FEATURING THIS WEEK’s ARTICLES POSTED TO WCs ACROSS GIBS CAMPUS
Oxford online dictionary – more voguish vocabulary, Siraj Datoo
Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) is adding a slew of words that only recently came into general usage, many driven by fast-moving trends in technology and culture. Yes, “twerk” is now in the dictionary. The most relevant addition to the dictionary for Quartz readers is probably “phablet,” a portmanteau of “phone” and “tablet” used to describe oversized smartphones. Other new words and phrases that resonate with Quartz include “bitcoin,” “internet of things,” and “space tourism.” We are less enamored of “vom,” which is shorthand for “vomit.” Oxford University Press publishes both the ODO and the more famous Oxford English Dictionary (OED). These words are only going into the ODO, which prides itself on staying up-to-date with modern lingo. The OED describes itself as a “historic dictionary” and never removes any words, even if they fall out of use.
Here is a partial list of the new words along with the ODO’s definitions:
• emoji, n: a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
• FIL, n.: a person’s father-in-law (see also MIL, BIL, SIL)
• FOMO, n.: fear of missing out: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
• geek chic, n.: the dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable.
• girl crush, n. (informal): an intense and typically non-sexual liking or admiration felt by one woman or girl for another.
• grats, pl. n. (informal): congratulations.
• bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank
• hackerspace, n.: a place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
• Internet of things, n.: a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
• jorts, pl. n.: denim shorts.
• LDR, n.: a long-distance relationship.
• me time, n. (informal): time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or
What Africa can learn from medieval Europe, by C. R.
OVER the last few decades, Africa’s failure to achieve rapid growth has puzzled economists. GDP statistics clearly show that African economies have failed to converge with Europe’s since the Second World War. While GDP per capita in constant terms almost quintupled in Western Europe between 1950 and 2008, it only doubled in Africa in the same period. Some African countries have not simply failed to catch up with Europe but have fallen behind in absolute terms. GDP per capita in countries like the Central African Republic, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have fallen over this same period. Many scholars still blame the continent’s economic woes on the legacy of western colonialism. But a new paper* by Stephen Broadberry and Leigh Gardner, both at the London School of Economics, seeks to find a new answer to this old question by comparing trends in contemporary Africa to Europe’s development experience over the last 800 years.
Africa’s failure to develop, they argue, should not be seen as the exception, but as the historical norm. Africa’s growth trends since 1950—overall stagnation with periods of growth and decline—appear incredibly similar, both in terms of patterns and level, to those of pre-modern Europe. It took European countries until the 1800s to exceed Africa’s current per capita output. Humanity all over the world, for the vast majority of its history, has experienced periods of growth followed by reversals which have limited increases in per capita income. Although Africa went through periods of economic growth in the 1950s, 1960s, late-1980s and the 2000s, these growth spurts were off-set by “growth reversals” in the 1970s, early-1980s and the 1990s, when GDP fell. Similar patterns can be seen in pre-modern economic history, when falling per capita GDP figures in the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries wiped out earlier gains the population have equal opportunity to access state services, such as the courts system to enforce property rights . . . Mr Broadberry and Ms Gardner argue that failure to fulfill these threshold conditions in most African countries have resulted in them being trapped in the cyclical pattern of growth reversals seen over the last 60 years. They argue policy makers should encourage both democratization as well as the expansion of “state capacity” in order to escape from the threat growth reversals still pose to Africa’s current phase of growth.
But perhaps other lessons could be learned from this sort of economic history as well, aside from the importance of good institutions for growth. Social conditions could also be important in explaining development. Both modern Africa and medieval Europe suffered growth reversals after long-lasting epidemics: after HIV/AIDS hit Africa and after bubonic plague spread into Europe. Perhaps higher expenditure on healthcare and preventative measures against future epidemics could boost growth. And as growth took off in Europe after the invention of the printing press and the spread of mass literacy, higher spending on education may matter too.
