Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The culture of coaching

Manage Mentor
Open Source Leader
Sangeeth Varghese
(Penguin)

Liberate individual goals within a boundary

Coaching is gaining popularity as a critical tool for organisational development and improved business results, but what forward-looking enterprises foster is ‘a culture of coaching,' notes Sangeeth Varghese in Open Source Leader: The future of organizations and leadership (Penguin).

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Relevance of public sector

Books of Account
What Works: Success in stressful times
Hamish McRae
( Harper)

Twenty tested takeaways

Tired of things not working? Try ‘ What Works: Success in stressful times' by Hamish McRae ( Harper), which discusses twenty examples of ‘the world's best organisations and communities' ranging from university to slum.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

All in the 'game'

Books 2 Byte
Playing to Wiin
Daniel Sloan
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Game for innovation

At the time of writing, more than a thousand news articles are about Nintendo 3DS, to be launched in March, at a sub-$250-dollar price. With the handheld, you can play 3-D games, without the need for glasses, and take 3-D pictures, reports state. A section on 3DS in ‘Playing to Wiin: Nintendo and the video game industry's greatest comeback' by Daniel Sloan, cites the company's president Satoru Iwata about how in a game like ‘Nintendogs,' the dogs can “really pop out of that screen and you can see them… You're kind of looking and touching, and it feels like you're touching a real dog.”

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Strategic alliances

BookValue
The Lords of Strategy
Walter Kiechel III
(Harvard)

Only the really, really paranoid may survive

Even in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, there seems little prospect that ‘the fiercening of capitalism' will abate anytime soon, writes Walter Kiechel III in The Lords of Strategy: The secret intellectual history of the new corporate world (Harvard).

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Indian retailing

Book Mark
Winning Strategies for the Indian Market
Anuradha Dayal-Gulati and Dipak Jain
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

The retail reformat

While the kiranas and local vendors will continue to play an important role in Indian retailing, the lure of lower prices, better quality, and wider selection offered by larger retailers may be more attractive than the convenience of proximity and the customer rapport that local vendors have thus far relied on, prophesies an essay included in Winning Strategies for the Indian Market edited by Anuradha Dayal-Gulati and Dipak Jain.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

What CEOs can do?

Manage Mentor
Destination Work! Getting people excited about coming to work and working hard
Harry Paul and Ross Reck
(Westland)

Connect with the frontline employees

If you think that it is the immediate boss who has the most influence over how much discretionary effort an employee is willing to apply towards the job, you may be wrong. The top single driver of discretionary effort is “senior management's sincere interest in employee well-being,” found ‘Global Workforce Study' which covered nearly 90,000 workers from 18 countries, report Harry Paul and Ross Reck in Destination Work! Getting people excited about coming to work and working hard (Westland).

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The professional managers

Books of Account
Ever Improve
Oded Cohen
( http://www.kkbooks.com/)

A systematic approach to improvement

What is the role of professional managers? To ever improve the performance of the system under their responsibility, says Oded Cohen in ‘ Ever Improve: A guide to managing production the TOC way'. “This is what motivates managers to do a professional job; this is what is expected by their bosses and their companies. This assumption also serves as the basis for remuneration, bonuses, and career promotion,” he adds.

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The 'starter material'

Books of Account
Taxmann's Dictionary
Dhruba Duttachowdhury
( http://www.taxmann.com/)

Auditing anti-fraud controls

What can be a dubious starter material to students of finance and accounting is ‘ Taxmann's Dictionary' by Dhruba Duttachowdhury. Addressed to ‘chartered accountants, company secretaries, cost accountants and corporate professionals,' the book begins with ‘A, A+, A++' explained as “the gradation certificates on project rating conferred by the Project Appraiser Board of India.

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The history of computing in India

Books 2 Byte
India: A portrait
Patrick French
(Penguin)

On Samurai swords, computer chips, and maya

Meet Srikanth Nadhamuni, who is ‘in his mid-forties, with a strong, pointed face and a sense of direction,' as Patrick French describes in ‘India: A portrait' (Penguin). “I had originally come to talk to him about the eGovernments Foundation, a ‘social startup' which aimed to improve governance through new technology, but we diverted to a more arcane subject,” reports French, about the discussion in a Bangalore Barista coffee shop.

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Ethnic minorities in media

Book Mark
Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction
Paul Hodkinson
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Recognise ethnic identities as ever-changing

Media on both sides of the Atlantic have a history of under-representing ethnic minorities, writes Paul Hodkinson in Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction. As an example, he cites studies that found the proportion of African American characters on US television to be significantly lower than the proportion of blacks within the country's population, until the 1990s. “The situation is deemed gradually to have improved, partly thanks to the development of a range of newer cable channels, but other minorities, including South Americans and Asians, continue to be under-represented.”

