Monday, June 30, 2008

A 'manual' for working women

Say Cheek
Seducing the Boys Club
Nina DiSesa
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Women are ‘biologically wired to succeed’

No matter where you are on the career ladder, there’s a lot to be gained by working with men, advises Nina DiSesa in Seducing the Boys Club. That may sound unpalatable to some women, but there is lot more unconventional gyan that the author offers in the S&M (seduction and manipulation) manual.

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The three parts of leading a culture

Manage Mentor
White Hat Leadership
T.R. Warren
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Good leaders observe

Leaders lead people. That’s what most of us believe. But we may be wrong. For, actually, leaders lead cultures, says T.R. Warren in White Hat Leadership. Culture, he explains, is a sum of values, attitudes, behaviours and language within an organisation. And it is a big force. “Great plans and systems are overwhelmed by organisational cultures that create significant barriers to success,” the author cautions.

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The 'spreadsheet' techniques

Book Value
Mastering Financial Modelling in Microsoft Excel
Alastair L. Day
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/ )

Mastering modelling

With organisations now holding more data and requiring simple analysis tools at lower levels, spreadsheet techniques have to be a core managerial skill, says Alastair L. Day in ‘Mastering Financial Modelling in Microsoft Excel’.

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American financial markets

Book Value
The Trillion Dollar Meltdown
Charles R. Morris
( http://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/ )

Academic incursion

For a long time, the transparency and integrity of American financial markets have served as magnets attracting global financial flows. Alas, much of that trust has now been squandered and will be even more sorely tested in the years ahead, rues Charles R. Morris in ‘The Trillion Dollar Meltdown’ .

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'Invest in information'

Book Value
Increase Your Financial IQ
Robert T. Kiyosaki
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Financial intelligence makes you wealthy

Does money make you rich? The answer is ‘No,’ declares Robert T. Kiyosaki in ‘Increase Your Financial IQ’. He bemoans how millions of people go to work every day, work for money, make more money, but fail to become richer. Rather than the asset, it is the information relative to the asset that ultimately makes a person rich or poor, Kiyosaki decodes.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The two customer segments

Book Mark
Managing Sport Facilities and Major Events
Hans Westerbeek, Aaron Smith, Paul Turner, Paul Emery, Christine Green and Linda van Leeuwen
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

The sports customer

How can an aquatic facility trawl and find the customer perspective? By focusing on two primary segments, suggests a new book titled Managing Sport Facilities and Major Events, by Hans Westerbeek, Aaron Smith, Paul Turner, Paul Emery, Christine Green and Linda van Leeuwen.

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The ‘Desire Code’

Book Mark
Buying In
Rob Walker
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Consume idea by consuming product

We can talk all we want about being brand-proof, but our behaviour tells a different story, says Rob Walker in Buying In. There is nothing to be gained by simply believing we are immune to brands, he adds. “But there might be something gained in understanding why we aren’t.”

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Acts of violence on television

Book Mark
Media Violence and Aggression: Science and Ideology
Tom Grimes, James A. Anderson and Lori Bergen( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Shocks of violence

Representations of violence in the media have been found in everything from cartoons to prime-time programmes, commercials, news broadcasts, feature films, and video games, bemoan Tom Grimes, James A. Anderson and Lori Bergen, the authors of Media Violence and Aggression: Science and Ideology. Given the multiple definitions – or lack thereof – of violence, it is not surprising that every aspect of media has been identified as containing some sort of violence, they fret.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

'Part of the solution, not part of the problem'

E-Dimension
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
Jeffrey Sachs
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Collaborative CSR

The phrase ‘business philanthropy’ may sound oxymoronic. A company is not a charity, nor is it a development agency, concedes Jeffrey Sachs in Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. No private company can realistically be required to ensure a community’s access to roads, power, schools, clinics, and such basic needs; yet, business philanthropy can work best as part of a holistic effort, where many partners come together, argues Sachs.

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Management’s challenge

Manage Mentor
Managing People
Carol Ritberger
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Four colours of personality

Management works, but you need to realise one basic principle: that people do things for their reasons and not ours. Thus reminds Carol Ritberger in Managing People.
If, as a manager, you can keep in mind that motivation is individualised and comes from within, it will make your job a lot easier, she assures. “All you have to do is create an environment where people, of their own accord, will want to co-operate, produce the desired results, and optimise their own performance.”

