Thursday, July 31, 2008

Private Brands ... not Labels

Book Mark
Private Label
Keith Lincoln and Lars Thomassen
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

‘Private’ myths

The first ‘private’ myth is that private labels are for people who buy private label, say Keith Lincoln and Lars Thomassen in Private Label. “There was a time whe n buying private label was a down-class and a ‘naff’ thing to do. These days are gone for ever. It’s now a ubiquitous part of our lives.”

More

Sincere marketing approach

Book Mark
Marketing in a Nutshell
Mike Meldrum and Malcolm McDonald
( http://www.elsevier.com/)

Consumerism is pro-marketing

It is not uncommon to find marketers looking at consumerism as an anti-marketing effort. Not, it is pro-marketing, aver Mike Meldrum and Malcolm McDonald in Marketing in a Nutshell. Consumerism wants the marketing approach to business implemented in a sincere rather than cynical spirit, the authors explain.

More

How to succeed in the Chinese luxury market

Book Mark
Elite China
Pierre Xiao Lu
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Luxury brands in China

In today’s China, the concept of luxury is a confused one, particularly because of the inappropriate Chinese translation of the word and the negative connotations of extravagance in Chinese history and culture, writes Pierre Xiao Lu in Elite China. The Chinese translation of ‘luxury’ has two characters, she meaning ‘extravagant’ and chi meaning ‘arrogant and wasteful.’

More

Monday, July 28, 2008

Major 'diseases' of success

Manage Mentor
The Ten Commandments for Business Failure
Donald R. Keough
( http://www.penguinclassics.com/)

Roads to avoid in the business journey

It is normally fashionable to talk about the secrets of success. Donald R. Keough presents the opposite in The Ten Commandments for Business Failure. Drawing on more than 60 years of experience, much of which was as the chief of Coca-Cola, the author sombrely observes that businesses fail because of the leaders. Companies are artificial constructs, and are the product and extension o f the personal characteristics of the leaders, he reasons.

More

Adhere to the ‘brand voice'

Books 2 Byte
Content is King
David Mill
( http://www.elsevier.com/)

Convey your personality

A great deal of online content is bland and uninteresting — words simply poured in to fill the space left by designers, rues David Mill in Content is King. He advises that Web sites and e-mail conveying personality give the readers a sense of a real person beyond the screen. “Through your use of a voice, tone and style, the readers will also, in their mind’s eye, build a picture of the site owner.”

More

Automation at affordable cost

Books 2 Byte
A Century of Trust: The story of Tata Steel
Rudrangshu Mukherjee
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Soft side of steel

Automation projects in Tata Steel range from the development of customised hardware to integration of standard equipment readily available into operating systems with appropriate software, informs Rudrangshu Mukherjee in A Century of Trust: The story of Tata Steel.

More

Help a customer in time of need

Books 2 Byte
Harvard Business Review on Strategic Renewal
Samuel J. Palmisano
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Do the right thing for customers

People, rather than products, become your brand, when your business is primarily based on knowledge, says Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM’s chief executive, in one of the interviews included in Harvard Business Review on Strategic Renewal. “Back some 12 years ago, three-fifths of our business was in computer hardware and roughly two-fifths was in software and services. Today, those numbers are more than reversed.”

More

'Old is gold'

Books 2 Byte
Talent is Never Enough
John C. Maxwell
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

An old notebook that Bill Gates bought

Codex Leicester is a 72-page notebook, one among the many that Leonardo da Vinci wrote to record his ideas and make practice sketches. Created between 1506 and 1510, and acquired by Bill Gates, the pages have sketches and text on water, light, and several other subjects, writes John C. Maxwell in Talent is Never Enough.

More

Risky borrowing

Book Value
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Downward risks

The relative resilience of emerging markets to the global financial turmoil has been due to three main factors, observe the authors of ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008’. “First, the response of central banks in the major developed economies – and especially the interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve Bank – has served to lift equity markets, including in emerging markets.”

More

Nations' role in foreign investments

Book Value
Globalization: A Multidimensional System
C. Gopinath
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

Facilitative governments

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is much sought after by both developed and developing nations, writes C. Gopinath in ‘Globalization: A Multidimensional System’. He cites examples from the developed world, such as of the Japan External Trade Organization, a government agency, advertising in the US newspapers that Japan is a good market to invest because Japanese consumers appreciate quality and new products. InvestItaly, an Italian government organisation, similarly advertises in the US that Italy is ‘a great place for biotechnology research with a skilled workforce, government support, and strong interaction with academia.’

