Tuesday, June 30, 2009

De-stress with yoga

Books 2 Byte
Effective Yoga for Health and Happiness
B. K. Trehan and Indu Trehan
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Stress warning signs

Check if you experience one or more of these: A decreased quality and output of work; carelessness leading to sudden increase of errors or accidents; difficulty in taking decisions; isolation and aloofness from colleagues and friends; working late... These are some of the stress warning signs listed in Effective Yoga for Health and Happiness by B. K. Trehan and Indu Trehan.

More

Monday, June 29, 2009

Teams have a cutting edge over groups

Books 2 Byte
Organisational Behaviour
Sarma V. S. Veluri
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Group vs Team

In recent years, most organisations have replaced the concept of groups with the concept of teams, finds Sarma V. S. Veluri in Organisational Behaviour: An interactive learning approach.

More

Research in defence

Books 2 Byte
India’s Foreign Policy
Anjali Ghosh, Tridib Chakraborti, Anindyo Jyoti Majumdar, and Shibashis Chatterjee
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Combat-management systems

Research in defence is moving from tactical electronic support measure (ESM) to more strategic electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems, which can track ships and aircraft passively, informs Jyotirmoy Banerjee in one of the essays included in India’s Foreign Policy.

More

Behind the growth of Internet ...

Books 2 Byte
Politics of Globalization
Samir Dasgupta, Jan Nederveen Pieterse
( http://www.sagepublications.com/).

Dubious commerce thriving on the Net

Can you name an industry that is among the top five groups buying state-of-the-art computer equipment, and which was the first to buy and use expensive T3 phone lines that transmit compressed, high-resolution images? Not IT (services) or the BPO (business process outsourcing) companies, but the sex industry, as Samir Dasgupta informs in one of the essays included in Politics of Globalization, a book that he has co-edited with Jan Nederveen Pieterse.

More

'Make friends with failure'

BookValue
The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence
Robert Anthony
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Break free

Respond to life with action, exhorts Robert Anthony in The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence. A weak, timid, indecisive approach to life breeds inertia, failure, and disappointment, he adds. “Many people fail to act because they are afraid to make a mistake or think that what they conceive can never become reality.”

More

'Imagination is more important than knowledge'

BookValue
Changing the Rules
Geoff Herridge
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/ )

Thinking differently

Why do people postpone exercising? Because it takes work and commitment to start, and the ‘cost’ in the short-term of not undertaking some sort of exercise and health programme is not significant, says Geoff Herridge in Changing the Rules.

More

Invest with knowledge

BookValue
A Gift to my Children
Jim Rogers
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Investing and life

In investing, as in life, the small details often spell the difference between success and failure, counsels Jim Rogers in A Gift to my Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing.

More

Luxury car for the elite buyers

Book Mark
Toyota
K. Dennis Chambers
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Listening to customers

In 1986, a team of Toyota designers and engineers came to southern California to “live the good life.” And the expense accounts which they sent caused near-fainting spells back at the home office. Toyota had decided to make a giant leap and get into the elite-car business alongside Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac. It realised it knew virtually nothing about the typical buyers of these special cars, and so it sent them to live among those pe ople and see firsthand what they cared about, narrates K. Dennis Chambers in Toyota.

More

'Headcount freeze'

Book Mark
The Real Deal
James Caan
( http://www.virginbooks.com/)

When recession started to grate

James Caan retells the story of ‘the recession, 1992-1993,’ in one of the chapters in The Real Deal. “I couldn’t believe that you could work as hard as I had, absorb that much stress, create that much energy and end up with £1,475. I knew the economy had been going through a tough time, but I was still absolutely stunned when my accountant brought me the end-of-year figure. I was spending more than that a year on petrol.”

More

Show respect to business cards

Book Mark
How to Instantly Connect with Anyone
Leil Lowndes
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Card care

The Japanese may not be touchy-feely with people, but they sure are with business cards, observes Leil Lowndes in How to Instantly Connect with Anyone. “Th ese polite people call it meishi. The word has the cachet of the ceremonial aspect of exchanging cards.”

