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What skills do you need for Operations Management?

Imagine this:

You’re about to head into an important meeting with the company executives. You have been with the company for enough time to know that these meetings cannot be taken lightly.

Your boss starts speaking. He starts with a joke. People laugh. He continues:


“You know, there are certain people in a company who prove to be crucial to our success. The real go-getters. Those are the ones we keep around. They’re the few who make us who we are today.”

He pauses.

“I’d really like to commend insert your name here for displaying the kind of valuable characteristics we need for our company.”

If you’ve got the skills to make yourself a necessary cog in your company’s wheel, you might not need to imagine this scene.

What makes a great Operations Manager?

To become a remarkable operations manager, you need to be able to show that you are adept by displaying certain characteristics. These skills are important to both the success of the company as well as your own managerial position.

The necessary skills for Operations Management are:

Communication

As an operations manager, you need to communicate with numerous parties. While leading a team, you have to be able to convey a message clearly to each team member so that they know what to do and how you want it done. You also should prioritise external relationships, such as clients, suppliers, and stakeholders. For example, having a well-established connection between yourself and a supplier could give you an advantage when you need materials.

Time management

In general life, things need to get done on time. In Operations Management, it’s the same. The only difference is that others are relying on you to make sure things are done in time as an operations manager. Managing your time at work means managing your company’s time. This is a critical skill to develop as efficiently is one of the fundamental pillars of managing the operating systems in a company.

Leadership

Leading and communicating are best friends in management. If you can communicate effectively, it is likely that leading your team well will be smooth sailing. Leading a team requires caring for the individuals in the task force and knowing how to look after them well. If a person is happy at a company, it is much more likely that they will want to work hard for the business. As an operations manager, it is vital to encourage your team to be the most efficient they can be in their roles.

Always look to improve

‘Optimisation’ is not just a buzzword thrown around in business. The task of making systems cost less, work better, and do things more quickly is a massive undertaking – one for which the operations manager is responsible. A key part of a career in operations is to either improve already existing systems or to install processes which might work better than the ones in place.

How to improve your Operations Management skills

Constantly practice optimisation

It’s a focus in the field of Operations Management. So, if this is your career, it should be one of your focuses too. In your day-to-day life, look for simple ways to do things better and more efficiently.

Whether it’s catching up on your emails while waiting for your food in the microwave or reading an important blog post while on the bus, there are ways to save yourself time with little effort.

Consider looking for feedback

We’re not saying you should constantly seek affirmation for your work. We are saying you should be open to ideas from other people, such as your employer, your team members, or even your loved ones. Another person could have a different insight into a problem which could ultimately solve the issue.

Set achievable goals

This seems to be popular in oversaid business mantras, but it is such an important concept to fully grasp as a manager. If you are hoping to change the company’s world after a week of being there, you’re setting yourself – and probably your team – up for disappointment. Aim big, but don’t for the impossible.

What should an Operations Manager do?

Now that you know what abilities you need to be a great operations manager, the follow-up question might be how exactly do these skills play out?

Although defined responsibilities depend on the exact career role and the company’s focus, the manager usually has general duties related to:

1. Production management
2. The evaluation of the efficiency of processes in place
3. Perform quality control
4. Product tracking
5. Stock and inventory tracking
6. Monitoring administrative strategies

Finally, an Operations Manager should:

1. Consider which skills they possess and should look to hone them. This will ultimately be beneficial for themselves as a manager, their team, and their company.
2. Look at which skills they don’t have and find ways to develop them. A short course in Management is an exceptional way to realise how this can happen.

What is Operations Management?

what is operations management

You might have heard of a line manager, a logistics manager, or a production manager. All of these have a few things in common. They put the individual in a position of overseeing a taskforce and systems, they are involved in ensuring some form of business activity runs smoothly and they look to improve systems for a company to maximise efficiency and reduce costs.

Most importantly, though, these are all careers which fall under the umbrella industry of Operations Management.

What is an Operations Manager?

As implied in the name, an operations manager deals with the operations within a business. A company will hire an operations manager to supervise administration in one or more different departments in the business. The manager will also look for ways to improve any protocols or systems in the company to both save time for employees or cut unnecessary costs.

