Friday, October 30, 2009

Follow-up

Book Mark
How to Negotiate Like a Pro
Mary Greenwood
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Tracking is worth the expense

In eBay auctions, follow-up is very important if you do not want negative feedback posted against you, counsels Mary Greenwood in How to Negotiate Like a Pro: 41 rules for resolving disputes.

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Poll survey

Book Mark
A Handbook of Poll Surveys in Media
N. Bhaskara Rao
( http://www.gyanbooks.com/)

Pulse of polls

Research agencies engaged in conducting poll surveys will be appreciated far more than at present if only they treat such poll eve opportunities beyond commercial concerns, suggests N. Bhaskara Rao in A Handbook of Poll Surveys in Media: An Indian Perspective.

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Golden rules within the organisation

Book Mark
HR Strategy for the High Performing Business
Ap Eigenhuis and Rob van Dijk
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Space for new activities with ‘must stops’

Not surprisingly, therefore, whenever the management announces a strategic review and launches new initiatives, the perception that is created is generally one of greater burden for everybody. Wait, you can counter such a perception to some extent by looking explicitly at those activities that need to be stopped, advise Ap Eigenhuis and Rob van Dijk in HR Strategy for the High Performing Business.

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Routine criticism

Book Mark
How Toyota Changed the World
K. Dennis Chambers
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Seven attributes that distinguish Toyota

The first of the seven attributes that distinguish Toyota from all other carmakers is humility, writes K. Dennis Chambers in How Toyota Changed the World.

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Effective communication

Book Mark
Mastering Communication at Work
Ethan F. Becker and Jon Wortmann
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Create a culture of communication

What happens when effective communication is absent? Organisations shut down, say Ethan F. Becker and Jon Wortmann in Mastering Communication at Work: How to Lead, Manage, and Influence.

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Developing the right message

Book Mark
Street-Smart Advertising
Margo Berman
(http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Your headline must have stopping power

In successful creative work, the message comes before you begin designing, says Margo Berman in Street-Smart Advertising: How to Win the Battle of the Buzz.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

40 ways of ‘stealing’ government wealth

Books of Account
Kautilya’s Arthashastra
Priyadarshni Academy
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/ )

Pay cap

“If the amount of the actual cash in the treasury was inadequate, salaries could be paid partly in cash, and partly in kind. Grain could be substituted for cash wages according to the formula that an annual salary or wage of 60 panas was equ al to one adhaka of grain per day,” informs Kautilya’s Arthashastra brought out by Priyadarshni Academy.

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The borrower and the asset

Books of Account
FIDC Handbook on Repossession
Finance Industry Development Council
( http://www.fidcindia.com/ )

Guidelines on repossession

Every act of repossession by an agent must be supported by a specific authorisation letter from the NBFC (non-banking finance company), in each specific case clearly identifying the borrower and the asset, states one of the guidelines in FIDC Handbook on Repossession from the Finance Industry Development Council.

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CIDCO, the real-estate agency

Books of Account
Beyond Relocation
Renu Modi
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

Iniquitous acquisition

In the 1970s, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), as the sole development authority for the New Bombay region, initiated the process of land acquisition in 54 villages, and acquired more than 16,000 ha (hectare) of private lands in phases. And the pace of acquisition was accelerated in the late 1990s, recounts R. N. Sharma in one of the essays included in Beyond Relocation: The imperative of sustainable resettlement, edited by Renu Modi.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WAN infrastructures

Books 2 Byte
Building Service-Aware Networks
Muhammad Afaq Khan
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Tomorrow’s WAN

The WAN is a place in the network that aggregates various types, speeds, and links running a disparate set of protocols together crossing metropolitan, state, and even country boundaries, says Muhammad Afaq Khan in Building Service-Aware Networks: The next-generation WAN/MAN.

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The successful agile methods

Books 2 Byte
Managing Agile Projects
Kevin Aguanno
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Customer influence vs interference

One of the interesting characteristics of agile methods is the active participation of ‘customer,’ says Kevin Aguanno in Managing Agile Projects. Such close customer influence over the internal workings of the development team has been cited as a major cause of failed projects using traditional methods (often cited as ‘customer interference’), but is also a major reason why agile methods are so successful, he adds.

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Flash presentation

Books 2 Byte
Flash CS4 in Simple Steps from Kogent Solutions Inc.
( http://www.dreamtechpress.com/)

Flash and bones

Shockwave, Macromedia, Adobe. Different first names, but what is popular is the second name, ‘Flash,’ known for its widespread adoption in Web animation and interactivity. ... Several applications are able to display Flash content, including Adobe Flash Player, which is available for almost all Web browsers,” informs Flash CS4 in Simple Steps from Kogent Solutions Inc.

