Friday, January 30, 2009

B2E communication

Book Mark
Customer Obsession
AbaetĂȘ de Azevedo and Ricardo Pomeranz
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Connect with employees

The ideal starting point for any integrated communication is B2E (business-to-employee) communication, say AbaetĂȘ de Azevedo and Ricardo Pomeranz in Customer Obsession. “Campaigns that achieve the best results typically begin inside a company.”

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Business-building proposals

Book Mark
Tell Your Clients Where to Go!
Todd Sebastian
( http://www.infinitypublishing.com/)

Surprise your client

Exceed expectations every day, urges Todd Sebastian in Tell Your Clients Where to Go! The key, he says, is to demonstrate to your clients that you are p assionate about their businesses and constantly seeking new ways to help them grow. “Find a way to pleasantly surprise at least one client a day with something they were not expecting,” reads one of the simple and practical tips in the book.

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'Connect with the customer'

Book Mark
SMASH Innovation
Gopichand Katragadda
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Start research at the customer end

Direct connect with the customer who will ultimately use the product or service is essential, emphasises Gopichand Katragadda in SMASH Innovation. “It is important for the researcher to visit the shop floors, the oil wells, the railway tracks, the hospitals, the cities and the villages where their products will be used.”

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tips for ‘aspiring’ leaders

Manage Mentor
The DNA of Leadership
Judith E. Glaser
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Create a culture of trust, safety

Dreams are an investment in the future of your people and your brand, says Judith E. Glaser in The DNA of Leadership. She finds that new ideas are created by cultivating, at an organisational level, the capacity to dream.

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'Turn up your antennae to pick up the unsaid'

Manage Mentor
The Three Laws of Performance
Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

Move issues into light of discussion

When you walk into a company for a meeting, make a sales call, or apply for a job, you can see, instantly, how the company occurs to employees, and how people occur to each other, say Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan in The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the future of your organization and your life.

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Network traffic

Books 2 Byte
Authorized Self-Study Guide: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH)
Keith Hutton, Mark Schofield and Diane Teare
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

IDS and IPS

Intrusion-detection and –prevention solutions, commonly abbreviated as IDS and IPS, can make networks self-defending, being ‘designed to identify and stop worms, network viruses, and other malicious traffic.’ IDSs passively listen to network traffic; the IDS is not in the traffic path, but listens promiscuously to copies of all traffic on the network, explain Keith Hutton, Mark Schofield and Diane Teare in Authorized Self-Study Guide: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH), second edition.

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Computer at IITK

Books 2 Byte
An Eye for Excellence
E. C. Subbarao
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

First computer on a bullock-cart

Of the many firsts credited to IITK in India, computer science education tops the list, writes E. C. Subbarao in An Eye for Excellence: Fifty innovative years of IIT Kanpur. The story begins in 1963 with the arrival of the first solid-state computer (IBM-1620) in an educational institution in India, the author narrates.

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'Beware of Blogging'

Books 2 Byte
Corporate Blogging in India
Rajeev Karwal and Preeti Chaturvedi
( http://www.wisdomtreeindia.com/)

If you’re closed to feedback, don’t blog

Should the CEO be asked to blog? Not necessarily, say Rajeev Karwal and Preeti Chaturvedi in Corporate Blogging in India. Even though most corporate blogs are authored by someone from the senior management, there are equally popular officially-sanctioned employee blogs, of which Microsoft’s Robert Scoble’s blog is an apt example, the authors add.

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Characteristics in an 'asset'

BookValue
Understanding Arbitrage
Randall S. Billingsley
( http://www.whartonsp.com/ )

Exploring arbitrage

True arbitrage opportunities are rare, and when they are discovered they do not last long, observes Randall S. Billingsley in Understanding Arbitrage: An Intuitive Approach to Financial Analysis.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

'Believe in yourself'

BookValue
Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom
Van K. Tharp, D. R. Barton, Jr., and Steve Sjuggerud
( http://www.books.mcgraw-hill.com/ )

Personal accountability

The most important trait a winning investor can have is personal accountability, aver Van K. Tharp, D. R. Barton, Jr., and Steve Sjuggerud in Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom.