More

Foreign investments

Book Value
Tax & Financial Planning Guide for Investors and Traders in Securities & Commodities
Samir S. Mogul
( http://www.taxmann.com/ )

Tax perspective

With the liberalisation of foreign investment norms, investing in foreign companies is comparatively easier than before; but before venturing into such an exercise, you must carefully consider the pros and cons thereof, cautions Samir S. Mogul in ‘Tax & Financial Planning Guide for Investors and Traders in Securities & Commodities’.

More

Shrinking stock market value

Book Value
Stocks for the Long Run
Jeremy J. Siegel
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Economic growth does not guarantee good returns

The developed world – comprising the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, and Hong Kong – contains less than 15 per cent of the world’s population, yet it produces over half of the world’s goods and headquarters over 93 per cent of the world’s equity capital. But this very unequal distribution of output and capital will not last, writes Jeremy J. Siegel in ‘Stocks for the Long Run,’ fourth edition.

More

'Rise to the challenge'

Mentor
Strategic Career Management: Developing Your Talent
Jane Yarnall
( http://www.elsevier.com/ )

Growth opportunities

If you ask successful people what they learnt from most in their career, the chances are that they will talk about being exposed to a range of different and challenging experiences, says Jane Yarnall in Strategic Career Management: Developing Your Talent. What about organisations that lack opportunities to grow talent? They may have to recruit externally for these skills, or look to second managers outside the organisation, the author suggests.

More

Lifetime interests

Mentor
Shaping Your Career
Harvard Business ( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Eight core business interests

Your ‘core business interests,’ meaning the activities that you most enjoy doing, can be eight, says a ‘pocket mentor’ publication from Harvard Business Press, titled Shaping Your Career.
Grouped into three categories — application of expertise, working with people, and control and influence — and identified as a result of extensive research, these interests are those that remain relatively stable over your lifetime, the authors aver.

More

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Branding, playing a game in reverse

Book Mark
OBD: Obsessive Branding Disorder
Lucas Conley
( http://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/)

Branding, a distraction

Branding is more distraction than progress, laments Lucas Conley in OBD: Obsessive Branding Disorder. “By abandoning the trusty, dusty principles of business – innovative products, good service, solid management – for the idealism of branding, companies reveal the true escapist appeal of their new religion,” Conley bemoans.

More

'Exceed people’s expectations'

Book Mark
The Go-Giver
Bob Burg and John David Mann
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Five laws of success

Laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity are the five that you need for ‘stratospheric success,’ say Bob Burg and John David Mann in The Go-Giver.

More

Six credibility drivers

Book Mark
Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000
Pete Blackshaw
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Common frustrations unite consumers

Traditionally, consumers were at the mercy of business. Not now, though. Armed with a new suite of tools, resources, and technologies, consumers are no longer passive observers in the marketplace of ideas and commerce, writes Pete Blackshaw in Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.

More

Monday, July 21, 2008

'Wear your learning lightly'

Mentor
How to be Useful
Megan Hustad
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Accept you have to start somewhere

How is it that young people today, who are generally not na├»ve about anything, find workplaces to be tough, wonders Megan Hustad in ‘How to be Useful’. Can it be that four years of college actually breeds many habits that are completely at odds with the demands of most offices?

More

'Prestigious titles can lead to distortions'

Manage Mentor
Influence: Science and Practice
Robert B. Cialdini
(Pearson)

Ask two questions before you submit to authority

Titles, clothes and trappings can be symbols of authority, which can reliably trigger our compliance in the absence of the genuine substance of authority, says Robert B. Cialdini in Influence: Science and Practice, fifth edition (Pearson). These symbols, he says, are employed extensively by those compliance professionals who are short on substance.

More

Beware of hackers

Books 2 Byte
Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs
Jim Geier
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Wireless worries

What happens when no security is enabled on a wireless access point? Many dangerous things can happen. For instance, “just about anyone with a wireless-equipped laptop in the parking lot can connect to a wireless LAN (local-area network) located in an office building, manufacturing plant, or hospital,” warns Jim Geier in Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs.

