eNewsletter May 2007

Welcome to the GCA eNewsletter, May 2007 issue. Click to jump to any of this issue’s exciting articles.

GCA: The First Graduating Class

The GAC Corporate Academy (GCA) is proud to announce the graduation of its first class. Comprised of students from GAC offices in various world locations, the class successfully completed eight weeks of an advanced course in Human Resource Development- known as GLO, or the GCA Liaison Officer's course.

“This is fantastic,” said Damien O’Donoghue, GM of GCA. “Because not only are we building a highly skilled community of liaison officers, we’re facilitating the creation and exchange of knowledge across the GAC world.”

Sanjay Mansukhani receives his certificate of GLO Course completion

The ten graduates of the GLO came from places as far off as Oman, Hong Kong, and the UAE, and met at the online LMS, or Learning Management System, to exchange ideas, post assignments, and complete group projects in teams half a world away.

“The LMS is ideal for this type of learning,” said Waleed Jameel, Manager of Business and Technology at GCA, as well as a GLO Course facilitator, “Because we have team members in Africa, in India, in Europe, and using the discussion forums they have the chance to meet and learn with people that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”

Ramachandran Nair, a GLO graduate and Manager of GAC Oman, said “Overall, the concept and approach was totally a different experience throughout the course period… The teamwork that showcased during the past 8-weeks period was excellent, I should say.”

Another GLOL graduate, Nur Setyaningsih, Senior HR Officer of GAC Indonesia, said, “It was a good time and good opportunity…I am proud and completely enjoyed learning through the expert discussion ”

“It was a good time and good opportunity…I am proud and completely enjoyed learning through the expert discussion.”

The successful launch and completion of this course marks an exciting start to the GCA's lineup of available courses, some of which are to include Personal and Professional Development, Introduction to the GAC World, introduction and use of the Balanced Scorecard, as well as technical refreshers like the Microsoft Office Tune-up, scheduled for launch later this year. For more information on course availability, please contact your nearest GLO. Back to top

Mr Jameel, you’re a course facilitator, a columnist, and the GCA Manager of Business and technology, but what's your educational background?

Ah, the background question! I have my Bachelor’s in Mathematics (with CS dabbling) and my Master's in Instructional Design & Technology. Those are the degrees I have. I'm constantly studying though; nowadays I'm very keen on topics such as Project Management, Documentation, User Interface, Usability, Holistic Learning...the list goes, but all of these overlap on what I’m doing now, which is what pulls them onto my radar.

How did you first get in to the field of education, how does one become an E-Guru?

When I think about it, I realise that it started back in high school. I've always enjoyed math, it's a gorgeous topic and I've been guilty of checking out books from the library on the history of the number zero (fascinating read by the way, do give it a shot). Now imagine being confronted by people daily and being told how much they hate math. I couldn't understand why. Surely the topic cannot be that difficult. Why is it that we all use math daily yet we hate to study to it more? My line of thinking lead me to realise that the challenge lay not with the students, but with the content, its packaging and its sellers (teachers/lecturers, etc). Come Masters, this option came up and I followed it.

What's the difference between an E-Guru and an Educationalist?

Tough one there! I think it's a distinction without a difference, or much difference atl east. An E-Guru in the modern world is looked upon as someone who is integrating technology in their learning processes - online learning, on-the-job training via PDA's, mobile device learning, etc. An Educationalist is seen as someone who is an advocate of education and learning. Yet if you take a teacher in a rural village and give them a blackboard, chalk, books for the kids - technology befitting that environment - are these teachers (educationalists) now not E-Gurus?

Prior to working at GCA, I was an eLearning Consultant. I worked with clients from the academic and corporate sector.

While many other organisations realise the value of Human Capital, GCA is a step ahead of them.

From an education perspective, GCA is focused on learning by doing; you're not forced to absorb information, rather you assimilate knowledge and need to work in your teams to build something new almost immediately.

You learn with experience, with contextualized projects and with a global team. That's an incredible opportunity.

What role do you play in GCA? What are your goals as GCA Manager of Business and Technology?

We're an incredible team here at GCA and I'm very impressed by what we've achieved in this short period of time. I was asked a similar question recently by a friend and I answered that I help do everything because we work so tightly together. My areas of focus though are the course development, the GCA Learning Management System and all other technologies related to learning (live online classes anyone?). Participants enter my domain when they start studying at GCA. My goal is to provide them with a powerful and dynamic learning experience which they can carry back with them into the work life and personal life.

Have you yourself learned anything from this, a teaching role?

Most definitely! Every single day we (the GCA team) walk away with something new and use that to build a better GCA. On a higher level, one of the things we realised early on and were able to successfully implement was the need to be flexible and dynamic. We listen to the feedback and work on that as quickly as we can. A participant asked us to help them better promote GCA to their colleagues; we're working on developing easy to print Posters that can be distributed digitally. Flexibility is a huge strength.

Another interesting learning note has been the vast diversity GAC has. We've had participants in teams with members from South Africa, the Middle East and Northern Europe, all working together on a project. The different viewpoints, perspectives and ideas that come forth are absolutely stunning. You learn to think bigger, to think more in a job like this. Back to top

In today’s competitive business environment, strategy is of vital importance, but strategy is nothing without the correct implementation. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a framework for describing, implementing and managing strategy at all levels of an enterprise, and this June, GCA will be hosting a workshop to teach you how to harness its immense power.