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Psychiatric intervention on investors' behaviour

BookValue
Beyond Greed and Fear
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )
Hersh Shefrin

At peace with losses

You could be suffering from ‘get-evenitis’ if you have difficulty in making peace with losses. “Investors who are loss averse realise more of their paper gains than they do their paper losses,” writes Hersh Shefrin in Beyond Greed and Fear: Understanding Behavioural Finance and the Psychology of Investing.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

'Bellow across the benches'

Book Mark
The Gunpowder Gardens
Jason Goodwin
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Tea tale

Every weekday in the season Kolkata holds the world’s biggest tea auction at J. Thomas & Co’s, brokers of Mango Lane, writes Jason Goodwin in The Gunpowder Gardens: Travels through India and China in Search of Tea.

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Global level shopping

Book Mark
Falling off the Edge
Alex Perry
( http://www.panmacmillan.com/)

Shopping for the rich

While the retail binge finds mass expression in the hundreds of malls across the country, the truly rich want something more high end, finds Alex Perry in Falling off the Edge: Globalization, World Peace & Other Lies.

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'Acme of cleanliness'

Book Mark
The Toothpick: Technology and Culture
Henry Petroski
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Tool for the oldest human habit

Tucked in a corner of the dining hall, often along with mouth fresheners and tissue papers, is the humble toothpick, meekly waiting for its customers. But here is a whole book about it: The Toothpick: Technology and Culture by Henry Petroski.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

'The Satyam Journey’

Say Cheek
The Long Revolution: The birth and growth of India’s IT industry
Dinesh C. Sharma
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

The story of a ‘Little India’ in Satyam

These are days when any link with Satyam merits a second look, and a closer one. But this is a positive story, about how the first commercial dedicated satellite link of VSNL to be used by an Indian software company was of Satyam, as Dinesh C. Sharma recounts in ‘The Long Revolution: The birth and growth of India’s IT industry’.

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Money, the corrupting influence

BookValue
Entrepreneurial Genius: The Power of Passion
Gene N. Landrum
(Westland)

Money paradox

Chase dreams, not money, reads a takeaway from Buckminster Fuller in Entrepreneurial Genius: The Power of Passion by Gene N. Landrum (Westland). The money paradox, as he explains, is that the more you chase money the less chance you have of getting it, whereas the more you chase quality the more money you get.

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Change the 'trajectory'

BookValue
It’s All In Your Head
Mark Pettus
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Social disengagement

Suddenly, you find that the organisation you work for has become the cynosure of all negative attention owing to the misdeeds by the top management. As a consequence, an overwhelming wave of shame and embarrassment, perceived guilt and restless confusion envelops almost all those associated, like you. Yes, we are talking of how social disengagement can happen within an otherwise functioning economic engine, even as there are no ready support networks offering a helpful shoulder to the affected. Looking at such disengagement as ‘a significant public health issue,’ Mark Pettus offers succour in It’s All In Your Head.

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Family compensation challenges

BookValue
9 Elements of Family Business Success
Allen E. Fishman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Relatives’ worth

Do you, as a family business leader, have a relative as an employee? Watch out, such a family-member-employee’s compensation can be fraught with problems. Quite simply, compensation of family members is much less likely to be based on any objective criteria, and this can make compensation discussions difficult to conduct as emotions enter the picture, cautions Allen E. Fishman in 9 Element s of Family Business Success.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

'The eHost service'

Books 2 Byte
Housekeeping
Malini Singh and Jaya B. George
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Virtual concierge

How does the virtual concierge service work? “Accessed via the hotels’ free high-speed Internet access systems, eHost gives guests 24-hour access to the information normally provided by a traditional concierge, including area dining options, attractions, movies, shopping, transportation, and events in the immediate vicinity of the hotel where they are staying,” explain Malini Singh and Jaya B. George in Housekeeping: Operations, design and management.

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Patience, a cousin to acceptance or equanimity

Books 2 Byte
The Lost Art of Being Happy
Tony Wilkinson
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Practise patience

Does the hourglass icon provoke anger in you at the slow speed of the machine? Or when a page takes longer to download, do you keep obsessively refreshing the screen? “Patience, the ability to wait without irritation, is a most useful skill and a first cousin to acceptance or equanimity,” says Tony Wilkinson in The Lost Art of Being Happy: Spirituality for sceptics.

