Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Commitment, the ability to act deliberately

Manage Mentor
EQ and Leadership
P. T. Joseph
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Emotional competencies that leaders need

Awareness of emotions is the first of the 12 competencies that P. T. Joseph lists in EQ and Leadership. This is the ability to recognise and name one's feelings, the author explains. “It is not only awareness of one's feelings and emotions, but also the ability to differentiate between them and to identify their cause. Serious deficiencies in this area are found in alexithymic (inability to express feelings verbally) conditions.”

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Over-production hides the effectiveness of true productivity

Books of Account
Changing with Lean Six Sigma
A. Aruleswaran
( http://www.lss-academy.com/)

Seven deadly wastes

What should you do when you have TIMWOOD around? But first, what ‘wood' is that? It is the acronym for the ‘seven deadly wastes,' viz. transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over-production, and defects, explains A. Aruleswaran in Changing with Lean Six Sigma.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Statutory cost audit

Books of Account
Social Utility of Cost Audit
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
( http://www.eircoficwai.com/)

A case for cost audit

While financial audit serves the interest of the shareholders, we need cost audit for catering to the needs of the Government, the regulatory bodies, and the society at large, argues Social Utility of Cost Audit from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India.

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Decisive leadership

Books of Account
Mergers and Acquisitions
A. P. Dash
( http://www.ikbooks.com/)

Flaws that derail M&As

Communication has a key role in making M&A successful, says A. P. Dash in Mergers and Acquisitions. “As a popular saying goes, the certainty of misery is better than the misery of uncertainty. Lack of communication increases uncertainty and weakens the confidence of employees in the management,” he adds.

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Immigrant workforce

Books 2 Byte
OECD Insights: International Migration
Brian Keeley
(http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Helping migrants break the job-market ice

Developed countries, such as those in the OECD area, are likely to go on turning to immigrants to provide skills and expertise in areas such as high-technology, foresees Brian Keeley in OECD Insights: International Migration.

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Foreign exchange market

BookValue
Futures, Options, and Swaps
Robert W. Kolb and James A. Overdahl
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Foreign market efficiency

Though the efficiency of the foreign exchange market has been explored by numerous researchers over the years, the question remains open, observe Robert W. Kolb and James A. Overdahl in Futures, Options, and Swaps, fifth edition.

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Rules for a mediator

BookValue
How to Mediate Like a Pro
Mary Greenwood
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Money is not everything

Rule 1 that a mediator has to follow is to set the tone, says Mary Greenwood in How to Mediate Like a Pro: 42 rules for mediating disputes. “My idea of a good mediator is someone who is fair, honest, and creative. That is the tone I like to create. As in everything else, first impressions are very important,” she writes.

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Tips to analyse financial statements

BookValue
Understanding Finance
( http://www.hbspress.org/)

Evaluating a co's health

Beyond profitability, operating, and leverage ratios, ways of evaluating the financial health of a company include valuation, economic value added (EVA), and assessing growth and productivity, instructs Understanding Finance . Valuation, for starters, is the process by which people determine the value of a company for the purpose of selling it.

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Market concentration

Book Mark
OECD Insights: International Trade
Patrick Love and Ralph Lattimore
(http://www.academicfoundation.com/)

Links in the value chain

The local family businesses that once dominated the retail trade no longer do so, observe Patrick Love and Ralph Lattimore in OECD Insights: International Trade. "The disappearance of the small family business through mergers, being bought out or bankruptcy, and their replacement by larger firms, is known as market concentration. This can have positive and negative effects for consumers."

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A practical way to move forward

Book Mark
How People Tick
Mike Leibling
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Working with difficult people

How to deal with patronising people, who may also be arrogant, belittling, insensitive, pompous, self-important, smug, snobbish, thick-skinned, unobservant, or all of these at once? First, don't take this personally, advises Mike Leibling in How People Tick, second edition. A practical way of moving forward is to show respect for their self-image, and then get to the point, he recommends.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leadership is very situation-specific

Manage Mentor
Learning from Leaders in Asia
Steven J. DeKrey
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Leadership is about the future

Leadership is about the future and so the idea of preparation and staying abreast of new developments underscores successful leadership, says Steven J. DeKrey in Learning from Leaders in Asia: The lessons of experience.

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A key lesson for CEOs

Books of Account
Grids of Change
R. P. Singh
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Right people in right places are assets

A business corporation is a living, dynamic organism, and it sustains itself on periodic injections of excitement through acquisition of new technologies, assets and so on, writes R. P. Singh in Grids of Change: Managing power games and power lines.

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‘Produser' and ‘prosumer'

Books 2 Byte
Ordinary People and the Media
Graeme Turner
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Rush to celebrate Web 2.0 potential

The development of new kinds of interactivity and participation has not only altered the balance of power between the producer and the consumer in some locations, it has also blurred the distinction between these two functions, says Graeme Turner in Ordinary People and the Media: The demotic turn.

