April 29, 2011

Am I Multitasking

Am I Multitasking so much that it's significantly slowing my completion of tasks ?

Ask yourself this question at least twice in a day..

April 26, 2011

The 10 Greatest CEOs of All Time

It's a familiar scene. An industry under fire. A congressional committee demanding answers. A corporate CEO called to testify.

Yet the familiarities, in this case, end there. When Boeing CEO Bill Allen appeared before a House subcommittee—addressing charges that military aircraft makers had improperly inflated profits at the government's expense—there was no lawyer whispering in his ear. There were no notes before him. There was no hint that he wasn't personally responsible for Boeing's actions. And when he had finished his quietly forthright explanation, there was no question that Boeing—far from gouging the government to pad executives' bonuses—had in fact been laying the foundations for future greatness, plowing profits into research and development. The committee's response now seems unimaginable: It erupted into a standing ovation.

That image, from 1956, kept popping to mind whenever someone asked me about the business meltdowns of 2001 and 2002. What, went the questions, should be done about governance? What should Congress do? What should boards do? What, what, what?

I usually declined to comment, feeling I had little to say that had not already been said. But as the Allen image lingered, I came to realize that I did have something to say. It's just that my answer wasn't a what answer. It was who.

When the debates over governance mechanisms and procedural reform are all said and done, one question will still tower above all others: Who should we choose to run our corporations? In the 1990s, it's now clear, boards increasingly gave the car keys to the wrong people. Like doctors bleeding patients to death in the 1600s, the boards weren't trying to do harm. They were simply using the wrong models.

Yet where, these days, are the right models? For good reason, we've become cynical about CEOs. There seem to be no heroes left standing, no one to emulate or believe in. There's an increasingly gloomy sense that we should simply throw up our hands and give up on corporate leadership.

I disagree. Having spent years studying what separates great companies from mediocre ones, I can say unequivocally: There are role models to learn from—albeit not the ones you might expect. It's what inspired me to go back to my research and assemble my list of the ten greatest CEOs of all time.

Who made the cut? Some names on the list will be familiar, while several you might expect to see—names like Gates, Grove, Welch, and Gerstner—weren't eligible for a simple reason: Great CEOs build organizations that thrive long after they're gone, making it impossible to judge their performance until they've been out of office at least ten years. That criterion—legacy—was one of four I used to winnow a universe of more than 400 CEOs. I also scored the top candidates on impact (presiding over innovations—whether technical or managerial—that changed things outside the company's walls), resilience (leading the company through a major transformation or crisis), and financial performance, measured by cumulative stock returns relative to the market (or other financial metrics in the case of pre-IPO companies) during the CEO's tenure.

So what, exactly, made these ten so great? Strikingly, many of them never thought of themselves as CEO material. The second-greatest CEO on the list initially refused the job on the grounds that he wasn't qualified. No. 9 described herself as "scared stiff." No. 5 was once told flatly, "You will never be a leader." Striking, too, is the sheer scale of their time frames. Surrounded by pressures to manage for the quarter, they managed for the quarter-century—or even three-quarters of a century. The No. 4 CEO shaped a company that would average 15% earnings growth for an astonishing 75 years.

Yet if one thing defines these ten giants, it was their deep sense of connectedness to the organizations they ran. Unlike CEOs who see themselves principally as members of an executive elite—an increasingly mobile club whose members measure their pay and privileges against other CEOs'—this group's ethos was a true corporate ethos, in the original, nonbusiness sense of the word corporate: "united or combined into one." They understood the central paradox of exceptional corporate leadership: On the one hand, a company depends more on the CEO than on any other individual. Only the CEO can make the really big decisions. Yet a company equally depends on the CEO's understanding that his or her role still represents less than 10% of the total puzzle. Much depended on them, but it was never about them.

Inclusion on this list would surprise, if not horrify, more than a few of them. But if the question is how to identify more of the right leaders—and how a new generation can learn to become the right leaders—there is no better answer than these ten. In an age of diminished standards, those they set loom larger than ever.

No. 10: David Packard
Rejected the CEO club

His eulogy pamphlet identified the Hewlett-Packard co-founder as 'Rancher, etc.'

In 1949, 37-year-old David Packard attended a meeting of business leaders. Fidgeting while they discussed how to squeeze more profit from their companies, he was finally unable to contain himself. "A company has a greater responsibility than making money for its stockholders," he asserted. Eyes turned toward his six-foot-five-inch frame. "We have a responsibility to our employees to recognize their dignity as human beings," Packard said, extolling his belief that those who help create wealth have a moral right to share in that wealth.