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Better 'back-up' today than never

Books 2 Byte
The Undercover Scientist
Peter J. Bentley
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Frozen disk

To the trained ear, it is possible to hear the death rattle of a hard disk as it prepares to give up, guides Peter J. Bentley in The Undercover Scientist: Investigating the mishaps of everyday life.

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'A melancholy listen'

Books 2 Byte
The Thingummy
Danny Danziger and Mark McCrum
( http://www.rbooks.co.uk/)

CD melancholy

The first commercially released CD was Abba’s ‘The Visitors,’ in August 1982, inform Danny Danziger and Mark McCrum in The Thingummy: A book about those everyday objects you just can’t name. “Ironically, as the CD was being launched Abba were splitting up – this was to be their last album.”

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All in the 'mathematics'

Books 2 Byte
Archimedes to Hawking
Clifford A. Pickover
( http://www.oup.com/)

Numbers rule the universe

As a techie, if you are fond of numbers, here is what you may love to read: Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of science and the great minds behind them by Clifford A. Pickover. Numbers do seem to rule the universe, the author observes. “Numerical patterns describe the arrangement of florets in a daisy, the reproduction of rabbits, the orbit of the planets, the harmonies of music, and the relationships among elements in a periodic table.”

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'Wireless crime'

Books 2 Byte
Halting State
Charles Stross
( http://www.orbitbooks.net/)

Wired to the roof

A crime has been reported and investigation is on… The authorities find no garden on the roof-top but a satellite dish, over a metre in diameter, on a powered azimuth mount. “We don’t know where it was pointed because when we gained access, it was parked in the vertical position, but it was plugged into a bunch of black boxes in the hall…. There’s also a cell antenna on the roof, and that’s plugged into what appears to be a custom GNU radio box, and they’re all switched through the server rack in the living room,” reports Joe, a character in Halting State by Charles Stross.

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Net Geners vs the older people

Books 2 Byte
Grown Up Digital
Don Tapscott
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Smart on the job

Who are better at work — the young or the older? To see whether young people really can multitask more effectively than older people, the Oxford Future of the Mind Institute conducted a study comparing Net Geners, aged 18 to 21 years, with people of 35 to 39, reports Don Tapscott in Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is changing your world.

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Weaving industry in Kerala

BookValue
A Journey Through Time: 1857-2007
Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry
( http://www.dcbooks.com/ )

Kerala’s industry

Industrial development activities in the State of Travancore and Cochin and the district of Malabar of the erstwhile Madras Presidency started in the middle of the 19th century with the pioneering efforts of missionaries and British planters, chronicles A Journey Through Time: 1857-2007, brought out as a commemorative volume by the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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‘Pay a price’ for your actions

BookValue
Happiness: Gain & Retain
Just Win Singh
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Law of compensation

Life keeps books on us, and every action is compensated for, writes Just Win Singh in Happiness: Gain & Retain. “If you do good, your goodness is compensated with goodness, sooner or later. Likewise, if you hurt somebody by your actions, be ready to experience equal pain yourself,” he advises.

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Ehical compromises

BookValue
Ethics for the Real World
Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Don’t fall asleep at the ethical wheel

A common human flaw is that for love, money, or other ‘good’ reasons, we often violate our ethics; recognising this failing in us is the beginning of our journey, say Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver in Ethics for the Real World. “We lie to, deceive, steal from, or harm others. And the cause is usually the same: faulty thinking,” the authors argue. They, therefore, call for ‘ethical reasoning skills,’ lest we get comfortable with transgressions and develop bad habits.


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New tolling arrangements

Mentor
India Infrastructure Report 2008
Anupam Rastogi and Shreemoyee Patra
(http://www.oup.com/)

Shadow tolling

The conventional DBFO (design, build, finance, and operate) model of private public partnership takes a new form in ‘shadow tolling’ arrangements, write Anupam Rastogi and Shreemoyee Patra in one of the essays included in India Infrastructure Report 2008: Business models of the future of 3iNetwork.

