Interesting Links This Week: 20-April-2014

I just completed a workshop for 21 women entrepreneurs. I learned a lot from every one of them. During the interactions we kept coming back to how they can generate word of mouth, connect to more people, and stay on the minds of those who they have met. Since most business professionals / entrepreneurs are on Linkedin, I thought this article was pertinent. Simple, but pertinent tips on how to utilize Linkedin to keep your network growing and hopefully your business too! The big lesson from this reading (for me) is consistent effort of 20 minutes a day, every day is the secret, rather than 140 minutes once a week, which is easy to do.

Read more here – Link: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-ways-to-generate-more-leads-and-referrals-from-linkedin-tues.html

Sivan Borowich-Ya’ari, founder of non-profit ‘Innovation: Africa’ is a passionate social entrepreneur. This less than 20 minute interview brings to the fore front how she got into this space, how she created her enterprise, how she went to the root cause of opportunities and created solutions with a self-sustaining business model. Every social entrepreneur must listen or read through the transcript. There are number of lessons on how social businesses must be built and also how social entrepreneurs must shape their journeys.

Read more here – Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/bringing-israeli-innovation-africa/

With more and more money being spent on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, it is becoming more and more demanding on the managers of this money to show impact and results. But when it comes to seeking results, most of these managers are themselves grappling. Many senior leaders invest in social and environmental initiatives in parts or half-heartedly, both of which leave a lot wanting on the table. It also results in constant change in initiatives, blame games and reputation losses. Here are some interesting thoughts and ideas of how to make your CSR initiatives more productive, while also contributing to the bottom line.

Read more here – Link: http://www.strategy-business.com/blog/For-Companies-Its-Not-Easy-Being-Green

Interesting Links This Week: 13-April-2014

All entrepreneurs strive to understand their potential markets better. Entrepreneurs do this exercise through ad hoc methods for want of better approaches. But who can help entrepreneurs understand markets better than economists? Economists are the people who understand markets best but much of their work remains inaccessible to entrepreneurs. Here is a book that attempts to make this easier. This review shares a peek into the book and its intention. Read more here – Link: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/01/06/how-nobel-winning-economic-theories-can-help-your-online-dating/

There is tremendous interest amongst young minds towards working in the developmental sector. But most youngsters are lost in finding their way in this space. What should they do? Where should they search for information? What roles should they try to align towards? What is best suited for them? What’s the scope in each role? Many such questions trouble minds inclined towards this fast growing sector. Here is a chance to gain some clarity. This article speaks about how one can go about knowing and choosing roles in the development sector. Read more here – Link: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/aug/27/global-development-flow-chart

Core Competencies – a concept that was popularized by the professors Prahalad and Hamel, is more misunderstood than understood. Entrepreneurs should not misread the paper written by these professors or get misguided by the wrong interpretations of the concept. Here is short take on what the phrase ‘core competence’ really means. Finding it out for your business can lead to new potential markets! Read more here – Link: http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/kick-your-idea-of-core-competencies-out-of-your-business.html

Interesting Links This Week: 30-March-2014

Entrepreneurs have a great lesson in this short write-up. ‘Vision’ is not ‘Sight’ – and it is an important lesson to internalize. Using two simple but brilliant examples the author makes the point that ‘vision’ is seeing beyond what you can see currently, challenging yourself to reach it and again repeating the process. But even after the first stretch we often settle down for the normal and repeatable – avoid it for your own good. Read more here – Link: http://www.inc.com/lee-colan/vision-is-greater-than-sight.html

Dilbert may have inspired working executives to start laughing at their own rational ideas and decisions – but the truth is, it has silently influenced the workplace itself. Today a large part of the workforce is self-employed or contractual in nature. They don’t seem to love working at a cubicle or old office setting. Most of them work from home or coffee-shops, or open floor office arrangements. This write presents a short peek into the book “The Rise of the Naked Economy” by Professors Coonerty and Neuner makes it look like a book you need to have on your reading list – especially if you are a new age professional, an entrepreneur trying to hire people or an incumbent company not able to understand why people hate sticking in office the whole day! Read more here – Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/goodbye-dilbert-rise-naked-economy/

A retired professor of anthropology identifies and encourages her domestic help to read and write. She does him proud by becoming a bestselling author! When I read this short article on Ms Baby Halder, I was impressed over many things – her perseverance, her mentor and his benevolence, her gratitude and her maturity. Lots to take away from this short story – don’t miss! Read more here – Link: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/a-bestselling-author-she-works-as-a-domestic-help-in-gurgaon/article1-1169444.aspx

