Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Aspire, Assess, Architect, Act, and Advance

Manage Mentor
Beyond Performance
Scott Keller and Colin Price

Five A's for leaders

Achieving organisational excellence hinges on finding answers to five questions, say Scott Keller and Colin Price in Beyond Performance: How great organizations build ultimate competitive advantage. These questions are presented as 5A's, thus: Aspire (‘where do we want to go?'), assess (‘how ready are we to go there?'), architect (‘what do we need to do to get there?'), act (‘how do we manage the journey?'), and advance (‘how do we keep moving forward?'). Each of these A's is elaborately discussed in separate chapters of the book.


“People report to managers, but they follow leaders.”

Books of Account
The Corner Office
Adam Bryant

Harness extra energy through a sense of mission

Chapter 13 in ‘The Corner Office: How top CEOs made it and how you can too' by Adam Bryant begins by asking what the difference is between management and leadership. Management is about results, answers the author. “You're given certain assets – people, money, equipment – and you're expected to make the most of them to deliver an expected outcome. Management is quantifiable, measurable, almost a science. Companies can gain a significant edge by being adept practitioners of the discipline.”


Taking control away

Books 2 Byte
The Filter Bubble
Eli Pariser

Who's pulling the Net strings?

The good news in The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is hiding from you by Eli Pariser is that as billions come online in India, Brazil and Africa, the Internet is transforming into a truly global place. But the worrying message in the book is that, ultimately, a small group of American companies may unilaterally dictate how billions of people work, play, communicate, and understand the world.


As Apple grew ...

Book Mark
The Steve Jobs Way
Jay Elliot

Marketing insights from Apple's Jobs

A section titled ‘Steve and the Art of Branding,' in The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a new generation by Jay Elliot, narrates how it was the famed ad agency Chiat/Day that produced Apple's ‘1984' commercial.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

B2B pricing decisions

Books of Account
Business-to-Business Marketing, second edition
Ms Ross Brennan, Mr Louise Canning, and Mr Raymond McDowell

Key ethical issues in B2B pricing

Ethical issues often arise in pricing, observe Ms Ross Brennan, Mr Louise Canning, and Mr Raymond McDowell in ‘Business-to-Business Marketing,' second edition.


A replacement for silicon

Books 2 Byte
Physics of the Future
Michio Kaku

Life after Moore's law

Moore's law, one of the foundations of the information revolution, cannot last forever, writes Michio Kaku in Physics of the Future: How science will shape human destiny and our daily lives by the year 2100.


The four heart attitudes

The Coming Economic Armageddon
David Jeremiah

Four horsemen of Wall Street

A cartoon of Edward Sorel reproduced in ‘The Coming Economic Armageddon' by David Jeremiah is titled ‘The Four Horsemen of the Wall St. Apocalypse'. “The cartoon pictures skeletons riding four horses in a wild stampede over the ruins of the New York Stock Exchange. Each skeleton is labelled with one of the four heart attitudes that contributed to our current financial situation: mendacity, stupidity, arrogance, and greed,” describes Jeremiah, before delving into a discussion of each of these qualities.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

To wannabe entrepreneurs

Manage Mentor
The Fresh Brew
Amit Haralalka and Amitabh Thakur

Stories of self-belief and perseverance

To wannabe entrepreneurs, The Fresh Brew: Chronicles of business and freedom by Amit Haralalka and Amitabh Thakur can be a veritable feast. The book is a collection of 25 stories of IIM Lucknow alumni who pursued an idea or a talent, or started their own enterprises.


When the loans become bad ...

Books of Account
Guaranteed to Fail
Viral V. Acharya, Matthew Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, and Lawrence J. White

When the clutch becomes a crutch

There are distinct parallels between the foray of Indian government into rural banking and the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the US, observe Viral V. Acharya, Matthew Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, and Lawrence J. White, in Guaranteed to Fail (Harper).


a 'testing' time

Books 2 Byte
Nurturing Institutional Excellence
Vijaya Sherry Chand and T. V. Rao

Tale of computerising CAT

The conducting of the computerised CAT (Common Admission Test) will go down in the annals of management education as a unique phenomenon, recounts Satish Y. Deodhar in one of the essays included in Nurturing Institutional Excellence: Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, edited by Vijaya Sherry Chand and T. V. Rao.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Synthetic CDOs

All the Devils Are Here
Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera

A zero-sum game with mortgages as the dice

Synthetic CDOs (collateralised debt obligations) were Wall Street's version of a lab experiment gone mad, write Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera in All the Devils Are Here: The hidden history of the financial crisis.


'Win on speed'

Book Mark
Killing Giants
Stephen Denny

Winning the ‘smart vs brawn' battle

Giants come in all shapes and sizes, as do the Davids that slay them, says Stephen Denny in Killing Giants: 10 strategies to topple the Goliath in your industry. Clarifying that the question is about smart versus brawn, the author notes it is not always about small companies fighting big ones, although this is most common.


Friday, June 10, 2011

'Office humour, a source of sexual harassment'

Books of Account
Money and Power
William D. Cohan

Mistreatment in the money den

In the ‘Money' chapter of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs came to rule the world by William D. Cohan, there are many instances of how women employees faced mistreatment in the firm. Sometimes the abuse was physical, sexual, and humiliating, and sometimes the abuse was subtler and psychological, but no less devastating, the author writes.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Online gambling

Books 2 Byte
Law & Sports in India
Justice Mukul Mudgal

Policing g@mblers

There is no specific law governing online gambling in India, writes Justice Mukul Mudgal in Law & Sports in India. He speaks of two types of online gambling – casino-style gaming and lotteries, which are typically based on chance; and the second, betting, particularly in sports, where events take place in real time and can be verified independently.


Trade only in the direction of the trend

How to Make Money Trading with Candlestick Charts
Balkrishna M. Sadekar

Cut the clutter in stock charts

Do not become a victim of ‘analysis paralysis,' cautions Balkrishna M. Sadekar in How to Make Money Trading with Candlestick Charts. There are over a hundred technical indicators which traders use for deciphering the way a stock is heading, and traders can also program their own indicators and back-test the same on different stocks, the author explains.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Globalisation of English

Books 2 Byte
Chutnefying English
Rita Kothari and Rupert Snell

English and call centres

English, especially in the call centre, is now only one among many skills that need to be mastered in order to be a productive subject of the corporation and the nation, writes Mathangi Krishnamurthy in one of the essays included in Chutnefying English: The phenomenon of Hinglish, edited by Rita Kothari and Rupert Snell.


‘Brand advocacy'

Book Mark
Wiki Brands
Sean Moffitt and Mike Dover

Marketers as dialogue facilitators

We have entered a new generation of brand building, where the litmus test for a thriving business is ‘Does your brand deliver genuine participation?' write Sean Moffitt and Mike Dover in Wiki Brands: Reinventing your company in a customer-driven marketplace.