Thousands evacuate as ‘500-year flood’ destroys 2 dams in Michigan

first_img[email protected] declared a state of emergency for @midlandcountymi after the Edenville & Sanford Dams breached. “If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen in Midland County.” https://t.co/hMmN5QBdlQ https://t.co/oC3YzKv8Ls— Michigan.gov (@migov) May 20, 2020Evacuations started overnight. Midland County has over 83,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census.Shelter locations are in Colman High School, Bullet Creek, Midland High School, North Midland Family Center and West Midland Family Center, said Midland County Board Chair Mark Bone. djperry/iStockBy CHRISTINA CARREGA, ABC News(MIDLAND, Mich.) — The governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency Tuesday night after rapidly rising waters crashed through two dams and forced thousands to evacuate.Officials with the city of Midland warned residents that the Edenville Dam, along the Tittabawassee River, failed around 5:45 p.m., and that the Sandord Dam broke around 6:50 p.m.Since Monday, storms have produced more than 8 inches of rain that overflowed the dams and caused downstream flooding in Midland County. Sea Cord and Smallwood dams were experiencing high water flow on Wednesday and being closely monitored.Midland City Manager Brad Kaye said flood heights are expected to be up to 5 feet higher than the last highest flood in 1986.“In the 1986 flood, it was considered a 100-year flood,” said Kaye. “Current flood is predicted to be the equivalent of a 500-year flood.”A “500-year flood” means there’s a 0.002% chance — 1 in 500 — of it occurring in a given year, according to the United States Geological Survey.“In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately 9 feet of water,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at a press conference Tuesday night. “We are anticipating an historic high water level.” EVACUATION UPDATE: If you have concerns about whether you should evacuate, please review the map below & read this post : https://t.co/DrfhAPUKr9Facebook not required to view. pic.twitter.com/sVBZMPSn00— City of Midland, MI (@CityofMidlandMI) May 20, 2020Kaye said the water systems are potentially at risk, and hospitals are major concern.However, MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland said the facility isn’t planning to evacuate just yet.“We have been working alongside local agencies, watching closely the rapid changes that have been occurring due to the flooding,” the hospital said in a statement. “We have transferred a few patients that were identified by their physician. … We continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Coronavirus updates: Herman Cain dies after battle with COVID-19

first_imgMyriam Borzee/iStockBy JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 667,000 people worldwide.Over 17 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.4 million diagnosed cases and at least 150,765 deaths.Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.11:17 a.m.: Florida reports 3rd consecutive day of record deathsFor the third day in a row, a new record-high number of deaths were reported in hard-hit Florida, according to the state’s Department of Health.In the last 24 hours, 253 new fatalities were reported, the department said.As of Thursday morning, 16.5% of Florida’s adult ICU beds were available, according to the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration;Five counties — Jackson, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee and Putnam — had no available ICU beds, according to the agency.These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.10:30 a.m.: Herman Cain dies after battle with COVID-19Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has died at the age of 74, according to a post on his personal website, nearly one month after his coronavirus diagnosis was announced.A source close to the White House also confirmed his death to ABC News.Cain’s hospitalization was announced on July 2.A spokesperson for Cain said on Monday that he remained hospitalized and was being treated with oxygen for his lungs.“The doctors say his other organs and systems are strong,” the spokesperson added.Cain, a Black Voices for Trump co-chair, attended President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa. Cain was photographed inside the arena without wearing a mask and sitting in close proximity to others.The businessman and radio talk show host campaigned for the Republican nomination in 2012.10 a.m.: 33% increase in cases among Tennessee’s kidsTennessee has experienced a 33% jump in coronavirus cases among children in the last 10 days, ABC Memphis affiliate WATN reported.And in some parts of rural west Tennessee, cases among kids have surged by more than 100%, WATN reported.Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said at a news conference Tuesday that reopening schools for in-classroom learning is the “best option” and “planned delays should be reserved for the most extreme situations,” The Tennesseean reported.9:10 a.m.: NJ sees 112% increase in cases, deaths double in Atlanta areaAn internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News highlights a surge in New Jersey and a doubling death toll in the Atlanta area. New Jersey saw 2,066 new coronavirus cases in the last week (ending July 27) — a 112% increase from the week prior, the memo said.Beach town Long Beach Island reported 35 cases linked to social gatherings among lifeguards, the memo said. And in nearby Connecticut, 943 new cases were reported for the week ending July 27 — a 77.9% increase from the week prior. People under the age of 30 made up 40% of those new cases, the memo said.Meanwhile in Georgia, the number of new COVID-19 deaths in the last week nearly doubled in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs area. The week ending July 20 saw 71 deaths while the week ending July 27 brought 139 deaths, the memo said.In some parts of Georgia, some patients were forced to wait in ambulances because of the surge in COVID-19 patients, the memo said. In Alabama, new cases are increasing despite a 28.3% decrease in new tests administered, the memo said. As of Monday, only 12% of Alabama’s ICU beds were available. A record high number of ICU beds were filled, with 496 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.4:46 a.m.: Dispatchers stop asking 911 callers about COVID-19 symptoms, raising concerns for firefightersCallers to 911 in Houston will no longer be asked if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, changing a months-long practice to pass on the information to first responders. Firefighters are now told to treat every call as if the patient or home is COVID-positive.Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said the change is an admission of the widespread nature of the virus in the city and out of concern that callers were not always offering true information.For months, Pena pleaded with the public to give honest answers to protect firefighters, who have sustained large numbers of COVID-forced quarantines.The change was announced on the same day the Houston Fire Department attended a funeral for Capt. Leroy Lucio, Houston’s first firefighter to die from COVID-19.Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association president Marty Lancton told ABC13 he can’t understand why the department would want less information for firefighters instead of more.“Less information to the men and women on the front lines responding to calls is dangerous to firefighters, paramedics and citizens of Houston,” Lancton said.Chief Pena explained the change to HFD members in a memo obtained by 13 Investigates: “The prevalence of COVID-19 is high in the Houston area and COVID-19 cannot be ‘ruled out’ in the field nor appropriately screened via OEC. In the best interest of HFD members’ health and well-being, all addresses and patients should be considered as possible COVID-19 positive places and patients. No attempts should be made or opinions formed to consider and treat any patient as ‘non-COVID.’”The change is the second in recent weeks affecting COVID-19 information in dispatch. Earlier in July, the department stopped logging addresses of COVID-19 positive patients in the city-wide dispatch system. Chief Pena says that was taking too much time to enter thousands of cases in an antiquated system one by one.3:23 a.m.: Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass 17 millionGlobally, there are now more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, per John Hopkins University tally.The current number now stands at 17,031,281 but the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The global tally surpassed 15 million just eight days ago on July 22. Just four days later on July 26, the 16 million mark was reached.2:38 a.m.: Gov. DeSantis extends eviction and foreclosure moratorium until Sept. 1Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until Sept. 1.The ban was initially set to expire on Aug. 1 but the governor extended it for the third time in three months after the moratorium began in April.State Rep. Ana Eskamani, D-Orlando, tweeted the news saying: “BREAKING— Eviction and foreclosure moratorium has been extended for another month.”DeSantis issued the executive order without comment.2:11 a.m.: Florida to pause COVID testing due to tropical weatherThe Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced that all state-supported drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites will temporarily close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, in anticipation of impacts from Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.Testing sites are closing out of an abundance of caution to keep individuals operating and attending the sites safe. All sites have free standing structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured.Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine is expected to impact Florida with heavy rains and strong winds arriving to South Florida as early as Friday. The sites will remain closed until they are safe to reopen, with all sites anticipated to be reopened at the latest by 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 5.Free COVID-19 testing remains available through local County Health Departments. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Millions traveling during holidays despite warnings amid worsening pandemic