More

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mom Modes

Manage Mentor
Mom-in-Chief
Jamie Woolf
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Moms as leaders

Discover your leadership style, exhorts Jamie Woolf in Mom-in-Chief: How wisdom from the workplace can save your family from chaos. “Every mom, like every business leader, has her own personal style that showcases her strengths and inspires those around her. I call these styles Mom Modes, the skills and strategies that build relationships, encourage individuality, and promot e success.”

More

Humility, an essential leadership quality

Manage Mentor
There’s No Elevator to the Top
Umesh Ramakrishnan
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Essential leadership qualities

As the CXO, you are perhaps in a hurry-mode all the time. “Little hurries to get to work on time (or early), big hurries to beat your sales target, medium-size hurries to get everyone signed on to your goals,” writes Umesh Ramakrishnan in There’s No Elevator to the Top. He reminds, however, that patience is an important quality that CEOs need to have and cultivate.

More

‘Clean up’ the balance sheet

Books of Account
Financial Accounting for Managers
T. P. Ghosh
( http://www.taxmann.com/ )

Incomplete ‘big bath’

“The management would begin writing off every expense and asset they could imagine. This may help them to settle all previous accounting fudging, and, as a result, future expenses are reduced significantly, and naturally earnings increase. In other words, the company is taking a big bath in the worst year so it can wipe its slate clean,” explains T. P. Ghosh in Financial Accounting for Managers, fourth edition.

More

Review the implementation

Books of Account
Life Insurance in India
H. Sadhak
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

Promote a culture of risk management

Institutionalisation of risk management practices calls for separating the risk monitoring and operational functions, says H. Sadhak in Life Insurance in India: Opportunities, challenges and strategic perspective. He suggests that while designated persons independently monitor, the Board may review implementation.

More

Three tables of processing

Books 2 Byte
Linux
Ashok Kumar Harnal
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Rule chains

Packets entering a firewall can be processed through three tables — viz. filter, mangle, and nat — writes Ashok Kumar Harnal in Linux: Applications and administration. A filter table reads packet content (packet header to be accurate) and based on the information content may decide to accept, reject, or drop it, he explains.

More

Meeting a new partner online

Books 2 Byte
How I Made It
Rachel Bridge
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Online dating

About a decade ago, at the age of 33, when Darren Richards thought that the Internet could be the perfect way of meeting other singletons in his area, in the UK, he was in for a disappointment. His search for an online agency to join led him only to companies in the US. “Even worse, none of the sites seemed to take the idea of meeting a new partner online seriously, encouraging members to use silly nicknames such as Sexy Babe and Hot Pants,” recounts Rachel Bridge in one of the chapters included in How I Made It: 40 successful entrepreneurs reveal all.

More

Object oriented programming techniques


Books 2 Byte
Business Information Systems
Prithwis Mukerjee
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Say bye to brute force

Real-world programs that address even moderately complex business processes need thousands of lines of code and raw coding in a native programming language is not for the faint-hearted, cautions Prithwis Mukerjee in Business Information Systems: Systems engineering for business managers.

More

Indian IT, well on track

Books 2 Byte
The Penguin CNBC-TV18 Business Yearbook 2009
Derek O’Brien
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Bright outlook for Indian IT-BPO

At the current pace of adding nine million phones every month, the target of 500 million connections by 2010 is well within our reach, observes The Penguin CNBC-TV18 Business Yearbook 2009, compiled and edited by Derek O’Brien.

More

The ‘folk devils’ armed with mobiles

Books 2 Byte
Living the Information Society in Asia
Erwin Alampay
( http://www.idrc.ca/)

Moral tone on mobile

Sample these news headlines from the vernacular media: ‘Cell phone revolution: Satan in palm. Tragedy caused by cell phone. Seller of cell phone memory cards with obscene pictures arrested. TADA for jeans… POTA for cell phone! The plight of colleges under excessive controls.’ Citing these shrill voices, Gopalan Ravindran observes that the Indian news channels miss no opportunity to blow the moral panic whistle with regard to their coverage of new media in Living the Information Society in Asia, edited by Erwin Alampay.

More

Metrics to create 'momentum'

BookValue
Liberating Passion
Omar Khan
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Guidance from ‘lead indicators’

Financial indicators are lag indicators, they tell you how you’ve done, says Omar Khan in Liberating Passion: How the World’s Best Global Leaders Produce Winning Results. You also need measurements that are ‘lead indicators’ and can signpost how you are likely to do, he appeals.

