Monday, March 30, 2009

Modern events

Manage Mentor
Events management
Razaq Raj, Paul Walters and Tahir Rashid
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Purpose, people and place

Modern events vary enormously in terms of their scale and complexity and the number of stakeholders involved, ranging from community festivals to major supporting events, observe Razaq Raj, Paul Walters and Tahir Rashid in Events management: An integrated and practical approach.

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Surviving the odd

Manage Mentor
Working Women
Kogi Naidoo and Fay Patel
( http://www.sagepublicaitons.com/)

Are you a victim of bullying?

Though research studies show that between one in two to four workers experience bullying sometime in their career, there is limited advice on how to cope with continued harassment, rues Shelda Debowski in one of the essays included in Working Women: Stories of strife, struggle and survival, edited by Kogi Naidoo and Fay Patel.

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Tips on using global gadgets

Books 2 Byte
Making Your First Job Your Dream Job
Clare Maxfield
( http://www.wisdomtreeindia.com/)

Gadget gyan

Screensavers are fun, but be aware of what you put on your computer, advises Clare Maxfield in Making Your First Job Your Dream Job: Get set, move in, move up. She cautions against the use of any screensaver message that may be considered disagreeable or offensive by others. “Often large companies will have their company logo on the computer and you won’t be able to change the screensaver.”

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IT vendors

Books 2 Byte
Marketing of Information Technology
K. Venkatesh
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

When value proposition goes missing

Buyers of IT services pose a variety of challenges to the vendors, writes K. Venkatesh in Marketing of Information Technology: Concepts, products, services and intellectual property rights. Predominant challenge is ignorance and lack of clarity about requirements, the author rues.

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Vertical Search Engines

Books 2 Byte
Entrepreneur Journeys
Sramana Mitra
( http://www.hachettelivre.co.uk/)

Untouched by Google

Is Google invincible? No more than Microsoft was until the Internet came and shook it to the core, declares Sramana Mitra in Entrepreneur Journeys, Volume 1: How to stop looking for a job… and start up your life’s work. On the weakness side of Google’s ledger, she sees Vertical Search Engines as the most potent long-term threat.

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Offshoring, a 'global' phenomenon

Books 2 Byte
The Services Shift
Kennedy
( http://www.ftpress.com/)

Seven predictions about offshoring

“At the other end of the offshoring spectrum, something like 25 per cent of the Fortune 1000 had no involvement in global sourcing, and the remaining 700-or-so companies in the middle had mostly ‘dabbled’ in offshoring,” writes Kennedy in The Services Shift: Seizing the ultimate offshore opportunity.

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Shifting style of politics

Books 2 Byte
Publics, Politics & Power
Janet Newman and John Clarke
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Politics and the public

New forms of public participation are viewed as a means of engaging a public that is disenchanted with formal political styles and institutions, write Janet Newman and John Clarke in Publics, Politics & Power: Remaking the public in public services. They find that the ideas of ‘dirty politics’ and the perceived disenchantment of the ‘political class’ fro m everyday life play important roles in this.

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Fraud investigation

BookValue
Share Market
Surekha Mashruwala
(Shabdh Publication)

A job in the arena

The success or failure of a fraud investigation is highly dependent on the skill and experience of the investigator, writes Surekha Mashruwala in Share Market: The Career Market (Shabdh Publication). Unlike traditional accountants, investigators require specialised expertise in interviewing, in-house data analysis, public records searches and tracing assets, the author notes.

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Income inequalities

BookValue
World of Work Report 2008
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
(http://www.academicfoundation.com/ )

CEO pay

The difference between CEO and average executive compensation varies significantly across countries, observes the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in World of Work Report 2008: Income Inequalities in the Age of Financial Globalization. An examination of executive pay in 2007 for the 15 largest companies in six selected countries shows that chief executive officers earn, on average, between 71 and 183 times more than the average employee, the report informs.