More

Algebra operations produce new relations

Books 2 Byte
Fundamentals of Database Systems
Ramez Elmasri and Shamkant B. Navathe
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Relational algebra and calculus

The basic set of operations for the relational model is the relational algebra, write Ramez Elmasri and Shamkant B. Navathe in Fundamentals of Database Systems, fifth edition. “These operations enable a user to specify basic retrieval requests. The result of a retrieval is a new relation, which may have been formed from one or more relations.”

More

Technology-based learning

Books 2 Byte
Everything you ever needed to know about Training
Kaye Thorne and David Mackey
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Blended learning

Blended learning is the most logical and natural evolution of our learning agenda, say Kaye Thorne and David Mackey in Everything you ever needed to know about Training, fourth edition. They define ‘blended learning’ as a mix of multimedia technology, virtual classrooms, voice-mail, email, conference calls, online text animation, video streaming, podcasting and blogging (where articles are published online with the facility for readers to comment and also for company experts to present a point of view).

More

ICT revolution

Books 2 Byte
ICTs and Indian Social Change
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)
Ashwani Saith, M. Vijayabaskar, and V. Gayathri

Wired watchdogs

At times, it may be frustrating to watch how the powerful dictate ‘the discourse on transparency, accountability and openness, leaving little space for civil society to define these concepts’. Reassuringly, however, the past decade has seen inspiring global campaigns, aided by ICT (information and communication technology) tools and techniques, says ICTs and Indian Social Change edited by Ashwani Saith, M. Vijayabaskar, and V. Gayathri.

More

Money vs wealth

Book Value
Secrets to Happiness
B.C. Aronson
( http://www.valuebooks.com/ )

Wealth is a matter of inspiration

He is rich who hath enough to be charitable, says Sir Thomas Browne. “Money’s the wise man’s religion,” avers Euripides. “Wealth is not a matter of intelligence, it’s a matter of inspiration,” decodes Jim Rohn. And Pindar declares that even genius is tied to profit. Then, in the massive collection of ‘uplifting quotes for everyday life’ that B.C. Aronson has edited in ‘Secrets to Happiness’, there are those who take a critical view of money and wealth.

More

'Selfish' bystanders

Book Value
Flirting with Disaster
Marc Gerstein
( http://www.sterlingpublishing.com/ )

Disaster response

Organisational bystanders are individuals who often have crucial information or a valuable point of view that would improve an organisation’s decision-making, but they fail to take necessary action even when important threats or opportunities arise, writes Marc Gerstein in ‘Flirting with Disaster’. Such people subjectively employ ‘bystander calculus,’ he adds.

More

'Create your own lottery'

Book Value
Harmonic Wealth
James Arthur Ray
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Money, a magnifier of your traits

Most people equate wealth with money, but money is only a part of wealth, argues James Arthur Ray in ‘Harmonic Wealth’ . True wealth, he says, is a state of harmony with five pillars, viz. financial, relational, mental, physical, and spiritual. “Understand that your pillars are interdependent: when you attend to each of them, all increase in strength.”

More

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The ‘falling in line syndrome'

Books of Account
A New Beginning
Ranjana Kumar
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Sense of urgency

The demeanour of a chief executive is an essential ingredient at all times, particularly when implementing any strategic plan, says Ranjana Kumar in A New Beginning. She talks of why it is necessary, when implementing a turnaround plan, to make even a modest achievement look like a big achievement and an occasion for rejoicing.

More

Industrial method of 'Green Revoluion'

Books of Account
War on Poverty
S. C. Aggarwal
( http://www.shiprapublications.com/ )

Sponsor a sapling

In India, people are very fond of planting trees but are unable to bear the cost of saplings, writes S. C. Aggarwal in War on Poverty. He suggests that industrial units can use their vacant land to raise saplings of jamun, papita, aam, neem, sheesham, amrud, etc., and give these free of charge at factory gates between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

More

Growth vs cost

Books of Account
Driving Down Cost
Andrew Wileman
( http://www.nicholasbrealey.com/)

Cost management is like golf putter

A good cost manager is an unsung hero, bemoans Andrew Wileman in Driving Down Cost. anagement books and magazines are full of articles on strategy, growth, culture, organisation, and financial engineering, but not about cost management, he frets. “You can look down Amazon’s list of bestselling business books and they’re all about leadership, core competencies, governance, innovators’ dilemmas — nothing about cutting costs.”

More

Reaching the consumer

Book Mark
The Ultimate Sales Machine
Chet Holmes
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Touch it once

That a corporation fails every three minutes is only one of the many dismal snapshots of the current climate for doing business, which Chet Holmes presents in The Ultimate Sales Machine.