More

Learn to fail, or fail to learn

BookValue
The Pursuit of Perfect
Tal Ben-Shahar
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Perfectionist vs ‘optimalist’

Failure is essential in achieving success, though it is of course not sufficient for achieving success, observes Tal Ben-Shahar in The Pursuit of Perfect. “Those who understand that failure is inextricably linked with achievement are the ones who learn, grow, and ultimately do well. Learn to fail, or fail to learn.”

More

Change is key to survival

BookValue
Hedge Hunters
Katherine Burton
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Rewards and risks in hedge funds

In hedge funds, gods come and go, and survival is almost as uncertain as it is in the pits, writes Katherine Burton in Hedge Hunters: Hedge Fund Masters on the Rewards, the Risk, and the Reckoning. “A loss of, say, 20 per cent on the year can put a fund out of business.”

More

Ethics of a salesperson

Book Mark
Mind-Read Your Customers
David P. Snyder
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Identifying ethical salespeople

How to select ethical salespeople? Look for someone who is confident without being cocky, advises David P. Snyder in Mind-Read Your Customers: Using insights from psychology to increase sales and build a better business.

More

Communicate your brand in the best manner

Book Mark
How YOU are like Shampoo for Job Seekers
Brenda Bence
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Five core activities

You may not like to know that interviewers hire people they like. But that’s stark reality, says Brenda Bence in How YOU are like Shampoo for Job Seekers. “In fact, some recruiters estimate that as much as 40 per cent of the hiring decision is based on whether or not you were liked in your interview,” she mentions.

More

Communicating with employees

Book Mark
Brand from the Inside
Libby Sartain and Mark Schumann
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Corporate words

When communicating with employees, keep the message simple, clear and transparent, instruct Libby Sartain and Mark Schumann in Brand from the Inside: Eight essentials to emotionally connect your employees to your business. They caution against the use of corporate-sounding sentences with lots of big words, and lots of punctuation.

More

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Make curiosity and questioning a habit

Manage Mentor
Remarkable Leadership
Kevin Eikenberry
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Choose to be curious

Curiosity and learning go hand in hand, says Kevin Eikenberry in Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing your leadership potential one skill at a time. A key leadership skill is to learn continually; and, to help you learn, curiosity combines the concepts of motivation (eagerness) and being a beginner (looking for an answer), Eikenberry adds.

More

To be a good 'chief'

Manage Mentor
CEO Material
D. A. Benton
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Does the chief have a good track record?

In the list of 16 imperatives that D. A. Benton discusses in CEO Material: How to be a leader in any organization, what comes first is a good track record. It is not just about you and your business potency, the author explains. “It’s the specialty you excel in, what you take on beyond what others do, and the connections you initiate with people outside your immediate circl e in the way of contacts, mentors, and sponsors.”

More

Monday, June 15, 2009

Modern dowry, not dakshina or stridhan

Books of Account
The Oxford India: Srinivas
M. N. Srinivas
( http://www.oup.com/ )

Dowry money

Modern dowry is entirely the product of the forces let loose by British rule such as monetisation, education, and the introduction of the ‘organised sector,’ says M. N. Srinivas in one of the essays included in The Oxford India: Srinivas.

More

Tax and customs concessions in mining sector

Books of Account
Mining in Africa
Bonnie Campbell
( http://www.idrc.ca/ )

Murky mining

Offering incentives to foreign investors is not new. But the exercise can cause trouble, especially when the design of incentives is flawed. Take, for instance, Guinea, which introduced, in 1995, a series of advantages for foreign mining companies...
This situation continues despite Guinea’s apparent adherence to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), rues Bonnie Campbell in Mining in Africa: Regulation and Development.

More

Computer forensics

Books 2 Byte
All-in-One CompTIA Security+
Gregory White and Wm. Arthur Conklin
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Incident response

Forensics — a word with origin in Latin ‘forensis’ that pertains to ‘a forum, place of assembly’ — is the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems. As applied to computers, it commonly refers to investigation and analysis of computer systems for suspected violation of laws, or for compliance with organisational policies. Also, computer forensics is deployed for investigating computer systems that have been remotely attacked, and this is often referred to as incident response, say Gregory White and Wm. Arthur Conklin in All-in-One CompTIA Security+: Exam guide, second edition.

