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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