Until recently, January usually meant one thing at Harvard Business School: a frenzy of summer internship interviews known affectionately as “Hell Week.” Like her fellow first-year M.B.A. students, Parker Woltz was prepared to spend her winter break handing out business cards.Unlike her predecessors, however, Woltz found herself making those introductions not in New York or Boston, but in a conference room in Ho Chi Minh City.Early last month, Woltz and five classmates found themselves lined up for a formal exchange of cards with their new Vietnamese associates. The students had read up on local customs: Start with the highest-ranking person in the room. Line up the cards you receive in front of you on the table. And, whatever you do, don’t pass out your card without using two hands. That’s rude.“It took forever,” Woltz said. “It felt very ritualistic. But by the end of the week, they were taking us out for lunches.”If the process was initially nerve-wracking, Woltz and her classmates could take heart in knowing that they were hardly alone. Their weeklong visit, during which they feverishly tackled a marketing project for a telecommunications company, was part of an ambitious new field-learning course now required of all first-year M.B.A. students.The 900 students all took whirlwind trips to emerging market economies. In teams of six, the students fanned out across a dozen locations — from Cape Town and Mumbai, to Shanghai and Warsaw, to Istanbul and Buenos Aires — to tackle business challenges with real companies. Each team received a proposal from its global partner for a new product or service and was asked to present a helpful plan by the end of the week.The trips were the focal point of an experimental new supplement to HBS’s long-standing curriculum, called Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development, or FIELD. The three-part project — carried out on campus and abroad over the academic year — has educational leaders and observers looking to HBS, standard-bearer of the celebrated case-study method, to create a strong business education model for the 21st century.“FIELD reflects our understanding of what it means to be a leader in a global century,” said Nitin Nohria, dean of HBS. “We see FIELD as a powerful way of complementing the case method by putting students in real-world business scenarios, both here on campus and in emerging economies around the world.”The project was announced a year ago to a flurry of media coverage and speculation. FIELD would be a test of how innovative an elite business school — known for pioneering the use of a rigorous, classroom-based teaching method, no less — could be while remaining true to its core principles. In the weeks leading up to the student trips, “Poets & Quants,” the business-school rankings website, called FIELD “arguably the boldest experiment ever carried out in graduate business education.”The M.B.A. reconsideredFIELD was the result of several years of discussion at HBS, spurred by preparations for the School’s centennial celebration in 2008.“It was a point at which we as an institution engaged in some deep reflection,” said Youngme Moon, Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean. “HBS pioneered so much of the methodology of how business education is done around the world today. The question we asked ourselves was: 100 years from now, what will be our legacy, and how can we begin building it today?”Jay Light, then dean of HBS, commissioned a faculty panel to assess the state of the M.B.A. program and the readiness of its graduates to lead in a new century.“This started in 2006-07, when everyone thought the [business] world couldn’t be going better than it was going,” said Srikant Datar, Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Accounting. But as Datar and his colleagues started interviewing other school’s deans, business leaders, students, and recruiters, they heard serious concerns about the state of business education that prefigured the coming global economic crisis. It was clear that the need to reconfigure the M.B.A. extended well beyond HBS, and beyond the timeline of the 2008 anniversary.In 2010, Datar and colleagues David Garvin, C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration, and Patrick Cullen, then a research associate at HBS, published “Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads.” The book was more than a philosophical treatise. Containing reams of data and several case studies of top B-schools, it identified skills that were in desperately short supply, even in elite M.B.A. programs.The book’s central theme urged business schools to teach ways of doing and being, rather than simply knowing. That idea became the basis for FIELD’s areas of focus: leadership (the being of business), global immersion (the doing of business), and the integration of that learning across the academic year.“No matter how much we fill our students with knowledge, the fact of the matter is that when they encounter a problem, that knowledge is not going to be enough,” Datar said. “How do you train people to think about the inevitable gaps that are going to be in their knowledge, to be able to think through situations for which their knowledge is going to be incomplete? In those instances, critical thinking becomes fundamental.”For Moon, who became chair of the M.B.A. Program after Nohria’s appointment as dean, the answer was to develop FIELD, with input from faculty across the School. In the fall, all 900 new students met for the first component of the course, which incorporated small group activities and projects meant to develop leadership. In October, students received their assignments for FIELD 2, the global immersion trips. This month, when students return for the spring semester, they’ll be assigned to new groups of six. Each team will be given $3,000 and charged with conceiving and developing a scalable business of its own.