Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hire energetic and creative people

Manage Mentor
Empowered
Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler
(Harvard)

HERO-power your enterprises

Who is a HERO? Not Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman, or Hrithik, but a ‘highly empowered and resourceful operative,' as Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler explain the acronym in Empowered (Harvard). They observe that to succeed with empowered customers, you must empower your employees to solve customer problems.

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Four structural barriers to effective profitability management

Books of Account
Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink
Jonathan L. S. Byrnes
( http://www.penguin.com/)

Redefine CFO as Chief Profitability Officer

Embedded unprofitability is a huge issue in every company, rues Jonathan L. S. Byrnes in Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink. The three resulting problems, as he lists, are that the reported profits are much lower, often half of what they could be; the best customers generally receive only average service, which raises a critical risk of competitors picking off the profitable piece of the business by offering better service; and the company loses the opportunity to shift resources to the highest payoff activities.

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Talent leaders of Infosys

Books 2 Byte
Leadership @ Infosys
Matt Barney
(Penguin)

Learnings from Infy's leaders

Most leaders spend a great amount of time and effort in evaluating investments in physical assets, but the very best know that leaders' careers are made or broken based on the team they select, writes Ashok Kacker in one of the essays included in Leadership @ Infosys, edited by Matt Barney (Penguin).

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Technical analysis, a black sheep in modern economics

BookValue
The Evolution of Technical Analysis
Andrew W. Lo and Jasmina Hasanhodzic
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Ancient roots of technical analysis

After languishing for long in the murky waters of part art and part science, technical analysis is finally starting to develop a more rigorous foundation, write Andrew W. Lo and Jasmina Hasanhodzic in The Evolution of Technical Analysis: Financial prediction from Babylonian tablets to Bloomberg terminals.

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Building a brand

Book Mark
Strategic Brand Management for B2B Markets
Sharad Sarin
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

From ‘me too' to distinct identity

For decades, the idea of B2B brands was dormant, but post-1990, two developments seem to have triggered interest in the idea, says Sharad Sarin in Strategic Brand Management for B2B Markets. One is the widely shared story of ‘Intel Inside' since early 1990; and the other is that out of the world's top 10 brands, five (including GE, Intel and IBM) are essentially B2B brands, he adds.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Different approaches to cost effectiveness analysis

Books of Account
Policy and Practice in Asian Distance Education
Tian Belawati and Jon Baggaley
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Policy options in cost-effective education

Procedures for measuring educational effectiveness are not as well defined as those for calculating the general costs of running educational institutions, notes one of the essays included in Policy and Practice in Asian Distance Education, edited by Tian Belawati and Jon Baggaley.


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Discrepancies found in Tata Steel in 2005

Books of Account
Daily Management the TQM Way
Yukihiro Ando and Pankaj Kumar
( www.pqp.in)

Implementing commonsense

An educative section in Daily Management the TQM Way: A key to success in Tata Steel by Yukihiro Ando and Pankaj Kumar is about the discrepancies found in Tata Steel in 2005. “The roles and objectives of all the departments/sections were not clearly established and understood, and therefore the identification of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) was not systematically arrived at on a scientific basis,” reads the first point in the list.

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Innovation leaders need to be creative but not crazy

Books 2 Byte
Innovation
Tim Coffey, Dave Siegel and Mark Smith
(http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Four attributes of Chief Innovation Officer

One of the biggest innovation myths out there is that the iPod was a new product, write Tim Coffey, Dave Siegel and Mark Smith in Innovation: Myths and mythstakes. They explain that every single piece of the iPod product already existed and in fact was sourced elsewhere by Apple.

