Monday, September 27, 2010

The making of Nano

Books of Account
Small Wonder
Philip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha, and Sujata Agrawal
(Westland)

Cracking the cost code

Ratan Tata's gut reaction when he saw the Financial Times story in 2003 — that Tatas were planning to manufacture a Rs 1 lakh car — was to issue a rebuttal, to clarify that that was not quite what his casual comment at the Geneva Motor Show meant. Then he thought that the figure had sprung from what he had mentioned about an affordable car at around $2,500 being on the company's agenda for the future. So why not just take that as a target, he decided, but the people at Tata Motors were aghast, narrate Philip Chacko, Christabelle Noronha, and Sujata Agrawal in Small Wonder: The making of the Nano (Westland).

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Structuring data for analysis

Books 2 Byte
Analytics at Work
Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne G. Harris, and Robert Morison
(Harvard)

Going beyond ‘golden gut'

If you are a manager who is adamant at relying on your ‘golden gut' or intuition to make decisions, this book is not for you: Analytics at Work by Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne G. Harris, and Robert Morison (Harvard). The authors concede that sometimes intuitive experience-based decisions work out well, but they hasten to warn that often such decisions either go astray or end in disaster.

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To succeed in trading ...

BookValue
The Universal Principles of Successful Trading
Brent Penfold
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Psychology lessons for market traders

Over 90 per cent of all traders lose, declares Brent Penfold in The Universal Principles of Successful Trading: Essential knowledge for all traders in all markets. He says that the reason why the traders lose is ignorance, arising from gullibility and laziness.

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People issues vs technology issues

Book Mark
The New Supply Chain Agenda
Reuben E. Slone, J. Paul Dittmann, and John T. Mentzer
(www.hbr.org)

Succeed in tech by connecting with people

People issues are tougher than technology issues, and supply chain professionals tend to underestimate people issues, observe Reuben E. Slone, J. Paul Dittmann, and John T. Mentzer in The New Supply Chain Agenda. The authors rue that supply chain experts, when asked what it takes to successfully implement initiatives, frequently say it simply requires excellent analysis and a good project plan.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Architect and engineer

Manage Mentor
When the Penny Drops
R. Gopalakrishnan
(Penguin)

Execution, ‘entry ticket' to senior management

A significant management issue is the MAFA syndrome, says R. Gopalakrishnan in When the Penny Drops (Penguin), citing N. Vaghul's jocular reference to ‘mistaking articulation for action.' While it is wonderful to have great thinkers, excellent articulators and solid doers all rolled into one, glib talking is rampant in management circles these days, the author rues.

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Be truthful with ourselves and with others

Books of Account
Why We Lie
Dorothy Rowe
( http://www.4thestate.co.uk/)

How lies undermine our security

The reason we have regulations for most of the activities in buying and selling is that we cannot be trusted always to do the right thing, writes Dorothy Rowe in ‘Why We Lie'. Not that all of us are dishonest, but we do tend to get carried away by our ideas, especially where our greed, vanity and fear are involved, she adds.

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Digital footprints

Books 2 Byte
Start-Up Nation
Dan Senor and Saul Singer
(http://www.twelvebooks.com/)

Good guys, bad guys

From a time of draining swamps and growing oranges, today's era of cyber security and chip designing in Israel may seem too far removed to have anything in common. But there is a thread that runs right through, say Dan Senor and Saul Singer in Start-Up Nation.

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Emotions rule decision making

Book Mark
About Face
Dan Hill
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Moving on to people-centric 3 Ps

Move from the old product-centric 4 Ps - product, price, place, and promotion - to passion, purpose and personality, the people-centric 3 Ps, says Dan Hill in About Face. Why? Because emotions rule decision making, he adds. Whereas 20th century marketing was largely about being `onmessage' (that is, about getting talking points consistently right), marketing in this century can be successful by being `on-emotion,' assures Hill.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Computer on a chip

Books 2 Byte
Android
Jerome (J. F.) DiMarzio
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Open race in the mobile space

In science fiction, a robot with a human appearance used to be called ‘android,' a word traceable to 18th century, from modern Latin androids. Greek andro (human) plus eides (form, shape)... For a long time, cell-phone developers comprised a small sect of a slightly larger group of developers known as embedded device developers, traces Jerome (J. F.) DiMarzio in Android: A programmer's guide.

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Business approaches

Book Mark
Strategic Marketing
S. Shajahan
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Tangibly respond to intangible competition

Marketing in India was easier in the 1990s than now, reminisces S. Shajahan in Strategic Marketing: Text and Cases. That was an age when markets were more monolithic, a few companies competed, and buying tastes were much more uniform, he adds.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lessons from Kautilya

Manage Mentor
Corporate Chanakya
Radhakrishnan Pillai
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Corporate Chanakya

After opening the book Corporate Chanakya with the ‘power' chapter, the author Radhakrishnan Pillai moves on to caution leaders that the greatest danger they can face is revolt. Interpreting for CEOs the ancient lessons of the State from Kautilya, the author explains ‘revolt' can come from dissatisfied employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

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Conversion crisis

Books of Account
The Blank Swan
Elie Ayache
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Philosophy of financial crisis

What is price? It is ‘cost of something bought or sold, something sacrificed to get something else, sufficient bribe, measure of value of something,' says Encarta. ‘Price' is most often given by the amount of money an item or service would bring if or when it is sold, defines Accounting, Business Studies and Economics Dictionary ... The line of communication that price uses is the conductive medium of the market, and the market is conductive of contingency, says Elie Ayache in The Blank Swan: The end of probability.

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Stories of ‘dedicated teams'

Books 2 Byte
The Other Side of Innovation
Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble
(Harvard)

Cracking the innovations puzzle

One of the decisions that Infosys took when embarking on a broader range of services was to set up Infosys Consulting, in 2004, to offer IT-related advice to business executives, as opposed to technical services for IT executives. Its offering included developing detailed specifications for major investments in new IT systems, recount Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble in The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the execution challenge (Harvard).

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Scams in finance

BookValue
Alchemists of Loss
Kevin Dowd and Martin Hutchinson
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Undone by unsound assumptions

How to put capitalism back on its feet? By looking to the past, say Kevin Dowd and Martin Hutchinson in Alchemists of Loss: How modern finance and government intervention crashed the financial system. Past, meaning not the twentieth century, but the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the authors add.

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Building bridges to ethnic media

Book Mark
Understanding Ethnic Media
Matthew D. Matsaganis, Vikki S. Katz, and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

For a rich, ethnically diverse media landscape

Demographic indicators all point to ethnic media remaining important and viable in the future, as declining birth rates in Western countries continue to encourage immigration to satisfy demand for workers, postulates Understanding Ethnic Media' by Matthew D. Matsaganis, Vikki S. Katz, and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach.

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