“When you undergo a change this dramatic, it can only come from the bottom up,” Moon said. FIELD, she added, “is really just the tangible manifestation of a more conceptual commitment that the faculty has made to field-based learning, small-group learning, and experiential learning opportunities.”Flexing some new musclesStudents, too, have shown an increasing interest in getting out into the field while in business school. The old M.B.A. stereotype — a young twenty-something sent to business school by a company hoping to put him on the management track — rarely applies today. Incoming M.B.A. students are now slightly older, more experienced, and less likely to have their way paid by an organization. Some students are hoping for a change of field after they graduate; many say they’d like to learn the tools to start and run their own businesses.“The students we accept today are more business savvy than ever,” Moon said. “The standard for what we teach in our classrooms has gone up over time.”Popular student clubs, such as the long-standing Entrepreneurship Club or the newer, consumer Internet-focused Startup Tribe, coupled with University-driven initiatives such as HBS’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and the Harvard Innovation Lab, have catalyzed that interest, giving M.B.A. students the space, funding, and social supports to tackle real-world challenges while juggling case readings and internship interviews.“On one hand, you could say, ‘Why change?’ On the other, it’s our responsibility to have our antenna up on the extent to which the demands of the business environment are changing,” Moon said. “We’re operating in a context now in which the world of business and the world at large have become increasingly complex. It affects not just traditional business, but domains like education, government, health care, and social enterprise.”The trips were also an experiment in HBS’s logistical capabilities. Sending 1,000 students, faculty, and support staff around the globe took the coordinated efforts of HBS Executive Education, external relations, legal and other administrators, and the School’s global research centers. While HBS prides itself on a robust alumni network, the task of finding enough global partners to help create 150 team trips required HBS to reach out and work with alumni on an unprecedented scale, Moon said.“We’ve had to use muscles we’ve never really had to use before,” she said. “In the process, we’re developing some different kinds of flexibility we’re just beginning to tap into. We’re inspired.”The realities of global marketsThe FIELD trips represented a creative opportunity to train students in many of the critical skills identified in “Rethinking the M.B.A.” Those include developing a global perspective, implementing effectively in the face of organizational realities, responding creatively to problems, and — perhaps most important in the wake of the financial crisis — understanding the limits of the financial models and markets that students learn about in the classroom.Nowhere are the models less certain than in rapidly developing markets like the ones just visited. Although HBS already boasts a student body that’s one-third international, and many more students who have worked abroad, Datar stressed the need to give students a leg up in tackling the unique challenges that American companies face overseas.“A large number of companies are going to have to get connected with emerging markets in the coming years,” Datar said. “They’re very different [from the American market], and if you think about and approach them as if they’re the same, you won’t succeed.”Melody Koh, a first-year student whose FIELD experience was in Chennai, India, found that despite her own global background — she grew up in Taiwan, before moving to the United States for college — tackling a new international market was still a challenge.She was struck by the daily contrasts they saw between the upper classes and people with limited incomes. Their global partner’s product might sell to a prosperous middle-income market in America, but in India the middle class meant something else entirely.That was an important realization for the team members, one they could only have learned on the ground. But it also spoke to a larger theme that emerged during the trip.“The income disparity is huge,” she said. “The living situation between a middle-class and an upper-middle-class family is very different. You think, ‘Oh, India is an emerging economy with 8 or 9 percent GDP growth,’ ” but that growth isn’t always visible in the field.The experience broadened her understanding of what a rapidly developing market looks like, and how growth affects the people in those economies, sometimes unevenly.“It’s easy to bucket these emerging countries in the same group, but they’re not the same,” she said.Supplementing the case methodAs the FIELD course heads into the final phase of its trial year, one thing is certain. The case method isn’t going anywhere, HBS leaders say. It remains the core of the required curriculum — 80 percent of the courses at the School employ it — as well as HBS’s international calling card among aspiring M.B.A.s and business leaders.Barrie Altshuler, a first-year M.B.A. student, chose to attend HBS “mainly because of the case study method,” which she’d used in her undergraduate business education at the University of California, Berkeley. “It keeps you on your toes,” she said. “You just don’t have the chance to zone out.”While Altshuler hadn’t heard the news about FIELD before deciding to attend HBS, the new course surpassed her expectations.“I think it was really valuable just being on the ground, face-to-face with your client,” she said. “You’re diving deeper into the business, bouncing ideas off them, coming up with an actual solution, and getting live feedback. When you do a case, you discuss it, and that’s it.”She and her teammates are now back in Boston. But officials from their partner company in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, have promised to weigh the team’s suggestions and follow up with the steps they’ve chosen to take. Unlike a case, in which a business’s course of action can be rigorously argued but not truly affected, the results from the FIELD experience are still very much in play.“It was cool to establish that, to have a relationship that’s going to continue in the future,” Altshuler said.