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The world of risk

BookValue
Financial Darwinism
Leo M. Tilman
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

PEP, instead of PE, ratio

Imagine a world in which relevant information about economic performance, risk-based business models, and risks inherent in financial institutions are available to external stakeholders. That is the picture Leo M. Tilman paints in Financial Darwinism: Create Value or Self-destruct in a World of Risk.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The unfolding 'magic'

Books of Account
The Turnaround Story of Indian Railways
Vivek Khare
(http://www.ameyaprakashan.com/)

Chugging along

Why did the Railways, in profits up to 1953, slide down to near insolvency by the turn of the century? Because bulk goods were lost sight of, says Vivek Khare in The Turnaround Story of Indian Railways. "The prime source of revenues for the Railways was freight. In the rush to increase passenger traffic, freight was sidelined, and revenues began to drop."

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The disturbing trend

Books of Account
Going Green
Andrew Kakabadse
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Why CSR often fails

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often thrust on the shoulders of management, even as the board remains a bit removed from reality, observes Andrew Kakabadse in one of the essays included in Going Green. He finds that about a third of the world's top teams are permanently divided on vision. "So you'll have the chief executive and the various directors going into meetings, having a really good discussion, making a clear decision, and then walking out of the meeting and doing something different to what they just decided."

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Publicity and promotion of books

Book Mark
Book Publishing
Dina N. Malhotra
( http://www.atfullcircle.com/)

Selling books

Reviews in newspapers and magazines are the most effective and economical manner to bring new publications to the notice of the reading public, notes Dina N. Malhotra in Book Publishing: Principles & Practices. He wishes that all newspapers and magazines had literary supplements once a week.

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Organic agriculture

Book Mark
Sick Planet
Stan Cox
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

The ‘organic’ engine

The most prominent sector of the natural food world is organic agriculture, which bans synthetic chemicals and engineered genes and, until recently, held out the vision of a harmonious, human-scale rural society, writes Stan Cox in Sick Planet: The Impact of Corporate Food and Medicine.

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Online videos

Book Mark
Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach
Alan Charlesworth
( http://www.elsevier.com/)

Technology levels the field for small businesses

Modern technology has made the playing field a little more level for small businesses when it comes to developing videos to be shown online, says Alan Charlesworth in Internet Marketing: A Practical Approach. “Pre-digital video creation was expensive, and normally handled by media agencies. Now, however, compelling videos are within reach of all businesses – not just those with the media budgets big enough to afford a professional film crew.”

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ethical Jihadists

Manage Mentor
What They Teach You At Harvard Business School
Philip Delves Broughton
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Business vs ethics

Sample this thought: “No matter how hard it tries, business can never escape the fact that it is the practice of potentially thieving, treacherous, lying human beings. Its challenge is in reining in the thieving, treachery, and deceit sufficiently that the entire edifice of business and society does not dissolve into a medieval version of hell.” Thus writes Philip Delves Broughton in a chapter titled Ethical Jihadists, in What They Teach You At Ha rvard Business School: My two years inside the cauldron of capitalism.

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To become an effective decision-maker

Manage Mentor
Think Again
Sydney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Reducing the risk of flawed decisions

Becoming an effective decision-maker is not just about being an expert and having good judgment; it is also about taking steps to guard against the inevitable distortions and biases that can lead to a flawed decision, advises a new book from Harvard Business Press. “You can never eliminate all flawed decisions – but you can reduce the risk,” say Sydney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell in Think Again: Why good leaders make bad d ecisions and how to keep it from happening to you.

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'The keys to market forecasting'

Books of Account
100 Minds that Made the Market
Ken Fisher
( www.wileyindia.com)

Senti-Meter

Long forgotten in a world that mostly remembers recent headlines, Edson Gould’s writings are most significant in that they combine, as few have, the history of what has happened before, fundamental economics and basic crowd psychology, extols Ken Fisher in 100 Minds that Made the Market.

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Amendments to the auditor’s report

Books of Account
Standard on Auditing (SA) 560 (Revised): Subsequent Events
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( www.icai.org )

Dual dating

A recent pronouncement of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India talks about ‘dual dating’ by auditors. If that sounds queer, read on: “When… the auditor amends the auditor’s report to include an additional date restricted to that amendment, the date of the auditor’s report on the financial statements prior to their subsequent amendment by management remains unchanged because this date informs the reader as to when the audit wor k on those financial statements was completed,” states a paragraph in Standard on Auditing (SA) 560 (Revised): Subsequent Events.