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Investing is a probabilities game

BookValue
Debunkery
Ken Fisher
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Shattering harmful market untruths

Expect average returns. One big bear and you are done. GDP makes stocks grow. Low P/Es mean low risk. Oil and stocks seesaw. High unemployment is a killer. Stop-losses stop losses. These are some of the ‘widespread and frequently harmful market untruths, and misconceptions most investors fall prey to,' discussed by Ken Fisher in Debunkery. A huge part of successful investing is just avoiding common errors most folks make repeatedly, rues Fisher

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Tips to sell a product

Book Mark
Learnings of an Advertising Practitioner
A. G. Krishnamurthy
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Nuggets of experience for ad wisdom

Half-baked knowledge and radical solutions to ordinary product or marketing problems have characterised the advertising industry for decades, rues A. G. Krishnamurthy in Learnings of an Advertising Practitioner.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The story of the twentieth century

Books of Account
The Rational Optimist
Matt Ridley
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Increasing returns from innovation exchange

What makes possible the phenomenon of a perpetual innovation machine driving the modern economy? The innovation machine owes its existence not mainly to science (which is its beneficiary more than its benefactor); nor to money (which is not always a limiting factor); nor to patents (which often get in the way); nor to government (which is bad at innovation), argues Matt Ridley in The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves.

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‘Rule of thumb' for marketers

Books 2 Byte
Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google
Aaron Goldman
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Twenty lessons from Big G

The twenty ‘Googley Lessons' to future-proof your marketing, as Aaron Goldman sums up in Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google are: Respect relevancy, covet crowds, stay simple, match mindsets, anchor audiences, infrequently interrupt, covet content, try testing, tackle tracking, deify data, behold brands, utilise USPs, comprehend competition, question queries, stay sexy, associate altruism, activate assets, snatch shelf space, spin stories, and scale SEM.


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Influencing the world

BookValue
Actually There's No Problem
Swami B. S. Tirtha Maharaj
(http://www.dpb.in/)

True empowerment

Before we support India's empowerment we need to know what true empowerment is, says Swami B. S. Tirtha Maharaj in `Actually There's No Problem'. "True empowerment is not about having the rights and privileges other nations or societies do not have. It is not about taking the prerogative to police the world and attack any nation that refuses to toe the line. And empowerment certainly does not mean arming yourself with weapons of mass destruction," he elaborates.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Resilience in the crisis

BookValue
Surviving the Storm
Dhiraj Nayyar
(Penguin)

Weak transmission mechanism

Post-Lehman, we seem to be smug about our `rudimentary and unsophisticated financial system where regulation is very tight, securitisation and other complex derivatives are largely disallowed, and banks behave conservatively,' observes Dhiraj Nayyar in one of the essays included in `Surviving the Storm' (Penguin).

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Pulling out of a crisis

BookValue
Business in Crisis
C. Vasanta Madhavi
( http://www.taxmann.com/)

Symptoms of a crisis

The problem with a crisis is that it does not come with a name tag round its neck. But you may be able to sense it from the many giveaway symptoms, as listed by C. Vasanta Madhavi in ‘ Business in Crisis'. For instance, sales go down, demand declines, prices go up, costs rise, unemployment increases, stock market becomes bearish, inflation seems to fall though not leading to a price fall, companies start reporting losses, production plummets, sectors begin negating the predicted trends, currency depreciates, cross-border trade tumbles and investments take a plunge.


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Scenarios before the manager

BookValue
Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today
Meena Surie Wilson
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Thorny issues in turnaround

For a manager who is given a turnaround task, the goal is to improve productivity and profitability, writes Meena Surie Wilson in ‘ Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today'. “The growth of the business unit may have stalled, with the company incurring enormous losses due to market contraction.

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Acquisitions in emerging markets

BookValue
Financial Services in India
Rajesh Kothari
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Deals can create positive value

Acquisitions in emerging markets actually create positive value, on average, for both acquirer and acquired companies, writes Rajesh Kothari in ‘ Financial Services in India: Concept and application', citing a study by Prashant Kale (2004).


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Characteristics of the brands-to-come

Book Mark
Different
Youngme Moon
(http://www.crownpublishing.com/)

Three features of tomorrow's brands

How will tomorrow's brands be? Taking up this forward-looking poser, Youngme Moon speculates that the first characteristic future brands will share is that they will offer something that is hard to come by. In an age in which consumers can choose among a proliferation of products and services that exceeds anything they could ever want or need, what is there left that is scarce, she wonders in ‘ Different: Escaping the competitive herd'.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The ‘seven functions'

Manage Mentor
Strategic Leadership
John Adair
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Purpose is energy plus direction

Of the ‘seven functions' that John Adair lists in Strategic Leadership, ‘giving direction' is the foremost. The other six are: strategic thinking and planning, making it happen, relating the parts to the whole, building partnerships, releasing the corporate spirit, and developing today's and tomorrow's leaders.

