety of business management disciplines, and accurately assess business effectiveness. You will also be able to analyse and adapt a business’ marketing, financial management and budgeting. Along the way, you will learn to adopt the key values and attitudes necessary for success

Why is This Course Important?

Effective and diverse business management skills are essential for the current unstable and uncertain economy. 

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4.    Strategic Leadership

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly commitment: 6 hours

About the Course

We will teach you to tap into your own unique leadership style and grow your skills to become an effective, inspiring and efficient leader. You will also learn how to best develop the leaders in your company so that your business can operate as smoothly as possible.

Why is This Course Important?

Innovative and confident leaders are essential in taking businesses where they need to be in order to make it through the current economic climate. Furthermore, boosting morale and inspiring employees is essential to proper business operations.

Sign Up Today

5.    Digital Marketing

Duration: 7 weeks

Weekly commitment: 15 – 18 hours

About the Course

We will equip you with fundamental marketing theory and insights so that you can maximise your business’ success through the development of a bulletproof marketing strategy, as well as effective marketing in the digital age.

Why is This Course Important?

Marketing is absolutely vital in the current circumstances, particularly if your business has had to slow or close operations during lockdown. Knowing how to effectively connect with your customers, employ innovative strategies, and set your business apart from your competition will make the difference between success and failure.

Sign Up Today

6.    Risk Management

Duration: 12 weeks

Weekly commitment: 8 hours

About the Course

This course will allow you to expand your skill-set and engage with legislation and reporting structures so that you can best assess and address the specific risks that your company is facing.  

Why is This Course Important?

Needless to say that today’s business world is filled with risks, and it is essential that you can predict and solve problems as efficiently and effectively as possible to keep your business going.

Sign Up Today

7.     Human Resource Management

Duration: 10 weeks

Weekly commitment: 6 – 8 hours

About the Course

In this course we will teach you how to properly manage your business’ employees, as well as where to make improvements and changes, to promote efficiency and happiness in the workplace. You will also learn about labour relations and practices, as well as compulsory safety protocols.

Why is This Course Important?

Effectively managing your workforce is essential in ensuring that your employees and your clients feel safe placing themselves in your capable hands.

8.     Financial Analysis for Investment

Duration: 6 weeks

Weekly commitment: 6 hours

About the Course

This course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to help you advance your career and your business by teaching you how to work with capital budgeting, the analysis of financial statements and cash flow, and strategies for budget and project analysis. We will teach you about essential financial pillars and terminology so that you can identify weaknesses and optimise your business.

Why is This Course Important?

Equipping yourself with knowledge and skills in essential financial processes and practices is vital to ensure that you properly manage your business’ finances so that you can thrive, no matter the circumstances.  

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9.  Business and Systems Analysis

Duration: 9 weeks

Weekly commitment: 4 – 6 hours

About the Course

We will teach you the essential principles of business and business analysis so that you can effectively identify problems and implement solutions in your company’s systems to ensure long-term growth and success. You will also be able to more accurately evaluate your competition to ensure that you are ahead of the game. 

Why is This Course Important?

It’s the perfect way for any business and systems analyst to maximise business efficiency, productivity and profit.

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