New explanations of underdevelopment are putting increasing stress on sociological factors as well. “Pro-poor policies”, which boost economic aspirations, might also be an effective way of kick starting economic growth in third-world countries. Theories like these may go some of the way to explaining why growth took off fastest in north-west Europe where the destruction of feudal structures that prevented social mobility occurred first. Refer source: *S. N. Broadberry, and L. A. Gardner. “Africa’s Growth Prospects in a European Mirror: A Historical Perspective”. The CAGE-Chatham House Series, No. 5. February 2013.
Steve Jobs Shared His 12 Rules Of Success, By Joel / Addicted2Success
• Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Do what you love to do and make a difference! The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
• Be different. Think different. “Better be a pirate than to join the navy.”
Do your best. Do your best at every job. No sleep! Success generates more success. So be hungry for it. Hire good people with passion for excellence.
• Make SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate in throwing bad apples out of the company.
• Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be quickly and decisively acted upon and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it! Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
• Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. “I want to put a ding in the universe,” reveal Steve Jobs his dream.
• Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it no matter if anyone else is not using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.
• Focus on the outcome. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.Advertise. If they don’t know it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
• Ask for feedback. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.
• Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate, let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.
• Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
• Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn! Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.
Scanning, ranking and sharing the best management ideas in the world/Thinkers50
Hall of Fame – The business world is fickle and has a short memory. And this is especially true in the world of business ideas. Brilliant tools and techniques are put to work and then taken for granted, their creators speedily forgotten. The quest for newness and differentiation means that curious business leaders are quickly onto the next big idea. -This relentless curiosity is a good thing. But, it means that the giants of thinking who originated the most innovative business ideas which inspired best practice are often overlooked and forgotten. This is reflected in the Thinkers50 ranking whose emphasis is on the thinkers making an impact today. At the Thinkers50 our mission is to scan, rank and share the best management ideas. As part of this mission we salute the distinguished thinkers whose contributions to management thinking have made it what it is today. So, we welcome the first phalanx of thinkers into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. They are distinguished thinkers who have all made a lasting and vital impact on how organizations are led and managed. They are the giants upon whose shoulders managers and leaders stand.
Once included in the Hall of Fame we will no longer consider them for the Thinkers50 ranking but will continue to celebrate and refer to their work.
Robert Kaplan and David Norton
Robert Kaplan and David Norton are best known as the originators of the Balanced Scorecard, a strategic management tool that links a company’s current actions with its long-term goals. The Balanced Scorecard is one of the most successful and widely used management tools in the world. Kaplan and Norton first brought the balanced scorecard to the attention of the managerial masses in their Harvard Business Review article, “The Balanced Scorecard—Measures that Drive Performance” (1992). Since then, they have written numerous books together focusing on aspects of the concept.
Kaplan is Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School. Norton is the founder and director of The Palladium Group, the US based organizational strategy consultants. As well as the Balanced Scorecard, Kaplan co-developed the concept of activity based costing, and has applied this approach to health care with his Harvard colleague, Michael Porter.
Are the Brains of Introverts and Extroverts Actually Different? By Crux Guest Blogger, Ben Thomas
. . . What does neuroscience have to say about all this? Do the brains of introverted people really look and behave differently from those of extroverts? And if so, what might those differences mean?
Introvert v. Extrovert – Before we go any further, it’s important to point out a significant distinction. When Carl Jung coined the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” in the early twentieth century, he emphasized that introverts aren’t necessarily shy or insecure—nor are extroverts necessarily empathic or loving. The distinction between the two, Jung wrote, lies mainly in the fact that introverts get exhausted by social interaction, while extroverts get anxious when left alone. Introverts need solitude in order to recharge, while extroverts draw energy from socializing. Modern psychologists have added a third category, the ambivert, a personality that combines both introverted and extroverted traits—for example, a ruthless lawyer or CEO who loves to lead but doesn’t crave peer approval. And the Russian Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reports that his most artistic patients tended to drift between introversion and extroversion throughout their lives. “[They’re] usually one or the other,” he wrote, “either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show.”