BOG BLOG : 25 JAN – 15 FEB 2013


GIBSIC stacks

GIBSIC stacks

The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism, says Adrian Wooldridge

….     Small is powerful –  The Nordic countries have a collective population of only 26m. Finland is the only one of them that is a member of both the European Union and the euro area. Sweden is in the EU but outside the euro and has a freely floating currency. Denmark, too, is in the EU and outside the euro area but pegs its currency to the euro. Norway has remained outside the EU. But there are compelling reasons for paying attention to these small countries on the edge of Europe. The first is that they have reached the future first. They are grappling with problems that other countries too will have to deal with in due course, such as what to do when you reach the limits of big government and how to organise society when almost all women work. And the Nordics are coming up with highly innovative solutions that reject the tired orthodoxies of left and right.    . . .    They owe their success to four qualities. The first is their commitment to relentless innovation which they apply to even the most basic industries. Tiny Denmark remains the world’s eighth-biggest food exporter thanks to its obsession with productivity. Danish farmers use implanted chips to monitor their cows to maximise their milk yield. KJ Industries has developed a way of mechanising the carving up of carcasses by programming the cutting machines with the help of X-rays.

A couple of parenting tricks from the French, who are great at raising kids / Julie Zeveloff

Last year, author Pamela Druckerman caused a firestorm when she published an essay in The Wall Street Journal called “Why French Parents are Superior.” The story, an excerpt from her book Bringing Up Bébé, concluded that French kids were better-behaved because their parents weren’t obsessive, and because they taught their kids how to wait. A year later, Druckerman’s back in The WSJ. She’s put some of the French parenting strategies she described in the article to use in her own Paris home, and details her interactions with her three kids over the course of a typical weekend.

Excerpt …

  • Make it clear that the parents’ bedroom is off-limits to the kids: “Our bedroom is our castle. Or at least we act like it is. Like our French friends, we believe this isn’t just selfishly good for us. It also teaches our kids to cope with boredom, and to understand that we have needs too,” Druckerman writes. Instead of letting them barge in at the crack of dawn, she has taught her kids to play quietly in their own room when they wake up.
  • Let the kids pick a vegetable at the grocery store: Having a say will make them more interested once the veggie is on their plates, she writes. And serve the vegetables first; they’re more likely to be eaten when the kids are still hungry.
  • Give your kids a responsibility at mealtime: Let them set the table or load the dishwasher. “Autonomy – being able to manage without lots of parental micromanagement – is a big theme in France. It’s also supposed to be good for kids,” Druckerman writes.
  • Education vs. Discipline: One of the biggest points in Druckerman’s original article is that French parents don’t discipline, they “educate” them – teaching them to be patient and play alone. In her follow-up article, she elaborates: “When a child interrupts, parents ask her to please wait a minute. And conversely, they try not to interrupt the child. If he’s absorbed in something and playing happily, they don’t barge in and offer her a snack. Of course the child will try to interrupt again. But her parents keep saying, ‘please wait.’


The awesome power of goal setting: tips for triumph – Set your course and direction with goals / By Susan M. Heathfield, Guide

Heed the advice offered by Lewis Caroll’s Cheshire Cat, JoLewis Carrohann Wolfgang Von Goethe and Stephen Covey. When you begin your new year with solid direction and desired outcomes in mind, you set yourself up for awesome success.

Abridged . . .
Write Your Goals – Writing out your goal is your commitment to achieving the goal. Writing a goal is a powerful statement in comparison with half-formulated thoughts in the back of your mind.
Share Your Goals With People Who Are Important to You – If you are certain your significant others will support the accomplishment of your goals, share them. Your manager is likely to support your goal accomplishment as your success is her success
Check Goal Setting and Achievement Progress Regularly – One of the weaknesses of any annual appraisal system is the lack of frequency with which progress and success are measured and tracked.
Take Action to Identify and Eliminate Obstacles to Goal Setting Success – Simply tracking your goals daily is not enough. If you’re unhappy with your progress, you need to assess what is keeping you from accomplishing the goals. Ask yourself questions such as, “Is this goal really important?”
Reward Yourself and Celebrate Goal Accomplishment – Even the accomplishment of a minor goal is cause for celebration. Don’t depress yourself with thoughts about all you still have to do. Celebrate what you have done
Goals and New Year Resolutions Change -Periodically look at the goals you have set for this year. Are the goals still the right goals? Give yourself permission to change your goals and resolutions based on changing circumstances.
Base Your Goals Firmly in Your Values – Hyrum Smith, the founder of Franklin Quest, later Franklin-Covey, Inc., developed a model for goal setting. Smith’s “Success Triangle” puts governing values at the base of the goal setting process
Believe You Can Accomplish the Goal – Each of us has a little voice in our head. It is the voice of our sub-conscious, judging self. On a daily basis, we engage in self-talk; we comment on each situation we encounter.
Paint a Vivid Outcome – Traditionally, goals were established around measurable outcomes. This works well when the outcomes are measurable. Don’t tie yourself to setting only measurable goals

The new normal for Higher education? Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)’s insight:

. . .     “As we look to the future of higher education, said the M.I.T. president, L. Rafael Reif, something that we now call a ‘degree’ will be a concept ‘connected with bricks and mortar’ — and traditional on-campus experiences that will increasingly leverage technology and the Internet to enhance classroom and laboratory work. Alongside that, though, said Reif, many universities will offer online courses to students anywhere in the world, in which they will earn ‘credentials’ — certificates that testify that they have done the work and passed all the exams. The process of developing credible credentials that verify that the student has adequately mastered the subject — and did not cheat — and can be counted on by employers is still being perfected by all the MOOCs. But once it is, this phenomenon will really scale.
I can see a day soon where you’ll create your own college degree by taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world — some computing from Stanford, some entrepreneurship from Wharton, some ethics from Brandeis, some literature from Edinburgh — paying only the nominal fee for the certificates of completion. It will change teaching, learning and the pathway to employment. ‘There is a new world unfolding,’ said Reif, ‘and everyone will have to adapt.’

