Today, my heart is heavy; yesterday, March 27, 2021; Our Princess went back to God. Princess was more than a canine to us; she was a comforter, a confidant, a joy, and an unconditional loving family member. You are never able to prepare yourself for the physical separation of a family member. The gift of love is what connects us all (especially animals). Princess was my wife and I first “baby” of our new life after being honorably discharged from the United States Navy. Princess was born in Dallas, Texas, on May 8, 2005. She traveled to Atlanta, Ga, shortly after. She has 1 brother (Papi). Princess comes from an extensive canine “Show Dog” bloodline.
On July 21, 2006 my wife and I were walking around an Atlanta, Ga mall. While rushing to leave due to hunger, I was speed walking past a pet store. “Wait, do you see that?” My wife said. “What?! No, we need to leave … to eat … it’s getting late,” I said abruptly. “But, look how cute she is.” My wife said as she was gazing into the “puppy in the window.” “No, I don’t want to look cause I am going to fall in love, and I am not trying to fall in love with a puppy we are not going to get,” I said adamantly. “But, she’s the only pug, you said you always wanted one, and she’s all by herself … and she’s so cute.” My wife said, walking into the pet store. “Okay, fine … but we’re only looking … 5 minutes … then, we grab something to eat and head home, okay?” I said with a bit of excitement. The first time I saw Princess, I knew we were not leaving that place without her, I couldn’t … she was perfect for us and us for her. “You wanna hold her?” the owner asked. “NO … no, I do not want to hold her,” I said, feeling my heart well up with love. “Yes, you do, you want to … let me grab her, no harm in a little puppy hug.” The owner said, partly laughing. He handed Princess to me, and I immediately fell in love, like real LOVE. She smelled like a baby … I didn’t even know that was possible. Before I knew it, some random kid asked to hold her … when I didn’t want to let her go, I knew she was our baby now.
We were blessed to have Princess in our life for 15 years and 10 months. I will always be grateful for everything she did for me, our family, and my life overall. I will always love and miss you, little mommy … always. Thank you for your unconditional love; we will hold you in our hearts forever.
First, I want to wish you, and all those you love safety and healthy. I also want to thank all the front-line workers (doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, food delivery, and take-out employees and everyone who has been working, looking for work, or creating jobs for those who need a job … thank you. I received my COVID-19 Vaccination along with my beautiful, supportive, and encouraging wife.
We have all had reservations about this new vaccination. But the actual truth is we all need to get vaccinated to protect one another. Yesterday, at 1:15pm I received my COVID-19 vaccinations (as a United States Veteran) at the James A Haley, VA Hospital Complex in Tampa, Fl. Not only was my experience a pleasant one, but I was also able to connect with peers, seniors, and all those ages in-between. The staff explained all the guidelines and processes to know what to expect before and after getting vaccinated.
I am happy to say, I have only had a few symptoms after getting the shot: slight headache and sore arm at the sight of the injection. Easy peasy … this is not only for me but for you (the people in my community, the people I work with, the students I teach, the stranger I may never know the name of), please do the same for me and those you love.
There was no doubt that 2020 was a rough year, to say the least. So, instead … I wanted to say the “most.” I wrote Pep Talks the Series to help those new to the workforce, looking for a change or just need a “Pep Talk.”
Pep Talks is an introduction to a new way of interviewing and obtaining a job in today’s competitive market. Pep Talks is all about giving the reader an advantage over their competitors when working toward the goal of gaining more knowledge and understanding. This new job market is all-out unconventional ways of obtaining knowledge while learning employment tactics that work. Pep Talks explains how the new Job market knowledge and understanding how to better improve the chances of being “individually recognized” as a professional are vital. Pep Talks assists with building job confidence and self-‐‑esteem along with providing detailed examples for the reader to use for interviews. Pep Talks is designed to assist the reader in planning, executing, and managing their own career and potential growth in their field of choice.
Each section has interactive “fill in the blank” areas for guiding the reader with critical thinking examples to assist with brainstorming and “Confidence Boosters” provide the reader with constant motivation for obtaining their “dream career.” Pep Talks serves the newly looking or the job seeker looking to change career paths. Pep Talks provides methods that assist with the career search and provide motivation for future endeavors.
