Posted in Communication

Media and environment

Media plays a major role in educating the public about science, environment and policy. Climate change is presented to the public through media. The media simplifies the climate change concepts and constructs it to fit human interest, urgency and generally to be newsworthy. In a bid to find balance in reporting the media can amplifies disagreements about climate change. Media coverage of climate change and its role in portraying different narratives varies across different regions and different countries.

Posted in Communication

Introducing The Ecodigest Magazine

Among the 21st century environmental challenges is the ever-changing global climate. Its adverse effects have been witnessed and devastating consequences felt. Kenya, like most countries in the world has experienced abnormally high temperatures leading to the drying of water bodies and prolonged drought periods. This has created a water and food crisis. Moreover, floods resulting from intense rainfall have propelled untimely deaths, destroyed ecosystems and led to the extinction of plants and animal species.

With this in mind, Kenya has over the years developed several sector specific national policies for the sound management of environmental activities. The effective conservation of the environment largely depends on governance which sets multi-level interactions that aid in formulating and implementing policies to guide national agenda, priorities and interventions for various challenges in response to environment related demands and inputs from society. However, the Government cannot work alone, people from all levels of society need to get involved in this fight.

Despite failing to offer an amicable solution to the climate change problems, Copenhagen 2009 talks stirred the need for partnership from the community, national to international level in finding adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change. This will also include support from and collaboration with the private sector, civil associations, non governmental organizations, academic institutions and the media.

Thus in play is Ecodigest, a journal geared towards accelerating the process by providing factual and authoritative information on all aspects of the environment. It also acts as a fundamental too to all organizations and people seeking to understand and get involve in providing solutions to a planet under threat from climate change. Eco Digest is a product of Ecotact, a social enterprise which founded in 2006 with the sole aim of developing creative social investments in environmental sanitation and management in Africa and beyond. The enterprise has developed different flagship social initiatives that include the innovative Ikotoilet – thinking beyond a toilet, an idea that that won the Ashoka Fellow on Public Innovation for 2007 and UN Best practice in 2010.

The Ecodigest Second Issue

HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Eco digest is giving you an opportunity to put your advertisement in our pages as we embark on a revolutionary step set to find more effective and better ways of tackling environmental problems. The magazine provides an opportunity for your organization to showcase what you have done to conserve the environment in pictures and articles. This is an opportunity for the target audience to see and feel what you have done to protect further damage to the environment.

Posted in Communication

How to explain gaps in your CV

I have been away for a while and at some point I wondered what happened to me and writing.

I have met wonderful people who are all doing amazing things in the communication field. Today I will feature an article by one of these people. Joan Ngare. Joan is a career consultant in Nairobi.

HOW TO EXPLAINING EMPLOYMENT GAPS IN YOUR CV

BY JOAN NGARE

At some point in our employment history, we are likely to experience some gaps as a result of resignation, firing, a company downsizing on its structure, a company seizing to exist, contract or temporary jobs or just the state of not securing a job in a long time either after school or after the last employment. The most common gaps come about as a result of firing, resignation, contract jobs where one is unable to secure a permanent post upon the end of a contract. All you need to know is how to explain these gaps to a potential employer without sounding like a lazy and unreliable person who cannot be trusted with responsibilities.

Some gaps are much easier to explain away than others and the key is to make it sound as positive as possible. Explain the gap in such a way as to reassure potential employers that the issue is now completely resolved and that you are fit for work. If you worked as an Accountant for six years, such as, with a degree in Finance, then one time you felt you needed to further your studies to advance professionally, consider this as a positive gap that will add value to your CV and not raise eyebrows during an interview as it shows your determination to meet your goals.

There are some gaps in employment that you need not bother mentioning and these particularly include those that were only for a couple of months at a time or those that occurred a very long time ago. On a CV, the easiest way to avoid these sorts of gaps being highlighted is to only give the years for your employment and not the months. If you worked for Equity Bank for example from February 2009 to October 2009, stayed jobless from November 2009 to February 2010 when you secured another job, that four-month gap really won’t harm and there’s no need for alarm. Just state that in 2009, you worked for Equity Bank.

Employers get concerned about employment gaps mainly because they are not sure of one’s commitment and loyalty, especially if you left employment to go venture in business and then for some reason, came back to job hunting. In this case, let your response counter the employers doubts, the best way is to keep the same title you used in your last employment. This is how, if you were a Supervisor before you left employment, and then started your own furniture store, keep the same title for your business. It shows some continuity and passion for your work. You even stand a better chance if you apply for the same job.

Sometimes, however, no matter how hard you have tried, the right job is just not out there for you and you have a gap in your employment history purely for this reason. Many employers will find it easier to believe that you have just been idle during this time. Your aim is to highlight anything positive that you have undertaken during this time and, if you haven’t actually achieved anything, then perhaps you can try to finding something that you can do that will add value to your CV like a voluntary position to keep you active during this time. Either way, when preparing your CV and cover letter, make sure that you clearly state how you have been proactive in your job seeking during this time and that you are readily available to start work at the convenience of the employer. Be positive and make sure that while called for an interview, you come about as enthusiastic and ready for work.

Posted in Communication

The learning organization

I am keen on knowledge management and communications in organizations but I can’t understand knowledge in organizations without considering organizational learning. So I am asking myself; what is a learning organization?

Peter M. Senge’s book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of a Learning Organization, contains one of the best descriptions of a learning organization — one that is structured in a manner consistent with the essence(s) of human nature.

According to Amy Edmondson, a professor at Harvard business school, In an learning organization, learning is about being open and respecting each other. Professor David Garvin from the same institution adds that organizations should put in place deliberate concrete learning practices and processes. These range from creating a supportive learning environment -a climate that tolerates mistakes scenarios, forms for sharing best practices, forms for experimentations, to ways of reflecting on what have been learned.

Learning doesn’t need to be bureacratic. Infact, the most simple learning processes are the most successful. Consider making the following questions create a lesrning process;

What did we set out to do as an organization?
What happened?- what did we get?
Why was there a gap between the set objective and the reality?
What activities do we need continue with? which activities do we need to abandon? which activities do we need to modify?

As a manager start modelling the behaviour and practices yourself, show curiosity, acknowledge reality and ask for members input. This creates a learning environment. Start with your team and move to the whole organization.

Posted in Communication

Organizational structure charts made easier

An organization chart is a graphical representation of the organizational structure of a company to illustrate the organizational units, their tasks, and their communication links. In communications, I cannot escape coming up with new organizational structures every now and then especially with the rate at which the organization is growing.

‘Project Create an organizational structure’ have been lying on my desk for the last two days. Oh…how I wish I could delegate some of these things. I was waiting to see if I can create the simplest structure possible until I realized that I could make it easier for myself by giving all I got and come up with something and then I can polish it as I go on.

I am not interested in chaos and so I knew what I had to do. It ended up being very enjoyable and now I LIKE what I have done to the structure. Spoiled for choice I have settled for a hierarchical divisional structure.

If you are using MS Office just go to insert smart art and select organization chart. It has a variety of designs and colors- I prefer the one that gets lighter as you add more levels- ‘the lower the brighter’ concept.
If you select a 3D format, it is even more fun and you can add objects before or after the selected object to create more positions and tasks at the same level. You can also add objects below to add more levels.

I have left the best option for the last.
If the above is too complicated like it sounded before I did it, then just go ahead and swim in total awesomeness by downloading a software that makes this whole exercise a whole lot of fun.
It is the Edraw Orgchart. For all of you who want to make the exercise fun check it out at
http://www.edrawsoft.com and knock yourself out.

Structure creates a filter through which chaos is sifted into order. FRANK HERBERT