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Brighton SBM December 2014 Newsletter

BSBM Newsletter – December 2014


Merry Christmas everyone!

Competition – 21 Days of Christmas

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21 Days of Christmas

Interesting Event of the Month: Christmas Day

For millions of people around the world, Christmas Day – December 25th – is a special day. For practicing Christians it is of immense religious significance, whilst for others it is of huge importance as day when partners, families, and friends exchange gifts.

It is, without doubt, a special day, for good reasons – a confirmation and celebration of faith, of family values, and of the importance of friendships.

How is Christmas celebrated around the world?

Many countries celebrate Christmas in their own special way.

In Austria, many families have an Advent Wreath, made from evergreen twigs, ribbons and four candles. A candle is lit on each of the four Sundays in Advent.

Many people in Brazil start the Christmas Celebrations on Christmas Eve with fireworks and a barbecue.

During the Christmas period in Costa Rica, many people like to decorate their houses with tropical flowers.

In Denmark, a lot of people go to church at 4pm for the Christmas story, the main Christmas meal is then eaten between 6pm and 8pm when they get home.

Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, as they still use the Julian calendar. Most people still go to church on Christmas day though.

In Hungary, the tree is mainly decorated by the adults, (without the children around ) This is so that when the children come into the room they will have a lovely surprise. They are told that the angels brought the tree for them.

A majority of children in The Netherlands open their presents on the 5th December as this is when St Nicholas brings them presents. St Nicholas day is on the 6th December.

In Spain, it is said that a rooster was supposed to have crowed the night Jesus was born, and for this reason, most people go to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster).

The only room that is decorated in most homes in Zimbabwe is the main living room. Special food eaten is often chicken and rice as a special treat, as chicken in Zimbabwe is very expensive.

Christmas Gifts

Study Subject of the Month: Strategic Management and Leadership

This area of knowledge and understanding is critically important because managers and leaders at the strategic level have responsibility for the following:

10 Critical Roles of a Strategic Manager

1              Deciding on a Vision and set of Values to underpin the organisation’s activities

2              Monitoring, analysing, and responding to current, imminent, and forecast external changes.

3              Laying down appropriate pathways into the future for the organisation – by designing and implementing strategic plans

4              Ensuring that those plans cover key areas such as; the Supply Chain, Communications, Human Resources, Marketing, Quality and Finance.

5              Ensuring that the organisation has appropriate and sufficient resources – people, finance, physical, technological.

6              Ensuring that those resources are maintained and replenished appropriately

7              Ensuring that the people working at all levels in the organisation are aware of the strategic direction being taken

8              Ensuring that there are appropriate policies and procedures to guide activity and behaviour in way which supports the strategic plans

9              Implementing and maintaining a Continuous Improvement approach

10            Building and maintaining a positive organisational Culture – one that is in line with the organisation’s visions and values



How many of these attributes are visible in your organisation and its leaders? 

How many problems are being caused by the missing items?  

Useful Study Tips 

Studying During a Festive Season 

It’s very tempting to switch off during a festival period – to stop studying completely.

For a few days, that is definitely a wise decision, as the core of the event is too important – and usually your partner, family, or friends will be upset if you turn away from them during those days.

In addition, it’s a time to recharge your personal batteries, to relax at least temporarily, and to focus on other, equally important things for a while.

But for the overall period – for example during Ramadan, or during the days before and after the actual Christmas days – the best approach is to minimize your studying – to do some light reading, or simply reflecting on what you’ve learned recently, or to sketch out plans for when you resume studying full time.

That way you can take part in and enjoy the event itself, whilst still keeping in touch with your studies, and – importantly – keeping as close as you can to your timetable – your completion plan.


Use the time to relax and re-motivate yourself.

Finally – Food for Thought

As another year comes to an end it is worth taking the opportunity to ask yourself –  have you made as much progress in your professional life as you hoped you would this year?

The end of December – early January would be an ideal time to reflect on your career and professional development progress – not only in the year just ending, but over your whole working life – no matter how short or how long that is.

As a positive outcome to that reflection, you don’t need to have prepared a new, detailed professional development plan (which in many cases would be done at a time of year dictated by your organisation).

What would be valuable, though, is to make a promise to yourself – a New Year Resolution – that you will improve more over the next 12 months, that you will be more diligent, harder working, and more focused on your professional development objectives.


Make it an “I Will Make More Progress On My Professional Development” … Resolution!

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