BOG BLOG : 31 AUGUST – 7 SEPTEMBER 2012

FEATURING THIS WEEK’s ARTICLES POSTED TO WCs ACROSS  GIBS  CAMPUS

cityam newspaper on business studies

 

 

  Readers are leaders  –  For those who want to lead, read / by John Coleman, HBR 

excerpt . . .

Here are a few tips:

  • Join a reading group. One of my friends meets bimonthly with a group of colleagues to read classics in philosophy, fiction, history, and other areas. Find a group of friends who will do the same with you.
    Vary your reading. If you’re a business person who typically only reads business writing, commit to reading one book this year in three areas outside your comfort zone: a novel, a book of poetry, or a nonfiction piece in science, biography, history, or the arts.
    Apply your reading to your work. Are you struggling with a problem at work? Pick up a book on neuroscience or psychology and see if there are ways in which you can apply the lessons from those fields to your profession.
    Encourage others. After working on a project with colleagues, I’ll often send them a book that I think they’ll enjoy. Try it out; it might encourage discussion, cross-application of important lessons, and a proliferation of readers in your workplace.
    Read for fun. Not all reading has to be developmental. Read to relax, escape, and put your mind at ease.

Generation Y  resigns   –   switchandshift.com offers envisages the new world of work

Excerpts from the letter of resignation   . . .

My favorite thing about your traditional office was when I was done with my work at 2pm, but you made me sit there until 5pm. Or if you were having a good day and I wasn’t afraid to ask, you generously let me leave at 4:45pm. Your flexibility in wasting my time fit the old-school office template to a T.  And lastly, there were blue-jean Fridays. Whoever thought of that should get an award. Wearing jeans on Fridays was a great way to show your appreciation to us for our hard work, and it showed us what a cool company we were!   But as great as it was here in the office, I’vedecided to transition out and fly solo into entrepreneurship.

Library planning : What to include in library .mobi sites 

To reiterate the main features in most library mobile sites include  –

  •     Mobile library catalogue + loan related services
        Information about opening hours
        Directions to the library
        How to contact library via multiple channels of communication (Chat/SMS/Phone/Email)
        Links to mobile enabled databases
        Links to mobile enabled web2.0 accounts such as Twitter/Flickr/YouTube/Facebook
        Floor maps
        Checking computer availability, book discussion rooms
        Web cam to check congestion in libraries
        Library news events and offering content for download Podcasts, videos

Some thoughts on how best to nurture entrepreneurs in Africa  /  Ndubuisi Ekekwe, HBR Blog Network 

Funding: While it is good to travel from the U.S. and Europe to run workshops on entrepreneurships in Africa, what matters most is funding. There are many local NGOs running these programs, but unless someone has money to invest in the best entrepreneurial ideas, nothing happens.

Mentoring: Young African entrepreneurs need business mentors. In most communities, the richest people are still politicians and military men. It’s hard to finding businesspeople who can inspire.

Monetization: Young entrepreneurs need to learn that giving away their products for free may not work most times. Rather, they should invest time to find how to monetize their ideas and use the revenue to grow. Building free apps hurts local industry. What works in the U.S. may not work in Africa.

Think Local: While building a Facebook clone could be exciting, it does not have much prospect for success. Most people will not leave Facebook and join the local one. That energy can be used to create a local app.

Segregate Websites: In this area of acquisitions, it makes sense to build multiple websites for different core ideas. That will help the startup sell each unit independently. When one site hosts all the ideas, untangling them during acquisitions could be difficult. Thinking how to exit at the beginning is very important.

Video: Scientists figure out mechanics of wet-dog shake  /  Laura Shin

Science is generally useful and fun, sometimes tending more toward the fun end of the spectrum. Case in point: Researchers have determined just how 16 different animals, ranging from furry beasts like bears to furry critters like mice, shake water from their fur. (Fun fact: A large dog can shed 70% of the water in its fur in four seconds.) What they’ve found is that each animals’ shaking speed varies by its size, but that each creature’s shake is a paragon of efficiency: it gets the animal as dry as possible, wasting as little energy as possible. This efficiency would be helpful to any furry animal trying to conserving heat on a cold day, when an animal could die of hypothermia if it couldn’t dry itself.

Mechanical engineering professor David Hu and his colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta worked with a zoo to get their results, which they published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Now, why would they do this? Well, sometimes when you’re looking to design a man-made object and you aren’t sure how to build it, it’s best to mimic nature. As Nature News reports:  Understanding how animals shake themselves dry could help scientists to develop ways to rapidly shed water from man-made equipment. Hu hopes that devices can be engineered to incorporate elasticity similar to the all-important loose skin, and suggests that even the humble washing machine could learn a trick or two from the animal world about shedding water. Nature also has a very excellent (read: adorable) video of animals shaking their fur to a soundtrack of Strauss’s Blue Danube, which is a rather fitting musical choice.

MOOCs shake up world’s universities ‘like a tectonic shock’ – Simon Marginson

In World Blog, Jo Ritzen argues that universities could help Europe out of its current economic crisis, but there needs to be more Pan-European higher education cooperation and institutions need to become more engaged in broader societal issues.  In Commentary, Simon Marginson explains why Massive Open Online Courses – MOOCs – will be the game changer in higher education worldwide. Lynnel Hoare writes that transnational education may need to overcome ethnocentricity but can bring significant benefits to mature students, and Francesca Onley describes a project involving mobile teaching support in Tanzania that could provide a model for improving learning around the world.
Geoff Maslen interviews Melbourne sociologist Ramon Spaaij, author of a new book on ‘lone wolf’ terrorists – the first in-depth analysis of the phenomenon. Also in Features, Alya Mishra reports on gaps in America’s visa regulations highlighted by the latest raid on a dubious university, which has left hundreds more foreign students stranded. And she looks at a study of India’s culture of creative improvisation, which has led to ‘frugal innovations’ that are attracting interest worldwide.  F inally, Gilbert Nganga writes that rapidly rising student numbers and increased competition have led universities in Kenya to embark on an extraordinary ‘race for space’ in commercial buildings in cities and towns, driving a property boom.

Going Boss-free: Utopia or ‘Lord of the Flies’? Knowledge@Wharton

. . .

It is  a very democratic way of thinking about work,” says Wharton management professor Adam Cobb. “Everyone takes part in the decisions, so it’s not being directed from above. The idea is that the people doing the actual work probably have a better sense of how to get it done than their bosses do. It’s a matter of distributing the expertise to where the expertise actually lies.”

America’s Deficit Attention Disorder – written by David Korten*, Member of the Club of Rome

Money is the least of our problems. It’s time to pay attention to the real deficits that are killing us.  The political debate in the United States and Europe has focused attention on public financial deficits and how best to resolve them. Tragically, the debate largely ignores the deficits that most endanger our future.  

new book titles from GIBS display shelves

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