This means the operations manager needs to have an overall idea of what is happening in the business in order to oversee and improve systems. As a result, the manager usually deals with almost every department in the company, such as finance, IT, or human resourcing.

What are the different careers in Operations Management?

Operations Management in itself is a career, but there are also more specialised fields in the industry. The most common careers of operations management and their related responsibilities are:

1. Business Operations Manager – A mainstream role in operations management. Involves planning, budgeting, scheduling, tracking of goods and products, and general oversight of operations. Usually, this person is tasked with increasing production and cutting costs.
2. Materials Manager – A role with a focus on knowing which raw materials are in stock and purchasing necessary things for production.
3. Logistics Manager – A role tasked with a focus on making sure all practical running systems in a company are smooth and efficient.
4. Manufacturing/Line Manager – A role tasked with the production of goods. This manager looks after all phases of operations from any raw materials to the finished product. The products should be up to the company’s standard and it is up to the operations manager to check this.

What are the major responsibilities in Operations Management?

The responsibilities in operations management is typically catered for the key role of the operations manager. For example, if the operations manager is focused on the logistics, the duties might look different to an operations manager who is tasked with overseeing the materials or production in a company.

Typically the general responsibilities for an operations manager involve:

Cost management

This is related to the purchasing of any raw materials or equipment or the sales of goods produced by the company. This requires insight into the finances of the company as well as expertise in logistics related to tracking products.

Production management

It is crucial that the production of goods in a company is as cost and time effective as possible. It is up to the operations manager to find ways to make sure that production happens quickly, smoothly, and cheaply.

Team management

An operations manager often needs to manage a team more than any systems used in a company. Since people are involved in the manufacturing of goods or providing services, it is important for an operations manager to know how to manage a team well.

Asset management

It is often up to the operations manager to oversee the inventory, warehouse, and any goods produced by the company. Although this is similar to the responsibility for production management, it requires the phase after. The operations manager should be able to know how many materials or goods are available at any time and where one might find them.

Take a short course in Operations Management

Taking a short course in Operations Management offers an understanding of how to tackle these responsibilities in your career proficiently. After our 8-week course, you will be a master at managing team members, an ace at asset-management, and a professional at production.

Our course also offers a clear insight into efficient business planning, forecasting, managing supply and demand capacities, and helping you gain the best idea of how to set up excellent systems for optimum efficiency.

The benefits of business management

Think of any successful business. What you see behind the face of achievement is a hard-working team using well-developed structures to ensure the most efficient and favourable results possible. All the cogs are in place, tasks are running smoothly, and the system is sustainable.

Business management exists to keep the cogs running or to adjust when one falls out of place. It is a field which is fundamental to the success of a well-run business.

What is business management?

Business management is related to the operation of all administration within an organisation or corporation. The tasks within the role include strategising, giving support to team members, ensuring the goals set out are accomplished, and looking after resources.

Essentially, a business manager is the individual who is tasked with running a business. While it might sound simple in principle, it is an enormous task and involves a huge amount of planning, monitoring, and consistent supervising.

It also should be noted that a good business manager does not personally involve themselves in every matter in the business, but rather delegates to trusted members to look after smaller tasks.

What are the benefits of business management?

Managing a business has a certain appeal to it. Not only do you get to put “Business Manager” on your business card in a fancy font, but you also get to boast other benefits which only managing a business brings.

These are:

  • Having a clear overview of running a business;
  • Fully comprehending the value of a team member;
  • Learning more-rounded approaches to managing people;
  • Developing communication skills that you’d never have before; and
  • Constantly learning on the job.

It gives you a clear overview of a business

If we narrow in to look at individuals tasks performed in business: When performing a task, you need to know the ins-and-outs of it before tackling it. If you are delegating that task to a team member, you still need to understand the basics before explaining it to the person who will be performing it.

Now, if we zoom out to all business operations: Since the manager will know the basics of most tasks being performed they will, therefore, have a basic understanding of the business as a whole and will have a well-rounded knowledge of the business.

You comprehend the value of a team member

If you have to lead people, you need to know what you are asking of them. When you lead well, you will know how to gain the most productive and efficient work out of a happy team member, while knowing what they putting in.