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Creativity and exploration, the ingredients to unlock business opportunities

Books 2 Byte
Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App
Cindi Howson
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

The LOFT effect

What is behind the success of business intelligence projects? ‘The LOFT effect,’ answers Cindi Howson in Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App. She explains the acronym as luck, opportunity, frustration, and threat.
“The funny thing about luck is that you never really know if a positive outcome truly arises from luck or if it is from fortuitous timing and exceptional insight,” the author observes.

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IP version 6, a mature protocol

Books 2 Byte
Global IPv6 Strategies
Patrick Grossetete, Ciprian Popoviciu and Fred Wettling
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

IP potential

Your family doctor monitors a serious health condition while you are at home. Your home and cars are maintained over IP (Internet Protocol), and your appliances are remotely serviced by the manufacturer. You can open a new project site by deploying a significant number of sensors to improve security, optimise energy consumption, and effectively track assets.
These are some of the ‘what if’ scenarios that Patrick Grossetete, Ciprian Popoviciu and Fred Wettling paint in Global IPv6 Strategies. Despite all the developments of the past decades, with today’s deployments, we have barely scratched the surface of possibilities offered by IP, the authors say.

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Helpdesk, a value-adding part of the IT organisation

Books 2 Byte
World Class IT Service Delivery
Peter Wheatcroft
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Users can add value

Using systems designed and programmed by IT (information technology) specialists, ‘user’ is someone who uses what is given and no more; and we have become used to treating users with an element of disdain, bemoans Peter Wheatcroft in World Class IT Service Delivery.
“This is unfortunate, because users are actually people who have less scope for engagement with the IT organisation and therefore least to lose from being obnoxious when something goes wrong,” he adds.

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The '12 behaviours' of a successful executive

Books 2 Byte
Ultimate Leadership
Russell E. Palmer
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Teamwork redefined

Given its global footprint, how does Honeywell train its executives to be successful in different geographies?
The company employs a program called the ‘12 behaviours,’ informs Russell E. Palmer in Ultimate Leadership. Honeywell recruits people from around the world, but ensures that they fit the 12 behaviours best; also, during the annual appraisal process, everyone gets measured on those 12 behaviours, describes Palmer.

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'Trust yourself'

Book Value
Invest the Happionaire Way
Yogesh Chabria
( http://www.happionaire.com/)

Builders, brokers and barbers

Investing money on a regular basis is one of the best ways to become wealthy over a period of time, says Yogesh Chabria in ‘Invest the Happionaire Way'. “I started investing in the capital markets when I was sixteen. Investing is all about using your common sense and acquiring assets that will go up in value.”

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Ups and downs in the market

Book Value
India Chalo
Brij Raj Singh
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Market wisdom

What you are buying is important but it is more important at what value you are buying. This is a piece of RJ (Rakesh Jhunjhunwala) gyan that Brij Raj Singh quotes in ‘India Chalo’. “I asked him how long he thought this madness was going to last? He replied that volatility would remain but that the market was going to reach 50,000 in the near future,” the author narrates.

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Advantages that accrue from financial literacy

Book Value
Financial Intelligence for IT Professionals
Karen Berman and Joe Knight
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Four financial skill sets

Financial intelligence boils down to four distinct skill sets, say Karen Berman and Joe Knight in ‘Financial Intelligence for IT Professionals’. The first of these is the understanding of the foundation, the basics of financial measurement. This demands an ability to read income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements; and knowledge that profit and cash are different.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The tale of ARD

Books of Account
Creative Capital
Spencer E. Ante
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Birth of venture capital

Georges Doriot’s two main pursuits were military and teaching. Yet, what consumed his thoughts in the US of the mid-1940s was the creation of a venture capital industry and entrepreneurial movement that would ensure the post-war prosperity of the economy.
The Harvard professor was, however, to “battle for the next twenty-five years against an array of domestic forces that included clueless government regulators, short-sighted lawmakers, and ultraconservative investment managers,” writes Spencer E. Ante in Creative Capital.

