Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Emerging trend: Banks for Ideas

Peter Drucker, the leading guru of management has advocated that we are in the middle of a great social transformation, akin to the Renaissance, which is symbolized by the computer.

Knowledge has become the means of production and creates value by "productivity" and "innovation" through its application to work.

The new class of post-capitalist society is made up of knowledge workers and service workers.

According to Drucker, we are witnessing a radical change, from the Age of Capitalism and the Nation-State to a Knowledge Society and a Society of Organizations.

More than labour and capital, the world needs fresh ideas to fascilitate the so called 'out of the box' thinking to help solve social probelms, to drive productivity and create future growth for business.

The Institute for Philanthropy, a non-profit making organisation has an ideas bank where dreamers can send their ideas seeking projects and wider participation.

Today companies need blockbuster ideas to continue the process of innovation which in turn helps create new products and new capabilities.

Innovation is the new currency of success in the post-capitalist world and ideas have become more important than ever before.

Top companies like the Microsoft and others are empowering people with the tools to push various ideas into the marketplace. It makes good business sense for these companies to collaborate with others who can help to drive innovation.

Modern technology and the tools it provides, alone cannot provide the fast growth that business needs. What counts more is how that technology is put to work. This is where the humans come in, in the form of knowledge and service workers.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Want to own a franchise?

Here's some useful tips from Businessweek.

Racism is Evil

The United States, being the only superpower has vast economic, social and political influence on the global stage. The United States is the beacon of democracy and a bastion of capitalism, for the rest of the world.

The US also has a chequered history of race relations among its migrant community of ethnically diverse racial groups.

From time to time racism rears its ugly head, as we have recently seen when the academy award-winning actor and producer Mel Gibson was caught in a drunken anti-semitic rant.

Now the three-time Emmy Award winner and comedian, best known for playing Cosmo Kramer in the popular TV series 'Seinfield' has let loose a racist tirade on a couple of hecklers at the Laugh Factory in L.A. two weeks ago. Here's this unbelievable outburst on YouTube.

One would wonder, what was he thinking to blow his head off in such a manner. It had to be something more than just a momentary loss of guard to bring out the most repressed feelings to the fore.

With a certain amount of humility, these stars that have a priviledge of appearing in many living rooms should look into their own souls. They should communicate mutual respect and harmony in relationships for they can reach audiences far and wide, thanks to the modern communication today.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Meaning of Sport

Sport has always been a fascinating cultural, social and competitive event.

So what is the meaning of sport? The meaning would vary depending on who you ask: from the sportsman to the fanatical fan to spectators who would watch when there is nothing else better to do and everyone in between. There are also legions of others who make it their business to be involved with sport.

In his book "The Meaning of Sport (Short books)" the Times chief sports writer Simon Barnes wades through a lifetime of his eminent journalistic experience to show us new meaning in today's sport. Look up his blog here and listen to him describing true greatness in players.

Largely thanks to television, sport has become part of human culture to an extent once inconceivable. As Mihir Bose, the Daily Telegraph columnist, puts it: 'We have lost religion and found sport.'

Friday, November 24, 2006


1) Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
Joseph Addison, The Spectator, July 12, 1711English essayist, poet, & politician (1672 - 1719)

2) Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Here's the positive spirit of cricket

Pakistan players applaud Brian Lara of West Indies reaching his century, Pakistan v West Indies, 2nd Test, Multan, november 21, 2006


Public pressure beats checkbook journalism

Public pressure does count as the OJ Simpson saga has shown in the United States.

In a rare move for the chief executive of an international media conglomerate, News Media Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, has weighed in on the O.J. Simpson controversy.

The book and programme "If I Did It", in which Simpson describes how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend, had caused public outrage.

Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman on 12 June 1994.

Rupert Murdoch called the O.J. TV interview and O.J. confession book an "ill-conceived project" and cancelled both of them.

Mr. Murdoch's News Corp is the parent company of publisher Harper Collins which would have published the book, slated to be released on November 30. Judith Regan, publisher of ReganBooks, had said she considered the book Mr Simpson's confession.

Several affiliates of Mr Murdoch's Fox TV had refused to screen the interview on the grounds of bad taste.

The book and TV interview deal with Mr Murdoch's broadcasting and publishing companies was worth $3.5m. This time public outrage has killed the deal which was rediculous and in poor taste in the first place.

During the interview, Mr Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders at his ex-wife's home in Los Angeles "if he were the one responsible for their killing."