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Encourage e-learning

Books 2 Byte
Distance Education Technologies in Asia
Jon Baggaley and Tian Belawati
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

e-learning in China

China is a vast country with uneven regional development, and this is reflected in the quantity and quality of education, informs an essay on ‘E-learning in Chinese schools and universities,' included in Distance Education Technologies in Asia, edited by Jon Baggaley and Tian Belawati.

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Making good decisions

BookValue
Decide & Deliver
Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins, and Paul Rogers
( Harvard)

Four components of decision effectiveness

While it is common knowledge that results depend upon decisions, it may shock you to know from Decide & Deliver ( Harvard) that very few companies look systematically at what gets in the way of good decision-making and execution. Most organisations have never assessed their decision capabilities, fret the authors, Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins, and Paul Rogers.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Nature product research

Books of Account
Protection of Himalayan Biodiversity
Ananda Mohan Bhattarai
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Equitable sharing of biodiversity benefits

Two instructive examples of ‘benefit sharing' cited in Protection of Himalayan Biodiversity: International environmental law and a regional legal framework by Ananda Mohan Bhattarai are about Costa Rica and Cameroon.

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A depleted natural world

Books of Account
The Plundered Planet
Paul Collier
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Earth's balance sheet

The non-renewable natural assets in the territories of the bottom billion are seldom harnessed for the development of their societies, rues Paul Collier in The Plundered Planet. As a result, future generations may inherit a depleted natural world withlittle to show for it, he adds.

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Work-arounds from the field'

Books 2 Byte
Hacking Work
Bill Jensen and Josh Klein
(http://www.penguin.com/)

Bypassing sacred structures for greater good

How to save business from itself and you from business? Find the answers in Hacking Work: Breaking stupid rules for smart results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein. But employers, be warned, especially the ones in the traditional mould of command and control, because the book can disturb your sleep.

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Thrive under pressure

BookValue
Clutch
Paul Sullivan
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Succeeding when the going gets tough

Being great under pressure is hard work, and this is part of the reason why we are so impressed by people who seem immune to choking, writes Paul Sullivan in Clutch: Why some people excel under pressure and others don't.

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Creative organisations

Book Mark
Managing Media Work
Mark Deuze
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Beating heart of creativity in media

All media organisations have reservoirs of unused creativity, observes Lucy Küng in one of the essays included in Managing Media Work, edited by Mark Deuze.

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Branding an experience

Book Mark
Experiential Marketing (EM)
Subhashini Kaul
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

The `experience' edge

Experiences, by their very nature, are too complex to be enumerated as comprising any `list' of elements; and the attractiveness of `experiential marketing' is precisely because experiences embody the whole set of direct and indirect interactions between a brand and a consumer, writes Subhashini Kaul in Experiential Marketing (EM): Myths and realities.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Very deep insight'

Manage Mentor
Business Leadership in China
Frank T. Gallo
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Understanding Chinese leadership traits

One leadership trait that is rarely heard of in the West but often mentioned in China is wu, meaning ‘very deep insight,' writes Frank T. Gallo in the revised edition of Business Leadership in China.


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Destination India

Books of Account
The Deal Maker
Rakesh Wadhwa
( http://www.rupapublications.com/)

Betting on govt performance

Chapter nineteen of The Deal Maker by Rakesh Wadhwa takes you to November 2013, to the boardroom of Asset Finance International, in London.

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Inspiration from ants

Books 2 Byte
Smart Swarm
Peter Miller
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

What creature crowds can teach us

Working together in smart groups, we can lessen the impact of uncertainty, complexity, and change, whether our groups are small ones like problem-solving teams in companies or huge ones such as the multitudes who maintain Wikipedia, writes Peter Miller in Smart Swarm.