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Data capture and analysis

Books 2 Byte
They've Got Your Number
Stephen Baker
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Three myths in the Numerati discussion

The first of the three enduring myths in the Numerati discussion is that the world is divided between word people and number people, says Stephen Baker in They've Got Your Number. Mathematicians and computer scientists, in fact, speak words, he finds. “The key difference between the Numerati and the rest of us lies in the toolbox they carry. It contains sets of mathematical formulas and drawers full of algorithms that mankind has been building for thousands of years.”

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The outdated metrics

BookValue
Chasing the Same Signals
Brian R. Brown
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Make place for the black-box

Many of the metrics used in previous decades have little meaning in today's complex marketplace, writes Brian R. Brown in Chasing the Same Signals: How black-box trading influences stock markets from Wall Street to Shanghai. Examples of outdated metrics that Brown mentions are market share, and the percentage of total market turnover by a dealer-broker.

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Provide the customers with multiple ways to contact at will

Book Mark
Flip the Funnel
Joseph Jaffe
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Light at the end of the `funnel'

It is time to spurn the concept of churn, declares Joseph Jaffe in Flip the Funnel: How to use existing customers to gain new ones. He urges companies to obsess on reducing churn to zero. "No person should ever have or need to abandon Colgate toothpaste for Crest. No human should ever have or need to switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, from Dell to Lenovo, from Visa to Mastercard, from K-Mart to Wal-Mart. And yet many do."

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trading practices in South India

Books of Account
Roots of Commodity Trade in India
Jignesh Shah and Biswajeet Rath
( http://www.taerindia.com/)

Insights from inscriptions

Tracing back the origins of trade in India, researchers have found valuable information in the temple inscriptions of the South. Although mainly religious in their content, an analysis of key phrases and extracts indicates political and economic activities, report Jignesh Shah and Biswajeet Rath in Roots of Commodity Trade in India.

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Microfinance institutions

Books of Account
Microfinance India
N. Srinivasan
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Microfinance under the microscope

Many MFIs (microfinance institutions) started financing the poor but somewhere they lost the customer focus and along with that the mission too, rues N. Srinivasan in Microfinance India: State of the Sector Report 2009. The goals do not any more seem to be making credit access affordable, or accompanying the livelihoods of people, he adds.

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Wireless attacks

Books 2 Byte
CWNA
David D. Coleman and David A. Westcott
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Wireless intrusion detection

When most people think of wireless, they think only in terms of access and not in terms of attacks or intrusions, say David D. Coleman and David A. Westcott in CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator Official Study Guide. They emphasise, therefore, on the need to constantly monitor for the many types of attacks because of the potential damage they can cause.

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Application attack

Books 2 Byte
CCNA Security
Richard A. Deal
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Five phases of IT attack

If you are in the business of IT security, you may perhaps know the answer to this elementary question: “What is the most common type of attack? a) Buffer overflow; b) Trojan horse; c) Operating system; d) Application.” To the rest of us, the answer is d, the application attack, as Richard A. Deal writes in CCNA Security.

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Cybercrimes

Books 2 Byte
Contemporary Criminal Law
Matthew Lippman
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Cyberstalking, computer crime

What do you call ‘unwanted attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others'? Stalking, says Wikipedia. Stalking behaviours are related to harassment and intimidation, it adds. Matthew Lippman discusses ‘stalking' in one of the chapters included in Contemporary Criminal Law: Concepts, cases, and controversies, second edition. He cites the Illinois statute for a simple definition of the crime — that a person commits stalking when he or she ‘on at least two separate occasions' follows another person or places the person under surveillance or any combination of these two acts.

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The success of the Indian software firms

Books 2 Byte
High-tech Industries, Employment and Global Competitiveness
S. R. Hashim and N. S. Siddharthan
(Routledge)

IT growth in India and China

High-tech knowledge-based industries have played an important role in the transition of Chinese and Indian economies, note S. R. Hashim and N. S. Siddharthan in High-tech Industries, Employment and Global Competitiveness (Routledge). They find that the transition of the Indian economy has been led by high-tech knowledge-based industries such as IT (information technology), communications, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

The cornerstones of the financial industry

BookValue
The Future of Finance
Dan Schwartz
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Pillars of the financial industry

What will the private equity firm of the future look like? Smaller, and with fewer partners, says Dan Schwartz in The Future of Finance: How private equity and venture capital will shape the global economy.

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Travel documentation

Book Mark
When Kulbhushan met Stockli
Andreas Gefe
(http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Collaborative comics

When Andreas Gefe begins his first morning in Delhi with a stroll through the dusty streets where he and his Swiss friends live, he doesn't find `the much-cited colourfulness of India.' Not until the blazing shop signs and displays around central market tear away the opaque veil that seems to hide the city from his eyes, recounts Gefe in `The Mehandi Designers,' a chapter included in When Kulbhushan met Stockli.

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Communication and media for the poor

Book Mark
Globalization, Development and the Mass Media
Colin Sparks
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Giving the poor a voice

Do communication and media have a role in improving the lot of the world's poor? Yes, and it is integral to building a social movement, argues Colin Sparks in Globalization, Development and the Mass Media. On its own, however, the best communication cannot succeed in changing the situation, the author concedes; for, it is only when the poor are organised and confident can the problems be addressed.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Audit, a combination of science and art

Books of Account
Novel and Conventional Methods of Audit, Investigation and Fraud Detection
Chetan Dalal
( http://www.cchindia.co.in/)

Tiger team tests

Treat any audit as a combination of science and art, rather than totally rely on standardised checklists and set procedures, advises Chetan Dalal in Novel and Conventional Methods of Audit, Investigation and Fraud Detection. Since checklists can at times nurture closed minds, the author recommends customisation of checklists to audit situations.