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About ‘green advertising’

Book Mark
Environmental Marketing: Strategies, Practice, Theory & Research
Michael Jay Polonsky and Alma T. Mintu-Wimsatt
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

The ‘green’ offer

Do not use broad brush environmental statements for all facets of your products, advises a ‘green’ book on a hot issue: Environmental Marketing: Strategies, Practice, Theory & Research edited by Michael Jay Polonsky and Alma T. Mintu-Wimsatt. “An example would be to say a product is produced from recycled plastic when plastic is a minor component of the product and the impact on the environment is therefore negligible.”

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Journalism Vs Public Relations

Book Mark
Media Relations
Jane Johnston
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Between hacks and flacks

Traditionally there has been a degree of antagonism between public relations professionals and journalists, says Jane Johnston in Media Relations. Scepticism and cynicism have often abounded between the two industries, based on bad experiences and each ‘getting burnt’ by the other, but also on stereotypes of unethical behaviour, she reasons.

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'Test the welcome mat'

Book Mark
The Disney Way
Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Customers are guests

The one who comes to your door is never a customer, always a guest, say Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson in The Disney Way. “Know your guests, treat them ho nestly and with respect, and they will keep coming; that pretty well sums up what Walt Disney believed,” the authors observe.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

To be a good journalist

Write Right
Flat Earth News
Nick Davies
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Tell the truth

Journalism without checking is like a human body without an immune system, says Nick Davies in Flat Earth News. If the primary purpose of journalism is to tell the truth, then it follows that the primary function of journalists must be to check and to reject whatever is not true,” he adds.

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Leadership qualities

Manage Mentor
Ready to Lead
Enda Larkin
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Building-blocks of teams

One of the distinguishing features of leaders is their strong personal motivation and high levels of energy and enthusiasm, says Enda Larkin in Ready to Lead. “Some people start thinking about work when they clock in, or after their first coffee; others think about finishing the working day before they even start it. Not you as a leader,” he distinguishes.

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Network security

Books 2 Byte
Cisco Networking Simplified
Jim Doherty, Neil Anderson, and Paul Della Maggiora
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Sophisticated protection

The sad truth is that almost as soon as there were networks, there was a need to secure them, bemoan Jim Doherty, Neil Anderson, and Paul Della Maggiora in Cisco Networking Simplified. “It would be great if firewalls addressed all our security concerns, but the aggressive nature and sophistication of some network attacks require more sophisticated protection methods.”

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Tips to handle a crisis

Books 2 Byte
Project Management in the Real World
Elizabeth Harrin
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Stay calm

One of the hardest skills to develop as a project manager is the Zen-like quality that magically transforms disasters into opportunities, says Elizabeth Harrin in Project Management in the Real World. “Staying calm in the face of a crisis doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but panic is not a good look for a leader,” she explains.

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Think before purchasing the software tools

Books 2 Byte
Marketing Research
Bonita Kolb
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Qualitative analysis and software

Software tools that assist in the analysis of qualitative data are now available, but marketing researchers must decide if it is worth the money to purchase such software, advises Bonita Kolb in Marketing Research. If a research process has only involved one or two focus groups or interviews, the time saved in using software may not justify its cost and the time it will take for researchers to learn to use it, she reasons.

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'Scientific method' to improve the business

Books 2 Byte
Science Lessons
Gordon Binder
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Listen to your data

How does an organisation attract outstanding employees? Pay and perks can only be part answers, observes Gordon Binder in Science Lessons. What fosters long-term employee loyalty is something more profound, something that speaks to the very soul of a company, he says, based on his experience as the CEO of Amgen.

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Health and happiness

Book Value
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
Ernie J. Zelinski
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/ )

Maintain good health

Paradoxically, many working people, who say they look forward to an active and healthy retirement are setting themselves up for the opposite, laments Ernie J. Zelinski in ‘How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free’. By working too much, many workers are subjecting their bodies to excessive stress that can lead to many ailments, including cancer, the author frets.

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A mantra to avoid 'surprises'

Book Value
Predictable Surprises
Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Recognition and prioritisation

When big falls happen on the charts, do you wonder if you should have seen the disasters coming and then prevented them? If yes, ‘Predictable Surprises’ by Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins should help. The authors define a predictable surprise as ‘an event or set of events that take an individual or group by surprise, despite prior awareness of all of the information necessary to anticipate the events and their consequences.’