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Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: Jim Bowen / CC BY 2.0ALBANY – The ten-member “Independent Redistricting Commission” met virtually last week to discuss the future of redrawing the state’s legislative office and Congressional district lines.In 2014 New York voters approved a ballot proposal amending the state constitution to create an “Independent Redistricting Commission” tasked with redrawing lines for Congressional, State Assembly and State Senate seats following the U.S. Census.“It’s not fully independent, because the majority of the commissioners are appointed by the legislature. But it is separate and apart from the legislature in its functioning, and in its role in the redistricting process,” said League of Women Voters of New York State Deputy Director Jennifer Wilson.The Commission is still in its early planning stages, with much of the discussion about leadership roles, by laws and public outreach. “There’s already bipartisan, co-executive directors. It kind of makes sense to have bipartisan chairs, but it’s up to the commission. At the end of the day, this is our first go with this. They get to decide what they want to do,” Wilson said.They group did agree to start putting together a website for public information.Wilson says the maps they create will need to be available to the public in September, and they will need to hold public hearings.The deadline to have their final maps to the legislature to be voted on for approval is January 1, 2022.“So in between that, that timeline, this basic whole year is going to be them, looking at the census counts, working with local community groups and individuals and figuring out what these new maps are going to look like,” Wilson said.The Commission agreed to try to have a website live and open for public input by mid-January.
This casting shakeup follows Victoria Clark’s return to the production on January 21. Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher are set to begin their roles as Cinderella and her stepmother, Madame, from February 4 at the Broadway Theatre. A new Prince is giving a ball! Joe Carroll joins the cast of Broadway’s Cinderella beginning January 28, succeeding original star Santino Fontana as Prince Topher. Meanwhile, ensemble member Stephanie Gibson takes over the role of forward thinking stepsister Gabrielle from Marla Mindelle and Todd Buonapane will appear as Jean-Michel, replacing Greg Hildreth. View Comments Directed by Mark Brokaw, the classic fairy tale Cinderella originally aired as a TV special in 1957, starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews. The new production features a completely re-imagined book by Douglas Carter Beane and additional Rodgers and Hammerstein songs originally composed for other R&H musicals. Carroll recently appeared in Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet and Once. His film and TV credits include The Carrie Diaries and All My Children. Buonopane’s Broadway credits include Grease, Chicago and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His film and TV credits include 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, The Producers and Claire’s Cambodia. Gibson’s previous Broadway credits include The Addams Family and Spamalot. Her film and TV appearances include Up All Night, You Must Be Joking, All My Children, As the World Turns and Guiding Light. Joe Carroll Victoria Clark Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015 Star Files Related Shows Cinderella
Cycle. Eat. Repeat.Supporting local food has soared to exciting new heights in Southern Appalachia, thanks in part to a relatively young event organized by Velo Girl Rides founder Jennifer Billstrom.Her brainchild, Cycle To Farm, is a series of metric centuries (that’s 100 kilometers, or 62 miles) that take cyclists down the scenic backcountry roads of western North Carolina and South Carolina to local farms in the area.Billstrom began organizing these events just three years ago. “I realized my riding routes were taking me past all of the farms I bought from at tailgate markets,” Billstrom said. “I wanted to create a ride that would allow friends to experience not just the cycling here but also the local farms.”After establishing a partnership with the local nonprofit Black Mountain Greenways, Billstrom successfully hosted her first Cycle To Farm event in Black Mountain, N.C., in 2012. Since then, she’s established relationships with three other nonprofits to host Cycle To Farm rides: Buncombe County’s Farmland Preservation in Sandy Mush, N.C.; Farmer Food Share in Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Live Well in Greenville, S.C. Both Chapel Hill and Greenville will hold their inaugural Farm To Cycle events this year, and Billstrom anticipates that the 300-rider cap will be met long before the events’ starting dates.Riders buy products from the farms along the way and the company transports their purchases back to the finish party for them.With 2,700 to 5,200 feet of elevation gain and farm stops every 10-15 miles, this farmers’ market trip might very well be the hardest shopping experience of your life. Those extra calories spent will be well rewarded at the fabulous after-party. After the ride, all riders receive a free locally sourced farm-to-table meal, free local coffee, free swag from sponsors, live local music, and the option to partake in some regional brews or $1-per-minute massages.