first_imgAkabei/iStockBy SAM SWEENEY, ABC News(ATLANTA) — Despite an explosion in COVID-19 cases nationwide and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than four million people have passed through TSA screening checkpoints in the four days since last Friday.According to TSA data, this is the busiest stretch of travel since the pandemic began in March, but air travel is still down nearly 60% compared to last year.AAA predicts 84.5 million Americans will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, a 29% decrease from last year.“While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent gathering with friends and family, the year-end holidays are when Americans often venture out for longer, more elaborate vacations. That will not be the case this year,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel, and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.”If you are traveling, the CDC has a new search tool that allows users to enter a zip code and find destination-specific information.The site shows local quarantine rules, testing requirements, and the operating status of local businesses.“Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” a CDC advisory explained. “You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community after travel.”President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly advised Americans against traveling during the holidays.Travel app Hopper says the top destinations this year for Americans are Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Austin, and Columbus, Ohio.American Airlines says its December schedule is approximately 50% smaller than the same time-period last year.The carrier expects the busiest travel days to be Dec. 21 through Dec. 23, Dec. 27 through the Dec. 30, and the first weekend of 2021.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Columbus to invest nearly $5M in police bodycams after Andre Hill shooting

first_imgAndre’ Hill/FacebookBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Officials in Columbus, Ohio, plan to invest nearly $5 million in new body-worn cameras and introduce new legislation targeting police response following the death of Andre Hill, a Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer last month.The city has set aside $4.5 million to fund the “next generation of body-worn cameras to ensure cameras are recording and audio is captured when we need it most,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said during a press briefing Thursday.The announcement comes nearly a month to the day after Hill was fatally shot by an officer dispatched to a “non-emergency” disturbance call.Adam Coy, the officer who shot Hill, was fired by the city earlier this month after an investigation determined that his use of deadly force was not reasonable.Coy did not turn on his body camera until after shooting Hill on Dec. 22, authorities said. Body-camera footage released earlier this month also appeared to show responding officers handcuffed Hill before rendering any first aid.The city invested millions to first outfit the Columbus Division of Police officers with body-worn cameras in 2016. The upgraded body-worn cameras will provide “common-sense changes that will protect our officers and the public,” Mayor Ginther said Thursday.The new cameras, which the city will begin installing this year, will automatically activate when an officer exits a cruiser on a priority call, sync with new dashboard cameras that are currently being installed and have improved resolution and video clarity, the mayor said.The city is also working to enhance the “look-back” feature to ensure the cameras are recording both video and audio. The look-back function on Coy’s camera recorded 60 seconds of the incident without sound.“Bottom line, if this technology were in place in December, we would have higher-resolution video and audio evidence leading up to and including the shooting death of Andre Hill. Period,” Ginther said.The city is working with the Columbus police union to ensure the look-back setting is aligned with the contract, the mayor said.The Columbus City Council also plans to introduce new legislation in the wake of Hill’s fatal shooting to “make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Council President Shannon Hardin said during the briefing.“Andre’s Law aims to ensure that safety officers use their body-worn cameras properly and call for medical aid or deliver medical aid themselves,” Hardin said.The proposed legislation, which Hardin aims to pass “in short order” after its introduction on Monday, would require that body-worn cameras be activated during any enforcement action and require police to request or render aid under certain circumstances.Those who violate the law could be subject to discipline, or even criminal charges, Hardin said.“Andre’s Law will not solve all police violence. But it’s one more step in the right direction — to ensure we know what is happening on the scene based on body-cam footage, and ensure that if residents are hurt, peace officers are there to render aid,” Hardin said. “And if officers don’t comply, that there can be greater accountability.”Columbus to invest nearly $5M in police bodycams after Andre Hill shooting.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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ERCOT faces class-action lawsuit, resignations in wake of Texas power outages