If you would like a eCopy of my book, you can have a copy. That simple. I believe this is my small way of helping those who need a “Pep Talk” at any stage of professionalism you may be at. Here is the truth … you CAN do it. I have had several people, co-workers, peers, and family members give me a much-needed “Pep Talk” and now I want to pave it forward and give YOU, yes YOU – a “Pep Talk” too…because everyone needs a “Pep Talk” sometimes.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a must. In light of the recent and past events, I would challenge all organizations to create an action plan for diversity and inclusion. An action plan should include creating real, actual, tangible, active strategic plans for addressing and implementing diversity and inclusion policies and updated training for new and current employees. These actions should include the history of the organization’s workforce and an analysis of the organization’s actual issues of a lack of diversity and inclusion. This is the perfect time to put all the words that have been spoken into action.
The good news is organizations don’t have to make this a large budgetary line item. Implementing diversity and inclusion is super simple. First, create an on-going survey using an online internal or external tool to gather information about specific items that are pressing to employees. This survey can include fill-in-the-blank sections to allow for thorough feedback to be received. Once the survey is completed, organize the data and share the information with the entire organization. This is a fantastic way to ensure everyone has a say, and all are able to share and offer solutions. Keep in mind; there will be a mixed bag of feedback. All feedback is not going to positive. That is the whole point of finding out what employees are thinking, feeling, and suffering with. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
Create signage stating “No Discrimination” to post on buildings and outside areas for all to have a visual that your organization will not tolerate discrimination. If we can post “No Smoking/Vaping” signage, a “No Discrimination” signage should be just as simple. Using a visual will provide those that feel the need to be inappropriate reminders of the organization’s new culture. This action is of little cost to the organization.
Assign human resource departments (or other qualified employees) the task of conducting individual as well as mass “No Discrimination” training and webinars. We have all been through the traditional diversity and inclusion training (normally completed in an online setting). This is too important of a topic for material to simply be sent out for employees to click through PowerPoint slides mindlessly. That is not effective enough anymore. We need human-to-human contact to grasp the full understanding for real change to happen. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
Lastly, assign employees the responsibility of holding their peers accountable when inappropriate behavior is seen/heard. Employee evaluations should include any discrimination action taken by the employee to show the severity of the “No Discrimination” policy and standards of the organization. Most onboarding processes include a series of questions. Situational interview questions should also include discrimination for candidates better to understand the organizations culture of “No Discrimination”. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
With the use of tools and technology, there are ways of quickly gaining an overview of the intrinsic disparities and cultural indifferences within an organization. For organizations to address discrimination in the workplace, real change is needed ASAP. There is no time like the present; this phrase is more than true right now.
If you don’t know where to start, you are welcome to start by utilizing my Prezi Presentation on “Diversity and Inclusion” as a first start.
Let’s start by saying, there is a lot is going on in the world, in society, and everywhere. I have come to realize that regardless of whether you want to admit it, race is a factor of systematic discrimination. Period. I am sure you have stories, I have stories, and there are plenty of stories in the news to be outraged about. There comes a time when talking just isn’t enough. Talking is an outstanding motivatng factor for initiating strategic change. But, real change comes with direct actions. Action is the true synchronized mobility for change.
Too often as a black woman, I’ve been asked by people that don’t look like me how it is that I’m able to stay motivated, positive, and successful. Truth be told, it’s hard. It’s hard waking up and remembering that my natural hair has to be tailored to a customized fashion in order to appease people that don’t understand my hair texture. It’s hard to ensure that I find the right cosmetic foundation that matches my skin tone. It’s hard to ensure not to slip up and accidentally use an urban phrase or term in a meeting for fear of being labeled “ghetto.” It’s even harder to go to the grocery store and pick up a vegan or gluten-free item without receiving unsolicited and passive aggressive opinions about how “good it is” that eat well. Overall, it’s hard being black.
Although, I would not change my culture and my background for anything. What I would change is how people see it as a great divider. Statistically, I should not have college degree, be married, own a business, own home, speak “well” or be a vegan – just to name a few of my attibutes. I often speak in motivational settings about success and staying focused. As a segway several speaking topics, I talk about academic disparities I faced. In tha same thought I speak about how I “blew it out of the water” and earned a Doctorate in my early 30’s. I realized early on, that I had to mindfuly use approachablity tactics when speaking to predominantly non-black audiances to reduce my intimidation factor. Yes, black women have to think about things like this – along with everything else.