This incident shows how low some media companies will scoop for financial gains. It also shows in an interconnected world of instant communication, the peoples voice is the real power.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Macha green tea gaining popularity

Here's a picture of the popular Japanese macha green tea set.

Macha is green tea powder, which is made from green tea leaves raised in the shade.

Macha, which is used in Japanese tea ceremony and has been drunk for centuries, is different from traditional tea in that it is not infused but ground. It is also grown differently, and is noticeably more expensive.

Now macha is being promoted in Europe and America, primarily as a luxury tea flavour and is in the same league as champagne.

In North America, macha is being sold in Starbucks as a sort of 'healthy coffee' alternative. The macha frappe is the new trendy drink, and the ingredient is visible in numerous smoothie chains.

This trend is also catching up in the United Kingdom, the most famous tea drinkers in the western hemisphere.

Macha green tea also has obvious health implications. Consumer awareness of the health properties of green tea has become fairly well established, and is backed up by a number of studies.

A Japanese study earlier this year for example found that Japanese adults drinking five or more cups of green tea daily were 16 per cent less likely to die from a range of illnesses, and particularly heart disease, than those only drinking one cup per day.

Crackdown against junk food adverts

In the United Kingdom, health campaigners claim that new rules to be published restricting the advertising of junk food to children on television will be too weak to halt the soaring levels of obesity.

Ofcom, the media regulator, conducted research that showed consumers oppose such a move.

Representatives from the food and drinks sectors and the advertising industry yesterday welcomed Ofcom's research as a "counter-balance" to the arguments of ban supporters such as the National Heart Forum.

The governments food watchdog, The Food Standandars Agency (FSA) wants a ban on TV commercials advertising junk food before 9pm. They say the proposals drawn up by Ofcom to reduce the effect of junk food ads on children do not go far enough.

Campaigners for the ban argue that around 80%-90% of television advertising is junk food advertising - food that is high in fat, sugar and salt.

If businesses wish to be good corporate citizens, which is one of the mantra of their social responsibilty, they should voluntarily restrict showing such junk food ads targeting children. Also food vendors should be pressured to reduce the unhealthy fat, sugar and salt in their foods.

Almost 14 per cent of Britain's children were obese in 2003, compared to 9.6 per cent in 1995, and doctors have warned half of the countries kids could be obese by 2020.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Beatles release ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

Three years in the making, and a masterclass in studio creativity has produced a new mash-up album, "Love" is made up of 26 Beatles tracks as they have never been heard, put together by the band's producer, Sir George Martin, and his son Giles.

This latest rehashed "Love" collection is a Beatles catalogue of an endlessly milked cash cow for EMI.

With EMI’s latest six-month profits down by a whopping £22.4 million from last year, to just £18.6 million, the company is relying on Love to perform well — though just how much of those royalties Martin and Giles stand to receive for an album which so blurs the line between production and wholesale reconfiguration is open to speculation.

Commenting on this project George Martin said, "It`s been an odyssey, a journey and it`s been a lot of fun along the way. This music is to convey the unanimity of the Beatles. It was a great privilege for me."

It will be interesting to see how other artists take this concept and recreate their own works.

Love will be released on 20 November just in time for the christmas market.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman: An economic grandmaster dies

Legendary Milton Friedman, a champion of free-market economics and individual freedom died yesterday in San Francisco. He was 94.

Mr. Friedman was considered a leading economic thinker of the 20th century. His many prescriptions for policy, notably on managing the nation's money supply and curbing the welfare state, influenced US presidents and presidential candidates starting in the 1960s.

Mr. Friedman promoted laissez-faire capitalism. Friedman, an economic giant himself and a Nobel Prize winner, had opposing views to another illustreous economic giant of the 20th century: John Maynard Keynes, the famous British economist who died in 1946.

Keynes advocated an interventionist government policy to smooth out the business cycle by stimulating and managing demand for goods and services through such mechanisms as public-works programs, deposit insurance and deficit spending.

Friedman felt the more efficient approach is for government to cut taxes, curb regulation and focus on the supply of money in circulation. Keynes's prescription was that global finance can be stabilized through fixed exchange rates while Friedman's formula is to use floating exchange rates.

Milton Friedman is not simply the most influential economist since Keynes, but a worthy successor, building on Keynes's insights even as he discredited key aspects of Keynesian economic management.

Larry Summers, the former Treasury secretary and Harvard president has said that Keynesian theory was not so much wrong as incomplete.

With his focus on the overall demand for goods and services in the economy, Keynes overlooked the importance of the supply of money in circulation. Friedman argued that controlling that supply was a better tool for managing the economy than taxation and spending policies.

