Gap Analysis; Have you ever compared your current lifestyle to one you aspire to have? Guest Contributors

Together Abroad01-05-2016 8:08 PM



That is the same as the principle of gap analysis for businesses. Gap analysis is not strictly business-related though; it is rather a universally applicable technique typically used to evaluate, develop and improve any form of output. For example, a company may be looking to sell 10% more units than they did in the previous year, or a service company may use gap analysis to compare the standard of service they provide, to the standard of service they expected to provide customers with.

It is a tool that many people use subconsciously when faced with a problem that needs to be solved. On the hand, gap analysis should not be viewed as a problem-solving utility per se; but more of a problem-identifying method, so that it can easily be applied to a variety of situations.

From a business perspective, analysis and evaluation are essential to growth in a company; however, gap analysis does not provide the means of improvement. It is frequently used as an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) measurement to manage asset-liability with interest rate risk or liquidity risk over a period of time. There is one major shortcoming with using this method; it is only valid for...
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Together Abroad22-02-2016 9:38 AM
Moving to a foreign country can raise numerous questions about where to register for what and how to set up a functioning life. Finding a job in your new home plays a significant role. Here is what you need to prepare, before you can start working in the Netherlands.

BSN number
Before starting a job in the Netherlands, you will need a BSN number (NL: burgerservicenummer). This number is a personal identification number and is needed for all communication with authorities (e.g. setting up a bank account, organizing social security, health care or tax deduction).
If you arrive with, for example, family members, who are not going to search for a job, they still need to register. Every resident of the Netherlands, who is intending to stay for longer than four months, is obliged to request a BSN number.
In order to get a BSN number, you have to register with the municipality (NL: gemeente). You need to state, where you are living, and proof your ID - you should therefore bring your rent contract and passport. If you are from a country, which is not part of the EU or EER, you will also be asked to show your...
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Together Abroad02-02-2016 12:57 PM


You are an entrepreneur and have set up a beautiful business. Your company has a loyal and committed staff, willing to invest in new clients. Your business is growing and is ready for the next step. But what themes can be used to stimulate growth? Moreover, what could hurt that corresponding growth? What does this mean for your own role in the company?

A development in the growth of organisations is described by the American organisation expert Larry E. Greiner In 1972, he developed the 'Greiner Growth Model'  which describes the phases a business goes through as it grows. He maintains that a growing organisation experiences six different phases. Each stage marks a growth trajectory and will conclude with a brief 'crisis'. In this article, I will discuss the first phase, because the companies I advise often undergo this first crisis, and it is important to properly manage or avoid it.

The first phase is called “growth through creativity.” A small young company always starts in the "pioneer phase". Through further growth in size and years of life, the organization becomes more complex and can coordinate much more efficiently; the internal control of the company can no longer be managed...
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Together Abroad03-11-2015 9:23 AM
Titus Flapper on Leadership:  An HR Director’s Perspective on How to Be a Good Team Leader

Meet Titus Flapper
Titus Flapper has worked for many years as HR manager and director in various organisations including Festo and OctoPlus. He is currently the director of his own consultancy firm called TF Business Support. However, he hasn’t always been in this line of work.
“I studied mathematics once,” Titus recalls. “I was a teacher for many years, and then I changed to HR, and now for the last 13 years, I work for myself.” He says that the career switch was “more or less of a coincidence”: while he was still teaching, he was asked to organise the training and development of employees in an organisation on a part-time basis. He ended up liking the work in HR, and the company decided to offer him a position. This meant that he had to decide between continuing his career in education, and starting something completely new. He decided that he liked the idea of fresh possibilities. He remembers thinking, “If I don’t take this step, I’ll be in education for the rest of my life.”
He hasn’t looked back since. In this article,...
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Together Abroad01-10-2015 11:05 AM
In all cases a good management is an important key for success. In some cases, a good working team can also perform great with not so strong management influence. However, the phenomenon of a diverse workforce with its complexity and ambiguity requires, at almost all times, proper management skills for successful performance outcomes.

The first step for attempting such an endeavor is getting to know the situation, by focusing on understanding diversity, the various forms of its existence, processes of acknowledging them and understanding the importance of it. Good management practice cannot start without fully understanding the issue at hand. A diverse workforce comes in different shapes and nuances, some of them are visible based on one’s demographics, and some are less visible, such as education, family status, and personality type and so on. Overlooking this diversification can result in taking the wrong management concepts and tactics that lead to stressful work environment, lowered work performance, etc. This entails to the further step after acknowledging the existence of diversity - understanding it. Every good diversity manager should ask himself three questions: Do I recognize the diversity of the workforce I am managing? Am I self-aware of my own difference? Am...
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Together Abroad01-10-2015 10:52 AM
During one of the team lunches, when we were talking about experiences, one of my colleagues mentioned: “You should not save money on experiences.” The most obvious translation of this is that experiences are more important/valuable/beneficial/etc. than money. Why is that and how to measure to which extend are experiences more important than money? If you were about to get a reward and were faced with a choice between money and experiences (not limited to a specific type of experience), what would you choose and more importantly, why?

You might also ask me why you have to make a choice on one between these two. Actually, going for both can be the most beneficial option. Money has to do with extrinsic motivation. Monetary rewards are common, usual, taxable (most of the times). Nonetheless, it is needed (also to create more experiences, however not every experience can be “bought”). It triggers a certain part in us. Experiences have something to do with intrinsic motivation. They trigger associations, memories, create emotional value. They have a certain element of surprise in it, which makes it more special and unforgettable. Two of these are important and trigger different reactions, which in their turn, in...
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Editor Together Abroad31-08-2015 7:32 PM
The importance of work – life balance is growing strong nowadays, so is our interest in it. The concept of this phenomenon has gone through major changes. The first understanding of it was the time balance between “work” and “play”, however things are much more complex. The work – life balance is the theory of prioritizing appropriately workstyle with lifestyle, including family, leisure time, personal development, etc. This balance is different for everybody, depending on the needs of every person. Some put great importance on their work ambitions, others emphasize on family development or hobbies and personal time. Thus work-life balance exists individually according to one’s needs. Maslow’s model of “hierarchy of needs” lays out the five levels of humans’ needs that establish and enhance peoples’ motivation and satisfaction.

The first three levels are called deficiency needs that include biological and physiological, safety needs and love and belongingness needs. The top two levels are called growth needs consisting of esteem and self-actualization. Maslow presents the idea that one can reach the higher level of needs once the basic ones have been satisfied. However, in the fast changing information society we live in peoples’ urgencies change on day to day bases....
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