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News online

Books 2 Byte
Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications
Paul A. Argenti and Courtney M. Barnes
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Optimise your digital assets in online newsrooms

Blogger relations, social media news releases, and the monitoring of online news outlets. If your company is already doing all these, it may be useful to know that these are only a part of the overall media relations picture, as Paul A. Argenti and Courtney M. Barnes write in Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications.

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Test run

Books 2 Byte
Oracle Data Guard 11g Handbook
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Smart testing

One of the biggest IT challenges is to minimise the risk of introducing changes to systems, databases, and applications in critical production environments, say the authors of Oracle Data Guard 11g Handbook.

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The search engine

Books 2 Byte
How Google Changed the World
Virginia Scott
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Future of Google

Google may know everything about us, but it may be tough for us to know everything about Google. “Future courses of action for any company are, to some extent, unpredictable. Add to that the fact that Google loves secrecy and considers it a strategic tool, and the crystal ball into which we gaze to try to determine Google’s future gets murkier,” concedes Virginia Scott in How Google Changed the World.

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'Creep management'

Books 2 Byte
Effective Project Management
Robert K. Wysocki
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Four types of creeps

Not too differently, a monstrous fright for project managers is about ‘creeps.’ Granted, that some of the team members ‘may occasionally seem like creeps to you,’ but that is not the ‘creep management’ Robert K. Wysocki discusses in Effective Project Management: Tradition, agile, extreme, fifth edition.

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Interacting with digital technologies

Books 2 Byte
Delivering E-Learning
Kenneth Fee
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

When today’s devices become ‘glorified typewriters’

The biggest likely development in e-learning will be in new interfaces, says Kenneth Fee in Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment. Voice recognition and handwriting recognition software, and touch-sensitive screens, show the way ahead, and the current standard interfaces — the mouse and the keypad — will become obsolete, he foresees.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Family budget

BookValue
His Needs Her Needs
Willard F. Harley, Jr.
( http://www.magnamags.com/ )

Three budgets

Every family must come to grips with what it can afford, counsels Willard F. Harley, Jr. in the fifteenth anniversary edition of His Needs Her Needs: Building an affair-proof marriage. Budgets are not a necessary evil, but ‘good,’ he says, because a budget helps you discover what a certain quality of life really costs.

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'Be different - be a winner'

BookValue
The Way to Trade
John Piper
( http://www.visionbooksindia.com/ )

Approach to analysis

Most people approach analysis in the wrong way, laments John Piper in The Way to Trade: Discover your successful trading personality. Looking at people who come into contact with one particular technique — such as Elliott, Gann, and MACD — get to know how this technique works, and then start to use it, Piper says that it is like putting the cart before the horse.

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Survival plans

BookValue
Crash Proof 2.0
Peter D. Schiff
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Three survival tips

Three imperatives that Peter D. Schiff prescribes in Crash Proof 2.0 are: Rethink your portfolio, gold rush, and stay liquid. He recommends investment in the foreign markets (read, non-American) as the most conservative place right now. In the US, economic freedom, just like sound money, is a distant memory, the author rues. “So too are the low taxes, minimal regulations, and the high savings rates that went along with them.

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'Unmistakable red flags'

BookValue
Madoff with the Money
Jerry Oppenheimer
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Largest fraud in Wall Street history

Bernie Madoff shocked the world earlier this year as the perpetrator of the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history. “In March 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felonies and admitted to defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars from the early 1990s... And, dedicated to ‘all the legitimate victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme,’ here is a book by Jerry Oppenheimer: Madoff with the Money.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Five elements of change

Book Mark
The Way of Innovation
Kaihan Krippendorff
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Innovation through five phases

Metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. Seemingly close to the panchabhutas or the elements making up the universe, but these are the ‘five elements of change’ that Kaihan Krippendorff discusses in The Way of Innovation.

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Change fatalities

Book Mark
Who Killed Change?
Ken Blanchard
( http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/)

A dead change in your office…

A lounge that is meant for leaders and managers is the venue for an evening meeting. All the suspects are to be gathered there at 7 pm, and the murderer is to be announced! Hey, where are we? In one of the concluding chapters of Ken Blanchard’s ‘thriller’ titled Who Killed Change?

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Apple’s new modus operandi!

Book Mark
How Apple Inc. Changed the World
Jason D. O’Grady
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

How Apple bites into the market

In less than a decade, Apple reinvented itself, removing the ‘Computer’ from its name to be simply Apple Inc., and this move speaks volumes about where the company is headed, says Jason D. O’Grady in How Apple Inc. Changed the World.