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'Improve processes and reduce costs'

Mentor
Cost Management
S. C. Vaidya and Suveera Gill
(http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Kaizen costing

Busy cutting costs? How about taking the kaizen road to cost reduction? The concept of kaizen, meaning ‘improvements in small steps,’ and developed within the quality assurance domain, can be applied to costing and applied to products that are already in production, say S. C. Vaidya and Suveera Gill in Cost Management: A strategic approach.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Keep connecting

Book Mark
The Global Consultant
Alan Weiss and Omar Khan
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Create virtual presence

Once you have got the relationships, keep connecting, advise Alan Weiss and Omar Khan in The Global Consultant: How to Make Seven Figures Across Borders. The aim, they say, is tocreate virtual presence, through email offerings, teleconferences, in-person and e-seminars, new books or CDs, newsletters, and various other forms of offered benefit.

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‘Distributed manufacturing’

Book Mark
Knowledge Leadership
C. Lakshman
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Competitive advantage

Located in the centre of the garment outsourcing industry, Hong Kong, Li & Fung, unlike other companies in the business, operates without owning and running factories that make garments, writes C. Lakshman in Knowledge Leadership: T ools for executive leaders.

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Problems do not provoke change

Book Mark
Chasing the Rabbit
Steven J. Spear
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

High-velocity lessons

Why do some organisations outdistance the field while their peers and competitors struggle to keep up? This is the question that Steven J. Spear explores in Chasing the Rabbit. The difference, he finds, is in the approach that the leaders and the strugglers adopt for managing complex systems.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Seagull managers

Manage Mentor
Squawk!
Travis Bradberry
( http://www.harpercollins.com/)

Messy managers

Tired of endless yapping that goes on around? Grab a copy of Squawk! How to stop making noise and start getting results by Travis Bradberry. “We’ve all been there — sitting in the shadow of a seagull manager who decided it was time to roll up his or her sleeves, swoop in, and squawk up a storm,” Bradberry writes, sympathetically.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

'The Leftsideitis'

Manage Mentor
The Big Five for Life
John P. Strelecky
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

CEO equation: C+E

If you are monitoring the behaviour of talented people in your organisation, you may well be wasting time. Talented people don’t do a great job because someone’s watching them; they do a great job because that’s who they are and they like what they do, explains John P. Strelecky in The Big Five for Life: A story of one man and leadership’s greatest secret.

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A web for public

Books 2 Byte
Understanding Public Management
Kjell A. Eliassen and Nick Sitter
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

E-democracy

One of the most promising aspects of eGovernment, from a democratic perspective, is the way it can empower citizens and increase their participation in public activities, say Kjell A. Eliassen and Nick Sitter in Understanding Public Management.

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Good HR practices in e-mailing

Books 2 Byte
Organisational Communication: Role of the HR professional
Paul Turner
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Choose channel of communication

Think of your e-mail message as a personal, virtual memo, advises Paul Turner in Organisational Communication: Role of the HR professional.

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Beware of upgrades!

Books 2 Byte
Enterprise 2.0 Implementation
Aaron C. Newman and Jeremy G. Thomas
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Two vulnerabilities

Auditing Enterprise 2.0 for security vulnerabilities can be broken down into two pieces, say Aaron C. Newman and Jeremy G. Thomas in Enterprise 2.0 Implementation. One, look for publicised security holes in off-the-shelf software, such as WordPress, Socialtext, or Twiki; and two, review in-house applications.

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'Peasant with a PC'

Books 2 Byte
The Genius of India
Guy Sorman
(http://www.atfullcircle.com/)

Computer in a temple

In the Kizhoor temple, sitting like a presiding deity is a computer, describes Guy Sorman in `Internet at Pondicherry,' a chapter in The Genius of India. The villagers use the computer rather than worship it, he finds.

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'The Goldcorp challenge'

Books 2 Byte
The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills
Paul Sloane
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Open mine

One of the oldest rules in mining is the secrecy of exploration and reserves data, but Rob McEwen was an outsider when, in 1989, he became the majority shareholder in an old, under-performing gold mine in Ontario, Canada, called the Red Lake mine. He was sure that high-grade gold ores existed somewhere within his land; only he could not discover them. The trigger occurred at a computer technology forum, where McEwen heard about Linux and how the operating system's programming codes were available to anyone so that they could propose improvements, narrates Paul Sloane in The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills. So, what did McEwen do?

