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HR specialisms: organisational development director

first_img Previous Article Next Article Last month a survey by the Roffey Park Institute found that line managersbelieve HR professionals lack foresight, credibility and influence. One of thefew positives within this damning verdict on the profession is that linemanagers see HR as making a positive contribution when it tackles issues suchas supporting cultural change, organisational cohesion, training anddevelopment, performance management, benchmarking and change management. Intriguingly, it is just these types of activities that are key to theposition of organisational development director (ODD), giving the role anincreasing prominence within HR, and within the rapidly changing businesscommunity asa whole. According to Professor Amin Rajan, chief executive of research consultancyCreate, the role of the ODD is rapidly converging with that of HR director.”HR is increasingly acquiring functions that go outside the traditionalfield of HR,” he says. And, when you look at some of the central responsibilities of an ODD, itquickly becomes apparent that there is a substantial overlap between it andwhere the proactive, strategic-thinking HR director should be coming from. TheODD role encompasses changing the culture of an organisation, changing itsoperating models, changing its performance and management structures and itssystems, says Rajan. “If you look at the ODD role in isolation it is about building up theresilience and inner strength of an organisation. It is about refashioningcorporate culture,” he adds. Within a large, slow-moving organisation suchas, say, a bank or oil conglomerate, this might mean reshaping cultures from apaternalistic to a performance-driven approach, changing mindsets, rewardsystems and the recruitment culture. A long-term strategic view of where the organisation should be going overthe next three to five years will inevitably be critical to managing suchchanges, argues Linda Holbeche, director of research at Roffey Park. How do the managers manage? What kind of skills does the organisation need?What sort of development programmes are there and, vitally, what sort ofleadership is there in place? These are all the sorts of questions a good ODDwill be addressing, says Holbeche. “It will always be helpful for an ODD to really understand business ingeneral and their business in particular. They will normally have practicalexperience and will have been involved in different change efforts, either onthe receiving end or leading it,” she says. Most ODDs will come into organisations from a consultancy role. Most willhave had significant line management experience or they will, increasingly,come from the HR career ladder, suggests Rajan. No specific qualifications are required to make a successful ODD, butpersonal attributes such as an unusual degree of tact and persuasion are anecessity. It is also vital to be able to demonstrate credibility and a wealthof experience. Culture change can work in both directions, and influencingupwards may be a key part of the job. Successful culture change needs tact and sympathy and an awareness thatmistakes, as long as they are learnt from, are normally a good thing, ratherthan something to be punished, says Holbeche. “It is about working with line managers to create a coaching anddevelopment culture. It is about helping individuals to become moreself-reliant,” she explains. Organisational development might mean leading a one-off big change projector it might be more organic, moving individual units on to a more innovativefooting or working to spread change through an organisation, Holbeche argues. An ODD will not normally be a board-level appointment, because the functionis still largely seen as a specialist rather than a generalist one, but it canact as a useful springboard to that sort of role. While pay rates willinevitably differ depending on the size and complexity of the organisation,anything that is seen to add value to a company will be rewarded generously. For a FTSE-100 company, a good ODD might expect a package of around £150,000plus benefits, estimates Rajan. However, Holbeche calculates a packagesomewhere between £50,000 and £70,000. One of the pitfalls of being a specialist, however, is the danger of beingpigeonholed – being seen as someone who is good at only managing endlessrestructuring rather than driving the business forward in other ways, she adds.”The link to failure is more evident in the ODD role than it is in ageneralist HR role. It is difficult to prove success,” she says. “Youhave got to have enough of a reputation to give you the time to make the newstructures work.” ODDs should want to make a difference to their organisation and not want tobe stuck in a purely transactional function. They should be able to look beyondthe operational, suggests Holbeche. “It is the ultimate strategic role. Itis about creating little bonfires all over the place that will all burn in thesame direction.” Adds Rajan: “It is fundamentally about making things work. It is aboutthe art of the possible.” Case study Barry Dyer, director of organisational development, BupaEvolution rather than revolution is the watchword for BarryDyer, director of organisational development at private health insurer Bupa.Since joining the firm 18 months ago, Dyer has been playing a central role indeveloping and linking the objectives and functions of all the various businessunits as well as promoting executive, management and staff development.Dyer joined Bupa from insurer CGNU, where he was director oforganisational learning and part of the HR team overseeing the merger of thethen Commercial Union with Norwich Union. An ability to engage with peopleacross the business is a key attribute to bringing about change, he says.”You have to develop a relationship based on trust, sopeople will confide in you about issues of concern. Without that, you cannotbegin to tackle those issues,” he says. It is also a good idea to presentyourself as a role model, showing how adaptive you can be to change, hesuggests.”We are not trying to churn everything up. It is aboutchange as an evolutionary relationship, continually building a culture from thesame reference points. There is a danger that change is something people see asstarting from scratch.”The insurer ensures the various projects and initiatives itruns have the same branding to give staff a sense of identity. Dyer is alsoproud of the work he has done in building the staff ‘climate survey’. Though inplace for some years, this is a survey through the various HR teams that hasprovided invaluable feedback on performance.”What I enjoy is the fact that you are working across thewhole organisation. You have insights into every aspect of the business and anopportunity to get involved in a diverse range of issues. What I dislike is theflip side of that. When you are looking at something in the broadest sense, themovement you achieve can seem so small as to be disheartening.”He adds, “The key is to always be looking at things from astrategic perspective. It is not just looking at the what and how you aredoing, but the why, the ripple effect.” HR specialisms: organisational development directorOn 12 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Ecological segregation of two superabundant, morphologically similar, sister seabird taxa breeding in sympatry

