BA (Honours) in Leadership and Management

DegreeCert

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog, as I have been busy with lots of other things besides Open University study. However, I wanted to share some news with the thousands of people who have visited and/or continue to visit this blog for information and/or inspiration.

After six years of study I finally got my degree. If I can do it, with all the other things I had going on in my life during that time, then believe me … anyone can do it. I truly mean that. It’s my graduation ceremony this weekend, marking the successful conclusion of my OU journey. (At least for now!)

What next for this blog? Well, I’m considering adding to it on a more regular basis and making it about much more than just academic study. If you look at my About page, you will see this was something I always intended to do. Let’s see if I can finally make that happen!

Good luck with your studies!

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The Never-Ending Salesforce Learning Journey

The learning never stops with Salesforce!

Salesforce Tower

Approaching the mothership: The ‘Salesforce Tower’ at 110 Bishopsgate, London.

I work in the Salesforce ecosystem as a Functional Consultant, and am well aware of how regular changes to the platform (three releases per year) mean we are all on a constant learning journey.

It’s not just about frequent releases, there are also many different products that work together to make up the Salesforce Customer Success platform, and Salesforce Consulting Partners are increasingly insisting that their consultants be certified for those products before they can work on real client projects.

Getting certified means studying and learning – therefore, I’m going to start writing about my experience with Salesforce certifications here on this blog.

I’m also going to be sharing Salesforce tips when I discover something that I think may be useful to others working in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Tolstoy’s Wave

In whatever direction a ship moves the flow of waves it cuts will always be noticeable ahead of it … When the ship moves in one direction there is one and the same wave ahead of it, when it turns frequently the wave ahead of it also turns frequently. But wherever it may turn there always will be the wave anticipating its movement. Whatever happens it appears that just that event was foreseen and decreed. Wherever the ship may go, the rush of water which neither directs nor increases its movement foams ahead of it, and at a distance seems not merely to move of itself but to govern the ship’s movement also.

Tolstoy’s bow-wave metaphor for leadership provokes some interesting questions. Are leaders merely figureheads, propelled by events beyond their control even though it appears the events are controlled by them?

Leaders are in front of those they lead, but are they pulling or are they being pushed? Can you be a leader without followers? Do followers make leaders by being followers? Are leaders and followers just part of a virtuous/vicious circle feedback-loop? Must there be a leader before there are followers? Do organisations need leaders in order to be successful, or are we just used to the idea of having them?

– Grint (1997), cited in Billsberry (2009).

And on to B204

I’ve started some of the reading for my next course – B204 Making it Happen! Leadership, influence and change. The course has been on my plan for years and I’ve been looking forward to starting it for a long time.

Our tutor has already been in touch and says this is a course with potentially life and/or career changing results, so it will be very interesting and exciting to see what happens to me over the next 12 months!

The course workload looks challenging at first glance. There seems to be quite a bit of reading, but it looks like most of the learning and reflection for the course will actually take place in the workplace – so it appears to be a very practical and relevant course for me.

I’m not sure how I will use the blog with my studies yet, but I’m sure all will become clear.

B324 Exam Day

It seems such a short time since I started my B324 studies, but exam day is already upon me. I’ll be making my way to the exam centre this afternoon, and will have to sit through three more hours of pain before I can draw a line under the course and look forward to the next one.

In terms of revision, I’ve focused mainly on the B324 topics covered here in this blog. Hopefully that will be enough. I feel quietly confident, and am not nervous about the exam at all. I’m more concerned about the pain I will feel after writing solidly for up to three hours!

Reflecting on B324, there have been elements of the course I’ve enjoyed, and some which I’ve found a little abstract due to the fact that they don’t relate to my own work experience. I enjoyed looking at ethical marketing, responsible marketing and green marketing. I didn’t so much enjoy social marketing or ethical frameworks. I also found fair trade a little less interesting than green – although it was interesting to relate some of the fair trade ideas to the problems UK dairy farmers are currently experiencing.

Final words: B324 is a level 3 course and is quite challenging – as it should be. There is a lot of reading to get through, and it’s absolutely necessary to put the time in if you want to obtain reasonable marks for your TMAs. However, B324 is a course that should be very enjoyable and rewarding for people who are involved with or wish to be involved with a social enterprise of some kind.