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Development council

Books of Account
Transforming Government through New Public Management
Pradip N. Khandwalla
( http://www.amaindia.org/)

Alternative governance model

No democracy works well if its decisions are not implemented by professionals accountable for results, says Pradip N. Khandwalla in Transforming Government through New Public Management. He is of the view that legislators as a body cannot manage the institutions and enterprises of a governance system, be it at the panchayat or the national level.

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The 'diagnostic' effort

Books 2 Byte
Rapid Transformation
Behnam N. Tabrizi
(http://www.hbspress.org/)

Quick ways to turnaround

Questionnaire is so common a data-gathering tool that it may not evoke much excitement. Yet, this was what Dave House chose when arriving at Bay Networks as the CEO with 15 direct reports. After assembling 15 teams of five people (one team per direct report), he sent the teams out on a data-gathering mission: to spend one week talking to customers, recounts Behnam N. Tabrizi in Rapid Transformation.

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Wireless technology

Books 2 Byte
CWTS – Certified Wireless Technology Specialist Official Study Guide
Robert J. Bartz
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Deploying wireless networks

Due to the rapid pace at which wireless LAN technology and deployments are growing and the increasing use of other devices that utilise unlicensed radio frequency (RF), site surveys can be an ongoing process for the areas where these wireless networks are installed, says Robert J. Bartz in CWTS – Certified Wireless Technology Specialist Official Study Guide.

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Global companies with global knowledge

Books 2 Byte
Taking Your Business Global
A. V. Vedpuriswar
(http://www.visionbooksindia.com/)

Foundation for building intangible assets…

Information technology (IT) and communications enable virtual teams to function effectively; yet, human interactions continue to be important, says A. V. Vedpuriswar in Taking Your Business Global. “As opposed to conventional and routine cross-country transfers, some global companies are using skilled managers intelligently to solve problems in different business environments.”

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Success'ful' tips

Book Mark
The Flight of Ambition
Apoorve Dubey
(http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Practice is the best company

Success is a lousy teacher. With that quote of Bill Gates begins a section titled `Complacency' in The Flight of Ambition. Success does not teach you so much as failure; in moments of success there is celebration, whereas in moments of failure there is learning, explains the author, Apoorve Dubey.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

A few basic ‘money' lessons

Say Cheek
The Big Book of Business Advice
Gerd de Ley and David Potter
(Westland)

How levying taxes is like shearing sheep

With Budget only days away, if taxation worries keep you sleepless, The Big Book of Business Advice by Gerd de Ley and David Potter (Westland) may offer some relief. “In both good times and bad, business leaders should always be open to a few words of advice – especially if they come from the rich and famous or, indeed, fellow business people,” the authors write in the intro.

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'Celebrate mistakes as opportunities for learning'

Manage Mentor
The Heart of a Leader
Ken Blanchard
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

See your people as winners

Real communication is a product of trust, yet most of the performance review and evaluation systems used in organisations today create mistrust, rues Ken Blanchard in The Heart of a Leader. The problem is with the ‘normal distribution mentality' that insists there must always be winners and losers, the author finds.

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Disruptive innovations

Books 2 Byte
Harvard Business Review on Managing Health Care
Clayton M. Christensen, Richard Bohmer, and John Kenagy
(http://www.hbspress.org/)

Low-cost innovations

Just as the PC replaced the mainframe and the telephone replaced the telegraph operator, disruptive innovations are changing the landscape of health care, notes one of the essays in ‘Harvard Business Review on Managing Health Care' .

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Spread of literacy through IT

Books 2 Byte
Code of Honour
Christabelle Noronha
(Westland)

Forty hours to literacy

CBFL blends the company's expertise in the creation of software with exemplary research done by the National Literacy Mission, established by the Indian Government in 1988 to eradicate adult illiteracy in the country, narrates one of the chapters in ‘Code of Honour,' edited by Christabelle Noronha.

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Managing a business

BookValue
Warren Buffett on Business
Richard J. Connors
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Business wisdom from Buffett's annual letters

Too much of a good thing isn't bad, but wonderful. Many CEOs attain their positions because they possess an abundance of animal spirits and egos. How to manage a crisis is to do it in the manner of a fellow that has never met a lawyer. These are some of the snatches from Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha compiled by Richard J. Connors.

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The ‘round numbers'

Book Mark
Brand Management 101
Mainak Dhar
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Pricing points

There are two ways of looking at price points, the perceived price points in the consumer's mind and the real price points dictated by coinage, writes Mainak Dhar in Brand Management 101. Psychological price points are sometimes intuitive, like $10 versus $9.99, but sometimes you need to dig a bit deeper to understand what the price points in your category may be, Dhar explains.

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