first_imgPrions Pachyptila are the most abundant seabirds in the Southern Ocean and comprise two main groups: those with and without bill lamellae to filter zooplankton. With few exceptions, each breeding location supports at most one species from each of these groups. However, Gough Island supports two morphologically very similar, filter-feeding species: broad-billed P. vittata and MacGillivray’s prions P. macgillivrayi. To understand how these two species co-occur in sympatry, we compared the foraging ranges, habitat selectivity, trophic segregation and moult schedules of these species using combined geolocation-immersion loggers. After breeding, both species showed a well-defined westward migration prior to moulting. Moult lasted 11–19 weeks and was significantly longer in MacGillivray’s than broad-billed prions. Moulting birds occurred in specific areas within the Argentine Basin, with little overlap between the two species. Habitat analysis revealed species-specific preferences, in particular sea surface temperature. Activity patterns also differed; MacGillivray’s prions spent more time in flight, which indicates a more active foraging strategy, relying less on filter feeding. Stable isotope ratios (δ15N) in flight feathers were greater in MacGillivray’s prion, which is consistent with its less specialized bill morphology resulting in feeding at a higher trophic level. Inter-specific spatial segregation was observed for most of the tracking period, in large part because broad-billed prions breed roughly 3 months earlier than MacGillivray’s prions. At Tristan da Cunha, 250 km farther north, where only broad-billed prions breed, they departed, moulted and returned significantly later (15–17 days) than conspecifics from Gough Island, providing evidence for character displacement in sympatry with MacGillivray’s prion.last_img read more

BYU Baseball’s Jackson Cluff and Three Program Signees Drafted in MLB Draft

first_img Written by Tags: Boise Hawks/BYU Baseball/Cutter Clawson/Cy Nielson/Jackson Cluff/Los Angeles Angels/Mike Littlewood/Washington Nationals June 6, 2019 /Sports News – Local BYU Baseball’s Jackson Cluff and Three Program Signees Drafted in MLB Draft Brad James FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSEACAUCUS, N.J.-Tuesday, BYU sophomore infielder Jackson Cluff was drafted by the Washington Nationals with the 183rd overall pick in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB Draft.As the draft concluded Wednesday, three signees into the program by head coach Mike Littlewood, were selected.Cutter Clawson, a pitcher out of Laguna Beach, Calif., was selected with the 993rd overall pick in the 33rd round by the Washington Nationals.In the 40th round (the 1,201st overall selection), pitcher Tyson Heaton of Yucaipa, Calif. was selected by the Los Angeles Angels and another pitcher, Spanish Fork High School product, Cy Nielson, was taken with the 1,210th overall selection in the 40th round by the Cleveland Indians.Cluff was one of the staples of an excellent Cougars squad in 2019 as he led the squad in runs (57), doubles (20), triples (3), RBI (56), walks (37) and stolen bases (12).The native of Meridian, Idaho also had 65 hits on a .327 batting average and netted a .458 on-base percentage.Cluff comes from a strong BYU baseball lineage as his father, Paul, was a two-time All-American for the Cougars and selected 87th overall in the 1989 MLB Draft by the Boise Hawks of the Northwest League.Cluff is the 13th Cougar to be drafted in the Littlewood era (2012-present) and the 118th Cougar to be selected in program history.last_img read more

