Friday, November 27, 2009

Make sense of the signs

Manage Mentor
Changeability
Michael Jarrett
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Blinkered leaders can be ignorant

As a leader, scanning the environment is necessary but insufficient; you should be able to make sense of the signs, says Michael Jarrett in Changeability: Why some companies are ready for change – and others aren’t.

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XBRL, an electronic language

Books 2 Byte
XBRL – A primer
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
(http://www.icai.org/)

‘Barcode' for business reporting

The movement towards XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) as a standard global framework to support effective production, consumption, and exchange of financial and business information is gaining acceptance throughout the world, says the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in XBRL – A primer.

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‘Don't become a slave to your e-mail'

Books 2 Byte
10 Clowns Don't Make a Circus
Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Your inbox is not your to-do list

If technology is the hare, then employees are the tortoise, reads one of the rules in 10 Clowns Don't Make a Circus, by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman. “Regardless of any new technology that you might be considering, keep in mind that the most important part of a successful business is a persuaded and prepared employee,” the authors add.

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For the success of a project

Books 2 Byte

A Manager's Guide to Data Warehousing

Laura L. Reeves

(www.wileyindia.com)

Success factors — more to do with people than technology

Two primary factors for the success of data warehouse are a strong partnership between the business and systems communities, and ensuring that the project is driven by true business requirements, says Laura L. Reeves in A Manager's Guide to Data Warehousing.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Uncertainty vs risk

BookValue
Quantitative Finance
T. W. Epps
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

Understanding risk

What is common between choosing a portfolio of assets, and deciding whether to buy a lottery ticket? Or, between waiting for an oncoming car before making a turn, and studying an extra hour for a particular exam? All these are instances of decisions under uncertainty, where one must choose among actions whose consequences are to some extent unpredictable, says T. W. Epps in Quantitative Finance: Its development, mathematical foundations, and current scope.

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The charity

BookValue

The Life You Can Save

Peter Singer

( www.landmarkonthenet.com)

Do good, intelligently

How can you tell which charities function effectively? Exploring this question is a whole chapter in The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer. Dropping a coin into the alms bowl of a beggar, or tucking cash into boxes-for-causes can be easy; but the exercise of generosity can be difficult for those who want to make well-informed choices about the charities they wish to contribute to.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The `Mumbai model'

Book Mark
Culture, Society and Development in India
Manoj Kumar Sanyal and Arunabha Ghosh
(http://www.orientblackswan.com/)

Investor-star

Stars play the most significant role in the making and success of a film, in the Mumbai movie word, writes Parthasarathi Banerjee in `Film-making in Mumbai: Institutional solution to entrepreneurship in creativity,' an essay included in Culture, Society and Development in India,' edited by Manoj Kumar Sanyal and Arunabha Ghosh.

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Dharavi, disorganised but thriving

Book Mark
India Yatra
Neelesh Misra and Zara Murao
(http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

The slum in the supply chain

Dharavi has its own local economy, disorganised but thriving, observes Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit in one of the essays included in India Yatra, edited by Neelesh Misra and Zara Murao. Walking through `the narrow, sunshine-deprived bylanes,' the author sees "tannery workers washing animal skins.

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To fit into the competitive environment

Book Mark
Discovering New Business Opportunities
John English and Babette Moate
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Four ways to enter the market

In the final chapter of Discovering New Business Opportunities, John English and Babette Moate offer guidance to start-ups on developing a strategy that determines the way in which the business will fit into the competitive environment. Every component of your business strategy should be driven by what your customers want, the authors instruct.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The 'Satyam' Saga

Books 2 Byte
The Double Life of Ramalinga Raju
Kingshuk Nag
(http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

When the spin went out of hand

At the start of his career, Raju was a confused young man, as is the norm, writes Kingshuk Nag in The Double Life of Ramalinga Raju: The story of India's biggest corporate fraud.