This revolutionary performance measurement system allows organisations to quantify intangible assets such as people, information and customer relationships. It provides an enterprise view of an organisation’s overall performance by integrating financial measures with other key performance indicators around customer perspectives, internal business processes and organisational growth, learning and innovation. Click here to learn more about how you can use this tool to your personal and professional advantage.

GCA is proud to announce the launch of a course for those who want more out of life.

Very few of us could say they were a hundred percent happy with a hundred percent of everything, which is why we are offering a course that will fine-tune the personal and professional development skills that form the solid foundation of effective interaction and function in the real world.

You can get more satisfaction from your life and career by building on your strengths and developing the personal qualities that are the keys to performing well, click here to learn more about how.

Staying upbeat can help you see challenges instead of problems

Perhaps you may have heard the saying that “attitude is everything”? By default then – poor attitude isn’t anything. The GAC Group attracts people with positive attitudes, people who can find reasons why things can happen, rather than reasons why they can’t. Some might see a connection here to GAC Spirit – our unique corporate culture. It is the positive attitude and GAC Spirit that has bought the GAC Group to where it is today – and what will get us to the next 50 years.

Positive attitude as a real-life job skill may seem like a strange concept, but more and more people are coming to realize that if you think you can do something, then chances are, you will. And if you think you can’t, then you probably won’t. It’s the difference between seeing things as challenges as compared to major problems.


Dinshaw Jamshedji,
Quality Assurance & Human Resources, GAC Marine, Abu Dhabi, UAE

"Many thanks for your contributions and support throughout the exercise. It has been of immense value and the new experience was interesting and enjoyable.

I look forward to a fruitful and beneficial future for all associated with the Academy. I also take this opportunity to wish my colleagues well who participated in this important initiative and especially so to my Team members who did an excellent job. I enjoyed being a part of this program."


Sanjay Mansukhani- HR & Admin Manager, KTS Kuwait

"It was great having all of you on this course…the past 2 months has yielded a lot of views, ideas & expressions and hopefully, let’s keep this kind of discussion or exchange of ideas alive, as an ongoing process. So let’s keep in touch GLOs!"


Sindu Menon, HR Professional, Modern Freight Company, Dubai UAE

"On the whole this course has been a fruitful learning experience possessing the most relevant aspect of a learning course - fun and learning! Thank you, GCA team."


Ramachandran Nair, Manager- Quality Development, GAC Oman

"Overall, the concept and approach was totally a different experience throughout the course period…The teamwork that showcased during the past 8-weeks period was excellent, I should say."


Nur Setyaningsih, Senior HR Officer of GAC Indonesia

"It was a good time and good opportunity…I am proud and completely enjoyed learning through the expert discussion."


Chitra Ravi, Customer Service Exectuive, GAC Malaysia

"My experience with elearning is that GAC educates its staff and gives them opportunity to develop themselves in a more advanced way. This shows that GAC values the staff and has the concern to build them up to achieve more in their career. We should appreciate this be thankful to GAC for this opportunity."


Moly George, HR & Administration Supervisor, GAC Qatar

"It was a great experience - running with you in this elearning forum with enough breathing points. Thanks a lot to your team. Good to hear that GCA is developing more and more concrete towers to structure GAC resources. Best of Luck."


Eve Shiu, Admin. Executive, GAC Hong Kong

"GCA lets us understand the vision of the Group which is a great innovation and a good step to enhance HR function. They are being respected and considered. We look forward to the coming program, which will benefit us on our learning / career path."


Asantewaa Engmann, Quality and Training coordinator UPS UAE LLC

"I frankly believe it has been a learning curve for me as far as e-learning is concerned. I could not have gone this far without the support of yourselves (the GCA Team) and the entire group.

Real teamwork was exhibited in the course of this training which acted as a source of motivation for myself. Once again thank you and I look forward to the resource center which would give more information on how to fully utilise the resources available."


Lyndon Britto, Station Manager for UPS, Kuwait

"After the initial challenges I now seem to have got the hang of what needs to be done. It is a real pleasure to work with so many talented people and share our experiences. We can only learn from this experience and appreciate the support."


Back to top

When faced with something at work that isn’t going your way, what is your first reaction? It’s most likely worry or fear. You immediately begin to picture worst-case scenarios. Ok, if this project fails, the following things will happen- and you go through a mental list of things that could possibly go wrong, and you make yourself more and more anxious and tense. You focus a lot of your mental energies on seeing problems that could occur, but in actuality, haven’t. This is a negative mental attitude, and seeing problems instead of looking for solutions, is its hallmark.

Compare this to a positive attitude, where, when things are not going your way, you take a moment and stop. You do not allow yourself to mentally list every possible worst result, but rather, you look at the end goal- what are you trying to achieve? Outline your goal, and figure out what you need to achieve it.

If you seem to be lacking a resource you were counting on having, look for alternative solutions. If you were counting on a coworker who has not delivered optimal results, look for ways of obtaining those results in some other fashion. If you suffer a budgetary issue, look for way of cutting your costs, rather than throwing your hands in the air and complaining about poor support from the finance department.

Be creative, be inventive, and above all things, be optimistic. As Henry Ford, founder of the Ford automobile company said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”


Back to top