Property industry welcomes new Tory Government

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Property industry welcomes new Tory Government previous nextHousing MarketProperty industry welcomes new Tory GovernmentDavid Cameron’s surprise election victory should provide much needed stability to the residential property market.PROPERTYdrum13th May 20150552 Views The Conservative victory in the General Election has been welcomed by the housing industry. It should provide welcome stability to the residential property market.Glynis Frew (left), Managing Director of Hunters Property Group, said, “We welcome a Conservative victory as this will bring some much needed stability to the property market, and from stability comes growth. We look forward to seeing the extension of Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association homes in England, and more importantly, the introduction of 200,000 starter homes by 2020. We anticipate this will have a massive impact on the market. What’s more, the Government’s Stamp Duty reforms announced in December last year have already had a positive effect on the housing market, so we are pleased this will stay in place.”Lucy Morton, Director and Head of agency at Prime Central London estate agency, W.A.Ellis, said that her firm noticed an immediate change in sentiment from both vendors and purchasers after the election result, following months of uncertainty and the threat of Labour housing policies, including the planned introduction of a mansion tax.“A Conservative victory is a good result for the housing market, particularly in London,” she said. “As we opened for business this morning, two properties exchanged contracts and renewed confidence was further endorsed by the strengthening of the pound and the FTSE.”Andrew Ellinas, Director of Sandfords, believes that the uncertainty, which has surrounded the property market for the most part since January, will now be lifted.“Thank goodness that is all over,” he said. “Confidence will return quickly and it is likely we will experience a significant late spring bounce in activity, as those who have held back start to act.”Greater political certainty is also likely to prevent a fall in house building, as planning policies put in place prior to the election gain further traction. However, there still remains a pressing need for “substantially increased new build supply” and a “far more co-ordinated long term housing strategy for the UK”, according to Lucian Cook, Savills UK Head of Residential Research.The lettings industry in particular breathed a sigh of relief the morning after the General Election when it became clear that Ed Miliband’s Labour party would not be forming the next Government.It was widely believed that Labour’s plans to cap rents, ban letting agent fees, make three-year tenancies the norm, and restrict tax reliefs for landlords who do not keep properties to basic standards, would have had an adverse impact on the private rented sector.Adam Day (right), Founder and Managing Director of Hatched, commented, “I believe this [a Conservative majority] to be great news for the housing market, particularly in the short term, evading the potential surprises and uncertainty that a Labour majority or hung parliament would have created. With Labour having little influence, there will be no significant meddling in the housing market. This is a relief following what we saw with Labour giving months of notice before the launch of the Home Information Packs in 2007, which contributed to the financial crash in 2007/8.“If we were faced with a Labour Government today they would have enforced rent cap rises and banned tenants’ fees. Both of these proposed policies would have interfered with market forces, something that should never be controlled. With a Conservative Government, it is ‘business as usual’ and I predict the market continuing to grow.”lettings industry property industry building Tory Government May 13, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles 40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide3rd May 2021 Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicensed rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021last_img read more