Friedman's belief in free markets sometimes bordered on the fanatic — he has called for drugs and prostitution to be decriminalised. And while he never formally advised Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, he did visit Chile and helped lay the foundations for that country's economic revival.

Friedman's critics argue the fact that Pinochet applied free-market policies while running a military dictatorship is evidence that free markets don't necessarily result in freedom.

An adage frequently associated with Milton Friedman is "There is no such thing as a free lunch." This view has certainly influenced his approach to public policy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Picturesque Lake

It's the crater lake in Oregon, USA. This lake was formed about 7500 years ago, when a volcanic mountain collapsed on itself. Its incredible blue color comes from its depth and clarity. Sunlight penetrates deep into the water and only blue light is reflected back.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Master Mind Alliance


A Master Mind alliance involves two or more people working together in perfect harmony toward the attainment of a common purpose.

Such a partnership creates a superpower that enables each of its members to do far more than either would have been able to achieve separately.

Choose your Master Mind partners carefully. Align yourself with people whose strengths complement yours.

If you are a right brain person, for example, a logically-driven left brain person may be a perfect counterbalance to your creative bent.

Above all, choose to associate only with people who share your positive values and your commitment to similar levels of achievement.

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

Fish philosophy for nurses

It's an unlikely name for a management parable for motivation in the workplace; the fish philosophy is being used by King's Colledge Hospital in London.

Nurses in the hospital are being offered free coffee and biscuits as part of a incentive scheme to improve patient care in the hospital.

Ms Trueman, the hospital's head of nursing for medicine, said the scheme was based on the US philosophy Fish which has four basic principles; Be there, Play, Make their day and Choose your attitude.

The fish have an attitude that has inspired us and given us a remarkable path to boost morale and improve efficiency.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Economic populism has won for Democrats

The last time US Congress changed hands, the Republican freshman class of 1994 roared into town under the leadership of Newt Gingrich as speaker and quickly advanced a conservative agenda of exceptional ambition.

In the just concluded mid-term elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Democratic Party, the present minority party in both houses of Congress, campaigned hard bringing focus to the failed policy of an unpopular war in Iraq.

The Democrats also higlighted the "middle-class squeeze" and "median wage stagnation" by economists, the incomes of median American households have barely shifted since George W. Bush was elected on a ticket of "compassionate conservatism" in 2000.

The American electorate have resoundingly spoken at the ballot box. Six States voted Tuesday on initiatives to raise the minimum wage. All six endorsed those initiatives, mostly by solid or overwhelming majorities (The states were Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio).

This news may come as little surprise--boosting the minimum wage always polls well--but it did signal an Election 2006 trend: Economic populism was a big winner.

In his post-election column, Pat Buchanan, a conservative columnist who ran for presidential election in 2000 wrote of the results as proof that "economic nationalism" is returning.

"With the 2006 election, America appears to have reached the tipping point on free trade," Buchanan wrote. "Anxiety, and fear of jobs lost to India and China, seems a more powerful emotion than gratitude for the inexpensive goods at Wal-Mart."

Many leading Democrats, including Mr Brown and Mr Webb, campaigned for "fair trade" and "putting Americans first", which is code for including labour standards in bilateral trade agreements and being more critical of companies that "outsource" manufacturing jobs to China and service sector jobs to India.

They are likely to be aggressive in pushing for tougher scrutiny of explicit and hidden tax breaks for large energy and pharmaceutical companies – known as "corporate welfare".

As the world focuses on the brewing debate over Iraq between the Bush administration and a Democratic Capitol Hill, the battle to define America's response to globalisation is also hotting up.

"Both the Democrats and the Bush administration will want the other side to get the blame if their mutual promise of bipartisanship falls apart," said a senior Democratic strategist. "It could be over Iraq, it could be over the economy."

It is said that when US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. So now the rest of the world can watch to see what gets done or not done in the US Capital.

Friday, November 10, 2006


"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire: you will what you imagine: and at last you create what you will."
-George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Can the green-eyed monster be tamed?

Jealousy is an enduring topic of interest for psychologists and theologians since ages.

Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat--real or imagined--to a valued relationship or to its quality.

Unlike envy, feelings of jealousy always appear to stem from one's sense that something about their life is not secure, e.g., is uncertain or in danger.

In some cases, the insecurity is not founded on realistic dangers to the relationship.

When a person is jealous, the lines of communication gets murky and problems begin to stem from the lack of appropriate communication.