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'Keep the sponsor in the loop'

Books 2 Byte
Project Manager Street Smarts
Linda Kretz Zaval and Terri Wagner
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Three types of communication with project sponsor

The success or failure of a project is directly proportional to the amount of time spent communicating to your sponsor and team as well as the quality of those communications, observe Linda Kretz Zaval and Terri Wagner in Project Manager Street Smarts: A real world guide to PMP skills.

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E-waste, 'a karmic nightmare'

Books 2 Byte
What would the Buddha Recycle?
Rosemary Roberts
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Much of technological donation is e-waste

Electronic waste is `a karmic nightmare,' says Rosemary Roberts in What would the Buddha Recycle? Ewaste includes cell-phones, computers, televisions, VCRs, copiers, and fax machines - anything with a battery or a plug. While some of this equipment can be recycled or donated to a charity, much of it is obsolete or broken," she explains.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Benchmarking the performance of investment

BookValue
Portfolio Performance Measurement and Benchmarking
Jon A. Christopherson, David R. Cariño, and Wayne E. Ferson.
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Four principles of useful indexes

All lovers, says the Bard in Troilus and Cressida, swear more performance than they are able and yet reserve an ability that they never perform, vowing more than the perfection of 10 and discharging less than the tenth part of one. “They that have the voice of lions and the act of hares, are they not monsters?”...

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The four aspects of everyday life

Book Mark
Packaging Life
Pramod K. Nayar
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Life, in four editions

Pramod K. Nayar takes up four aspects of everyday life and unwraps them for us in Packaging Life. He lays out life in four editions – low-calorie, deluxe, bubble-wrapped, and high-speed – to correspond, respectively, to our cultures of health, comfort, risk and mobility.

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'Gods getting remade'

Book Mark
The God Market
Meera Nanda
( http://www.randomhouse.co.in/)

New ‘rush hour of the gods’

Contrary to classical theories of secularisation, there is no automatic decline of religiosity with scientific and economic development, says Meera Nanda in The God Market.

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'Love what you do'

Book Mark
Your Portable Empire
Pat O’ Bryan
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Happiness is the key to success

If you want to know ‘how to make money anywhere while doing what you love,’ Pat O’ Bryan has the answers in Your Portable Empire. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful,” reads a quote of Albert Schweitzer.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

'Importance of emotions cannot be discounted when studying international affairs'

Say Cheek

The Geopolitics of Emotion

Dominique Moïsi

(www.landmarkonthenet.com)

Can confidence be measured at a national level?

Humiliation in Ifrane, hope in Mumbai, fear in London. With these three vignettes opens The Geopolitics of Emotion by Dominique Moïsi. The first is about the author’s interaction in 2000 with students in the University of Al Akhawayn, a school of management set up jointly by the kings of Morocco and Saudi Arabia in the Atlas mountain city of Ifrane, 60 km west of Fez. Young women were walking hand in hand, when they were not casually lying next to each other on the immaculate grass, whose shining green stood out from the arid surroundings of the campus, he finds, but what struck him was their lack of self-confidence.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Take action 'now'

Manage Mentor
9 Secrets, the Ultimate Success Strategies
Dipankar Biswas
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

`Thought x Knowledge x Action = Attitude'

Your attitude matters much more than your skills, says Dipankar Biswas in 9 Secrets, the Ultimate Success Strategies. It is attitude that shapes your style of connecting with others, your way of communicating, and your respect for others, Biswas adds.

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Urban infrastructure projects

Books of Account
Urban Renewal
M. Ramachandran
(http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Cities need innovative financing

Massive investments are needed for improving the infrastructure facilities at the level of urban local bodies (ULBs); and the funds may have to come from the capital markets, public savings and foreign sources. But a key hurdle is in the form of restrictions placed by many Municipal Acts on the ULBs to borrow funds and access debt capital, says M. Ramachandran in Urban Renewal: Policy and response, edited by Sameer Kochhar.

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Grouping related variables

Books 2 Byte
SCJA: Sun Certified Java Associate Study Guide
Robert J. Liguori and Edward G. Finegan
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Well-encapsulated class

The fundamental theory of an object-oriented language is that software is designed by creating discrete objects that interact to make up the functionality of the application, write Robert J. Liguori and Edward G. Finegan in SCJA: Sun Certified Java Associate Study Guide.

