The world’s most ‘liveable’ cities (The Economist)

by The Economist, 18 August 2015

According to the 2015 “Liveabililty Index” these are the best cities to live in

  1. Melbourne (Australia)
  2. Vienna (Austria)
  3. Vancouver (Canada)
  4. Toronto (Canada)
  5. Calgary (Canada)
  6. Adelaide (Australia)
  7. Sydney (Australia)
  8. Perth (Australia)
  9. Auckland (Australia)
  10. Helsinki (Finland)
  11. Zurich (Switzerland)

The index based its findings on 30 factors spread over five areas: stability, infrastructure, education, health and environment.

Australia it seems, is the country to be living in.

Source: The Economist

Troubled youths (The Economist)

“On most measures Britain is doing well: last year its economy grew faster than any other G7 country, while overall unemployment is 5.6%, compared with 10% in France.  But according to the OECD, on one measure Britain still lags behind. The rate of those who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is, at 12%, around the OECD average.

But British youngsters who leave school early are the most likely to be unemployed in the rich world.  But it also points to a more worrying trend among British youths. In a trend not seen anywhere else in the European Union, children of native-born Britons are more likely to be unemployed than the offspring of immigrants”

Source: The Economist

Cracking the digital-shopper genome (McKinsey&Company)

By Gadi BenMark and Maher Masri

Source:, August 2015

Why do online shoppers remain a mystery for companies?

McKinsey brings the solution – the shopper genome – converting the vast amount of data regarding consumer behavior and desires into meaningful insights.

Companies should aspire to create a complete picture of the customer across a complete set of shopper characteristics :

  • Customer decision journey captures customer behavioral pathways and attitudes at each stage of a purchase journey. A customer may initially look for inspiration (ideas on what to buy) and then information (product descriptions, reviews, informational blogging content) before seeking the best way to buy a given service or product.
  • Digital-channel preference highlights how a shopper prefers to interact with a brand. These insights come from understanding how customers interact through various digital channels—such as apps, e-mail, social media, and video—and the ultimate value of that interaction.
  • Product affinity details what products and product attributes customers prefer across brands and categories. These insights are based on where customers spend their time while visiting a website and on their product-purchase history.
  • Response to offers details how customers respond to various offers and what incrementally results from those interactions. These responses track how coupon offers, discounts, and loyalty rewards, for instance, affect customer-shopping behavior.
  • Life moments and context looks at episodes in a customer’s life (such as having a child, getting a new job, or moving house) and behavior during seasonal events (such as at Christmas or on vacation).
  • Demographics, preferences, and needs provide insights about shoppers based on information beyond interactions with a specific e-commerce company

Source: McKinsey&Company

18 Things you should never do abroad (

We’ve all been in those awkward situations, not nothing what to do, not wanting to offend when travelling abroad.  Gulliver Globelink, compiled a list of 18 don’ts to make travelling abroad easier.

France – Don’t talk or ask about money (actually this is applicable globally).

Ukraine – Don’t give an even number of flowers.

New Zealand – Don’t honk, you will insult the locals.

India – Don’t touch the opposite sex in public.

Japan – Don’t leave tips.

Mexico – Don’t get offended at locals’ jokes.

Norway – Don’t ask about going to church.

Turkey – Don’t show the OK gesture as it is deemed very offensive.

UK – Don’t ask how much people earn (another global no-no).

Ireland – Don’t try to imitate the Irish accent.

Germany – Don’t congratulate a German on their birthday, the day before.

Kenya – Don’t call people by their name first.

Chile – Don’t eat with your hands.

Singapore – Don’t eat in public transport.

USA – Don’t forget to leave a tip.

Italy – Don’t order cappuccinos in restaurants.

Hungary – Don’t clink glasses when toasting.

China – Don’t give a clock or an umbrella as a gift.


8 Things mentally strong people do every single day (FirstSun)

FirstSun Consulting summarised Amy Moran’s//  original article posted on July 24, 2015 issues on into 8 bite size take aways.

1) They Use their Mental Energy Wisely

2) They Reframe Their Negative Thoughts

3) They Work Toward Established Goals

4) They Reflect on Their Progress

5) They Tolerate Discomfort for a Greater Purpose

6) They Practice Gratitude

7) They Balance Emotions with Logic

8) They Live According to their Values

Source: FirstSun Blog

Digital manufacturing: The revolution will be virtualized (

Article by Brian Hartmann, William P. King, and Subu Narayan

Quoted synopsis

“Explosion in data and new computing capabilities—along with advances in other areas such as artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, additive technology, and human-machine interaction—are unleashing innovations that will change the nature of manufacturing itself. Industry and academic leaders agree that digital-manufacturing technologies will transform every link in the manufacturing value chain, from research and development, supply chain, and factory operations to marketing, sales, and service. Digital connectivity among designers, managers, workers, consumers, and physical industrial assets will unlock enormous value and change the manufacturing landscape forever.

Yet while manufacturing generates more data than any other sector of the economy, few companies are harnessing it.

How leading companies are responding

  • Many large manufacturers are starting to use data analytics to optimize factory operations, boosting equipment utilization and product quality while reducing energy consumption.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers are using their deeper understanding of end-to-end processes to develop continuous manufacturing suites with footprints less than half the size of conventional factories.
  • Leading consumer-packaged-goods companies are using digital tools to improve distribution and build bonds with consumers. Global fashion retailer Zara is already renowned for developing and shipping new products within two weeks.
  • The aerospace-and-defense industry is using digital tools to integrate an enormously complex supply network. A modern jet turbine engine has hundreds of individual parts, for example, some of which the engine manufacturer makes in-house and others it sources from a network of dozens of vendors.

Questions the C-suite should ask

The digital revolution is only beginning to take shape. But we do know that leaders in digital manufacturing, including some smaller players, are already gaining significant competitive advantage. We believe that every player should be asking five questions:

  • How will digital disrupt my industry in the next five to ten years, and what new ecosystems will emerge?
  • Where is the value for my company, and how can we maximize it?
  • How close is the revolution to our factory doors, and where should I make investments in infrastructure, cybersecurity, and partnerships?
  • What new capabilities, skills, and mind-sets will we need in our organization? How will we identify, recruit, and retain the right new talent?
  • What should we pilot now to start capturing this value?”

To read the full article, click here

You need an innovation strategy (Harvard Business Review)

Original article by Gary Pisano from the June 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review


“Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance—as Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and countless others have found. Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with innovation improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an innovation strategy. …

Without an innovation strategy, innovation improvement efforts can easily become a grab bag of much-touted best practices: dividing R&D into decentralized autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, setting up corporate venture-capital arms, pursuing external alliances, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, collaborating with customers, and implementing rapid prototyping…. The problem is that an organization’s capacity for innovation stems from an innovation system: a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the company searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes ideas into a business concept and product designs, and selects which projects get funded.”

To read the full article, click here