More

Routing the Internet service providers

Books 2 Byte
Routing Video Mentor
Kevin Wallace
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Gateway protocols

BGP is not the name of a political party, but Border Gateway Protocol, a solution for routing between autonomous systems (that is, networks under different administrative controls), introduces Kevin Wallace in Routing Video Mentor.

More

Innovation, a success differentiator

Books 2 Byte
Leadership
Arthur Cotterell, Roger Lowe and Ian Shaw
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Innovation and creativity

It is not as if innovation has suddenly become important; it was always a success differentiator, reveal some of the stories included in Leadership: Lessons from the ancient world, by Arthur Cotterell, Roger Lowe and Ian Shaw. For instance, Zhu Geliang (pronounced ‘Zoo-gee-lee-ang’), a distinguished mathematician and inventor, was renowned for his ability to solve apparently insoluble problems, nearly two thousand years ago in China, the authors recount.

More

Education means empowerment

Books 2 Byte
Inclusive Education Across Cultures
Mithu Alur and Vianne Timmons
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Empowerment, by way of communication

Society creates a norm and the norm excludes disabled people. Sounds harsh, but that’s the title of an essay by Malini Chib included in Inclusive Education Across Cultures: Crossing boundaries, sharing ideas, edited by Mithu Alur and Vianne Timmons.

More

Investors need to do their homework

BookValue
The Seven Rules of Wall Street
Sam Stovall
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Let the winners ride

To see if an investment approach or discipline is worthwhile, investors need to do their homework by back-testing the results over an extended period of time, instructs Sam Stovall in The Seven Rules of Wall Street: Crash-tested Investment Strategies that Beat the Market.

More

India, the place for free enterprise to flourish

BookValue
Socio-Political and Economic Challenges in South Asia
Tan Tai Yong
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

China vs India

Compared to China, India has relatively stronger financial and capital markets, say Yang Dali and Zhao Hong in one of the essays included in Socio-Political and Economic Challenges in South Asia, edited by Tan Tai Yong. India has been making life easier for local businesses, the authors add.

More

Choose a benchmark

BookValue
Own the World
Aaron Anderson
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Smart investing

The first step to investing success is to choose a benchmark, says Aaron Anderson in Own the World: How Smart Investors Create Global Portfolios. A benchmark is just an index tracking whatever asset you’re investing in, he explains.

More

Cost vs virtue

Book Mark
Ecological Intelligence
Daniel Goleman
( http://www.greenpenguin.co.uk/)

Goodness may become cheaper

Does virtue always have to cost more? Not necessarily, says Daniel Goleman in Ecological Intelligence: Knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy. Cost and virtue cannot always be equated, he adds, citing a study of ‘toxic shampoos’ by Skin Deep, which evaluates the relative safety of personal care products.

More

Learn a little lingo

Book Mark
How to Talk to Anyone
Leil Lowndes
( http://www.thorsonelement.com/)

Industry lingo

Before every big purchase, find several vendors, a few to learn from and one to buy from, guides Leil Lowndes in How to Talk to Anyone: 92 little tricks for big success in relationships.

More

Ask significant questions, follow that with enough silence

Book Mark
Exercising Influence
B. Kim Barnes
(http://www.pfeiffer.com/)

Silence does influence

One of the most underused and effective influence techniques is that of keeping your mouth shut, advises B. Kim Barnes in the revised edition of Exercising Influence: A guide for making things happen at work, at home, and in your community.

More

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The trick of working together

Books of Account
Value Engineering Mastermind
Anil Kumar Mukhopadhyaya
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Value hunt

Five traits that are required if value engineering (VE) has to succeed are teamwork, leadership, communication, innovation, and entrepreneurship, says Anil Kumar Mukhopadhyaya in Value Engineering Mastermind: From concept to value engineering certification.

More

From consumers to farmers

Books of Account
Fair Trade: A beginner's guide
Jacqueline DeCarlo
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Fairness search in transaction trail

Journalists have taken an interest in the price consumers pay for a Fair Trade product and how those dollars transfer to farmers, informs Jacqueline DeCarlo in Fair Trade: A beginner's guide.

