Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'Don't be scared to just be yourself'

Manage Mentor
The Management Masterclass
Emma De Vita
(http://www.headline.co.uk/)

Becoming a brilliant manager

A reassuring thought that Emma De Vita opens with in The Management Masterclass is that no one is a natural born manager. You don't pop into the world, BlackBerry in one hand, umbilical cord in the other, ordering the midwife to get a move on, she notes.

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The Lehman story

Books of Account
The Devil's Casino
Vicky Ward
( http://www.wiley.com/)

On a long street of mistakes

Lehman became ‘a culture of liars' soon after the Mexican crisis, notes the epilogue to Vicky Ward's The Devil's Casino, citing insider views. “It was then that basically the job became about ‘What are we going to spin today to hide our real difficulties?' That's when things started to slide.”

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‘The triple helix'

Books 2 Byte
The Global Environment of Business
David W. Conklin
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Fostering social capital in knowledge economy

Established in 1976 with $25,000 in capital and 11 employees, Acer now ‘ranks No. 2 for total PC shipments and No. 2 for notebooks, and has a global workforce of 7,000 employees. 2009 revenues reached $17.9 billion,' as www.acer-group.com informs. An interesting case study about the company's China experience is available in ‘The Global Environment of Business: New paradigms for international management' by David W. Conklin.

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The advantages of sharing financial intimacies

BookValue
Sheconomics
Karen Pine and Simonne Gnessen
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Getting up close and financially personal

Money may not be romantic, and ‘when it comes to passion killers it is probably on a par with big pants,' write Karen Pine and Simonne Gnessen in Sheconomics. However, if your relationship has reached a point where your toothbrushes are cohabiting and your plans extend beyond next weekend, you just can't ignore finance, they urge.

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Relationship-building

Book Mark
It's Not Just Who You Know
Tommy Spaulding
(http://www.crownpublishing.com/)

Rewards of relationship

You know ROI, return on investment, and ROE, return on equity. Ever tried to look at ROR? What's that, you may wonder. `Return on relationship,' explains Tommy Spaulding in It's Not Just Who You.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stock exchanges in China

Books of Account
Superpower?
Raghav Bahl
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

On markets and scams

India's political and social structures have preserved entrepreneurs, if not exactly cut them loose, observes Raghav Bahl in Superpower? Even as the state invested in big-ticket capital assets in the early decades after Independence, land continued to stay in private hands, he reasons in the chapter titled ‘Entrepreneurs, consumers and English speakers'.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Helping customers speed up!

Books 2 Byte
Strategic Speed
Jocelyn R. Davis, Henry M. Frechette, Jr., Edwin H. Boswell
(Harvard)

Stories about speed and success

Speed, to effective leaders, is not measured in terms of races won, but through two broad metrics, viz. reduced time to value and increased value over time, say the authors of Strategic Speed: Mobilize people, accelerate execution (Harvard).
You may have hired brilliant employees and conceived brilliant strategies, but unless you can reduce the time it takes for employees, leaders, teams, or initiatives to contribute to the enterprise in the manner and to the extent that they were meant to contribute – and then ensure that they continue to contribute – you won't really be accelerating execution, write Jocelyn R. Davis, Henry M. Frechette, Jr., Edwin H. Boswell.

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Live in the now

BookValue
Jeffery Tie
Aiki Trading
( http://www.wiley.com/)

ACTION principles for trading success

When learning Japanese martial arts, the beginner student is usually introduced to one basic technique for internalising so that he can respond to a specific combat situation, notes the intro to Aiki Trading by Jeffery Tie. “If this combat situation is altered, then the initial technique may not provide the student with a satisfactory solution. He needs to learn new techniques and then internalise them with his existing knowledge in order to widen the combat situations that he understands and can properly respond to.”

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Decisive moments

Book Mark
The New Experts
Robert H. Bloom
(http://www.gbgpress.com/)

Four moments that should not be missed

When the economy recovers - or, if you are among those business leaders who think that the global crisis is already behind us - it may be natural to heave a sigh of relief that the worst is over and that henceforth financial performance should be okay. Wait, you may have to keep your seatbelts fastened, because `many companies will not thrive - or survive - in the coming years because all businesses are suffering from a more serious and enduring problem that has hidden beneath our former prosperity and our current troubles,' cautions Robert H. Bloom in The New Experts.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Enrich MBA degrees

Manage Mentor
Rethinking the MBA
Srikant M. Datar, David A. Garvin, and Patrick G. Cullen
(Harvard)

Adding value to the MBA degree

It is common for many in business schools to succumb to inertia, as if going by the unstated assumption, ‘It ain't broke, so don't fix it.' But this time, the need for reform is urgent, say Srikant M. Datar, David A. Garvin, and Patrick G. Cullen in Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads (Harvard).

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Investment banking

Books of Account
When Money was in Fashion
June Breton Fisher
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Enterprise of investment banking

In an age that had no personal computers or Internet, email or adding machines, when business was developed solely with talent, imagination, and brains, Henry Goldman, the legendary progenitor of investment banking, was responsible for the initial organisation of many of America's most successful publicly-owned corporations, writes June Breton Fisher in When Money was in Fashion.