first_imgpeterschreiber.media/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(HOUSTON) — Texas’ embattled power grid operator is facing lawsuits and resignations after more than 4 million customers lost electricity last week during a deadly winter storm.Morgan & Morgan, a Florida-based national law firm with over 700 attorneys, filed a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), alleging that the nonprofit corporation “utterly failed” to plan for the cold weather despite multiple warnings, leading to the collapse of its electrical network and resulting in widespread blackouts.“Despite receiving multiple unambiguous warnings, ERCOT’s alleged failure to ensure reliable generating capacity during anticipated conditions forced many of its customers to endure dangerous freezing temperatures for long periods of time,” attorneys Mike Morgan and Rene Rocha said in a statement Tuesday. “This was not the first time ERCOT has failed to plan and prepare for cold weather. But instead of learning the lessons of its past failures, ERCOT yet again disregarded its duties to its customers. Over 70 people have died and millions of others have suffered emotional and physical trauma due to ERCOT’s alleged gross negligence.”ABC News has reached out to ERCOT for comment.The lawsuit was filed in a district court of Texas’ Harris County on behalf of a putative class that includes all current retail customers of ERCOT — millions of Texans — “who lost electric services or potable water services during the week of February 14, 2021 as a result of ERCOT’s failure to ensure adequate generating capacity,” according to the complaint.ERCOT, which manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million customers in Texas, representing 90% of the state’s electric load, allegedly received warning as early as Feb. 9 that an impending winter storm may jeopardize the integrity of its electrical network if reasonable measures were not taken, according to the complaint. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, who has been critical of ERCOT in the storm’s aftermath, issued a disaster declaration in all 254 counties on Feb. 12 ahead of the severe weather, which the lawsuit argued “should have further emphasized the need for ERCOT to take appropriate measures to ensure system performance under the anticipated conditions.”The storm moved into Texas on Feb. 14, blanketing the Lone Star State in snow and ice. During a press briefing last Thursday, ERCOT president and CEO Bill Magness admitted that the Texas power grid had been just “seconds or minutes” away from a complete and catastrophic failure, as power demand increased and generators fell offline on the night the storm hit. By the morning of Feb. 14, more than 4.4 million customers were without power in Texas, according to data collected by PowerOutage.US.The extended power outages combined with record-low temperatures caused freezing pipes to burst across the state, depleting water reserves. Millions of people were also under a boil-water advisory due to concerns about potential contamination as water treatment plants suffered power outages.Mariaelena Sanchez, the named plaintiff in the lawsuit, was among those who lost electrical services and potable water for “several days” due to ERCOT’s alleged failures to plan and prepare for the deep freeze, according to the complaint. Sanchez was forced to “huddle under blankets in her dark and freezing home and ration scarce supplies of bottled water. During that time, Sanchez had to use snow to preserve “the little food she had that was not spoiled by the outages,” according to the complaint.The lawsuit alleged that the “total state energy demand during the cold weather event peaked at around 69,000 megawatts — significantly less than the total capacity of the ERCOT system or typical peak demands in summer.” ERCOT allegedly failed “to reserve enough capacity to meet such foreseeable demands” as well as “to assess the integrity of its infrastructure, the environmental limitations of its power sources, and how abnormally cold weather may impact the availability of its power sources,” according to the complaint.Although winter storms are not as common in Texas as elsewhere in the United States, the complaint noted that the state has experienced a number of cold weather events over the past few decades. The lawsuit alleged that “ERCOT has repeatedly disregarded its responsibilities” throughout the years to plan and prepare for the effects of cold weather on its electrical grid. The complaint cited winter storms in 1989 and 2011 that caused ERCOT’s systems to fail, resulting in widespread blackouts and human suffering.The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial and is seeking class certification, injunctive relief, damages and litigation costs for the named plaintiff as well as all other class members proposed in the complaint.This is not the only lawsuit to hit ERCOT in the wake of the historic cold snap. The family of an 11-year-old boy who died during last week’s power outages in Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston, filed a $100 million lawsuit against ERCOT and Entergy Texas, an electric power generation and distribution company.Meanwhile, ERCOT’s top board leaders announced Tuesday that they will step down amid outrage over the corporation’s handling of the storm. Four board directors, including the chairwoman and vice chairman, submitted their resignations, which are effective Wednesday. A candidate for a board director position also said he was withdrawing his name from consideration. All five live outside of Texas, which only intensified scrutiny of ERCOT.In a letter to ERCOT board members on Tuesday, the four departing leaders noted the “recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership.”“We want to acknowledge the pain and suffering of Texans during this past week,” they wrote. “Our hearts go out to all Texans who have had to go without electricity, heat, and water during frigid temperatures and continue to face the tragic consequences of this emergency.”In a separate letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which oversees ERCOT, the board director candidate said he was requesting the withdrawal of his name “to avoid becoming a distraction,” citing “concerns regarding the propriety of out-of-state directors.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Two injured in shooting near Fort Detrick in Maryland, suspect killed after entering military base: Officials