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Innovation, a key to success

Book Value
Global Derivatives: Products, Theory and Practice
Eric Benhamou
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

New generation systems

In the exotic derivatives business, innovation is a key to success, says Eric Benhamou in ‘Global Derivatives: Products, Theory and Practice’ . While financial engineers have kept up pushing the limits of products to more and more tailor-made and computing-demanding pricing products, IT (information technology) systems are under pressure to innovate simultaneously, he adds.

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Four steps for successful investment

Book Value
The Little Book that Builds Wealth
Pat Dorsey
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Identify the right businesses

The game plan to invest successfully has four steps, according to Pat Dorsey. First, identify businesses that can generate above-average profits for many years, he writes in ‘The Little Book that Builds Wealth’. Second, wait until the shares of those businesses trade for less than their intrinsic value, and then buy.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Democratic globalisation

Books of Account
How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy
Mark Engler
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Power shifts

The global economy presents some daunting realities, observes Mark Engler in How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy. “Both corporate and imperial models of globalisation have failed to create real peace or prosperity for the majority of people on the planet.”

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Real energy policy

Books of Account
Keeping the Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity
Walt Patterson
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Towards energy reconfiguration

Company A invests in a new power station to sell electricity, and claims tax relief. Another company manufactures energy-efficient refrigerators to make the new power station unnecessary, but gets no tax relief on investments.
Such anomaly, replicated across the entire energy infrastructure, skews the pattern severely in favour of more investment to deliver fuels and electricity, and less investment to deliver better energy services, laments Walt Patterson in Keeping the Lights On: Towards Sustainable Electricity.

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Deep metaphors

Book Mark
Marketing Metaphoria
Gerald and Lindsay Zaltman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Dangers of ‘depth deficit’

Weak product and service development, low-impact marketing communications, and ineffective product-launch strategies are all due to deep deficits in thinking, diagnose Gerald and Lindsay Zaltman in Marketing Metaphoria.

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'Evaporating' mass markets

Book Mark
Strategic Management in the Media: Theory to Practice
Lucy Küng
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Forget the ‘mass’

The contours, sector trajectories and boundaries of the media industry are increasingly hard to make out due to the extraordinary level of change that has taken place over the last 30 years, observes Lucy Küng in Strategic Manageme nt in the Media: Theory to Practice.

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The final 'bump'

Book Mark
The Art of Closing the Sale
Brian Tracy
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Reverse engineer your presentation

Closing is often the most painful part of the sales presentation, bemoans Brian Tracy in The Art of Closing the Sale. “It is the part that most salespeople disli ke the most. They become reluctant to proceed. They freeze up and lose their feeling of control over the buying process.” Closing is very much like a bump at the end of the road of the sales conversation, explains Tracy.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

'With comedy, there’s creativity!'

Say Cheek
The Levity Effect
Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher
Wiley ( http://www.wiley.com/)

Lighten up and create MIRTH

In the world of serious business, work is no laughing matter. But it may be time to tell the bosses that laughter could well be a working matter, suggests a new book from Wiley. Levity can be a way to improve a workplace, a presentation, or a relationship, assert Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher in ‘The Levity Effect’. They trace the word to Latin ‘levitas,’ the same root for levitate. “That’s the secret to levity,” the authors find. “It raises things.”

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'An evolutionary point in gender history'

Say Cheek
Leadership and the Sexes
Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Woman’s brain is wired differently

To most men these statements may not appeal: That there is 15 to 20 per cent more blood flow in a woman’s brain than in a man’s at any given time; that unlike the female brain, the male brain shuts off many times a day; and that the male’s memory centre is generally less active than the female’s during emotional experiences.
Neurobiologists have been able to track over 100 such biological differences, write Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis in Leadership and the Sexes.

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Subordinates vs Superiors

Manage Mentor
Followership
Barbara Kellerman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Real power is with the followers

Most leaders may not be happy to know that the real power is with the followers, or ‘unleaders,’ as a new book from Harvard Business Press declares.
“To fixate on leadership at the expense of followership is to whistle against the wind,” writes Barbara Kellerman in Followership. Subordinates with less power, authorit y, and influence than their superiors are coming into their own, more consistently and insistently than ever before, and the evidence is everywhere around us, she observes.

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The three 'gauges'

Book Value
Corporate Social Responsibility in India
Sanjay K. Agarwal
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Sustainable performance

Sanjay K. Agarwal devotes a chapter to ‘triple bottom line’ in ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in India’. The phrase, abbreviated as TBL, and coined by SustainAbility, advocates the need to measure business performance on three gauges, viz. economic, environmental, and social.