If you understand how important your team is, you gain an understanding of the value of each worker which will help teach you to appreciate, support and encourage them. It also means that if you have to perform the task yourself, you will be able to appreciate the weight of it in the business operations.

You learn new approaches to management

There are five different leadership styles in business management. If you are able to adapt your style to the business you are leading, you are well on your way to passively developing new leadership skills. This is beneficial to both you (as it teaches you new ways to effectively support individuals in their tasks) and your team (as they will be supported and encouraged in ways which bring out their best).

You develop communication skills

In leadership, “communication is key” cannot be stressed enough. If a team member feels comfortable in approaching their manager, they will excel at performing their tasks with confidence.

Although a person can be born with communication skills, the ability is more often learnt through good practice and consistent use. Developing communication skills in order to explain and relay information and accept and process feedback is crucial in business management, but it takes time to learn. This skill is remarkably beneficial because it can be implemented in all areas of life, even outside of the business.

You constantly learn on the job

Similar to learning communication skills through practice, there are a number of business traits which can be learnt on the job. In order to lead people, you first and foremost need to be able to lead yourself. Any self-learning is heightened while leading other people, so the experience you gain in leadership will enhance the lessons you learn.

Why do a short course in business management?

If you’ve completed a business management short course you will have gained insight into what goes into managing a business. This includes:

  • An understanding of the different approaches of leadership and management;
  • Getting to grips with important financial concepts and how the economy relates to the business environment;
  • The nature of marketing and how it is used to accomplish objectives; and
  • Entrepreneurship and how to be excellent at starting and managing your very own business

All of these skills can be theoretically taught and practically implemented in order to take advantage of the benefits business management offers.

What is leadership in business?

leadership in business

How does a business maintain its vision? Through good leadership. Effective leadership in business management helps with goal achievement and ensures productivity. Leaders make sure that everyone’s roles are clearly defined while meeting business objectives.

What is leadership?

The term ‘leadership’ means something different to everyone. For some, it conjures up images of a political leader or business executive. Many think leadership means seniority, but generally, it really means guiding someone – in the right direction – towards a better result.

Here’s how to spot a leader:

Leads by example

If they are enthusiastic about something, people around them will mirror their attitude. How they approach a situation will inspire others on how to manage a specific scenario.

Listens more

They speak less and listen more. This encourages open communication and could lead to effective results.

Is a team player

Someone who is willing to ‘get down in the trenches’ with everyone else shows fairness and a willingness to achieve a great

Qualities of a good leader

Like any good craftsmen, a good leader also needs a set of tools in their arsenal to help them make a positive impact.

Effective communication

To make sure that everyone is on the right track, the leader will need to communicate what is needed. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page and have an understanding of the requirements. Communication doesn’t mean verbalising instructions but also being exceptional at non-verbal skills. This all boils down to body language and eye contact. People usually gain a first impression of someone before they speak. Non-verbal cues speak volumes.

Good motivator

There are leaders that drive their team to hard work and there are others that cheer them. The latter is the one that achieves effective results. Why? The team witnesses a person who has commitment and passion, which inspires them to work hard. This inspires everyone to do great work.

Creativity

There will be times when a challenge occurs. What separates a good leader from the bad is how these individuals manage obstacles. This involves creative thinking. A good leader is open to varying approaches to achieve the same goal. They do this while showing professionalism and confidence.

Honesty

An open and collaborative environment encourages transparency and is less hostile. A relationship based on trust demonstrates that the leader will always be honest with them every step of the way. A team with a good support system works in harmony and will achieve a positive outcome.

Decisive

Making the right decision can have a profound impact. A leader should be able to be analytical and have critical thinking to reach a successful outcome. Decision-making capabilities mean listening to others’ ideas, embracing differing perspectives and sound judgement to reach a conclusion that will help the end-goal.

Why leadership is important in business management

Having a good leader managing a business is important. The leader needs to ensure that the requirements of internal and external stakeholders are met. The leadership within an organisation needs to ensure the following:

Maintain the vision of the business

A business leader needs to guarantee that the business is working like a well-oiled machine and that it’s not steering away from its vision. This means ensuring that each department is functioning as it should and that there is an ample amount of resources available. Nobody should lose track of the big picture.