first_imgvmargineanu/iStockBy Matt Zarrell, ABC News(FREDERICK, Md.) — Two people are in critical condition after a shooting near Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, on Tuesday morning.Police were called for an active shooter situation at 8:20 a.m. in the Riverside Tech Park area, Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said.When officers arrived on scene they found two adult males injured. The victims were flown by helicopter to Baltimore and are in critical condition, Lando said.The 38-year-old suspect, who Navy Public Affairs confirmed was a Navy Hospital Corpsman, then traveled to nearby Fort Detrick and was subsequently shot and killed by base personnel, police said.“Our number one priority is the safety of our people,” said U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick Commander Col. Dexter Nunnally. “Our emergency responders are well trained for these types of situations and the fast response of our military police enabled us to contain this threat quickly.”Tommy Lamkin, a spokesman for the Naval Medical Research Center at Fort Detrick, confirmed that the shooting involved at least two Navy medical personnel.“We are aware of an active shooter at Fort Detrick, Maryland that has involved at least two Navy Medical Personnel,” Lamkin said.Navy Public Affairs also issued a statement confirming “there was an active shooter incident at Fort Detrick, MD involving U.S. Navy Sailors. We will continue to update with additional details as the situation evolves.”The police chief said it is a “very active scene” and did not want to comment on motive.“The public is no longer at risk, everyone is safe. No officers were injured, and there were no other injuries to bystanders,” Lando said.Fort Detrick and Frederick police are investigating the incident.Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with a K-9 team are being sent to the scene, the agency said.ATF Special Agents and K-9 team are responding to a critical incident in Fredrick, MD to assist our law enforcement partners. More information will be provided by the lead investigating agency when available. pic.twitter.com/27HyLhT8jh— ATF Baltimore (@ATFBaltimore) April 6, 2021This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Work relationship key to motivation

first_img The next most important factors are interesting work (57 per cent) followed by level of pay (45 per cent) and job security (40 per cent). A further 36 per cent cited opportunities for training.The quality of supervision or management (19 per cent), physical working environment (19 per cent), and opportunities for promotion (15 per cent) were considered less important.• 020-7529 5930 www.cbi.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Work relationship key to motivationOn 4 Jul 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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To the power of seven

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Head of Corporate Training and Development at Pfizer PaulMallinson explains why he introduced the famous ‘habits of effective people’ tothe UK subsidiaryWe have been using FranklinCovey development programmes at Pfizer in the UKfor more than five years and they are still having consistent and beneficialeffects throughout the organisation. However, we stumbled across the solutionsby chance. In the1990s, on the way to the US, l was looking for something to read atthe airport and picked up Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly EffectivePeople. After reading it, I contacted a FranklinCovey facilitator to discussthe possibility of doing some work on culture change at Pfizer. It was important that I fully understood the whole learning process, so tostart with I attended the two workshops, The 7 Habits of Highly EffectivePeople and The Four Roles of Leadership, which enabled me to observe theexperience at first hand. Personal development The strength of the programme is that it goes deep into personal motivationand effectiveness, facilitating organisational change by starting at a personallevel. The philosophy of the course is to teach people to change from theinside, within a framework of universal, timeless principles. The material focuses on a work/life balance and aims to improve both theprofessional and personal sides of the attendees’ lives. Thus, part of the 7Habits course is to develop a personal mission statement, which encouragesindividuals to think about ‘who they are and where they are going’ in life, andto look at both short-term and long-term goals. The course teaches a‘whole-person’ approach where personal and professional goals and events arenot mutually exclusive and making improvements