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Bangalore, manna from heaven

Books of Account
Resisting Reform?
Kshithij Urs and Richard Whittell
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

When profits pinch water

If water companies find India as a whole is enticing, Bangalore must look like manna from heaven, write Kshithij Urs and Richard Whittell in Resisting Reform? Water Profits and Democracy.

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Role of computers in industrial production

Books 2 Byte
Wheels and Wings
K. C. G. Verghese
(BI Publications)

Technology adoption

In the matter of computers in industrial production, when many of our people objected to the idea in the beginning, the Koreans realised the potential of the technology, reminisces K. C. G. Verghese in his autobiography, ‘Wheels and Wings’ (BI Publications).

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'Get all the facts out'

Books 2 Byte
Jack Welch Speaks
Janet Lowe
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Hardware and software

The 1980s saw GE undergoing a two-phase revolution. The first phase, through 1986, was about ‘hardware’ – that is, fixing the business. And in the second phase, from 1987 well into the 1990s, the focus was on ‘software,’ the corporate culture and employee mind-set. Thus recounts Janet Lowe in Jack Welch Speaks.

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The system of internal control

Books 2 Byte
Consideration of Fraud in an Internal Audit
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/)

Information system and communication

One of the five elements in the system of internal control is ‘information system and communication,’ explains Standard on Internal Audit (SIA) 11: Consideration of Fraud in an Internal Audit of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

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While selecting candidates for employment ...

Books 2 Byte
The Competencies Handbook
Steve Whiddett and Sarah Hollyforde
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Suitable simulation

Simulation can be a useful method when selecting candidates for employment, but it is important that the activity simulated should find place in the job, remind Steve Whiddett and Sarah Hollyforde in The Competencies Handbook.

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PowerPoint presentations

Books 2 Byte
How to Improve Trainer Effectiveness
S. Balachandran
( http://www.shroffpublishers.com/)

Before you present

How should PPPs be? Well, we are not talking about private-public partnerships but PowerPoint presentations. “The PPP is an aid, like the board,” says S. Balachandran in How to Improve Trainer Effectiveness. Avoid running matter, like definitions, in the PPP, he instructs. “Key words will provide enough emphasis.

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Rich Internet applications

Books 2 Byte
A Complete Guide to Internet and Web Programming
Deven N. Shah
(Dreamtech)

Make the Web engaging

Rich Internet applications or RIAs have become necessary to satisfy the demand for enhanced user experience, writes Deven N. Shah in A Complete Guide to Internet and Web Programming (Dreamtech). RIAs are applications that combine improved user interface and functionality of desktop software, accessibility and low-cost deployment of Web-based applications and the best of interactive, multimedia communication, he describes.

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'Reporter online'

Books 2 Byte
The NCTJ Essential Guide to Careers in Journalism
Andy Bull
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

A taste of online journalism

Online news is a young medium, so there are plenty of opportunities to progress fast, writes Andy Bull in The NCTJ Essential Guide to Careers in Journalism. He observes that many who become online reporters find it a liberating experience.

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'Hedge fund liquidations'

BookValue
Innovations in Investment Management
H. Gifford Fong
( w ww.vivagroupindia.com )

Lessons from failures

The demise of many hedge funds may commonly be due to operational failures, securities fraud, insufficient assets, excessive leverage, or lack of diversification. Yet, these failures can be an opportunity for hedge fund managers and investors to learn and improve, say the authors of one of the essays included in Innovations in Investment Management: Cutting-edge Research, edited by H. Gifford Fong.

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Internal Auditors and the Management

BookValue
Standard on Internal Audit (SIA) 9: Communication with Management
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/ )

Audit communication

When should an internal auditor communicate to the management ‘material weaknesses in the design, implementation or operating effectiveness of internal control that come to the internal auditor’s attention’? As soon as practicable, says the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in Standard on Internal Audit (SIA) 9: Communication with Management.

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'The anti-gravity machine'

BookValue
Dear Mr. Buffett
Janet Tavakoli
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Deconstructing the elite

Do you want to know the fastest way to become rich in hedge funds? Run one, advises Janet Tavakoli in Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street. “Financial journalists deify hedge fund managers, who boast of elite sports abilities and savant-like mental powers,” she rues.