More

Rural relations' communication

Book Mark
Marketing Management
Philip Kotler, Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshy and Mithileshwar Jha
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

The village connect

Building one-to-one relationships with customers may not be a viable task for a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, but Rural Relations can help, says Philip Kotler. “Rural Relations has direct contact with people in about 28,000 village s in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh,” he writes in Marketing Management, 13th edition, co-authored with Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshy and Mithileshwar Jha.

More...

The 'Royal' chocolate

Book Mark
Cadbury’s Purple Reign
John Bradley
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Signature brand

In a world where the average grocery store has 25,000 products, the Cadbury signature, purple wrappers and ‘Glass and a Half logo’ are instantly-recognisable icons, writes John Bradley in Cadbury’s Purple Reign.

More

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rare is the leader without flaws

Manage Mentor
The Powers to Lead
Joseph S. Nye Jr.
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Leaders are all too human

Rare is the leader without flaws, writes Joseph S. Nye Jr. in The Powers to Lead. “Leaders are all too human. Sometimes good people do bad things, and vice versa,” he writes in a chapter on ‘good and bad leaders.’ One of the problems, however, in identifying good and bad leaders is the ambiguous way in which people use the word ‘good,’ the author frets. For instance, does ‘good’ mean ‘ethical’ or ‘effective’?


More

Mobile revolution

Books 2 Byte
The New Asian Hemisphere
Kishore Mahbubani
( http://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/)

The cell multiplier

How much does the adding of one cell-phone mean to a developing country’s GDP? The answer, in the case of Bangladesh, is $6,000, according to Nick Sullivan, cited in The New Asian Hemisphere by Kishore Mahbubani. “In addition to becoming a talking device, the cell-phone has fast-forwarded to acting as a mini-PC, which is used for mobile banking.

More

The haemoglobin structure

Books 2 Byte
Max Perutz and the Secret of Life by
Georgina Ferry
( http://www.rbooks.co.uk/)

Computing for life

“EDSAC ran its first programs on May 6, 1949, calculating a table of squares and a list of prime numbers.” In 1950, the computer came into regular use as a service to the University members. It had very limited memory, so it could not store all the terms at once; it had to do the calculation in stages. Yet, a scientist who was then trying to decode life was enthusiastic about EDSAC, as one learns from Max Perutz and the Secret of Life by Georgina Ferry.

More

'Allow people a fresh start'

Books 2 Byte
The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It
Jonathan Zittrain
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Our online selves can be real

Real identities with unsheddable tokens, rather than the disposable pseudonyms, may become the norm as endpoint machines increasingly deploy biometric readers, foresees Jonathan Zittrain in The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It. He speaks of how eBay can certainly profit by making it harder for people to shift among various ghost accounts.

More

Creativity, an essential building block for innovation

Book Value
5 Thinkings to Win
Pravin Rajpal
( http://www.ombooks.com/ )

It’s all in the thinking

How are the global leaders achieving breakthrough business results? Through different, creative, innovative, integrative, and futuristic thinking, says Pravin Rajpal in ‘5 Thinkings to Win’. “There is so much of benchmarking these days that more or less each company looks very similar.

More

Money, not a gift but a responsibility

Book Value
Richi$tan
Robert Frank
( http://www.piatkus.co.uk/ )

The world of the rich

Billionaireville had only 13 inhabitants in 1985, but by 2006, it had more than 400, writes Robert Frank in ‘Richi$tan’. “The personal lives of billionaires are more like companies. Their homes are like hotels – sprawling campuses with their own logos, purchasing budgets and legions of staff,” he describes in the book that journeys through ‘the 21st century wealth boom and the lives of the new rich’.

More

'Account transactions as they happen'

Book Value
I Love… Money
Suresh Padmanabhan
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/ )

Mind your money

Pull a currency note out of your wallet and take a good look at it, because you can actually see the story of your own life unfold before your eyes, says Suresh Padmanabhan in ‘I Love… Money’. Every area of our life, from relationships to health, is deeply entwined with money, he adds. “When the money area of our life gets affected, it has a snowball effect on the other areas of our life. Money is a very special mirror that shows us the reality and truth of our lives.”