in one area will have positiveeffects in the other. Another key message of this course is the paradigm shift – encouragingpeople to see what can be done rather than focusing on restrictions. A powerfulway of illustrating this was to learn to juggle three balls. At first, many participants might not see the point in this, or mayimmediately feel they are not capable of doing it. But it taught us a simplebut important lesson. We were taken though the practical skills and steps neededto learn to keep three balls in the air, and by focusing on the goal and byadhering to these steps, we were soon able to keep three balls in the air atthe same time. The lesson was that if you allow yourself to see thingsdifferently and are proactive and prepared to apply yourself to a task, withwork and perseverance and by focusing on the objective, the task is achievable.Time of change One of the key benefits of the FranklinCovey solutions is that they can beadapted to suit different needs and requirements, because they are based oncore human principles. We recognised the potential of the material in keybusiness areas such as corporate culture and leadership. When I introduced thepersonal development philosophy at Pfizer, the company was re-evaluating itsculture and in the process of developing its own values. Many of these valueswere echoed by what we found in the Covey systems. Perhaps the most importantthing is that the 7 Habits is not just a theory – it is a pragmatic way ofmaking principles and values live and of sustaining long-term behaviouralchange. Once we had experienced the programme, I worked on adapting the coursematerial to suit Pfizer’s structure and specific requirements. To begin with,the courses were offered at management level, with the aim of exposing thebusiness’s top teams to these new methods and models. Often in large companies,change is not normally an easy thing to implement ,but the simplicity andapplicability of the FranklinCovey material meant that managers were soonsinging the praises of the solutions and senior management bought into theprogramme from the outset. Realising the potential of the material to improveproductivity, the senior sales management team cascaded it down to every levelin the sales force and as a result, most Pfizer sales teams are now living theprinciples of the 7 Habits. We also used the 7 Habits course for team development. With guidance fromFranklinCovey, we set up courses to provide ‘experience learning’, withdelegates including their own material and models. I’m please with the way weput our programme across – it is very challenging and this personalisationgives the sessions added power and relevance. More than 500 people have now attended Pfizer’s internal 7 Habits programmeswhich, as a licensed and trained facilitator, I now run. People in any part ofthe business can nominate themselves onto the programme as part of their ownpersonal development plan; line managers have access to a full catalogue oftraining courses, to build skills, knowledge and abilities and to improvebehaviour; and of all our learning solutions the 7 Habits is by far the mostpopular. This is largely due to word of mouth recommendation as those who go onthe course find it not only enjoyable but also invaluable to their improvedwork performance. Positive change The underlying principles behind the programme focus on the inner desire ofindividuals themselves to become more effective. In addition to imparting theknowledge, FranklinCovey provides the tools for building effective leadership,empowerment, planning and communication. Although these sound like businessbuzz-words, the course provides a simple yet powerful framework which can bringlasting personal and professional benefits. The atmosphere on the courses is normally excellent, with people sharingideas and experiences. A general desire for self-improvement and to help fellowgroup members to do the same is demonstrated. While our courses provide theknowledge and the tools, they also encourage each individual to use and managethese solutions to the best of their capability. Responsibility is in one’s ownhands but the 7 Habits steer individuals in the right direction. Paul Mallinson is Head of Corporate Training and Management Developmentat Pfizer Limited. VerdictBecause Pfizer operates in a fast-moving and ever-changing industry, returnon investment in such training can be hard to calculate precisely. However, itis obvious to me and senior management that the impact the principle-centred,behavioural training solutions have had can be judged by the effects on keycompetencies. For example, the sales teams that have been through the 7 Habitsprogramme are among the best performers in the business. The popularity of the workshops is another qualitative measure of thebenefit of the programme. The majority of colleagues who have attended thecourse and put the 7 Habits into practice at work and at home, say they haveseen definite improvements in their personal and professional life.As a large and complex business, one of the cultural difficulties at Pfizeris how to develop sustainability of ideas, when people and structures areconstantly changing. For this reason, the 7 Habits training is a never-endingprocess. Several people have gone on the course more than once and benefitedmore the second time. The continued use of the principle-centred learning anddevelopment system contributed to our top ranking