Way too often, when I’m approached by peers and executive leadership to engage in “small talk” about myself. I find myself having to explain my cultural background, academic career and how I was able to do it. The conversation is almost always passive-aggressive. During a diversity meeting at one of the organizations I previously worked for, we had an open forum about “Race in the Classroom.” I knew how it was gonna go, I knew what was gonna be said, and I knew that there was gonna be no change put in place after the dawnting three-hour conversation was over.
At the end of the meeting, nothing was resolved, and nothing was written down toward strategic actions for ensuring the organization had more cultural sensitivity in the classroom. What did happen was myself and a co-worker we’re casually discussing the overall conversation. I was asked specifically what it was like to be black? I gathered all of the strength from my black ancestors and started to regurgitate a default answer from memory, but instead stopped myself. I decided to anwer honestly, instead of using my rehearshed template. I specifically said “it’s hard being black, especially a black woman knowing that each and every day I have to prepare myself for the world mentally. The world does not see me as an educated woman. The world sees me as a black woman. The world does not see any of my accomplishments, accolades, dreams, or fears. The world does not see what I’ve done for my community, what I do for my students, or my motivational drive to ensure to be a good role model to little black girls and boys everywhere I go.” I remember realizing that it was more than my co-worker could handle. And decided to stop speaking. She finally removed her hand from her mouth. I will never forget the look on her face. She simply replied with “That must be exhausting, I don’t see how you do it.” I replied, “I have no choice, it’s just the way it is – for now.”
Unfortunatly, the primitive factor of the color of your skin matters – it shouldn’t, but it does. But I’ve decided that the color of my skin is not a hindrance or a burden, it’s a gift. I love being black, and I am a strong, educated, outspoken, sponky, lesbian, black woman. Regardless of what the world throws at black folks, we always regroup, dust ourselves off and try again. It is literally in our DNA. We have a right to be happy, to be upset, to be angry, to be successful, to voice my opinion, to choose who to love, to do anything that brings happiness, positivity, and light to this world. That is where we stand, that is where we are coming from, and that is what we deserve.
Knowledge workers are a significant part of organizational development. Knowledge workers obtain the knowledge-based information and along with human resources management in terms of managing invaluable assets of a company. Knowledge management requires information to be given from technology sources to gain organizational growth. Technology requires that knowledge is gained for the utilization of technological growth, and the organizational aspect of intellectual property.
“Knowledge management is not merely about the latest technology, but managing knowledge within the company and treating it as the most valued asset for its success (Nor & Rosline, 2005).” Knowledge-based management or a “White Collar” position(s) is a term that is used interchangeably with the knowledge-based worker. A knowledge-based worker could be an accountant, consultant, professor, or educator.
Namely, a knowledge-based worker works in various places to include: client’s offices or in their own office (Nor & Rosline, 2005). Knowledge-based management is a challenge in modern business since the majority of the employees in today’s fields are knowledge-based managers (Nor & Rosline, 2005). Knowledge-based management is mostly positions or jobs that require non-routine work, which requires a high level of cognitive activity. Knowledge-based management is the new way of operational functionality of the new knowledge-based worker.
Dr. Jenice Armstead
Nor, M Norzanah & Rosline, K Abdul. (2005). Managing Knowledge Workers in a Knowledge based Economy. Cardiff University.
Advancements in telecommunications, computerization, and transportation have had significant effects on how organizations are developing. In particular, these advancements have given rise to the “knowledge worker.” Imagine you are an organizational development professional who has been retained by a major corporation that employs knowledge workers. Changes in the economy have brought the need for organizational development and knowledge workers to the forefront of the business world.
The knowledge worker is defined as a person who uses their mind with the process of thinking and knowledge development to complete tasks in an unconventional way. The knowledge worker has been apart of organizational advancements by being coined as having the ability to work and solve problems by thinking creatively about a given solution for organizational development (Mládková, 2011). The knowledge worker formulates business strategies, plans processes, develops strategic competencies for business and human resources professionals, and organizes management implementation (Andrew Patrick, 2011).
Teleworking is a new method of working in business organizations. With teleworking, an organization can assign work, have meetings, and even check the status of the employee’s work process. This advancement in technology is one of the most effective changes in the federal government and civilians companies alike.