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A unifying national force

Books 2 Byte
Globish
Robert McCrum
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Speak “Global English'

Thomas Friedman's ‘Eureka moment,' as you may recall, came in Bangalore when Nandan Nilekani, the then CEO of Infosys, used the phrase ‘the playing field is being levelled' to describe the new opportunities available to the India-based computer company. Reminiscing this, Robert McCrum writes in Globish: How the English language became the world's language, how in the new knowledge economy, cities such as London, Boston, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangalore, could all be linked simultaneously, offering a new challenge as much for a modernising India as for a globalising America.

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Land rights in India

BookValue
Fault Lines
Raghuram G. Rajan
( Collins)

Much to gain from a successful India

India's economy is more balanced than that of other fast-growing Asian economies, observes Raghuram G. Rajan in Fault Lines: How hidden fractures still threaten the world economy ( Collins). “Partly as a result of democratic pressures, it has not been as biased towards producers or exporters, and therefore does not require a major change in strategic direction. However, there are a number of areas where it needs to act far more decisively and rapidly than it currently is doing,” he adds.

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Write long and cut short

Book Mark
50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Web site
Steve Johnston and Liam McGee
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

It pays to be useful

Create your Web site for your users, advise Steve Johnston and Liam McGee in `50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Web site'. Every design decision should be referred back to what we know about the users of the site, not simply to the beliefs, prejudices or even brilliant insights of the site owner or the site's designer, the authors urge.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Crisis forewarning

Books of Account
Curbing the Global Economic Downturn
Aekapol Chongvilaivan
( http://www.iseas.edu.sg/)

Spotting emerging vulnerabilities

Crisis, they say, should be seen as an opportunity. Again, at the end of the crisis situation, it is worthwhile not to miss the opportunity for looking back at the lessons learnt. Take, for instance, the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, which highlighted how vulnerable a small, open (capital account) economy can be to an adverse shift of capital flows. The crisis also demonstrated how quickly investors' confidence can erode and how their panic could spread contagion to neighbouring countries, Worapot Manupipatpong reminisces in one of the essays included in Curbing the Global Economic Downturn: Southeast Asian Macroeconomic Policy, edited by Aekapol Chongvilaivan ( www.iseas.edu.sg).


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Digital technologies

Books 2 Byte
You Are Not a Gadget: A manifesto
Jaron Lanier
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Celebrate the real person

To those hassled by technology, the title of Jaron Lanier's book — You Are Not a Gadget: A manifesto — can be very reassuring. The book, written for people, not computers, begins with the question ‘What is a person?' Drawing inspiration from Publilius Syrus' statement that speech is the mirror of the soul, the author defines that a person is not a pat formula, but a quest, a mystery, a leap of faith.

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Work, trade, finance

BookValue
Enough
John C. Bogle
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Subtracting value from society

The rampant greed that threatens to overwhelm our financial system and corporate world runs deeper than money, rues John C. Bogle in Enough . Not knowing what ‘enough' is subverts our professional values, he adds. “It makes salespersons of those who should be fiduciaries of the investments entrusted to them. It turns a system that should be built on trust into one with counting as its foundation.”

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On IQ lines

Book Mark
Understanding Children as Consumers
David Marshall
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Measuring consumer savvy

It is commonly believed that children wield significant influence in big-ticket purchase decisions. But studies seem to show that children may be under the illusion that they are more involved in decision-making than is actually the case, notes an essay included in Understanding Children as Consumers edited by David Marshall.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Focus on 'effort'

Manage Mentor
Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
Robert J. Sternberg
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Praise for intelligence can make you dumb

Contrary to popular belief, praising people's intelligence does not fortify them, writes Carol S. Dweck in one of the essays included by Robert J. Sternberg in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Such praise might buoy them up temporarily, but it instils beliefs that make them vulnerable, she cautions.

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Mysterious moments in life when we click

Books 2 Byte
Click
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)
Ori and Rom Brafman

Clicks and mortals

Every time you use your cell-phone, camcorder, or laptop, you are benefiting from an invention that Gerhard Sessler and Jim West, two physicists in Bell Labs, came up with about half a century ago — a revolution in microphone technology. The instruments used in the 1950s were quite bulky, as you may remember from the early photos of radio announcers shouting into a big metal grille, recount Ori and Rom Brafman in Click. The size of the microphone was big because it consisted of small carbon granules with an external source.


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Success saga

Book Mark
The New Science of Retailing
Marshall Fisher and Ananth Raman
(http://www.hbr.org/)

Stories of success in selling

Say `technology' and you can see the majority wince at the thought of what new buttons and bugs they may have to endure. Yet, it is possible to make a song and dance of your new IT initiatives. Take, for instance, the Metro of Germany, which was experimenting with ways to use RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies in its stores.... Akin to PDAs (personal digital assistants), these handheld devices helped shoppers find products and provided in-depth information on goods, including such details as nutritional values and features, narrate Marshall Fisher and Ananth Raman in The New Science of Retailing.

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