Interesting Links This Week: 09-March-2014

If you as an entrepreneur is not feeling stretched at least 20% of your time then you may not be really taking on too much risk! But if you are seeing potential or challenges and still not taking right help to sort out and move on, then you may be going the wrong route with your understanding of entrepreneurship. Think once more before saying no to any external help! Here is an interesting article on ten symptoms that show that you may require some external help, but are not taking it at the right time. Read more here – Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-zwilling/10-clues-that-an-entrepre_b_4516575.html

 

What if you happen to gain access to the personal notebooks of one of the most creative minds in the world? What do you think the daily scribbles will contain? What do you think one can learn from it? Here is a look at one such recently published book containing doodles and scribbles of Hans Ulrich Obrist and some reviews of how one can benefit from its reading. Read more here – Link: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3024521/inside-the-creative-mind-of-hans-ulrich-obrist

 

While there are still a lot of concerns over how one will protect their privacy in this social media driven web based world, smart companies are using their data analytics abilities to gain insights on trends. Open Data or data which is available in the open seems to be a reservoir of inputs for entrepreneurial minds. Smart entrepreneurs can make tremendous use of these sources and come up with products and services. Read more here – Link:  http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/what_executives_should_know_about_open_data?

Interesting Links This Week: 16-February-2014

I have always enjoyed the writings of Roger Martin and A G Lafley individually. When they team up to provide some advice you bet I would not miss it. I have in fact written about their book (Playing to Win) earlier on my blog. They have simplified the answer to the question “What is Strategy?” via the book. It helps me while I work with entrepreneurs and small business CEOs in India. Here is a short thought piece on why strategy is actually not creating a plan! Read more here – Link: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/02/dont-let-strategy-become-plann/

 

Another interesting take on why plans are history. Considering the fact that things are changing so fast, the best laid plans are dated by the time they are prepared. So should companies stop planning? No! They just have to change their approach. Here is one such perspective. What is the Bayesian method? How can it be used in making strategic decisions? Some examples of how it has been successfully used in the past? Read more here – Link: http://www.digitaltonto.com/2013/bayesian-strategy/

 

Everyone wants to achieve more during the year, but effectiveness and efficiency have always been a challenge. While there are numerous approaches to planning your annual goals and achieving them, I found this method of the “12 Week Year” an interesting one. You should check it out! I have used variations of this in my consulting and coaching engagements and found them to be effective. Personally I love to plan only for a quarter, while keeping the larger goal in mind. Read this and you might gain a tip or two in making yourself more effective. Read more here – Link: http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/how-to-increase-your-effectiveness-by-400-percent.html

Interesting Links This Week: 09-February-2014

Marketing and Finance almost seem to be sitting opposite to each other on the table. While one does not want to be measured the other seeks measurement over everything. How can marketing and finance start collaborating with each other for better business decisions? Here are 5 things one can do to make this change happen. Read more here – Link: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Corporate_Finance/Why_cant_we_be_friends_Five_steps_to_better_relations_between_CFOs_and_CMOs

 

How does the world look when divided by population? Here is a visual depicting region with a Billion people each – there seem to be 7 such regions at least as per this map! As population grows it will interesting to know where what will be the need over time. Read more here – Link: https://twitter.com/Amazing_Maps/status/414685672948379648/photo/1

 

John Jantsch is an interesting person to listen to when it comes to small business. I have been a fan of his books since Duct Tape Marketing came out and have been following his blog thoughts too. Since every small business client of mine seems to ask about how they can use big data, I thought of sharing this short blog post that John has written on the topic. You need not spend too much money to use big data. Read more here – Link: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2013/09/06/small-business-big-data/

Interesting Links This Week: 02-February-2014

10 Charts from 2013 that may change the way you think. Which countries are getting more prosperous (assuming that we understand what it means)? Which areas do CEOs tend to seek coaching / mentoring in? Is it worth eating while negotiating? Is Africa getting more stable and will that encourage more of us to explore the largely unexplored continent? And so many more interesting insights based on data – read more here – Link: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/10-charts-from-2013-that-changed-the-way-we-think/

 

While the whole world is after ‘Big Data’ and its potential benefits on business, what do people who can’t buy or don’t have access to such large repositories of data do? ‘Small Data’ that is available to them is not being really tapped into. As the world is tending towards more data driven decision making, making use of such small pools of data can enhance business. Are we sitting on latent profits in the form of customer information right in our offices? Here is an interesting read on the topic – read more here – Link: http://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Little-Data-Matters-Too

 

Why are e-cigarettes popular in France? Have Japanese firms successfully entered most Asian economies and what is the impact of this? What is the business implication of the changing eating habits of the Japanese? How is social impact being measured better? How entrepreneurship is taking shape across number of countries? These and many more interesting questions are answered in this report. Read more here – Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/special-report/rebalancing-global-economy/