RADIATION ONCOLOGY MEDICAL PHYSICIST WITH MRI FOCUS

first_imgDepartment(s): Position Summary: Applications Open: Jul 21 2020 Central Daylight TimeApplications Close: Candidates must be certified in Therapeutic/Radiation OncologyMedical Physics by the American Board of Radiology, the AmericanBoard of Medical Physics, or the Canadian College of MedicalPhysics, or must be Board eligible. Board eligible candidates mustachieve board certification within three years of hire. The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity andAffirmative Action Employer. We promote excellence throughdiversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability,you can find information about how to make a request at thefollowing website: https://employeedisabilities.wisc.edu/disability-accommodation-information-for-applicants/ Anticipated Begin Date: Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation forUW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respectthe profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience,status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. Wecommit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching,research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linkedgoals.The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission bycreating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from everybackground – people who as students, faculty, and staff serveWisconsin and the world.For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, pleasevisit: Diversity andInclusion The University of Wisconsin-Madison is engaged in a Title and TotalCompensation (TTC) Project to redesign job titles and compensationstructures. As a result of the TTC project, official job titles oncurrent job postings may change in Fall 2020. Job duties andresponsibilities will remain the same. For more information pleasevisit: https://hr.wisc.edu/title-and-total-compensation-study/.Employment will require a criminal background check. It will alsorequire you and your references to answer questions regardingsexual violence and sexual harassment.The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identitiesof applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except thatthe identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis.Stat. sec. 19.36(7).The Annual Security and FireSafety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinarypolicies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, andon-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statisticsfor the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a papercopy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin PoliceDepartment . Contact: A533300-MEDICAL SCHOOL/HUMAN ONCOLOGY/HUMAN ONCO Job Number: This position, under the supervision of the Director of RadiationOncology Physics, requires participation and interaction withmedical staff and faculty, analyzing and providing support in allareas of clinical radiation oncology physics and radiation researchand development. This includes but is not limited to:- Investigate and identify clinical problems, develop solutions,and implement quality management programs.- Participate in the development of novel image guided andintensity modulated radiation therapy, brachytherapy, TomoTherapy,stereotactic radiosurgery, and MR-guided treatment planning anddelivery programs.- Support advanced imaging techniques including multi-energy CT andMR simulators for patient modeling and response assessment.- Implement advanced procedures related to quality assurancemonitoring, patient immobilization and localization, and doseverification in treatment delivery processes.- Develop and perform clinical radiation oncology physicsprocedures related to all forms of brachytherapy, linearaccelerators, quality management and improvement, simulators,radioactive materials, and radiation measurement equipment. Theseactivities include patient plan checks, patient localization andimmobilization, chart rounds and tumor board participation, on-callphysics coverage, and handling equipment repair and maintenanceissues.- Contribute to the department’s research studies and publications,including engagement with clinical trials.The successful candidate will also participate in professional,public, and university service, as well as take an active teachingrole for both physics and physician residents as well as othertrainees. Work Type: AUGUST 27, 2020 Your application must be received through the Jobs at UW portal tobe considered as a candidate. To apply for this position, pleaseclick on the “” button. You will be asked to upload a CV, personalstatement/cover letter, along with providing three referencesduring the application process.The deadline for assuring full consideration is August 22, 2020,however positions will remain open and applications may beconsidered until the position is filled. This vacancy is being announced simultaneously with PositionVacancy (Job #) 225216; please note that only one vacancy exists.Having two position vacancy listings allows the School of Medicineand Public Health to consider candidates with both PhD credentialsand Master’s degree credentials for this position. Institutional Statement on Diversity: Principal Duties: The Radiation Oncology Physics Section at the University ofWisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Departmentof Human Oncology, is seeking a faculty medical physicist withstrong clinical skills to engage in radiation oncology physicsactivities. The successful candidate will participate in high-levelclinical development and application of radiation oncology imaging,treatment planning, and delivery systems to further the advancementof treatment options and patient care. The successful candidatewill also support departmental efforts to incorporate and advanceMR simulation and MR-guided radiation therapies. The RadiationOncology Physics section currently employs 17 physicists and fourphysics residents, providing full clinical physics services tothree locations with expansions to two additional locationsexpected.The position will focus primarily on practicing clinical radiationoncology physics services provided at the UW Health Cancer Centers,including coverage in the department’s outreach clinics which arephysically separate from the University Hospital as necessary.Additional responsibilities, based on the candidate’s interests andaccomplishments, will include clinical research and development inalignment with the programmatic goals of the department, as well asteaching of residents and other trainees.The School of Medicine and Public Health has a deep and profoundcommitment to diversity both as an end in itself but also as avaluable means for eliminating health disparities. As such, westrongly encourage applications from candidates who foster andpromote the values of diversity and inclusion. 222524-AScenter_img Ongoing/Renewable Appointment Type, Duration: PROFESSOR (CHS)(D01NN) or ASSOC PROFESSOR (CHS)(D02NN) or ASSTPROFESSOR (CHS)(D03NN) Kirsten [email protected] Access (WTRS): 7-1-1 (out-of-state: TTY: 800.947.3529, STS:800.833.7637) and above Phone number (See RELAY_SERVICE for furtherinformation. ) Employment Class: Academic Staff-Renewable Job no: 222524-ASWork type: Faculty-Full TimeDepartment: SMPH/HUMAN ONCOLOGY/HUMAN ONCOLocation: MadisonCategories: Research, Scientific Minimum Years and Type of Relevant Work Experience: Salary: Degree and Area of Specialization: Experience performing quality assurance of and clinical support forconventional linear accelerator systems, brachytherapy with HDRremote after-loaders and unsealed sources, radiation dosimetrymeasurement equipment, radiotherapy treatment planning systems,advanced computed tomography imaging, magnetic resonance imaging,and experimental data acquisition and analysis is desirable.Proficiency with a broad range of clinical software systems isrequired, as are excellent written and verbal communicationskills. Full Time: 100% Additional Information: License or Certificate: A Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics or in a related field isrequired. Instructions to Applicants: NegotiableANNUAL (12 months) Official Title:last_img read more