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The five traps

Book Mark
The First 90 Days
Michael D. Watkins
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Failure to focus, the first trap

Unwary new leaders can fall into some common traps, says Michael D. Watkins in The First 90 Days. The first of the five traps that he lists is the failure to focus. The advice to leaders, therefore, is ‘to identify promising opportunities and then focus relentlessly on translating them into wins.’

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The village santhai

Book Mark
Notes from Gandhigram
Samir Banerjee
( http://www.orientblackswan.com/)

Village market

To those who have migrated to cities, the word santhai can stir up memories of the village market in Tamil Nadu. And a redeeming development in recent times is the popularity of uzhavar santhai or farmers’ markets in the suburbs. “Not very long back, the village santhai, haat or weekly market was a thriving albeit quaint affair by present standards,” reminisces Samir Banerjee in Notes from Gandhigram.

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Mumbai, the city to eat in India

Book Mark
Eat My Globe
Simon Majumdar
( http://www.johnmurray.co.uk/)

Unstoppable Mumbai

Mumbai crackles with a raw energy that seeps out of every open sewer and explodes with every ‘parping’ horn from the black and yellow taxis that churn out enough pollution to make your eyes weep the moment you set foot out into the decaying streets, describes Simon Majumdar in Eat My Globe.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Invest in ‘six Bs’

Say Cheek
HR Transformation
Dave Ulrich, Justin Allen, Wayne Brockbank, Jon Younger, and Mark Nyman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Talent = Competence x Commitment x Contribution

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it, says William Bernbach. Likewise, when it comes to organisational performance, success is a matter of talent, say the authors of a new book on human resources, HR Transformation.

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Authenticity is not old-fashioned

Say Cheek
The Professional
Subroto Bagchi
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Understanding the idea of professionalism

Posters, wallpapers, and first-day assimilation at work during which the HR (human resource) department dins in the corporate rah-rah, all these do not work any more, says Subroto Bagchi in The Professional.

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Decentralisation of HRM

Manage Mentor
Essentials of Operations Management
Scott T. Young
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Managing underground

An operations manager who is skilled in statistical and quantitative analysis but incompetent when it comes to people is not going to get anywhere, observes Scott T. Young in Essentials of Operations Management.

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Decision-making

Manage Mentor
Just Ask Leadership
Gary B. Cohen
( http://www.mhprofessional.com/)

Are you taking too many decisions?

As a leader you may be busy taking a lot of decisions, which in a way keeps you and those around you feeling your power. But wait. Are you taking too many decisions, without asking in the first place, ‘Whose decision is it?’ asks Gary B. Cohen in Just Ask Leadership?

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Taxation

Books of Account
Making India Work
William Nanda Bissell
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/ )

Taxes, bad and good

A new system of taxation that encourages economic growth and meritocracy, even while redistributing wealth and doubling the Government’s revenue. That’s what William Nanda Bissell of Fabindia proposes in Making India Work. “I propose a system where ‘unearned profits,’ such as from inheritance and property, are taxed, and wages and productive activities are not,” he writes, in a chapter titled ‘Ending poverty.’



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Insurance claim

Books of Account
Motor Third Party Claims Management
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/)

In the realm of hypothesis

To arrive at the damages in an insurance claim, it may be necessary to ascertain the net income of the deceased available for the dependants, and then capitalise the same by “multiplying it by a figure representing the proper number of years’ purchase.” Much of the calculation necessarily remains in the realm of hypothesis, a region in which arithmetic is a good servant but a bad master, notes the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in Motor Third Party Claims Management.

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'Combo' investments

Books of Account
Chasing the Dragon
Mohan Guruswamy and Zorawar Daulet Singh
(http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Financing long-term growth

India can increase the available capital for investment by a combination of two strategies, suggest Mohan Guruswamy and Zorawar Daulet Singh in Chasing the Dragon: Will India catch up with China? “First, increase the level of its domestic savings and channel them efficiently. Second, run a current-account deficit (capital-account surplus) to draw in external savings to finance growth.”

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Specialised technology

Books 2 Byte
We’re Getting Wired, We’re Going Mobile, What’s Next?’
Bard Williams
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Assistive technology

There is no better illustration of how technology can make a difference in education than when it’s used effectively by someone with special needs, says Bard Williams in ‘We’re Getting Wired, We’re Going Mobile, What’s Next?’

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Network traffic control

Books 2 Byte
Alcatel-Lucent Scalable IP Networks Self-Study Guide
Kent Hundley
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Filter policy

One of the most important value-added services that can be provided by a router is the ability to filter IP packets based on a security policy, writes Kent Hundley in ‘Alcatel-Lucent Scalable IP Networks Self-Study Guide’. “Filter policies, also referred to as access control lists, are templates that are applied to services or network ports to control network traffic into (ingress) or out of (egress) a router interface.”