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Government sector's contribution to IT

Books 2 Byte
Reflections by IITians
Ram Krishnaswamy
(http://www.reflectionsbyiitians/. blogspot.com)

Men who made IT happen

There is all the tall talk about software exports and the infotech revolution, but no one talks about the contributions and facilitations of the Government sector, bemoans B.K. Syngal in one of the essays included in Reflections by IITians, compiled by Ram Krishnaswamy, and released at the recent PanIIT event in Chennai.

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'The misspelled words'

Mentor
Joined-Up Thinking
Stevyn Colgan
( http://www.panmacmillan.com/)

Exploration of connections

The similarity between the words ‘alimentary’ and ‘elementary’ makes it a commonly misspelled word (along with access/excess, effect/affect and others), writes Stevyn Colgan in Joined-Up Thinking.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Audits and reviews

Books of Account
Total Organizational Excellence: Achieving world-class performance
John S. Oakland
(Elsevier)

Rings of confidence

A good management system will not function without adequate audits and reviews, writes John S. Oakland in Total Organizational Excellence: Achieving world-class performance (Elsevier). All procedures and systems should be audited at least once during a specified cycle, but not necessarily all at the same audit, he suggests.

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Redesigning the corporate boards

Books of Account
The Economics of Corporate Governance and Mergers
Klaus Gugler and B. Burcin Yurtoglu
( http://www.e-elgar.com/ )

When corporate boards fail

Should boards of directors in the modern corporation be reconstituted as vigilant monitors? Should such boards be active participants in the management of the firm? These are the questions that Oliver E. Williamson addresses in one of the chapters included in The Economics of Corporate Governance and Mergers edited by Klaus Gugler and B. Burcin Yurtoglu.

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The undiminishing 'wealth'

BookValue
Geekspeak
Graham Tattersall
( http://www.harpercollins.com/)

Little acts of kindness

How will your account look when you die, asks Graham Tattersall in Geekspeak? The credit column of the ledger might list the number of small acts of kindness you performed, the number of children you raised, and the amount of wealth you created, he proceeds to explain.

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Men and money

BookValue
Moan About Men
Juliana Foster
( http://www.headline.co.uk/ )

The 10 per cent rule

Men are a bit funny when it comes to money, writes Juliana Foster in Moan About Men: A Joyful Guide to the Things Men do that Drive Women Mad. She frets that men think nothing about spending obscene amounts of cash buying useless bits of junk that they don’t need and will never use, “but they stare at us in horror and disbelief when we occasionally splurge on the things that make us happy, like a new outfit or haircut.

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'Study and grab the opportunities'

BookValue
India Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Report 2008
Institute of Small Enterprises and Development( http://www.isedonline.org/ )

Unique strengths

If you are a firm with a strong market proposition and size with which it can be leveraged, this is the time to enter the market, states the Institute of Small Enterprises and Development in India Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Report 2008. Study the weakest competitors and grab the opportunities, the report advises.

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For a sustained profitable growth

BookValue
Profit or Growth? Why You Don’t Have to Choose
Bala Chakravarthy and Peter Lorange
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Tension between profitability, growth

Two professors who studied the performance of about 6,000 large public companies throughout the world for over 15 years from 1990 came up with a startling finding: only one in four was able to show sustained profitable growth over any consecutive five-year period, and sustaining growth became progressively difficult with time. At a 10-year horizon, for instance, the percentage of firms that sustained profitable growth dropped to under 5 per cent, and at 15 years it was und er 1 per cent, report Bala Chakravarthy and Peter Lorange in Profit or Growth? Why You Don’t Have to Choose.

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A protagonist’s account

Mentor
The Diary of a Social Butterfly
Moni Mohsin
( http://www.randomhouseindia.com/)

Flutter-by English

No ball or party, funeral or GT (get together), is complete without Butterfly, ‘Pakistan’s most lovable, silly, socialite,’ as Moni Mohsin portrays in The Diary of a Social Butterfly.

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From French to English

Mentor
Righting the Mother Tongue
David Wolman
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Linguistic mixing

In the centuries following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, England was essentially trilingual, with other dialects sprinkled around the countryside, David Wolman writes in Righting the Mother Tongue. French was the language of government, law, military, and all things upper crust. Latin was the language of the Church. And English was the language of the farm, street, and tavern, he explains.

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