Mansfield lodges objection to New planning application

first_imgMansfield has objected to a planning application by New College to develop a site on Savile Road.College administrators sent an objection letter to Oxford City Council, which read: “the proposed development has completely disregarded the impact it would have on Mansfield College.”The letter claimed a new ‘Warham Tower’, part of New College’s plans, was “little more than a vanity project.”It noted that “the whole community of the College is united in opposing the scheme as proposed.”The principal of Mansfield College, Helena Kennedy QC, signed the letter.The objection draws attention to what it claims are several infringements on the Council’s Local Plan (2001-2016). It states the development will not be equivalent in scale to the surrounding area.It argues the new ‘Warham Tower’ is not consistent with the Saved Policy HE.9 (High Building Area) which states that no new building can exceed 18.2 metres within 1.2km of Carfax Tower.New’s proposed tower would be 25 metres in height, and 650 metres away from Carfax.This has been called a “flagrant break of this high buildings policy.”Mansfield has also lodged concerns regarding overlooking and privacy, considering the close proximity of the new buildings to Mansfield’s student accommodation.Mansfield JCR president, Daria Lysyakova, told Cherwell: “[The JCR] were one of the main supporters of a formal objection from the outset.“I believe that building two metres away from our boundary is more than unreasonable.“Windows from the New College accommodation block will look directly into windows of Mansfield accommodation. Having students from another college at such close proximity is a serious invasion of privacy.”Mansfield College Bursar, Allan Dodd, told Cherwell: “We have ensured that neighbouring colleges are aware of the proposed development.“Thereafter it is entirely up to them whether they submit an objection.”The Warden of New College, Miles Young, told Cherwell: “Great care has been taken to mitigate the impact on Mansfield College, at every stage of the process, and with extensive dialogue.“More generally, we are very disappointed that a proposal which will take 70 students away from the overdemanded Oxford housing market is not treated more fairly. We all have an interest in that.“At the same time a proposal which has been praised by experts for its contribution to the townscape as both original and sensitive is not in our view fairly appraised by the Mansfield letter.“Of course, we recognise that developments in Oxford often cause issues, and we are always willing to do our very best to deal with them.”Other groups have offered considerations on the planning application process. These include Oxford Preservation Trust and the Historic England Commission.Dodd also notes that the consultation period was extended by the Council.He understands  this was because the mandatory original public notification of the proposed development failed to make clear that the development was in conflict with the Council’s policy on height of buildings in the Local Plan.Oxford City Council have been contacted for comment. They are not obliged to respond to planning objections until the meeting of a planning committee.last_img read more