More

Friday, July 11, 2008

‘Updated management’ techniques

Books of Account
The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage
Alexandra Harney
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Auditing the China economics

China’s five-star factory is not somewhere you would want to stay overnight, says Alexandra Harney in The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage. “There are footprints on the walls. It’s poorly lit, with low ceilings and slippery floors…”

More

The questions of 'cost'

Book Value
High Performance with High Integrity
Ben W. Heineman Jr
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Judgment and values, versus calculation

Marrying performance with principles isn’t free, it comes with a cost, says Ben W. Heineman Jr in High Performance with High Integrity. Three costs he discusses, in this context, are: the cost of adhering to formal financial and legal requirements, the cost of adhering to voluntarily adopted global standards, and the cost of lost business.

More

Allegiance to the trademark

Book Value
Strategic Sport Marketing
David Shilbury, Shayne Quick, and Hans Westerbeek ( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

When trademark becomes a product

When teenage fans of a rock band buy all possible merchandise with the name of the band on it, or football fans buy shirts, mugs, jackets and pens with the name of their team on them, what do they buy? They buy the trademark, which becomes a productin itself, says Strategic Sport Marketing, second edition, by David Shilbury, Shayne Quick, and Hans Westerbeek.

More

Various skills CSRs require

Book Value
Customer Service and The Human Experience
Rosanne D’Ausilio and Jon Anton
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

The human part of the equation

A major challenge for today’s managers is the training and motivating of agents to achieve excellence, writes Kim Lauren Joy in the foreword to Customer Service and The Human Experience by Rosanne D’Ausilio and Jon Anton.

More

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Disney animator

Stories Retold
The Pixar Touch
David A. Price
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

When dreams came alive and animated

As a child, Ed Catmull filled his dreams and notebooks with cartoons. His goal was to be a Disney animator, but in high school, he concluded he couldn’t draw. “After graduating in 1969 with a degree in computer science and physics, Catmull took a job at Boeing, but was soon caught up in a mass layoff along with thousands of other employees,” narrates David A. Price in The Pixar Touch.

More

The five skills that a leader possesses

Manage Mentor
Awakening the Entrepreneur Within
Michael E. Gerber
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Dimensions of entrepreneurial personality

An entrepreneur is an inventor, but the vice versa is not always true, says Michael E. Gerber in Awakening the Entrepreneur Within. Inventors come up with new products; so too, the entrepreneur invents a new product in the form of a business. Any business that does not achieve uniqueness from the beginning is not an invention or an entrepreneurial business, says Gerber.

More

How information flows in an organisation?

Books 2 Byte
Executing Your Strategy
Mark Morgan, Raymond E. Levitt and William Malek( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Success strategy

Have you ever thought of how information flows in an organisation? In a traditional hierarchy, information flows up and down within each functional discipline, appropriately summarised for each level of management, explain Mark Morgan, Raymond E. Levitt and William Malek in Executing Your Strategy.

More

Privacy vs free flow

Books 2 Byte
Data Protection & Compliance in Context
Stewart Room
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

What is ‘privacy’?

Data protection laws, wherever they are found, have two principal aims, viz. protection of privacy during the processing of personal data, and the maintenance of free flows of personal data between countries, says Stewart Room in Data Protection & Compliance in Context.

More

Demanding BPO jobs

Books 2 Byte
Growth and Structure of Tertiary Sector in Developing Economies
Seema Joshi
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Flip side of IT

Rising labour costs, rapid growth in demand for talented manpower, high attrition rate, outsourcing backlash, limited career opportunities, early stagnation, late promotions and lack of long-term options are some of the niggling worries of the IT and ITES sectors, says Seema Joshi in Growth and Structure of Tertiary Sector in Developing Economies.

More

Hurdles that disrupt an offshore exercise

Books 2 Byte
Offshoring Secrets
Utkarsh Rai
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Approaching offshoring

Although India is a great destination for an offshore experiment to reduce costs, improve efficiency and shorten time-to-market, delivering a seamless offshore experience is not easy and is not a fully stable process, observes Utkarsh Rai in Offshoring Secrets.

More

An incredible learning experience

Bill of Health
Waking Up: A week inside a Zen monastery
Jack Maguire
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Work is sacred

A Zen monastery’s focus on a natural aesthetic and on fundamental activities like sitting, breathing, walking, eating, and doing elementary chores may seem simple, but can in fact be difficult, writes Jack Maguire in Waking Up: A week inside a Zen monastery.

More