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Managing risk

Book Value
Background Material on Due Diligence
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/)

Double-check

How to conduct due diligence? “Start with an open mind,” advises the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in ‘Background Material on Due Diligence’. “Do not assume that anything wrong will be found and look for it. What needs to be done is to identify trouble spots and ask for explanations.”

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The 'fulcrum' resource

Book Value
Competing with the Best
Rajnish Karki
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Management capability

Bharti, Pantaloon, ITC, L&T, Bharat Forge, Patni, Tata Group, Jindal, and Aptech are among the companies that Rajnish Karki discusses at length in ‘Competing with the Best’. “Indian companies are slowly becoming as large as those in developed countries, especially if one takes into consideration PPP (purchasing power parity) based multiplier on rupee revenues,” he observes.

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A quantity discount of sorts

Book Value
Hedge Funds Demystified
Scott Frush
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Hedge fund fees will decline overall

Will government regulations squeeze the hedge fund industry and turn it into a glorified clone of mutual funds? Will the hedge funds, which already have about $1.5 trillion assets under management scale up? Can we expect them to become more transparent in their operations? Is it likely for hedge fund fees to come down? Scott Frush grapples with these and more questions in ‘Hedge Funds Demystified’.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dealing with 'difficult' customers

Book Mark
My Secret Life on the McJob
Jerry Newman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Fast lessons

Everything in fast food is designed to make customers feel comfortable, discovers Jerry Newman, a college professor who “went undercover as a bottom-rung worker for the biggest names in fast food, including McDonald’s and Burger King.” Menus are generally the same across the country, store interiors look pretty much the same, and the person working the front counter is chosen for affability, he writes in My Secret Life on the McJob.

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Successful brands

Book Mark
Wowability
Imran Syed
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Consistently delight by exceeding expectations

Imran Syed’s Wowability is all about how brands become successful. He defines the title-word as the ability to consistently delight by exceeding expectations. “It is a fact that consumers have a set of expectations for all the products and services they use. If you do not exceed these expectations, there is no real reason for consumers to choose your brand,” the author says.

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'The six disconnections'

Book Mark
What Customers Really Want
Scott McKain
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

The culture bridge

Six ‘disconnections’ hit you like tonnes of bricks from Scott McKain’s What Customers Really Want. The first disconnect is that customers want a ‘compelling experience,’ even as business blithely supplies ‘customer service’. Second, customers want ‘personal focus’ – not the ‘product focus’ businesses are busy with.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

The manager of the future

Manage Mentor
The Future of the MBA
Mihnea C. Moldoveanu and Roger L. Martin
Oxford ( http://www.oup.com/)

High-value decision maker

A reassuring thought for B-school students can be that the ‘demand for the MBA degree currently exceeds supply by a healthy margin,’ as a new book from Oxford ( http://www.oup.com/) informs. “However, a number of vehement critiques of the MBA degree have emerged,” Mihnea C. Moldoveanu and Roger L. Martin caution in The Future of the MBA.

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'Competency', an underlying characteristic of an individual

Books 2 Byte
Competence at Work
Lyle M. Spencer, Jr., and Signe M. Spencer
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Turkeys and squirrels

Authors of Competence at Work rue that many organisations select on the basis of surface knowledge and skill competencies (`we hire MBAs from good schools') and either assume that recruits have the underlying motive and trait competencies or that these can be instilled by good management.

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A practical handbook

Books 2 Byte
Finance for IT Decision Makers
Michael Blackstaff
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Become finance-friendly

To those IT people who don't like finance very much, Michael Blackstaff's Finance for IT Decision Makers should appeal. Written as a practical handbook for buyers, sellers, and managers, the book sympathises with hassled IT professionals whose reactions to finance range from indifference to scorn.

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The basic concepts on SAP

Books 2 Byte
SAP Sales and Distribution Certification Guide
Ashok Faujdar and Binny Kumari Choudhary
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

SAP exam

If you are planning to take the SAP SD (sales and distribution) exam, here is a guide from Ashok Faujdar and Binny Kumari Choudhary: SAP Sales and Distribution Certification Guide. The exam focuses on the enabling configurations that are a pre-requisite to deliver the best practice functionalities to a business that runs on SAP, informs the introduction.

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