Top Australian universities beat the Russell Group for economic influence

first_imgTop universities in Australia wield as much as 30% more economic influence than the UK’s leading grouping of research universities, according to a recent study.Recent analysis found that the “Group of Eight” (a collection of Australia’s leading universities) injected the equivalent of £37.9 billion into the economy in 2016, roughly £4.7 billion per institution.The Russell Group, by contrast and despite having 24 institutions, contributed only £3.6 billion per institutions, or £86.8 billion across the group, in the same period.Group of Eight universities are thought to benefit from their larger size than British universities, taking in an average of 18,000 students compared to around 11,000 at the average Russell Group university.Ian Jacobs, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales (a Group of Eight member) commented that “The Go8 is an intense economic driver, even compared to the Russell Group, which is one of the most pre-eminent in the world.”However, Jacobs, a former vice-president at the University of Manchester, admitted that it would be “unwise” to “read too much” into side by side comparisons, though argued that they suggested “the Go8 is perhaps more impressive than we have thought.”Dr Gavan Conlon, the leader of the education team at London Economics who conducted the study, argued that the results were distorted by certain “natural advantages” in Australia, including its relatively closed economy.Other studies also suggest that the Russell Group makes a greater contribution to the economy through revenues generated by teaching and learning activities, which could total as much as £20.7 billion a year, compared to just £2.78 billion from the Group of Eight.Dr Conlon said that he had been surprised by the “spillover effect” of research from the Group of Eight, commenting that the “multiplier” of 9.76 for its research spending (the amount generated for every pound spent) was higher than expected. Money spent on research by the Russell Group, meanwhile, had a multiplier of just 5.5.Although many universities have commissioned their own studies of economic impacts, most have only considered the impacts of their expenditure, and Dr Conolon argues that more sophisticated analyses like his own should take into account the universities’ wider economic impact.last_img read more