in the Sunday Times survey.The task now is to maintain awareness of the 7 Habits course and its principlesin the face of continual change, and to add a new level of personal developmentby increasing uptake of the Four Roles of Leadership course. This applies notjust to those in senior positions, but all who need to have leadership.Like many organisations, we are finding that employees must have the abilityto be self-directed and self-led. Because in today’s world, command and controlhierarchical systems are increasingly irrelevant. This is ultimately what the 7Habits are about – teaching people to be proactive, to lead themselves, to behighly productive and effective, and to positively influence others. To the power of sevenOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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FA sets fast-track goals for managers of future

first_imgThe Football Association is introducing a fast-track management developmentprogramme to groom future leaders of the game. The nine-month programme will be launched in September to identify andnurture 20 junior and senior managers at the FA who have high leadershippotential. Paul Nolan, director of HR of the Football Association, said successionplanning is vital for the organisation’s continued success, with profitsdoubling since 2000 to a projected £41m this year. Nolan said: “We are trying to ensure what we’ve achieved issustainable. I don’t want the whole thing to collapse just because a couple ofsenior executives leave. The most successful organisations know there is anadvantage to be gained through continuity.” Last year, the not-for-profit organisation invested £65m in the developmentof football. The MBA-level programme will be run by Cranfield School of Management andfocus on strategy and management skills. It is part of a new training anddevelopment strategy which means all 270 staff have individual developmentplans. The number of training days for all staff has increased 20-fold to more than1,000 since Nolan joined in September 2000. FA technical director Howard Wilkinson told Personnel Today: “We have adevelopment strategy designed to bring advantage on the field throughconsistency, continuity and succession. We now have a people strategy for ourorganisation that replicates this philosophy.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article FA sets fast-track goals for managers of futureOn 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Innovative recruitment works for Virgin

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Innovative recruitment works for VirginOn 16 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Family-friendlyrecruitment policies have helped Virgin Mobile to expand into one of the majorplayers on the UK scene, with innovative recruitment and retention policiesdriving the brand. By Liz HallLess than three years after its launch, Virgin Mobile is bucking the trendelsewhere in the telecoms industry, operating in profit ahead of plan, boastinga 1.6 million customer base and taking on around 30 new staff each month. Launched in November 1999 as a 50:50 joint venture between Sir RichardBranson’s Virgin and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, the UK’s first and theworld’s largest virtual network operator is the UK’s fifth-largest operator andits fastest-growing mobile phone business. Virgin Mobile has subsidiaries in Australia, Northern Ireland and Singaporeand has development plans in the US, Hong Kong, South Korea and continentalEurope. With Sir Richard at the helm, it comes as no surprise that the company’sbrand values include innovation, challenge and fun, which have been reflectedin recent recruitment campaigns. Other company values are quality, value andhonesty. The company has two UK offices, the HQ in Trowbridge and a satellite officein London’s Leicester Square. Customer centre staff work in Trowbridgealongside HR, payments and finance. Marketing, PR and financial analysts areused in London. RecruitmentVirgin Mobile employs 1,450 staff and has its sights set on furtherexpansion. This year, it plans to recruit some 300-350 staff, having taken on114 corporate division staff and 266 customer centre staff last year. When asked what she is most proud of in terms of personnel activities,director of HR Lily Lu has no doubt: recruitment. “I am utterly proud ofour recruitment, of how unusual, innovative, eye-catching and fun our campaignsare,” she says. “They reflect our values of fun, openness andinnovation.” (See ‘Key HR initiatives above.) This openness is carried through beyond advertising. Customer serviceadviser (CSA) recruitment takes place at an assessment centre and assessors deliberatelyleave the room so that candidates have carte blanche to ask an existing CSAwhatever they wish. The company does not run a conventional management trainee scheme and relieson word-of-mouth and work experience people for its intake – last year it tookon four graduates and it plans to take on another four this year. “We avoid the run-of-the-mill ‘milk round’, with express training, atthe end of which people may not be interested,” explains Lu. In the firstyear, graduate recruits do three or four months in different business areas,making a final choice at the end of the year. “This works well and gives individuals a say on how their career pathdevelops,” she says. And the company is always on the lookout for new