“I feel strongly about putting my money where my mouth is, literally,” Billstrom says. “The Cycle To Farm events create quite an economic impact not just on the community but on these farms. Our overall goal is to raise awareness and funds for these nonprofits, but also to convert our tour riders into farm customers.”
JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) – A special ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Xcite Wrestling Xhibition Hall in Johnson City Saturday, also known as ‘The X’. The new 6,000 square-foot entertainment center is located inside the Oakdale Mall. Musok says the wrestling shows are scheduled for every first Saturday of the month. General admission tickets start at $15 while front row seats are $30 each. For more information on Xcite wrestling and to buy tickets, click here. Xcite Wrestling owner Jonathan Musok says the new venue is a huge plus for the Johnson City community. “The fact is the first show was wonderful. This show people are still piling in. It’s amazing to us how the community is coming around. They want something new. They want entertainment and that is what this is,” said Musok. Saturday’s ceremony also served as the start of ‘The X’s’ Toys for Tots drive. Anyone who brings a new, unwrapped toy to the venue can receive discounts on Xcite Wrestling Merchandise. Prior to the wrestling matches scheduled for Saturday, Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie hopped in the ring to help cut a ribbon and present a plaque to the owner.
Last week we wrote about the problem of heavy traffic jams at the ferry port in Supetar, where huge crowds are created during the season, and tourists have to wait for more than three ferry arrivals to board the ferry to Split, which is at least frustrating for tourists and has a bad effect on tourism.In the city of Supetar, they are aware of the problem, and through the Municipal Company GRAD doo, which is owned by the city of Supetar, they increase the number of employees in the port and traffic wardens, and as they point out, they have been writing to Jadrolinija since 2016 So recently, they again sent a request to Jadrolinija to try to solve the problem together.”I don’t know how many times we want to inform you about the growing problem of traffic jams in the port of Supetar, caused by the impossibility of all vehicles to board the ferry to Split in adequate time. Namely, as you should know best, in recent years there has been a constant increase in the number of vehicles and passengers in the ferry port Supetar and they are “former” exclusively weekend crowds and for the whole week in the period from July 15 to August 31 and even and by mid-September.”Points out Marijana Šemanović in a statement and request to Jadrolinija, director of the Utility Company GRAD doo and adds that congestion leads to total traffic collapse, resentment and nervousness of tourists as well as negative images for the island of Brac, Supetar and the entire Croatian tourism.At our request from Jadrolinija, they point out that they understand the situation in the port of Supetar and introduce additional lines in a situation where a ship is available, and that they informed the regulator of regular passenger traffic on the Adriatic, the Agency for Coastal Shipping, about this issue.“Jadrolinija, like all other shipowners on the Adriatic, maintains the sailing schedule in accordance with the sailing schedule defined by the Coastal Shipping Agency and in accordance with the signed concession agreements. Annual sailing schedules are coordinated with representatives of local government and self-government, the Agency and shipowners. However, additionally on lines where possible and where traffic requires, and at the request of local government, Jadrolinija regularly introduces additional travel, both in season and throughout the year, with the approval of the Agency. The regulator of regular passenger traffic on the Adriatic is the Coastal maritime transport (headquarters in Split; http://www.agencija-zolpp.hr/). It prescribes all the rules and conditions for the maintenance of each line, such as the sailing schedule, ticket prices and the type and required capacity of ships for all shipowners. The agency has a contract signed with each shipowner for the maintenance of the line, which is awarded to the shipowner by public tender. Regarding the request of the City of Supetar, Jadrolinija understands the situation in the port of Supetar and introduces additional lines in the situation when a ship is available for that. Also, the letter was forwarded to the Agency as the competent authority regarding possible changes in the sailing schedule. ” stand out from Jadrolinija.SUPETAR HAS BEEN REQUESTING THE INTRODUCTION OF AN ADDITIONAL FERRY LINE FOR YEARS DUE TO TRAFFIC CROWDS, JADROLINIJA DOES NOT RESPOND
Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Workforce Development Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the most recent impact figures for the incumbent worker training program funded through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This past year, the administration supported the training of more than 44,000 employees at more than 800 companies statewide. A total of 120,000 workers at more than 2,200 companies across the commonwealth have been supported through the program since the beginning of the Wolf Administration.“Workforce development is one of this administration’s top priorities due to its enormous benefits for both employers and workers,” Governor Wolf said. “Incumbent workforce training programs not only help businesses ensure that their employees have the skills they need to thrive in their work, but it also benefits workers who can use the training as a way to gain expertise that leads to higher-paying jobs. We’re proud to have supported training that has led to more than 120,000 success stories for Pennsylvania workers.”DCED provides funding through the Workforce & Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania program to companies to assist specifically with incumbent worker training. The program is administered through a network of educational partners that include community colleges and universities across the commonwealth. Eligible in-state businesses and out-of-state companies relocating to Pennsylvania can apply to access training funds which in turn can be used for a wide range of training based on the needs of the employer.From the start of the Wolf Administration through June 2017, a total of more than $25 million in DCED funding supported the training of 120,462 employees at 2,245 companies. In the most recent full fiscal year alone, Fiscal year 2016-17, DCED supported the training of 44,003 employees at 806 companies with just under $9 million in funding.By focusing exclusively on incumbent worker training, DCED’s program serves as a complement to other state initiatives to develop the workforce like apprenticeship programs, STEM education, and career and technical education. Incumbent training enables employers to better adapt to the changing global economy through their current workforce rather than hiring brand new workers – or moving to other areas with a greater supply of a specific talent base. For workers, incumbent training programs not only strengthen job security, but lead to more advanced and more marketable skills.“In order to strengthen their workforce, more and more companies are looking inward at how to develop their own employees, rather than outward through hiring new ones,” said Thomas Venditti, statewide director of the Workforce & Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA), DCED’s flagship incumbent worker training program. “This program is a valuable resource for businesses looking to develop their workers because it enables companies to expand their employees’ skill sets, teach them new technology, and create a more productive environment.”DCED’s incumbent worker training program is a vital component of Governor Wolf’s initiatives designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce by equipping workers with the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly-evolving global economy. In his 2018-19 budget, Governor Wolf proposed PAsmart, a new workforce development initiative to improve coordination and services across commonwealth agencies including training and business engagement activities within DCED and the Department of Labor & Industry. PAsmart provides a $50 million investment in education and job training to improve access for Pennsylvania students and workers to education, training, and career readiness programs. These targeted investments for 21st-century skills will assist employers with meeting their workforce needs.For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development, visit the DCED website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. April 18, 2018 Governor Wolf Announces Administration’s Efforts Helped More Than 2,000 Companies Train Their Existing Workforce SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Asset management costs at Dutch civil service pension scheme ABP increased from 60.9 basis points to 64.5 basis points in 2017 – including higher fees to hedge fund managers, despite the scheme’s allocation losing 7.5%.ABP spent the most, in absolute and relative figures, on private equity and hedge funds, according to its annual report. For both asset classes the scheme increased its spending relative to 2016.Of ABP’s 64.5 basis points paid in total management costs, hedge funds and private equity accounted for 39.3 basis points.In absolute terms, ABP paid just over €1bn of management fees for private equity and €505m for hedge funds, on a total invested capital in 2017 of €18.9bn and €18.5bn respectively. This marked an increase in absolute and relative terms compared to 2016, despite a sharp drop in returns in both categories. Private equity generated a return of 9.7% (€1.7bn), compared to 14.8% in 2016. Hedge funds turned 7.9% gain in 2016 to 7.5% (€1.5bn) loss last year.ABP still spent more on costs because this performance was better than the asset classes’ benchmarks.Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW, which published its annual figures last week, also reported an increase in asset management costs. ABP stated that, just like PFZW, the increase was due to higher performance fees. Its management fees decreased.PFZW stopped investing in hedge funds in 2015 .ABP’s total investment return came to 7.6% for 2017, down from 9.5% in 2016.The board of trustees called the high costs for private equity and hedge funds “striking”, since the investments in these categories accounted for 10% of total assets while absorbing 60% of total asset management costs.However, the board said the high costs for private equity and hedge funds were justified because of their positive contributions to the scheme’s return and risk profile.Within the hedge fund allocation, the return on investment in US dollar-based hedge funds was positive. By partially hedging the currency risk, ABP booked a return of 3.4%. However, the effect of the dollar on the investments was still negative, meaning ABP lost €1.6bn on its interest rate hedge.The Netherlands’ regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), reported in December that Dutch schemes’ management costs fell slightly during 2016, from 0.47% to 0.45% on average.DNB data collated by IPE’s sister title Pensioen Pro in March indicated that the country’s pension schemes were in aggregate reducing their exposure to hedge funds.
Port developer and operator Abu Dhabi Ports is to welcome some of the world’s largest bulk carriers as part of a long-term port facility deal signed with UAE-based industrial company Emirates Global Aluminium.Under the agreement, EGA would use Capesize vessels to import bauxite from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa for Al Taweelah alumina refinery through Khalifa Port. The parties informed that, with this deal, Abu Dhabi Ports would be able to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships.Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18 metres basis zero tide.EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.The development at Khalifa Port is expected to lead to larger ships calling in to Abu Dhabi, boosting the Emirate’s position as a global maritime trade hub.EGA is currently constructing UAE’s first alumina refinery next to its aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, located adjacent to Khalifa Port. Upon achieving full-production, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will process five million tonnes of bauxite per annum.“Khalifa Port will be the first port in the region with capsize vessel handling capacity, and with EGA’s long term commitment, will give an important boost to trade and investment in KIZAD and more broadly in the region,” Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, said.Bauxite ore from Guinea will be transported to Abu Dhabi via the global shipping firm Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), under a separate agreement with EGA. One of the vessels K Line will use for this service was named Cape Taweelah in a ceremony held earlier this year.
If you tried to listen to the Batesville/Milan football game last Friday night, you know it was interrupted by lightning. I know the Indiana rule, and I believe it has become basically a national rule. If lightning is observed, the field must be cleared and you must wait 30 minutes before returning to the field. Every time there is a lightning strike, the clock restarts. The lightning does not have to be close at hand, just observed by an official on the field.This is a very good rule because we all know that lightning is not predictable. Strikes sometime seem to occur even when there are no threatening clouds visible above you. This can become quite aggravating when any school is trying to determine what to do with an outdoor sport that can be played even it is raining. This is especially troublesome if football, track, and golf are involved. Sports like baseball, softball, and tennis are effected differently in rain. Their fields become muddy or the court becomes to slick.There is no rule to help officials know when to call a game, meet, or match and reschedule it. Sometimes these delays drag on for several hours when re-scheduling on a different day becomes quite a headache. Safety has to come first!