To his elders, Packard's ideas seemed borderline socialist if not outright dangerous. "I was surprised and shocked that not a single person at that meeting agreed with me," Packard reflected later. "It was quite evident they firmly believed I was not one of them, and obviously not qualified to run an important enterprise."

That was just fine with David Packard. He never wanted to be part of the CEO club; he belonged to the Hewlett-Packard club. In an era when bosses dwelt in mahogany-paneled sanctums, Packard took an open-door workspace among his engineers. He practiced what would become famous as "management by walking around." Most radical of all for the time, he shared equity and profits with all employees.

What set Packard apart, in other words, is that he wasn't a person set apart. His idea of a good time, according to a co-worker, was to get together with friends and string barbed wire. Despite being one of Silicon Valley's first self-made billionaires, he continued to live in the small, understated house he and his wife had built in 1957. And though he donated (with Hewlett) to Stanford University an amount comparable to the present value of Jane and Leland Stanford's original endowment, he never allowed his name to appear on any of its buildings while he was alive. By defining himself as an HP man first and a CEO second, Packard did more than demonstrate humility. He built a uniquely dedicated culture that became a fierce competitive weapon, delivering 40 consecutive years of profitable growth.

While Packard's values have since waned within HP, he did more to create the DNA of Silicon Valley than perhaps any other CEO. Like the heritage left by the architects of democracy in ancient Athens, the spirit of his and Hewlett's system lives on, far beyond the walls of the institution they built.

No. 9: Katharine Graham
Wasn't afraid of fear

The Nixon White House threatened her, but the chief of the Washington Post Co. didn't flinch.

On Aug. 3, 1963, Katharine Graham heard the crack of a gunshot within her house. She ran downstairs to discover that her husband, Philip, lay dead by his own hand.

On top of the shock and grief, Graham faced another burden. Her father had put the Washington Post Co. in her husband's hands with the idea that he'd pass it along to their children. What would become of it now? Graham laid the issue to rest immediately: The company would not be sold, she informed the board. She would assume stewardship.

"Steward," however, would not describe Graham's approach to her new role. At the time, the Washington Post was an undistinguished regional paper; Graham aimed for people to speak of it in the same breath as the New York Times. A crucial decision point came in 1971 when she confronted what to do with the Pentagon Papers—a leaked Defense Department study that revealed government deceptions about the Vietnam war. The Times had already incurred a court injunction for publishing excerpts. If the Post published, it risked prosecution under the Espionage Act. That, in turn, could jeopardize the company's pending public stock offering and lucrative television licenses. "I would be risking the whole company on this decision," Graham wrote in her memoir, Personal History. Yet to opt for assured survival at the cost of the company's soul, she concluded, would be worse than not surviving. The Post published.

Eventually vindicated by the Supreme Court, it was a remarkable decision for an accidental CEO who suffered from lifelong feelings of insecurity; phrases like "I was terrified" and "I was quaking in my boots" pepper her memoir. That anxiety would soon reach a crescendo as Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein doggedly investigated what became known as Watergate. Today we take that story's outcome for granted. But at the time, the Post was largely alone in pursuing it. In choosing to publish, Graham built a great paper and, in turn, a great company—one that ranks among the 50 best-performing IPOs of the past quarter-century and earned the investment of Warren Buffett. Graham never awarded herself much credit, insisting that, with Watergate, "I never felt there was much choice." But of course, she did choose. Courage, it's said, is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in its presence. By that definition, Katharine Graham may be the most courageous CEO on this list.

No 8: William McKnight
Disciplined creativity

He gave fledgling ideas freedom to grow at 3M—but insisted they learn to stand on their own.

The early giants of industry tend to fall into one of two camps: Individual innovators (think Walt Disney) and system builders (think John D. Rockefeller). 3M's William McKnight falls into neither. Beginning in 1929, the bookish accountant fused the two models into something entirely new: a company that turned innovation into a systematic, repeatable process. While you couldn't predict exactly what McKnight's system would create, you could predict with certainty that it would create.

Many know the story of the 3M scientist who blasted a hole in his basement to house the machine that made his little sticky tabs—a product that had failed market tests—and how, like a drug dealer, he created a base of addicted users by distributing free samples to headquarters staff. It's one of many 3M stories that celebrate the lone spirit who persists against all odds. The oft-overlooked lesson, though, is the "all odds" part. It's precisely because 3M entrepreneurs must battle attempts to kill off their ideas that a handful of winners like Post-its emerge. Without this creative tension—freedom vs. discipline, innovation vs. control—all you have is chaos, or worse. Enron was a highly innovative culture that lacked discipline, innovating itself right out of existence.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, "is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." By that definition, McKnight was not just a first-rate intelligence, but a genius—a genius whose company was lucky by design.