The best way to overcome jealousy is to face your feelings and openly talk about it with the intention to bring about a positive outcome.

According to this Discovery article, human jealousy has roots in our reproductive past and has probably endured because it serves its ultimate purpose, to help ward off potential rivals.

Jealousy produces tremendous pain and distress for people and it is important to quickly turn to positive communication in order to avoid lasting damage to relationships.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Human Relationships


Discord in any relationship often has unpleasant financial implications, but it is far costlier in human terms. When you are involved in a fractious relationship, physical and mental energy that could be directed toward positive achievements is dissipated needlessly, squandered upon stressful, unproductive activities.

Unfortunately, whatever the cause of friction between individuals, it adversely affects each person involved. When you find yourself in a contentious relationship, there are few acceptable alternatives. You can work out your problems or leave the team.

Only you know which is the best solution for you, but if you objectively evaluate your reasons for becoming involved and find that they are still valid, your best course of action may be to swallow your pride and find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved.

If you cannot do this, perhaps it’s time to get out of the partnership and find another course toward your objective.

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation

Monday, November 06, 2006

Silents Jets to curb noise pollution

A team of researchers in Britain and the US has come up with a revolutionary new aircraft design (in the picture above) that could make a dramatic contribution to curbing climate change.

The radically redesigned passenger jet could alleviate a major complaint of people who live near major airports -- the deafening sound of planes taking off and landing.

The "silent jet," which from outside an airport would sound about as noisy as a washing machine or other household appliance, would carry 215 passengers and could be in the air by 2030.

The body shape of the "silent aircraft" would allow for a slower landing approach and takeoff. We won't, however, be queuing up to board the silent planes before 2030 at the earliest.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Global Fisheries Face Peril

Fisheries experts have raised the red flag.

The world's fish and seafood populations will collapse by 2048 if current trends in habitat destruction and overfishing continue, resulting in less food for humans.

The unsustainable over-fishing together with pollution and other forms of over-exploitation is having a disaterous effect on the marine ecosystem.

Fisheries experts are recommending the establishment of "no-fishing" zones and ocean reserves, and banning destructive fishing practices.

They also want to promote commercial fish farming that can take the pressure off fisheries habitats, giving time for the depleting fish stocks to recover.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

An Empire's Mixed Legacy

This article from the Economist provides some insights about the British Imperialism that had ruled India, during the glory days when the sun never set on the empire.

Economists are studying and theorising why under the Imperial Rule, some countries succeeded while others failed. The current favourite is theme is that those that have succeeded had strong “institutions”.

In rich economies institutions—meaning the formal laws and unwritten rules that govern society—function rather well on the whole. In poor ones they don't. That much is indisputable.

In a speech last year at Oxford University, Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, acknowledged a few “beneficial consequences” of India's years under British rule, including its free press, its civil service and its “notion” of the rule of law.

But the Indian Prime Minister also pointed out a biting irony. India, one of the world's biggest economies in 1700, was impoverished by the time the British left India.

technorati tags: India, Britain, Institutions.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween becoming more gory

Halloween is a peculiar annual celebration beleived to have started in Ireland. Some people claim that it reflects a kind of demon worship.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America by Irish immigrants and now 31st October is marked as the Halloween Day. This is the time when children dress in different costumes ranging from fancy to bizzare to outrageous.

A Brooklyn high school student caused a stir this Halloween when he showed up for class dressed as Adolf Hitler. Walter Petryk, 16, defended his costume Tuesday, insisting it was a satire of the Nazi dictator.

School administrators ordered the junior honors student to remove his beige coat bearing a red swastika armband but Petryk refused, saying his parody was protected by his right to freedom of expression.

Sadly, in this particular case, the freedom of expression to look-alike Nazi Hitler who has killed 6 million Jews, is a reflection of insensivity and poor taste.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Money and what else can buy success.. for ICC

Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the Indian board (BCCI), has criticised the The International Cricket Council, ICC for selling its marketing rights and has said that the BCCI's bid to acquire those rights for the period between 2008 and 2015 was aimed at offering world cricket a better deal, in terms of both finances and players' interests.

ICC's chief executive Malcom Speed, while refusing to be drawn into the specifics of criticism has said that success of sports organisations are judged on the basis of three things:

1. How the team performs.

2. How the board looks after its stake-holders in terms of facilities on the grounds, and

3. How well they use resources like population to produce great cricketers.

Looking at these three things ICC has failed to look after stake-holders interests and that is the reason why Indian Board has to get involved to protect their interest better.