Communicate and manage business strategies

One of the important steps after strategy creation is implementation. The role of the leader is important because every level of the business needs to know what role they’ll be playing. The end goal needs to be clearly established and defined. This is easy with effective communication skills. Again, it’s not about verbalising instructions but making sure that the team understands what role they play.

Build morale

Employees are more productive if they are in a positive environment. This starts with leadership. If the team is too stressed, job performance and productivity will start to decline. A good leader will inspire the team to work hard but also maintain morale within the company. The result is high employee retention and a team that is highly motivated.

How do I gain leadership skills?

Most think that you are born with leadership skills but there are ways to develop them. To start off, you need to learn what leadership style suits your personality. A good leader also needs to practice discipline – whether it’s in your personal or professional life. Honing these skills through work experience is a great start.

Various short courses also provide insight into modern management approaches that could advance your career.

What you need to know when leading a business

leading a business

International Women’s Day is on a Friday this year. It cannot be a coincidence that it’s on Friday, which is arguably the best day of the week. Well, it could be coincidence since it’s really just the way the calendar works. Irrespective of serendipity, though, it is fitting that the day to honour women happens to be a day of celebration for workers all around the world.

Marilyn Monroe quote

And what a better way to celebrate than to give a platform to women in business who have cleared and are now paving the way for success and grace to make its way into the world of business. In this, we’ll be offering tips on how to be the best boss in a business which once before belonged exclusively to the boys

How to be the best at leading a business

Be confident in what you are offering

Have the confidence that you are exactly what the business needs. Communication step aside, Confidence is the new key to success. If you believe that you are going to do an excellent job, or if you are able to convince everyone that you can; then the odds of you flourishing and overcoming adversities are far better than if you are unsettled in your ability.

Look ahead

Be forward-focused. Remember: Any failures from the past are precisely that: “from the past”. Focus on what you have learned and know that you are better equipped because of mistakes made. While nothing rattles a person quite like defeat, nothing teaches a person like it either.

“Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”


J.K Rowling.

Stay updated in business management

Be relevant.

Now, we don’t mean keeping up with the Kardashians. We mean stay updated with leadership techniques and methods which will take you and your team to the next level. Business is constantly shifting, and so should your tactics on how to lead.

Remember the basics of business

When in doubt, go back to basics. Remember the fundamentals of management and business leadership if you are in a place where nothing else seems valid. This concerns all fields of business such as marketing, operations, and budgeting.

All of these are offered in our Business Management short course. The knowledge gained in the courses gives deeper insight into the theoretical and practical methods of leading a team in a business to ensure the most success in any tasks presented.

Not only can you learn to manage a business for your boss. You can learn how to manage a business where you are the boss.

How to build and grow your own business

The skills you need to have as an entrepreneur are all of the above and more. MasterStart’s Business Management short course also explores how to be an expert entrepreneur and be the best boss while looking out for your team and leading diligently.

Leading a business is taxing work. Building a business is not only on a different page, but it’s also an entirely new book. When you own a business, you need to know how to lead your employees effectively as well as dealing with clients, budget, resources and administration.

Stressful? Most probably.

Satisfying? Absolutely.

Pay attention to the economic ecosystem

What is happening outside of your business is far too important to ignore. The financial state of your country could influence the way in which you guide your business and operations. If you can understand your customer’s finance, you’ll have a better appreciation of what to offer and at how much. Supply and demand drive the business and you need to know which way to steer for a successful journey.

Pay attention to the needs of your staff

This goes hand-in-hand with scaling. Keep an eye on how your staff is doing; without them, your business will collapse. Make sure they have all the resources they need. Also, bear in mind that your team members also have dreams and it’s not necessarily to make yours a reality – so find a way to incentivise their dreams teaming up with yours. A happy team is a strong team and it’s up to you to make sure they are both.

For all the women who are heading up and taking charge in business; you’ve got this and always have. On that note, MasterStart is wishing everybody a happy, productive International Women’s Day this Friday.

What is a project manager?

what is a project manager

In order for any type of business to run operations smoothly, project management is needed to oversee tasks and ensure that projects are being performed with efficiency and competence. Any successful project manager is skilled at delegating duties to the right team member, ensuring that tasks are running on time, and maintaining roles within an allocated budget.

In a nutshell, the project manager acts as an overseer for the team, budget, time, and organisation of a project in a company.