Statement to Parliament: East Coast rail update

first_imgI am today (16 May 2018) publishing my department’s assessment: East Coast train operator assessment.But, to summarise, the analysis suggested the case was very finely balanced, with some elements favouring a contract with the existing operator and others favouring the Operator of Last Resort.When judging against my key principles, neither option was obviously superior.There is, though, Mr Speaker another factor that I have taken into account. I want to make the smoothest possible transition to the creation of the new East Coast Partnership. So given the finely balanced judgement, I have taken into account broader considerations and decided to use the current difficulties to drive our long-term plans for the East Coast Partnership.I have decided to begin the transition process towards creating the new partnership now. This will be in the long-term interests of passengers – as every member of staff on the railway will be solely focused on delivering an excellent service for the future.I am therefore informing the House that I will terminate Virgin Trains East Coast’s contract on 24 June 2018.I plan to use a period of Operator of Last Resort control to shape the new partnership. So on that same day we will start with the launch of the new, long-term brand for the East Coast Mainline through the recreation of one of Britain’s iconic rail brands, the London North Eastern Railway (LNER).The team that has been working for me since last autumn to form the Operator of Last Resort will take immediate control of passenger services. They will then begin the task of working with Network Rail to bring together the teams operating the track and trains on the LNER network.I am creating a new board with an independent chair to oversee the operation of the LNER route and work with my department on building the new partnership. It will have representatives of both the train operating team and Network Rail, as well as independent members who will importantly ensure the interests of other operators on the route are taken into account. I will appoint an interim chair shortly, and then begin the recruitment process for a long term appointment.When it is fully formed the new LNER operation will be a partnership between the public and private sectors. In all circumstances ownership of the infrastructure will remain in the public sector, but the railway is at its strongest when it is a genuine partnership between public and private.The final structure of LNER will need to be shaped in conformity with the primary legislation which governs the industry. But my objective remains to move to a situation which leaves one single team operating the railway, with the simple goal of ensuring it continues the work that the existing operators have done in improving passenger services.Mr Speaker, the rigorous process that we have followed underlines our commitment to ensure businesses operate under firm, but fair rules. And that this government is willing to take tough decisions when necessary, to ensure that we build a stronger, fairer economy for all.I don’t want these changes to be of anxiety to passengers. I want to reassure them there will be no change to train services. The timetable will remain the same. Tickets purchased for future travel – including season tickets – will continue to be valid. And customers will continue to be able to book their travel in the normal way.I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure staff that the changes will not impact on their continued employment: it will be no different from a normal franchise change.Mr Speaker, I want the LNER to have employees at its heart. So I am instructing the new board, working with my officials, to bring forward proposals which enable employees to share directly in the success of LNER both as a pure train operator and subsequently as the new partnership. I am pleased to announce that Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and the former Chief Executive of John Lewis, has agreed to provide informal advice to the team about how best to achieve this.Mr Speaker I have already set out my plans to restructure the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise following the successful delivery of the Thameslink Programme.I have indicated that we will separate it into 2 or more franchises after the end of the current contract in 2021. We have not yet reached a decision about how to operate Great Northern services.However I have had initial discussions with the Mayor of London about the possibility of transferring some of these to the London Overground, as recommended by Chris Gibb in his report.Any change would be subject to consultation. But there is also an operational case for integrating Great Northern services from Kings Cross into the new LNER operation, and this is an option that I am asking my officials and the new LNER route board to do feasibility work on.Mr Speaker, I have also taken official advice about the future of the passports currently held by Virgin Holdings and Stagecoach, determining whether they are fit and proper to operate on our railways.A multi-disciplinary panel has considered the situation and recommended that both companies continue as train operators. They have advised that there is also no suggestion of either malpractice or malicious intent in what has happened.Clearly we have to be vigilant about future financial commitments. But the organisations have paid a high financial and reputational price for what has happened. This government operates firm, but fair rules in its dealing with business. And I have been advised that it would not be reasonable to remove or place conditions on their passport. This decision is however provisional and will be subject to further to review at the point the Virgin Trains East Coast contract is terminated.Mr Speaker, it is vital that we remember the benefits the railway has seen since privatisation. Passenger numbers have doubled. New trains with new technology are being rolled out across the network. Innovation has driven up passenger satisfaction and we’re seeing huge amounts of private investment in the future of our railways.And the lessons of the financial failure of the East Coast Mainline are already being learnt.But our ambitions are bigger. In the ‘Rail strategy’ we published last year, we began work to look at the future of the industry – to make the private sector model fit for changing travel patterns, new technology and focused on a better quality passenger experience.These advances would not be possible if we returned to nationalisation and lost private sector innovation.This work will conclude in time for the spending review to ensure we improve how we enhance private sector drive to improve services for passengers in the coming years in a way that is fair for taxpayers and the passengers themselves.Mr Speaker, the most important people in all of this are the passengers on the East Coast Mainline.92% of them are happy with their travel experience. The steps I have put in place today will help deliver even more.With the recreation of one of Britain’s most iconic rail brands.With the start of the proper recreation of an integrated regional rail operation.And with the arrival of the brand new Intercity Express Trains later this year, the majority of which will be built at Hitachi’s facility in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, continuing to support 700 jobs in the North East.I believe this strategy will set this railway on a path to a better future.And I commend this statement to the House. protecting passenger interests ensuring value for money for taxpayers supporting investment and improvement in the railway Mr SpeakerThe House will recall that in November (2017) I set out details of our rail strategy, and our plans to integrate the operation of track and trains.I also indicated that one of the key parts of that plan was to address what were then well-documented problems on the East Coast Mainline by creating a new, integrated rail operation on that route.In February (2018), I gave the House an update on the financial problems on the East Coast Mainline, and indicated the current franchise would run out of money within months. This is not because the route is failing. It continues and will continue to generate substantial returns for the government, and the most recent figures show passenger satisfaction at 92%. The route has its challenges, but it is not a failing railway.However, as I explained in February, Stagecoach and Virgin Trains got their bid wrong and they are now paying a price. They will have lost nearly £200 million meeting their contracted commitments.This means taxpayers have not lost out because revenues are lower than predicted: only Virgin Trains East Coast and its parent companies have made losses at this time.As the Brown review said in 2013, in an effective railway industry, franchises can occasionally fail. But we do not expect companies to hold unlimited liabilities when they take on franchises, they would not bid for them if they had to. This will mean sometimes franchises will fail. That is why it was a Conservative government that created the structures for the Operator of Last Resort – to ensure we can always guarantee passengers’ services if franchises cannot continue.Mr Speaker, in my statement in February, I said that I was considering 2 options to continue delivering passenger services in the run-up to the creation of the new East Coast Partnership. The first was to permit Stagecoach to continue to operate the railway on a not-for-profit basis until 2020, and to permit them to earn a performance-related payment at the end of their contract.The alternative was to implement an Operator of Last Resort, bringing the route back into the temporary control of my department, as provided for in legislation. I established a team to prepare this as an alternative, to use if required.In the past 2 months, my department has carried out a full analysis of these options, focusing on how each performs against the key principles I set out in February:last_img read more