More

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Aspect oriented programming

Books 2 Byte
Spring and Hibernate
Santosh Kumar K
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Lightweight solution

To tax practitioners, AOP may stand for ‘association of persons,’ but to avid techies, AOP is ‘aspect oriented programming,’ a methodology that allows the developers to build the core concerns (that is, primary functionality of the system) without making them aware of secondary requirements, explains Santosh Kumar K in Spring and Hibernate.

More

Reformulation of Quantum mechanics

Books 2 Byte
Quantum
Manjit Kumar
( http://www.iconbooks.co.uk/)

Hidden variables

John von Neumann is remembered often for the architecture we see in computers, but his work in computer science finds mention after sections about quantum mechanics, economics and game theory, and nuclear weapons, in Wikipedia. Do you know, for instance, that in 1932, the then 28-year-old von Neumann wrote a book that became the quantum physicist’s bible, ‘Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics’? In it, he had asked whether quantum mechanics could be reformulated as a deterministic theory by the introduction of hidden variables, which, unlike ordinary variables, are inaccessible to measurement and therefore not subject to the restrictions imposed by the uncertainty principle, writes Manjit Kumar in Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the great debate about the nature of reality.

More

Troubleshooting is challenging

Books 2 Byte
Application Troubleshooting Guide
Fluke Networks
( http://www.flukenetworks.com/)

Network troubleshooting

Often troubleshooting is challenging and a ‘best’ method isn’t obvious, notes a publication of Fluke Networks in Application Troubleshooting Guide. “Some technicians use the few tools they are familiar with to try to solve every problem. The adage, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail,’ comes to mind.”

More

ITeS exports

Books 2 Byte
Accelerating Growth and Job Creation in South Asia
Ejaz Ghani and Sadiq Ahmed
( http://www.oup.com/)

Formidable constraints

After virtual stagnation in the 1990s, Pakistan has seen significant growth of business services exports since 2001, particularly software and IT-enabled services (ITeS), informs Aaditya Mattoo in one of the essays included in Accelerating Growth and Job Creation in South Asia, edited by Ejaz Ghani and Sadiq Ahmed.

More

Challenging the ‘professionalism’ plank of call centres

Books 2 Byte
Employee Identity in Indian Call Centres
Ernesto Noronha and Premilla D’Cruz
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Lack of transparency in call centres

Through induction training, ongoing socialisation, performance evaluation mechanisms and other elements of organisational design, call centre employers cultivate the notion of professionalism in employees, but the rhetoric of professionalism is indeed a false claim, say Ernesto Noronha and Premilla D’Cruz in Employee Identity in Indian Call Centres.

More

On-the-job 'learning'

BookValue
The Secret Language of Business
Kevin Hogan
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Survival strategy

Negotiating your way through the complex maze of business environment can be a difficult and frustrating process of learning, writes Kevin Hogan in The Secret Language of Business: How to Read Anyone in 3 Seconds or Less.

More

Direct and indirect taxes

BookValue
Macroeconomic Management and Government Finances
Asian Development Bank
( http://www.oup.com/ )

Impact of direct taxes

While both direct and indirect tax revenues, measured as ratios to GDP, have significant positive effects on investment and significant negative effects on consumption, the response of investment and consumption to direct taxes is greater than the response to indirect taxes, observe Shashanka Bhide and Kanhaiya Singh in one of the essays included in Macroeconomic Management and Government Finances from Asian Development Bank.

More

'Destruction brings creation'

BookValue
False Economy
Alan Beattie
( http://www.penguin.com/ )

Football and business

The great paradox of capitalism is that destruction brings creation, says Alan Beattie in False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World. “Companies trying to put each other out of business in fact bring many more businesses into existence and people into jobs as they strive for better technology, for more efficient ways of operating, for a smarter way of pricing their product – for anything that will win them more customers and give them an edge over the competition.”

More

Think in opposites!

Book Mark
The Riddle
Andrew Razeghi
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Five Cs of creativity

Although many factors contribute to where great ideas come from, there are five precursors that appear to be the most effective at inspiring creative insight, says Andrew Razeghi in The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From and How to Have Better Ones.

More