Project manager skills

Before considering how to become a project manager, it is important to consider the skills you have – and can hone – for the career.

For any project to excel, a project manager must have:

1. Administrative abilities,
2. Competence in communication,
3. Proficiency working under pressure,
4. Dexterity in delegation, and
5. A talent in time management.

It is also vitally important for a project manager to be:

1. A guru at guiding a team;
2. Accessible, available, and approachable. The enemy of success is a manager to whom a team member can’t talk.

How to become a project manager

So you know what the basics of project management are; but knowing what a project manager does and becoming a project manager – and a great one at that – are totally different things.

Like anything, the ‘hard-work and dedication’ approach will put you on the right path of becoming a great project manager. Before that, however, it’s a good idea to make sure the career is the right one for you. You can find this out in a number of ways.

Do your research

First, find out what being a project manager practically entails. This means the nitty-gritty, real-life part of the job. You can do this through reading about the day-to-day life of a project manager, chatting to people in the field, or asking a project manager pressing questions you might have.

Take an online short course in project management

You don’t necessarily need to do a full degree to get the practical, theoretical and technical elements required to become a great project manager. A short course is the perfect way to test the project management waters without having to dive into the career, and if you are already a project manager looking to better yourself, a short course is just what you need to equip you with the right skills to bring you up to the A-game that you and your projects deserve.

Get practical experience

By managing any project, whether it is a small task within your department or a group project in university, you gain hands-on experience in project management. You can show an important leadership ability if you are able to identify the need for project management and then to put things into place to make sure the task is completed well.

Learn how to use the right tools at the right time

While personable management skills are essential, the “soft skills” only make up half of what is needed for optimal project management. Skills from the technical side, such as software developed to assist managers and teams with projects, are just as important to explore a project, execute it with excellence, and exceed expectations.

Tools created to help with budgeting, communication, scheduling, and delegation are at your fingertips, and there are enough resources to learn the tricks of the trade online. It’s also a great bonus to add “this amazing tech skill” to your resume.

How to actually become a project manager

Odds are, if you’ve managed projects, you’ve already started stepping into the role. The next step is to make it ‘official’. Put yourself out there and get some real-life experience as a bona-fide project manager; apply for an internship, send out your suitable resume (don’t forget to add your experience and short courses!), and take the job market by storm. The world might not be ready, but you sure as heck are.

Embrace online education and earn while you learn

study while you work

Keep earning while you learn and you could take your career to the next level within a few short weeks. When you earn while you learn, you have the distinct advantage of gaining new skills without having to take any leave. This means that you can stay on top of your busy workday while learning new things.

It is more than possible to earn while you learn these days with the advent of the internet and online courses.

The fact that people change careers so often means that there is a need to keep yourself relevant in today’s modern age. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that today’s average employee has gone through ten different jobs before the age of forty.

Further investigation suggests that within modern society, the youngest people entering the workplace are expected to have been in twelve to fifteen various roles in their lifetime. This evidence proves that you need to continuously upskill yourself so that you can remain ahead of the curve.

We aren’t talking about apprenticeships, we’re talking real money

The modern world is a new playground where people learn new things all the time. Why shouldn’t your education be the same? Our research here at MasterStart has revealed some interesting facts about the South African workforce.

If you want to get promoted and reach new heights in your career you have to stay current and up to date, constantly upskilling yourself to cement your skills and understanding as the expectations of your job evolve.

Online courses can give you the edge in the market. There is a huge demand to stay relevant in a world that is constantly evolving with technology. Online courses are flexible and can be adapted to suit your schedule, which means you don’t need to take time off from work. They also empower you and help you stay relevant in the modern workforce.

Keep going with MasterStart

You can keep your job and learn at the same time with an online course; boosting your skills and helping you achieve your goals in your career. MasterStart in partnership with various business schools has online courses that you can easily fit into your day so that you can earn while you learn.

Make your boss a believer

There is nothing that can beat education, except for free education online. MasterStart has a unique corporate offering tailored for businesses, to help employees earn while you learn. Empowerdex (one of the largest ratings agencies in South Africa) has issued an opinion classifying MasterStart’s online short courses as category B in the B-BBEE skills development matrix.