PHOTOS: Victor Wooten Trio Amazes Indianapolis, IN’s The Vogue

first_imgPhoto: Keith Griner On Friday night, November 2nd, world-renowned bass virtuoso Victor Wooten brought his ongoing trio tour to The Vogue in Indianapolis, IN for an evening of music alongside bandmates (drummer Dennis Chambers and saxophonist Bob Franceschini). Wooten, Chambers, and Franceschini are in the midst of an extensive national tour which will keep the trio on the road through the middle of December. The tour coincides with the release of Wooten’s latest album, TRYPNOTYX, in September. “Music is a great way – and a safe way – to teach just about any life principle,” Wooten insists in a press release. “To be in a band, you have to listen to each other. Bands are at their best when every instrument is different, not the same. Everyone takes turns talking. Everyone speaks their voice. A lot of times musicians might ask, ‘What would you like me to play?’ I say, “Listen to the music. The music will tell you exactly what it needs.”INTERVIEW: Victor Wooten Discusses Music As An Art Of ExpressionBelow, check out a beautiful gallery of photos from the performance courtesy of Phierce Photo by Keith Griner; Instagram: @phiercephoto.You can listen to Victor Wooten Trio’s new album,TRYPTONYX, below in its entirety via Spotify:See below for a full list of upcoming Victor Wooten Trio tour dates. For more information, or to purchase tickets to any of the upcoming performances, head to Wooten’s website.Victor Wooten Trio Upcoming Tour Dates:November 3 – Songbird Guitar Museum – Chattanooga, TNNovember 4 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OHNovember 5 – City Winery – Chicago, ILNovember 7 – Madrid Theater – Kansas City, MONovember 8 – Gothic Theatre – Denver, CONovember 9 – Caribou Room – Nederland, CODecember 8-9 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MADecember 10 – The Egg – Albany, NYDecember 12 – Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NYDecember 13 – Towne Crier – Beacon, NYDecember 14 – Anthology – Rochester, NYDecember 15 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PADecember 16 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC[Cover photo via Phierce Photo by Keith G] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

MBA competition begins

first_imgNotre Dame’s Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program is providing prospective MBA students with an opportunity to showcase their business acumen through the third-annual Mini Deep-Dive Challenge, a competition asking students to solve a real-life corporate responsibility.According to a University press release, the grand prizewinner will receive a $25,000 fellowship if admitted to the Notre Dame MBA program, and the first 50 students to sign up will receive a $50 prize package. Bill Brennan, MBA initiatives program director, said the challenge is based on interterm intensive sessions in which MBA students participate twice a year. “What we do in those is in a four day period of time, we work with what I refer to as ‘big, sexy companies’ like GE, IBM [and] HP … [and] students tackle live business problems that the companies have yet to resolve,” Brennan said. This year’s partner for the Mini Deep-Dive Challenge is Sprint, who will post a business problem concerning corporate responsibility online, and students will have to draft a one-page explanation of their solution, Brennan said. “The real challenge to a lot of people is … creating a solution that’s refined to the point that it’s easily articulated and that it makes a lot of sense business-wise,” he said. “You’re looking at something that’s seemingly very complex, but your solution has to evolve in the rationality you use to the point where you have to explain it in one page.” Faculty at the Mendoza College of Business will choose the best proposals to send to Sprint executives, who will then determine the grand prizewinner and the top 10 finishers, Brennan said. “Understanding the problem or the opportunity, coming up with a viable solution – those would be heavily weighted elements of the judging process,” he said. Besides testing students’ business skills, Brennan said one goal of the competition is to give prospective MBA students an idea of what the Notre Dame program is like, which influenced the program’s decision to make corporate responsibility the challenge’s theme. “‘Ask more of business’ is our slogan here in the Mendoza College of Business, and we really believe strongly that corporate social responsibility is an important part of business,” he said. “Doing well is doing good, and it leads to good results not only for society but for the bottom line of the business … We think [this focus is] one of those things that makes Notre Dame a little bit unique, that we’re willing to show our values.” In addition to promoting the MBA program, Brennan said the competition is also an extension of the work the Mendoza College of Business does to raise awareness about corporate responsibility. “This is also a continuation of who we are. Fr. Sorin wrote that letter years ago about being a force for good in society, and this is one of the many little ways that we hope to do that as well, by providing exposure to people on corporate social responsibility,” he said. “Even something like this Mini Deep-Dive Challenge is … hopefully making for better citizenry, society and businesspeople all in one.”last_img read more