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'Newsroom software'

Book Mark
Radio Journalism
Guy Starkey and Andrew Crisell
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Human voice

Information technology has revolutionised the news-handling process, note Guy Starkey and Andrew Crisell in Radio Journalism. “Most of the effort in bu sy radio newsrooms is now focussed on computers used for research, communication, production, editing and playout – and in many of them bespoke software draws all these functions seamlessly together.”

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'Nutritious food for all'

Book Mark
Food, Economics, and Health
Alok Bhargava
( http://www.oup.com/)

Subsidise fresh fruits and vegetables

While taxing non-nutritious foods may not be practicable, it may be a good idea to subsidise the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, suggests Alok Bhargava in Food, Economics, and Health. Grocery stores can discount fresh (or day-old) fruits and vegetables for those receiving food-aid, and such policies will ensure a greater supply of micronutrients for children in such households, he recommends.

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Compulsive acquisition disorder

Book Mark
Enough
John Naish
( http://www.hodder.co.uk/)

Compulsive shopping can even kill

CAD may seem familiar as an abbreviation of ‘computer-aided design,’ but it also stands for ‘compulsive acquisition disorder,’ which describes people who continually buy and store until their homes are so crammed that the wind ows bulge, as John Naish explains in Enough: Breaking Free from the World of Excess.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'The name-change'

Books of Account
Cost & Management Accounting Profession in India
Dhananjay V. Joshi

Spanner in the ‘works’

“Management accounting is an all-embracing function to the development of which no single branch of accounting can claim credit,” reads the first of the protests, as listed by Dhananjay V. Joshi in Cost & Management Accounting Profession in India: A reminiscence.

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'Put crony directors on notice'

Books of Account
The Fish Rots from the Head
Bob Garratt
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Decay begins when boards become clubs

The public’s growing intolerance of ‘directoral ignorance and incompetence’ calls for a rapid implementation of professionalisation in governance, argues Bob Garratt in The Fish Rots from the Head. He also speaks of the increasing disgust towards ‘seemingly endemic directoral corruption in major companies’ in countries such as France and Italy.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Revenue recognition

Books 2 Byte
Technical Guide on Revenue Recognition for Software
Research Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/)

Software revenue

In the case of licensed software, delivery may be considered to be complete for revenue recognition purposes upon the commencement of the licence term even if the licence is delivered and payment also received earlier, states the Research Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in ‘Technical Guide on Revenue Recognition for Software’.

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Dragon Land

Books 2 Byte
China: A Search for its Soul
Poonam Surie
(Konark)

Marriage meandering

Sample this: ‘Male, single, 36, good-looking, height 1.80 m, IT professional in a multinational.’ Straight out of an Indian matrimonial column? No, we are in the Dragon Land, as described by Poonam Surie in China: A Search for its Soul (Konark).

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'Single-loop' and ‘double-loop’ learning

Books 2 Byte
Culture and Organizational Behaviour
Jai B. P. Sinha
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Learning organisations

In a chapter on ‘knowledge organisations,’ in Culture and Organizational Behaviour, the author Jai B. P. Sinha discusses the difference between ‘single-loop’ and ‘double-loop’ learning. The former is ‘what to learn,’ and the latter, ‘learning how to learn,’ he explains.

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Net, a source for journalistic material

Books 2 Byte
Media Ethics
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
( http://www.oup.com/)

Net pitfalls

The expanse of information and ideas available on the Internet makes it an appealing source for journalistic material, writes Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in Media Ethics: Truth, fairness and objectivity. “The Internet provides not only supplementary facts about a chosen story but also offers ideas for whole new stories from around the world,” he notes.

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Get the brain in gear

Books 2 Byte
The Gold Mine
Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé
( http://www.leaninstitute.in/)

Zero investment rule

Operators’ suggestions in a continuous improvement programme may rarely contribute significantly to cost savings, cautions The Gold Mine: A novel of lean turnaround by Freddy Ballé and Michael Ballé. Which is partly why we must remain vigilant to communicate the ‘zero investment’ rule of kaizen, the authors add.