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Motivating the sales force

Book Mark
Selling Big to China
Morry Morgan
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Sales force management in China

An important section in Morry Morgan's Selling Big to China is on motivating the sales force, where the author begins by ruing that self-motivated Chinese staff are hard to come by. The irony is that China — with 1.3 billion citizens — has a management shortage, he adds. With the benefit of working in China, Morgan identifies three factors behind the shortage of leaders — lack of life experience, poor foresight, and poor teamwork.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Watch the financial bears

Books of Account
Anatomy of the Bear
Russell Napier
( http://www.visionbooksindia.com/)

Field guide for the bear trail

Consumers do not object to lower prices and neither should investors if they are buying rather than selling, writes Russell Napier in Anatomy of the Bear. Avoiding bears preserves wealth, but buying cheap in a bear market, given the positive real long-term returns from equities, is even more profitable, he adds.

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'The real collapse is still to come'

BookValue
The Little Book of Bull Moves
Peter D. Schiff
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Market moves

In a free market system, recessions, however painful serve the salutary purpose of wringing out the excess of the preceding boom and restoring fundamental economic balance, writes Peter D. Schiff in the ‘updated and expanded' edition of The Little Book of Bull Moves.

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Value-based investment approach

BookValue
How to Choose Winning Stocks
G. B. R. K. Prasad
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Betting on winners

If you feel that ‘MCAP/Sales' has grown faster for a company than the market as a whole or in the aggregate, then you should book profits, advises G. B. R. K. Prasad in How to Choose Winning Stocks: Rewriting formulas for investment.

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Hospitality-specific managerial education

Book Mark
Strategic Hospitality Leadership
Russell Arthur Smith and Judy Siguaw
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Make room for the boom

In the Asia-Pacific, economy or budget hotels are seeing a boom, writes Michael Issenberg in one of the essays included in Strategic Hospitality Leadership: The Asian initiative (www.wiley.com). Among the factors contributing to the rise are: the enthusiasm of a large proportion of the region's population for travel coupled with a limited disposable income for this interest, and the development of low-cost airlines.

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Employee empowerment

Book Mark
The Power of Co-Creation
Venkat Ramaswamy and Francis Gouillart
(Free Press)

Innovations through employee engagement

As enterprises embrace the concept of engaging their employees through co-creative organisational processes, they begin to see the positive effects of reduced dependence on top-down processes, write Venkat Ramaswamy and Francis Gouillart in The Power of Co-Creation (Free Press). They find HCL to be an example of such a transformation, built around the ‘employees first, customers second' (EFCS) model.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Recovering from a crisis

Manage Mentor
Turnaround Leadership
Shaun O'Callaghan
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Balancing the business ‘wobble boards'

Make the right promises, gather multiple new viewpoints, develop core business skills, deliver results through relationships, and rebuild trust with authentic communication. These are the five imperatives when recovering from a crisis, says Shaun O'Callaghan in Turnaround Leadership.

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Flying facts

Books of Account
Flying High in a Competitive Industry
Loizos Heracleous, Jochen Wirtz, and Nitin Pangarkar
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

How not to bleed when flying

What makes Singapore Airlines (SIA) profitable in an otherwise dismal industry? This is the question that Loizos Heracleous, Jochen Wirtz, and Nitin Pangarkar explore in Flying High in a Competitive Industry, revised edition.

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Anonymity on the Net

Books 2 Byte
Terrorism and Homeland Security
Gus Martin
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Surveillance technologies that keep up the chase

Computer technology is now used extensively by many terrorist groups and extremist movements, observes Gus Martin in Terrorism and Homeland Security. It is not uncommon for Web sites to be visually attractive, user friendly, and interactive, he notes.


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The ‘digital you'

Books 2 Byte
E-Habits
Elizabeth Charnock
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Take care of the ‘you'…

The ‘digital you' is much more than the sum of breadcrumbs you leave behind in your travels through cyberspace; it is a complex mosaic of habit, subconscious acts of both omission and commission, and premeditated presentations, describes Elizabeth Charnock in E-Habits.

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Trading simulators

BookValue
The Wiley Trading Guide
Guy Bower
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Trading tips from racing tracks

Have you ever been in front of the trading screen, knowing you should pull the trigger to either enter or exit, but find a reason not to? That is the situation Guy Bower calls ‘Turn Two at Eastern Creek.' The reference is to the racing track in Sydney, where the first turn is ‘a very fast left-hander,' whereas the second is ‘a slow and tight left hairpin,' ‘the corner you'd talk about with the other guys in the pits between sessions,' as Bower describes in ‘Of motorbikes and trading types,' an essay included in The Wiley Trading Guide.