talentand is not averse to creating a job to fit a particular person and the companyuses local recruitment agencies, holding regular meetings to ensure aconsistent corporate branding. RetentionWhile Virgin Mobile refuses to disclose staff turnover rate, Lu claims it islow – although higher than she’d like in the customer centres. “But it iscoming down thanks to our culture and the flexibility in working style,”she says. Employee communications is an integral part of Virgin Mobile’s operations.At least twice a year, all staff gather at Trowbridge’s arts theatre for abusiness update. Again, innovation and fun are prominent, with the lastgathering themed on Graham Norton’s irreverent Channel 4 TV show. Lu is workingon a cafeteria menu-style benefits scheme, which should be in place in about 18months and may include on-site massage. At present, benefits include four times base salary on death in service,private medical cover, pensions, 25 days holiday, enhanced maternity benefits,five days paid paternity leave, and paid sick leave up to a maximum of 12 weeksfull pay. The company also offers a bonus scheme, subsidised staff restaurantand the popular Virgin ‘tribe’ discount scheme. The maternity package consists of the first six weeks of leave at full basicpay, regardless of length of service. For staff who have been with the companyfor at least two years, maternity pay is enhanced in 20 per cent steps to amaximum of 100 per cent base pay for the full 18 weeks. The company is alsoinvestigating non-creche child-friendly work options. Flexible working is offered informally to non-customer service staff and thecompany tries to be as accommodating as possible with shift patterns. Training and development One of Virgin Mobile’s most innovative initiatives in the training arena isits Trowbridge-based ‘learning zone’ for which it sets aside £10,000 a year. The learning zone is rather like a library, with a quiet reading area, fishtank and a variety of training and development resources, including an on-sitemanager. The company has more than 20 trainers dedicated to its CSAs’ requirements.It has a separate team of 10 for its non-Virgin store staff. Training deliveryis a mixture of classroom, on-the-job, online and in the learning zone. New recruitsreceive an average 23 days training. Last year, staff completed about threedays training each on average, aside from that for new recruits. Performance managementVirgin Mobile’s appraisal and development system, the Employee DevelopmentProgramme (EDP), is Lily Lu’s brainchild. Originally a platform for assessing the staff bonus scheme, the EDP links HRstrategy to the bottom line and takes into account skills and personalqualities. In the melting pot are customer base, customer satisfaction, personalperformance and company financial performance. Each individual has a formalannual assessment with line managers. “We’re a young company moving at a tremendous rate. Everyone is runningabout trying to meet objectives so we need to make time to sit down withemployees,” says Lu. At the beginning of the year, the HR team began to tackle one of its keyobjectives for the year – succession planning. Although Virgin Mobile is not ahighly structured company, its management team are placed in broad employeebands to better identify gaps. Where gaps emerge, for example in IT, it ismaking sure training is in place to prepare existing staff to progressinternally. HR factfileLily LuDirector of HRLu has legal qualifications and has been with Virgin Group for20 years. She started at head office as an HR manager with free rein to set upall things HR from scratch, looking after about 200 staff. She recalls whenVirgin Atlantic did not even have a personnel department and she workedoff-site. “I have offered consultancy-based HR to the smallercompanies and guided others until they were toddlers, letting go so they canset up on their own with me just in the background owning the guidelines,”she explains. Over the years, her job has changed from being very muchhands-on in a small department, using PAs and secretaries as personnelassistants to a more strategic role. Her move three years ago to Virgin Mobileoffered excitement and new challenges. The last company she set up was VirginDirect at a distance. Now she is back in the driving seat again. “It istouch and go and I like that.” The sector itself represents a challenge to Lu: “Thissector is new to me. I knew not one iota about telecoms. But it is exciting,fast-moving and I have absorbed like a sponge.” Lu does not sit on theboard and describes her salary as ‘competitive’.Size of HR teamLu has an HR team of 16HR department structureHR is structured with two levels: one team dedicated to thecustomer centre, including recruitment and training, and another for corporatestaff. There is only one payroll and there is a crossover in terms of dailytasks. Lu is responsible for the strategic side of the HR function.Ratio of HR to employeesAbout 1:91. Key HR initiativesRecruitment campaign in and around Trowbridge starring threeSmart Cars painted in Virgin Mobile colours and logo. Building up thelibrary-style training area, the Learning Zone Setting succession planning inmotion.HR priorities for the yearSuccession planning, recruitment, training and development.How she spends her time– operations– change management: – strategic planninglast_img read more

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