If your organisation is large enough, it is their duty to spend money upskilling employees, as it forms part of their skills development spend. Your boss will be so impressed with our unique packages that you could end up with a free online course to help you earn while you learn and reach new heights, securing that long-awaited promotion.

Keep checking in with us here for more exciting career prospects this year.

Technology in the classroom is essential today

technology

Technology has become an essential part of our daily existence. We look to the palm of our hand to inform our daily routine. So, it should come as no surprise that technology in the classroom is essential for teaching in a world that keeps demanding constant change. Technology in the classroom holds major benefits for both students and teachers alike. Educational technology benefits the new dynamic online learning space, as the world keeps leaning towards teaching with technology as it makes our lives easier and the content we engage with, far more exciting.

Technology in the classroom has made learning more interactive

Technology has made learning more engaging and interactive than ever before. The traditional pen and paper was far mightier than the sword way back when, however, the world has changed rapidly over the past ten years. The new-age world is swamped with content. Whether it be Facebook or YouTube we constantly engage with online content and this is why technology in the classroom is so important.

Technology in the classroom keeps learning fun and fresh, adding new angles to content daily for more interactive learning experiences, which allows students to have fun while learning. The technology for teachers allows for a better classroom experience and with new educational apps, learning material can be accessed on demand and on the go, giving the world access to learning material quickly and easily.

Teaching with technology prepares students for the future

We are living in the future. The advent of the digital world has consumed us and as technology evolves and adapts, we constantly race towards the future at dizzying speeds. Technology in the classroom is crucial, as teaching with technology prepares students for the future.

Just think how scared older generations are of technology, some can not even muster the courage to turn a computer on. By infusing technology in the classroom we automatically prepare future generations for the next generational leap in human advancements.   

Technology in the classroom has improved learning results

One of the biggest educational technology benefits is the improved retention rate amongst students. Not only are students engaging with learning material, they understand it and so they remember it, committing it to their long-term memory.

The online learning edge

The world is constantly online. Huge leaps in technology allow companies to communicate across continents in real time with unique tools like Skype. The online world has given power back to the people. We can access a vast array of information on demand, quicker than ever before. A multiplicity of devices can connect to the internet and this has changed the learning environment.

Technology in the classroom, is not just in the classroom. New-age tech allows us to take the classroom with us at all times. This allows for minimal downtime from the workplace and cuts out annoying commutes to traditional learning establishments. Teaching with technology has also allowed people to learn very specifically focused skill-sets, which can be incorporated into a current role or used to tackle an entirely different job within an organisation.

Take time for an online course

Studying online short courses is easier than ever before. If you’re on the lookout for quality education that can propel your skills and your career to new heights in 2019, then MasterStart has a vast array of top online short courses.

Our unique packages offer course participants the opportunity to learn practical, real time working knowledge that can be implemented on the job, almost immediately.  

Keep checking back on our blog page for more informative Ed-Tech news that will inspire you to reach new heights in your professional life.

Christmas books for the holidays

books for christmas

Read these Christmas books for some sanity this holiday season.

Festive cheer embraces your home, as the jingle bells rock and the holly christens your front door, there’s an undeniable sense of joy in the air and you can feel the holiday spirit all around you. Sometimes, the holidays get a bit intense though; short funny Christmas stories, kids running around the house, family members stepping on your toes one too many times and the dog that won’t stop begging for its’ Christmas ball to be thrown again and again.

These are the best Christmas books to read this holiday. The following Christmas books will have you curled up by the fire or lounging out in your hammock keeping you engaged and on edge all through the holidays.

The internet is like an open library, making reading books online easy and accessible.

If you’re taking a break from studying online, these Christmas books are perfect for you this holiday season.

3 books to keep you engaged and on the edge this Christmas

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge’s, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.” – Charles Dickens

Written by Charles Dickens  in 1843; A Christmas Carol inspires a message of redemption, love, and the goodwill of the season. It is one of the best Christmas books to read as the message and the plot never get old. It teaches us to be humble and accept where we are in life. The plot is centred around an old, bitter man, uncle Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts who take him on a journey through Christmases past, present, and future.