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'Automatic cover'

Books 2 Byte
The Competencies Handbook
Steve Whiddett and Sarah Hollyforde
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Computerised questionnaires

One of the many anecdotes in The Competencies Handbook by Steve Whiddett and Sarah Hollyforde is titled ‘automatic cover.’ It is about a life assurance company that introduced performance reviews for its sales staff. To facilitate the reviews, a handbook was produced which included pencil-and-paper-based questionnaires and guidance for the review process, the authors narrate.

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'Wake up to the new reality'

Books 2 Byte
Failure, Inc.
Howard Eisner
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Hire corporate software officer

There is enough and more of bad news already around, so you may not like to know more on how not to succeed. Yet, here is a book with 52 ways to go under in business by Howard Eisner: Failure, Inc. One of the ways, for instance, is to conduct only virtual meetings, because ‘all face-to-face meetings are too expensive and inefficient.’

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The world of knowledge vs the world of action

BookValue
Economic Democracy through Pro-poor Growth
Ponna Wignaraja, Susil Sirivardana, and Akmal Hussain
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Development gap

The gap between the world of knowledge and the world of action, although perennial, is probably widest in the area of development, avers D. L. Sheth in one of the essays included in Economic Democracy through Pro-poor Growth, edited by Ponna Wignaraja, Susil Sirivardana, and Akmal Hussain.

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Indian banking system

BookValue
Towards Development Economics
J. Krishnamurty
( http://www.oup.com/)

Indigenous banking

One of the chapters that J. Krishnamurty has put together in Towards Development Economics: Indian Contributions 1900-1945 is on indigenous banking, a 1929 paper by L. C. Jain. He laments that the slow but sure disappearance of many indigenous moneylenders will be unfortunate in India ...

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'Sophisticated investors’

BookValue
Venture Capital Funding
Stephen Bloomfield
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Business angels

Individuals operating in the venture capital business are almost always one of three types, viz. deal brokers, consultants or business angels, writes Stephen Bloomfield in Venture Capital Funding: A Practical Guide to Raising Finance, second edition. The interesting ones from the funding point of view are the business angels, he continues.

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'Start small, get bigger'

BookValue
The Ten Roads to Riches
Ken Fisher
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Ways to make money

Many young people, who aspire to be the next Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch, start as ‘hotshot research and investment analysts or portfolio managers,’ but almost never get their desired outcome, says Ken Fisher in The Ten Roads to Riches. Instead, start by learning telephone sales, even if not investment-related, he advises. “Here your youthful appearance won’t hurt you.

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'Don't say yes to every request you get'

Book Mark
85 Inspiring Ways to Market Your Small Business
Jackie Jarvis
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Capture biz core in strap-line slogan

Be careful of expanding and tailoring your services to suit every customer request that you get, advises Jackie Jarvis in 85 Inspiring Ways to Market Your Small Business. Of course, having the flexibility to adapt and package your services in the exact way that your customer requires adds considerable value to your offering; however, there must be a limit to how much you expand your portfolio of services, she instructs.

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'Put forward the facts in a pleasant manner'

Book Mark
24 Brand Mantras
Jagdeep Kapoor
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Wander not into the land of deceit

Be honest, do not con, reads the last of the commandments in Jagdeep Kapoor’s 24 Brand Mantras: Finding a Place in the Minds and Hearts of Consumers, second edition. He mentions as examples Tata Salt and Parle biscuits, which have won the trust of the consumers as honest brands.

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'Dress your age'

Book Mark
The Metrosexual Guide to Style
Michael Flocker
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Identify which styles look best on you

In the ever-changing world of fashion, it takes a lot of energy to keep pace, writes Michael Flocker in The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A handbook for the modern man . For starters, ‘metrosexual’ is defined in the book as follows: “twenty-first century male trendsetter, straight urban man with heightened aesthetic sense, a man who spends time and money on appearance an d shopping, and man willing to embrace his feminine side.”

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Monday, March 09, 2009

The law of ‘addition’ and 'the picture'

Manage Mentor
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
John C. Maxwell
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

People do as people see

The two new laws that John C. Maxwell has included in the revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership are about ‘addition’ and ‘the picture.’ The law of ‘addition’ is about how leaders add value by serving others.

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