The advancements in organizational developments within telecommunications, technology, and transportation have had significant effects on business management with the ever-changing economy crisis and the influx of a new workforce. Business management telecommunications has gained a competitive edge for how organizational developments function, telecommunications such “Face Time, Skyping and Web Real-Time Videos” which allow for technology to increase strategy formulation (Patrick, 2011). Not all organizations utilize teleworking schedules, but for those who do the advantages are endless with “getting the job done at any cost,” without exhausting overhead expediters.
Dr. Jenice Armstead
Andrew Patrick, H. (2011). Knowledge Workers Demography and Workplace Diversity. Journal
Of Marketing & Management, 2(2), 38-73.
Mládková, L. (2011). Knowledge Management for Knowledge Workers. Proceedings Of The
European Conference On Intellectual Capital, 260-267.
People often say as a closing or departing phrase, “Take care of yourself.” One smiles and replies with the same or adding an additional pleasantry. When you think of taking care of yourself, you may think of eating healthy, exercising, or keeping mentally upbeat. When in fact, “Take care of yourself” as a statement is one of the most beautiful phrases one can say to another. Bear with me, simple but true – “Take Care” implies that you should pay attention to how you are taking care of yourself. When you think negative thoughts, you are not taking care of yourself. When you decide on grabbing fast food for convenience, you are not taking care of yourself. Even negative mental “chatter” about how far off from a goal you are, is not taking care of yourself. Deciding not to live out your purpose, is not taking care of yourself. Can you think of ways you can honor the proclaimed statement, “Take care of yourself?”
Let’s start with our thoughts, whether we believe it or not, thoughts become things. They may become negative or positive things that affect our lives in different ways. Today, make it practice to focus on not only taking care of yourself but paying attention to ways that no longer serve you in positive ways. It can be something as simple as waking up and starting a new practice of saying aloud, “I am awake, and for that, I am grateful.” Those that start their day with an “attitude of gratitude,” tend to take better care of themselves and those around them.
We all have talents. We have strengthens. Do not be afraid of your own motivation and success. We know we have accelerated knowledge in our skill-sets, even when others try to emulate our work. The infringing part of impersonation is, it is never as good as the original. The original is just that, one of a kind, not able to be duplicated with slight or extreme differences. The best part about “the original” is there is and will always be, only one – of a kind. You are one of a kind.
Photo: Luke Webb
In this uncertain time, it is not the time to get mad. Instead, get motivated. Get motivated to be the very best you, you can be. There is always a way to look at the brighter side of things, even when all seems far off. You can do this. What have you wanted to do that you didn’t have the time to do? Do you want to get healthier? Come up with a plan. You don’t need a gym to work out and feel great. Have you wanted to start a blog about your favorite hobby? Do it, and there are a ton of free resources for you to get started. You don’t need an elaborate fancy website to share your ideas. Is there a new career venture you have been putting off? Why? The only way to know is to go for it and truly put your whole self into it.
We all have the time to think and seriously ponder on what makes us intrinsically happy. I am sure you have chatted with friends and family about all the things you love to do, that you are currently not able to do. The great part is you will have a chance to do those things you love to do – just in different ways. What will emerge from this significant time in our history? Some of the best ideas came from great disasters (natural and human-made). It is time to get motivated and stay focused. We are all important and have greatness to contribute to this beautiful world. Don’t get mad; get motivated.
Are you in need of a business plan, yet don’t know where to start? Are you a business owner (large or small), and never needed a business plan and now find yourself having to gather all of your business information and put it in one place (i.e., a business plan)? Do you need a business plan to submit to the Small Business Administration for a loan? What to do? Well, I got you. Let’s jump into this super simple method for getting your business organized and set up for success!
Creating a business plan can be frustrating and confusing. Why do you need a business plan? What do you need to have in a business plan? What are some business plan options? What can a business plan be used for? Well, I have answered all of these questions and more in my quick video “How to Write a Business Plan,” and I have also provided the template reviewed in the video. The best part about this transparent business plan template is it provides prompts and questions to better allow for successful completion of a clear and concise developed business plan.
Remember, writing a business plan does not have to be an overwhelming task. Take it one section at a time and do your research. There are tons of free resources to help you develop an amazing business plan. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. As always, I am here for you and your success!