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Marketing fitness

Book Mark
Instant Recess
Toni Yancey
(http://www.ucpress.edu/)

Towards fitness on a large scale

The time is ripe to create a groundswell of support for making physical activity an essential ingredient of daily life for our own personal and collective good, says Toni Yancey in Instant Recess: Building a fit nation 10 minutes at a time. To improve fitness on a large scale, we require modest changes in physical activity through low-intensity intervention, and then move to the radical restructuring of the physical, social, and cultural environments needed to permanently and consistently support active lifestyles, she suggests.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leaders and managers

Manage Mentor
Leadership Secrets
Michael Heath
(http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Lead but don't forget to manage

Bosses who are chronically impatient may not like to know that ‘being impatient may look dynamic but it rarely has a positive outcome,' writes Michael Heath in Leadership Secrets. In fact, impatience often leads to misunderstanding, rework and repair, adds Heath.

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Economy across the globe

Books of Account
The Little Book of Economics
Greg Ip
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Simple analogies that demystify economics

The famous melancholic monologue of Jaques in act II, scene VII of As You Like It begins with, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” Ominously reminding one of the Bard's lines, the title of a chapter in The Little Book of Economics by Greg Ip is ‘All the world's an ATM.'

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Company culture

Books 2 Byte
Successful Onboarding
Mark A. Stein and Lilith Christiansen
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Pay attention to new hires…

Organisations that feel desperately stuck in the cycle of ‘hiring-attrition-hiring' can move to ‘hire, invest, improve, and grow,' assure Mark A. Stein and Lilith Christiansen in Successful Onboarding. Urging organisations to go beyond ‘traditional orientation' to a programme covering ‘culture, social networks, early career support, and strategic insight,' the authors speak of ‘onboarding margin' as the resultant financial gains.

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Rags to riches to rags

BookValue
Family Legacy and Leadership
Mark Haynes Daniell and Sara S. Hamilton
Tribes that survive the longest ensure their preservation by practising ‘seventh-generation thinking,' informs a thought of James E. Hughes Jr. cited in Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving true family wealth in challenging times by Mark Haynes Daniell and Sara S. Hamilton.

Marketing in the future

Book Mark
Brand New World
Max Lenderman
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Human insights for global hypermarkets

The world is poor, and the meek shall inherit the mall,' is the instructive title of a chapter in Brand New World by Max Lenderman. Emerging markets such as India, and the emergent consumers from rural and non-urban areas stoking the growth in these markets, are blazing new and unique ways in the world of goods and services, the author notes.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Common challenge that managers must face

Manage Mentor
The Secret Laws of Management
Stuart Wyatt
(Hachette)

A ready toolkit for managers

Sample these statements: Work expands to fill the time available. Most people hate being organised. Productivity is a natural trait. All bullies eventually suffer their just rewards. The team does not judge you by your best or worst performances. Energy levels rise and fall with expectation. There is often an unfair time delay between effort and reward… These are some of the ‘40 essential truths for managers' that Stuart Wyatt discusses in The Secret Laws of Management (Hachette).


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Simple, but not simpler

Books of Account
The Invisible Gorilla
Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Steer clear of illusions about financial system

Throughout the history of financial markets, investors have formed theories to explain why some assets go up and others go down in value, and some writers have promoted simple strategies derived from these models, observe Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons in The Invisible Gorilla.

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Dealing with personal change and trauma

Books 2 Byte
Riding the Tiger
Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen
(www.cengage.co.in)

Surviving an organisational implosion

“We are shocked beyond words… This new development has left us in a state of fear. We don't know what the company's fate will be. We might all just lose our jobs and in the current economic situation, we don't even have prospects of a job anywhere else.” Thus was captured a Satyam employee's quote in a regional newspaper, soon after the scandal broke in 2009. That was the first stage of grief, chronicle Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen in Riding the Tiger: Leading through learning in turbulent times, citing the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (2007).

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