*Also refers to ChezINFO curated content at via NYT 27/01/2013

Business experience vs academic credentials – Are Business Schools missing a trick?, Dr Sarah Dixon

“I recently spoke at a stimulating seminar on ‘Leveraging a Business Career into Academic Success’ run by the Foundation for Management Educaton (FME). Being asked to speak  about this was a great opportunity for me right at the beginning of  my new job as Dean of the Bradford School of Management.
I had a story to tell about my first faltering steps as a Senior Lecturer at  Faculty of Business and Law, Kingston University and how I battled my way over an 8 year period to Director of Postgraduate Programmes at Kingston, then on to the post of Head of MSc programmes at the School of Management, University of Bath and now the greatest challenge of all – the Deanship at Bradford.   This all represented a dramatic change in career trajectory as I had  previously had 23 years’ management experience in international roles in  Shell – so I speak personally when I say I’m particularly keen that we look outside the strict boundaries of academic achievement to provide the very best business education. I am really passionate about  how important it is for  business  and management schools to bring business leaders on to their teaching staff in order to give real value to our students.

The three barriers business leaders face

  • 1. The lack of published academic work – they have real hands-on experience but no academic credentials.
    2. They are leaders in their own field – but if they switch to academia, they have to start from scratch or at least way down the pecking order compared to what they’re used to.
  • 3. While trying to teach, they also have to play catch-up, working on their PhDs or DBAs in their spare time.



(Thirty) . . . tips for successful academic research and writing, Deborah Lupton  /  • Via LSE Blog – Note: This article gives the views of the author(s), and not the position of the Impact of Social Sciences blog, nor of the London School of Economics.

Choosing something that you are passionately interested in to research is a great first step on the road to successful academic writing but it can be difficult to keep the momentum going. Deborah Lupton explains how old-fashioned whiteboards and online networking go hand-in-hand, and advices when it is time to just ‘make a start’ or go for a bike ride.

Excerpt . . .
These tips are in no particular order, apart from number 1, which I consider to be the most important of all.
Planning your research schedule

  • Choose something to research/write about that you are passionately interested in. I find that most of my research and writing tends to spring from wanting to find out more or understand more about a particular phenomenon that intrigues me. In explaining it to myself I end up explaining it to others, hopefully in a new and interesting way that is worthy of publication.
  • Be organised – planning time use is essential when there are many demands on your time.
  • Make sure that you set aside one or more periods of time each week when you devote yourself to research and don’t let other demands impinge on this time.
  •  So I can easily see what I need to do and by when, I use a white-board with a ‘to do’ list with tasks listed monthly and their deadlines. I rub off tasks as I complete them (usually with a great sense of accomplishment!). Very low tech, I know, but effective as a visual reminder.
  • Plan your research in chunks: this morning, today, this week, this month, next few months, this year, next three years. Have a clear idea for what you want to achieve in these time periods and try to stick to this as much as you can.
  • I don’t tend to think more than a year ahead when it comes to research outcomes I want to achieve, but I find it helpful to write up at least a one-year research plan at the beginning of each year. Some people may also want to prepare a 3- or 5-year research plan.
  • Be strategic about every bit of research time available. Think about the best use of your time. Difficult cognitive tasks requiring intense thought often need a lengthy period of time, so plan to do these when this is available to you. Easy or less time-intensive tasks such as correcting proofs, editing or formatting a journal article or chapter for submission or reading some materials and taking notes can be fitted in smaller periods of time.

Making a start

  • Use whatever research time you have to do something, however small the task.
  • Make a start. Once you have an idea for a piece of writing, create a file for it on your computer and write down anything, however rough and however brief, even if it is just a provisional title and some notes about possible content. It can always be polished and developed later or even discarded if you decide eventually not to go ahead with the idea.
  •  Organise your writing into different computer files: articles in progress, submitted articles, accepted articles, conference papers, blog posts, book proposals, grant applications etc.
  •  articles, conference papers, blog posts, book proposals, grant applications etc.
  • Organise your PDF journal article collection under topics in files on your computer.
  • If you are feeling unenthusiastic or have hit a wall – leave that piece of writing for a while and work on another piece of writing.
  • If no external deadline has been set, set yourself deadlines and try to meet these as much as you can, so that you can then move on to the next piece of writing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             article continues  . . .

GIBSIC  policy update  2013    –

GIBSIC Shhhh  policy

GIBSIC Shhhh policy

Code of conduct  –  in summary

Updated 2013  -  Code of conduct

Updated 2013 – Code of conduct

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