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Cultural awareness

Books 2 Byte
PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Review Guide
Kim Heldman and Vanina Mangano
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Avoid culture shock

As project teams and organisations become increasingly more diverse, the need for a heightened awareness of cultural influences and customary practices becomes critical, write Kim Heldman and Vanina Mangano in PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Review Guide.

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Harassment via net

Books 2 Byte
Hate Crime
Neil Chakraborti and Jon Garland
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Cyberbullying

While much of the traditional discussion regarding `hate' and victim-perpetrator relationships is about situations where the two parties occupy the same geographical space, the recent phenomenon of `cyberbullying,' which occurs remotely, is becoming a significant form of bias-related harassment, especially for young people, say Neil Chakraborti and Jon Garland in Hate Crime: Impact, Causes and Responses.

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Space weapons

Books 2 Byte
Space Security
IDSA-Indian Pugwash Society Working Group
(http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Space technologies in defence

Outer space is internationally accepted as the common heritage of mankind, but it is increasingly getting used for military purposes, cautions a recent report of the IDSA-Indian Pugwash Society Working Group titled Space Security: Need for a proactive approach.

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The sloshing money

BookValue
Market Indicators
Richard Sipley
( http://www.bloomberg.com/ )

Money moves in waves

Money doesn’t flow, it sloshes, says Richard Sipley in Market Indicators: The Best-Kept Secret to More Effective Trading and Investing. Like water in an overfull bathtub, money moves in waves, as investors process information and balance the competing desires to grow wealth and protect capital, he adds.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'Look for fair trade'

Book Mark
50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming
Green Patriot Working Group
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Celebrate with ‘green’ balloons

Do you drive to the store, or have your groceries delivered? If your answer is the latter, you have reason to cheer, for implementing one of the eco-friendly measures outlined in 50 Simple Steps to Save the Earth from Global Warming compiled by the Green Patriot Working Group.

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Shoplifter

Book Mark
The Ethical Executive
Robert Hoyk and Paul Hersey
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Traps at work

One of the examples in The Ethical Executive by Robert Hoyk and Paul Hersey describes an experiment by Donna Gelfand at the University of Utah, which had, as its subjects, about 300 men and women, who were adult shoppers in two drugstores.

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Economic displacement

Book Mark
The Other India
Rajesh Chakrabarti
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Negative economics

It is the poor farmers and small farmers who are destroyed by the globalisation of a negative economy, rues Vandana Shiva in one of the essays included in The Other India: Realities of an emerging power. Negative economics push people out of production, she observes.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

‘Don’t be a customer fanatic’

Say Cheek
The Moneymakers
Anne-Marie Fink
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Eleven rules for leaders

Do you want to find out if the company executives are moneymakers or value destroyers? Anne-Marie Fink’s ‘The Moneymakers’ offers ready tips in the form of a framework with eleven rules. True moneymakers, for starters, are that rare breed of leaders who perform consistently, as Fink describes. “A leader who is a moneymaker is very profitable all around – for shareholders as well as the company and its employees.”

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The reincarnation of DFIs

Books of Account
Dynamics of Indian Banking
Manoranjan Sharma
( http://www.atlanticbooks.com/ )

Universal appeal

Has the reincarnation of DFIs (development financial institutions) into universal banks affected the resource requirement of industry and services? No, argues an essay by A. Karunagaran included in Dynamics of Indian Banking: Views and vistas, edited by Manoranjan Sharma.

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Poverty involves any form of inequity

Books of Account
Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty
Louis-Marie Asselin
( http://www.idrc.ca/ )

Beyond poverty lines

Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you, advises a helpful quote of Andy Warhol addressed to those worried about news stories. “Just measure it in inches,” he adds. By that handy measure, ‘poverty’ as a theme has been richly written about. But, do we measure poverty right when drawing a monetary line and then counting all those below it, as accountants are wont to do? Alas, income is just one of the m any dimensions of poverty, says Louis-Marie Asselin in Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty: Theory and case studies.