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The driving force

Books 2 Byte
All-in-one CBAP Certified Business Analysis Professional Exam guide
Joseph Phillips
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Identify stakeholders

Stakeholders are the most important element of business analysis and project management, because they are the driving force behind the requirements gatherings and project management business, says Joseph Phillips in ‘All-in-one CBAP Certified Business Analysis Professional Exam Guide’.

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One constant through time

Books 2 Byte
Viral Loop
Adam L. Penenberg
( http://www.hodder.co.uk/)

The buzzword is ‘engagement’

One constant through time is that conventional wisdom is often wrong, especially in the early days of technological transformation, says Adam L. Penenberg in ‘Viral Loop’. He cites many examples to support his assertion. “In 1876, the president of Western Union brushed off Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone as little more than an ‘electric toy’… Oxford University professor Erasmus Wilson predicted that when the 1878 Paris Exhibition closed, the electric light would ‘close with it and no more will be heard of it.’

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Don't push your creditors too far

BookValue
The Small Entrepreneur
B. Yerram Raju and Ram R. Pujari
(Excel Books)

Leaning on the trade

Don't push your creditors too far, advise B. Yerram Raju and Ram R. Pujari in The Small Entrepreneur: Starting & growing (Excel Books). `Leaning on the trade,' that is, helping yourself to longer credit period than suppliers have offered, is a useful way of overcoming cash flow problems, but there are costs attached to such a practice, the authors caution.

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A country’s personality

BookValue
Riches among the Ruins
Robert P. Smith
( http://www.amacombooks.org/ )

When a country falls apart

How does a financier or an economist understand these phrases, when applied to a country: ‘third world,’ ‘developing nation,’ or ‘emerging market’? In financial terms, of course, answers Robert P. Smith in Riches among the Ruins: Adventures in the dark corners of the global economy.

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The ‘seedy woe’

BookValue
And Then the Roof Caved In
David Faber
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Mezzanine CDO, a piece of financial alchemy

You may well call the collateralised debt obligation (CDO) the ‘seedy woe,’ for all the wreck it has caused. And it could shock you to learn that this artificial asset returned from its near-death state, as David Faber discusses in And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street’s Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to its Knees.

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A feedback loop

Book Mark
Social Media Marketing
Dave Evans
( http://www.sybex.com/)

The social media party

Your customers are already talking about you, and the fact that you aren’t participating is your implicit endorsement of whatever it is that they are saying, reminds Dave Evans in Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. “Your customers, using the Social Web, can talk with each other about you and about your products, services, and brand.

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About anchoring

Book Mark
More Salt Than Pepper
Karan Thapar
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Abominable anchor

When Karan Thapar appears on TV, is it natural or is he acting? A frequently-asked question, not so much a compliment as ‘a simple but sure kick in the pants,’ concedes Thapar in a ten-year-old essay included in More Salt Than Pepper. However, before answering the poser, he explores the two reasons behind the curiosity. “The first is to suggest that anchors are frau ds; the second implies that fraudulence is what anchoring is essentially about.”

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Outliers' views

Book Mark
The Case of the Bonsai Manager
R. Gopalakrishnan
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Outlier wisdom

Among the many anecdotes that R. Gopalakrishnan narrates in the new and revised edition of The Case of the Bonsai Manager is this one about OMO, a heavy-duty detergent powder brand launched in the mid-1970s.

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'Worthy' pricing

Book Mark
From Acorns
Caspian Woods
( http://www.pearsoned.co.uk/)

Be not cheap as chips

Price your product or service right, not cheap, says Caspian Woods in From Acorns: How to Build a Brilliant Business, second edition. Setting the right price can be a tricky business because price is tied up with the whole notion of ‘worth’ and is a very emotional issue, he explains.

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'Ask, Believe, Receive'

Book Mark
Counter-Knowledge
Damian Thompson
( http://www.atlantic-books.co.uk/)

`Hit-and-run' secret

Some of the brightest and most dynamic people in Western society make a living from counter-knowledge, cautions Damian Thompson in Counter-Knowledge. “It takes a talented entrepreneur to make a profit from false information, to package it so skilfully that questions about truthfulness and accuracy either never arise or are successfully brushed aside.” They are not just salesmen, they are what Malcolm Gladwell calls ‘connectors,’ with friends and business contacts across a wide range of subcultures and niches, the author adds.

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The myth of meritocracy

Book Mark
Life Inc.
Douglas Rushkoff
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Mass marketing de-socialised consumption

While mass production de-socialised the worker, mass marketing de-socialised consumption, writes Douglas Rushkoff in Life Inc. Brands had to alienate people from one another in order to replace the human bonds that once characterised commerce with artificial corporate ones, and national brand relationships replaced local social relationships, he rues.

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