If you’re reading books online or searching through open library content and need to get your hands on a hard copy of the book you can order it here

  • A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

“Those who Know Best decide that I belong in a military school. And so follows a miserable succession of bugle-blowing prisons, grim reveille-ridden summer camps. I have a new home too. But it doesn’t count. Home is where my friend is, and there I never go.” – Truman Capote

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is undeniably one of the best Christmas books available to date. The book is almost like a collection of short funny Christmas stories, however with a twist. Capote’s A Christmas Memory nostalgically remembers the last Christmas that he enjoyed as a seven-year-old boy with his “sixty-something” cousin, who called him Buddy in memory of a boy who had once been his best friend. Buddy lives with this cousin and other relatives in a spreading old house in a country town. The book is essentially a collection of autobiographical stories from the author’s childhood.

If you’re reading books online and searching for this Christmas classic on an open library platform you can find it here

  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann

“Tell me, Godfather Drosselmeier, is it then really true that you invented mousetraps?” “How can you ask such a silly question?” said his mother, but the Counsellor smiled mysteriously, and said in an under tone, “Am I a skilful watchmaker, and yet not able to invent a mousetrap?” – E.T.A. Hoffmann

First published in 1816, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann is a children’s fantasy novel that embraces age old traditions, in ways that few other Christmas books can. The book embraces the magical spirit of Christmas and brings a nutcracker doll to life only to fight an army of mice. The personified nutcracker is later revealed as a young man once cursed by the mouse queen. This is a brilliant Christmas book for kids and adults alike. Embrace the magic and be captivated by Hoffmann’s unique style of writing.

If you’re reading books online or searching through open library content and need to get a hard copy of the book you can order it here

The above Christmas books embrace the magic of the season with short funny Christmas stories that bring the spirit of goodwill and love back into your heart effortlessly. Keep checking back on our blog page for more exciting books to read.

Importance of e-learning in organisations

importance of elearning

Only a mere 8% of companies currently make use of online learning platforms but that number is expected to almost double in the next year. The importance of e-learning can no longer be swept under the rug, it offers the kinds of benefits that traditional establishments just can’t keep up with.

The importance of e-learning in organisations is essential for growth and development. Companies have a responsibility to upskill staff and help them remain relevant in a world that is constantly shifting through dynamic, digital change. Companies are starting to recognise the importance of e-learning for the longevity of the organisation as a whole.

Can the workplace really transform into a classroom?

Thanks to technological advances, the importance of e-learning can be recognised and implemented into the workplace seamlessly. The workplace can be transformed into a classroom effectively to teach and upskill all sizes of staff compliments.

Traditionally, training needed to be outsourced entirely. This meant that a training area had to be hired and a lecturer needed to be present to teach people the learning material. Different types of tools of e-learning have this covered and truly transform the workplace into a classroom. All the course material is presented online and at the most appropriate time. Large groups can learn the same content at the same time, in the same space and interact with the material in real time. 

E-learning as an individual

Online learning is far more practical than attending traditional land-based establishments. The importance of e-learning particularly as an individual is highlighted by the reduction in costs incurred from studying, less downtime at the office resulting in higher productivity rates and the right tools to keep yourself updated in today’s digital age.

MasterStart recognises the importance of e-learning as an individual. Our unique courses are packaged and tailored around the users needs, providing you with on demand learning that is flexible and practical based. Our array of exciting online short courses will develop your skills and help you grow as an individual, allowing for career progression effortlessly.

Importance of e-learning as an organisation

Every organisation has a responsibility towards its’ employees when it comes to learning and development. MasterStart’s online learning platform for business allows any organisation to upskill multiple employees effortlessly.

We have an array of exciting packages that we can tailor towards your specific needs and goals as an organisation. We are dedicated to see the importance of e-learning grow to help Africa reach its full potential, with transformed, forward-thinking future leaders.

Getting to know MasterStart

MasterStart has a forward thinking online learning platform, which is easily accessible and effortless to use as an individual or business entity. We have devoted professionals who recognise the importance of e-learning and the benefit it holds, particularly on the African continent.

Our online short courses allow for flexible online learning that provides course participants with practical working skills that can be implemented on the job almost instantly. We cater for individuals as well as organisations, providing you with tools of e-learning that equip you or your business for the digital future.

Contact us now to learn more or keep checking back on our blog page for more exciting online learning news.