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Large-company management processes

Books of Account
Value: The four cornerstones of corporate finance
Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs, and Bill Huyett
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Creating value requires the right balance

Here is a simple test to find if a company has become too big and complex: It is not able to find a way to make granular decisions that maintain short-term performance while also generating long-term value. Thus prescribe Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs, and Bill Huyett of McKinsey & Company in ‘ Value: The four cornerstones of corporate finance'.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

'Breaking the rules'

Books 2 Byte
Nanovation
Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, and Dain Dunston
(http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Lessons from Tata Nano

One of the many stories in Nanovation: How a little car can teach the world to think big by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, and Dain Dunston is about Pixar, widely known for its successful animated feature films. What is not common knowledge, however, is that once upon a time all that the company wanted to do was sell computer systems, the authors begin.

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‘Too many eggs, or too many baskets?'

BookValue
The Little Book of Sideways Markets: How to make money in markets that go nowhere
Vitaliy N. Katsenelson
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Pay attention to hidden risks

You can probably save a good-size forest by recycling academic papers on risk and diversification, suggests Vitaliy N. Katsenelson in The Little Book of Sideways Markets: How to make money in markets that go nowhere. These concepts are drummed into students' heads in academia, but their practical application is usually spoiled by long formulas awash in Greek symbols, he frets, in a chapter titled ‘Think different.'

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Customer 'care'

Book Mark
The Path
Konosuke Matsushita
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Treasure your fans


Even when the prices may be the same, people will naturally patronise the shop that takes good care of its customers and is thoughtful and conscientious about its services or merchandise, says Konosuke Matsushita in The Path.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Strengthen the character with strong value system

Manage Mentor
10 Winning Strategies for Leaders in the Classroom
Bramwell Osula and Renae Ideboen
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Unearth the value system

If moths can become butterflies, ugly ducklings become swans, frogs become handsome princes, and barren fields yield their harvest after the rains, why should the classrooms be immune to remarkable change, wonder Bramwell Osula and Renae Ideboen in 10 Winning Strategies for Leaders in the Classroom.

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SBI, a global player

Books of Account
Grit, Guts and Gumption
Rajesh Chakrabarti
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Tale of how a behemoth changed trajectory

State Bank of India (SBI) is an example of the potential of large public sector organisations, often underestimated because of deeply ingrained stereotypes and eclipsed by the publicity that young, trendy firms with new cool products effortlessly generate, writes Rajesh Chakrabarti in ‘ Grit, Guts and Gumption: Driving change in a state-owned giant'.

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Government services online

Books 2 Byte
MacroWikinomics
Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
(http://www.atlantic-books.co.uk/)

Reinvent the government, bottom-up

Just as the modern multinational corporation sources ideas, parts, and materials from a vast external network of customers, researchers, and suppliers, so too should governments hone their capacity to integrate skills and knowledge from multiple participants to meet expectations for a more responsive, resourceful, efficient, and accountable form of governance, write Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams in MacroWikinomics.

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Companies that count rather than make

BookValue
Don't Count on It!
John C. Bogle
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Dangerous worship of hard numbers

Numbers are a necessary tool and a vital one, but they are a means and not an end; a condition necessary to measure corporate success, but not a condition sufficient, writes John C. Bogle in Don't Count on It!'.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

The women 'power'

Manage Mentor
Selected
Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja
(http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

For better governance, include women on boards

When men and women work together, men are quicker to assume the position of a leader even when a better-qualified woman is present, write Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja in Selected. The authors cite the observation of Charles A. O'Reilly III, a Stanford University business professor, that it is not gender per se which leads to the glass ceiling for women, but the overwhelming male desire to compete.

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SaaS, software-as-a-service

Books 2 Byte
The SaaS Edge
Sahil Parikh
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Exorcise eight SaaS myths

The first of the eight myths about SaaS (software-as-a-service) is that it is new, unproven, and hyped, writes Sahil Parikh in The SaaS Edge. Google Apps, a suite of web-based office applications, which started in 2006, has over 3 million businesses and more than 30 million active users, he mentions.

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Approaches to technical analysis

BookValue
Full View Integrated Technical Analysis
Xin Xie
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Look for robust market signals

Any analytical approach to financial market forecasting will have to confront the prospect of losing its effectiveness after becoming public knowledge, writes Xin Xie in Full View Integrated Technical Analysis: A systematic approach to active stock market investing.

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The 'Exposure effect'

Book Mark
The Art of Choosing
Sheena Iyengar
(http://www.hachette.co.uk/)

Do we make fashion, or does fashion make us?

In the past, retailers tried to figure out which styles would be popular by keeping track of what the major fashion designers debuted on the runways in Paris, Milan, London, and New York, reminisces Sheena Iyengar in The Art of Choosing.

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