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The new surveillance era

Books 2 Byte
Virtual Shadows
Karen Lawrence Öqvist
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

See yourself as part of a conversation

Public resistance to the growing use of surveillance is marginal due to the overriding motivation for a safe society and a growing desire for an easy life, says Karen Lawrence Öqvist in Virtual Shadows: Your privacy in the information society.

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IT, a critical contributor to success

Books 2 Byte
The New Data Imperative
Raj Nathan, Irfan Khan and Sinan Baskan
( http://www.eastonsp.com/)

Transforming data into insight, profitable decisions

As principles-based enforcement takes hold, senior management in capital market firms will have to develop the capability to demonstrate accountability over the outcomes and build auditable workflows, advises a new book authored by Sybase experts ( http://www.sybase.com/). This will mean improving cooperation across business, technology, operations, risk management and CFO functions, write Raj Nathan, Irfan Khan and Sinan Baskan in The New Data Imperative: Managing real-time risk in capital markets.

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Online publishing

Books 2 Byte
How to Publish Your PhD
Sarah Caro
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Academic publishing

Online publishing of books, unlike journals, is still in its infancy and there remain prejudices about the quality of online material and a reluctance to read large amounts of text online, opines Sarah Caro in How to Publish Your PhD.

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Failures, a practice shots

Books 2 Byte
Autodesk Inventor 2010
Thom Tremblay
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Assemblies of parts

An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in, says Charles Kettering. For, “an inventor treats his failures simply as practice shots.” Perhaps, with all the right tools in place, the ‘Inventor’ software reverses the proportion; so much so, you may find it ‘a breeze to work with,’ with only ‘a handful ways to make it difficult,’ as Thom Tremblay assures in Autodesk Inventor 2010: No experience required.

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Free software legal concepts

Books 2 Byte
Implementing the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda
Jeremy de Beer
( http://www.idrc.ca/)

Law, technology, and society

If you are looking for an example of a grassroots national movement, check the discussion on the Centre for Technology and Society (CTS) in Implementing the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda, edited by Jeremy de Beer.

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Computer languages

Books 2 Byte
Programming: A beginner’s guide
Richard Mansfield
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Computers are language-neutral…

If you are a talented computer programmer, there is nothing to stop you from learning several computer languages and becoming ‘multilingual,’ encourages Richard Mansfield in Programming: A beginner’s guide. “Some people excel at this, just as some find it easy to learn multiple human languages.

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BookValue

Option Trading

Sasidharan K. and Alex K. Mathews

(www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Volatility smile

Quant, as a topic to study, may not bring a smile to the numerically-challenged among most us, who may, in all probability, wince at hearing that an active area of research in quantitative finance is the modelling of the volatility smile. "Typically, a quantitative analyst will calculate the implied volatility from liquid vanilla options and use models of the smile to calculate the price of more exotic options," write Sasidharan K. and Alex K. Mathews in Option Trading: Bear Market Strategies.

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SHG-friendly banks

BookValue
Multiple Meanings of Money
Smita Premchander
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Reaching microfinance to the poor

Poor women do not see finance in isolation, but as one of the resources they use in order to improve their livelihoods, writes Smita Premchander in Multiple Meanings of Money: How Women see Microfinance. "Women may not regard economic development (or availing microfinance) as a goal, but see it as a limited means of improving their immediate livelihoods."

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Policy issues

BookValue
Monetary, Investment, and Trade Issues in India
Ramkishen S. Rajan
( http://www.oup.com/ )

Monetary and real aspects of economy

How flexible is the rupee? What is driving OFDI (outward foreign direct investment) by Indian corporates? Are there alternative uses for India’s international reserves? Should India adopt an inflation targeting framework? How have the export structures of India and China evolved? What is the impact of exchange rate movements on inflation in India? For detailed answers to these and more questions, dip into Monetary, Investment, and Trade Issues in India by Ramkishen S. Rajan.

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