No. 7: David Maxwell
Turned a turnaround into art

Fannie Mae was losing $1 million a day when he arrived—'an opportunity to make (it) into a great company.'

In 1981, as the stock of Chrysler hit an all-time low, America was beginning its enthrallment with the man hired to save it. Lee Iacocca would soon be a national icon—bestselling author, star of more than 80 commercials, and everyone's image of a turnaround artist.

That same year, as the stock of Fannie Mae hit an all-time low, a different executive was hired to save the deeply troubled mortgage lender. David Maxwell would not become a national icon—nor even a recognizable name. Yet by the time both men retired in the early 1990s, Maxwell's Fannie Mae had beat the stock market at a rate more than twice that attained by Chrysler under Iacocca.

More inspired than inspiring, more diligent than dazzling, Maxwell took a burning house and not only saved it but built it into a cathedral. Some steps, such as selling off $10 billion in unprofitable mortgages, were classic fireman stuff. But his deepest genius was to frame the rebuilding around a mission: strengthening America's social fabric by democratizing home ownership. If Fannie Mae did its job well, people traditionally excluded from owning homes—minorities, immigrants, single-parent families—could more easily claim their part of the American dream. If turnaround is an art, Maxwell was its Michelangelo.

No. 6: James Burke
Acted before crisis hit

The former Johnson & Johnson boss is a legend revered—for the wrong reason.

Ask people to single out a courageous CEO action, and many will cite James Burke's decision to pull Tylenol capsules off the shelves in response to the cyanide-poisoning crisis of 1982, taking a $100 million hit to earnings along the way. It's a wonderful story. But it misses the point.

Burke's real defining moment occurred three years before, when he pulled 20 key executives into a room and thumped his finger on a copy of the J&J credo. Penned 36 years earlier by R.W. Johnson Jr., it laid out the "We hold these truths to be self-evident" of the Johnson & Johnson Co., among them a higher duty to "mothers and all others who use our products." Burke worried that executives had come to view the credo as an artifact—interesting, but hardly relevant to the day-to-day challenges of American capitalism.

"I said, 'Here's the credo. If we're not going to live by it, let's tear it off the wall,' " Burke later told Joseph Badaracco and Richard Ellsworth for their book Leadership and the Quest for Integrity. "We either ought to commit to it or get rid of it." The team sat there a bit stunned, wondering if Burke was serious. He was, and the room erupted into a debate that ended with a recommitment. Burke and his colleagues would conduct similar meetings around the world, restoring the credo as a living document.

No one could have predicted the act of terrorism perpetrated on J&J customers in 1982. But J&J's response was predictable. It didn't need to debate whether customer safety outweighed short-term financial concerns, because the debating was already done. Burke makes the list not because he led J&J through crisis; he makes it because he led in the absence of it.

No. 5: Darwin Smith
Asked questions and moved rocks

The Kimberly-Clark chief was told 'You'll never be a leader' by the Army's officer-training school.

Lois Smith could tell a big decision was afoot at Kimberly-Clark whenever she heard the rumbling of a backhoe in the middle of the night. That was Darwin again, moving rocks from one pile to another. This was how her husband mulled over big decisions—and to judge by the huge piles still standing sentinel at Gotrocks Farm in Wisconsin, Smith was a champion muller.

When he became CEO of Kimberly-Clark in 1971, Smith faced a brutal fact: The company languished in mediocrity, the bulk of its capital tied up in giant paper mills. Yet Smith offered no vision statement, no splashy acquisition, no hoopla-laden change program. Instead he posed questions. What, he pressed his colleagues, could Kimberly-Clark be passionate about? What could it be best at in the world? What could improve its economics? For months he continued to ask questions and move rocks.

This was not Smith being indecisive. Diagnosed with nose and throat cancer shortly after becoming CEO, he told Lois what he'd learned from his illness. "If you have a cancer in your arm, you've got to have the guts to cut off your arm." He paused. "I've made a decision," he continued. "We're going to sell the mills."

The decision had grown out of one of Smith's dialogues in which a fellow executive noted that Kleenex, a sideline product, had become a brand synonymous with its category, like Coke or Band-Aid. In what a Kimberly-Clark director called the "gutsiest decision I've ever seen a CEO make," Smith jettisoned 100 years of corporate history, right down to the original mill in Kimberly, Wis. Analysts derided the loss of revenue. The stock took a hit. Forbes predicted disaster. But Smith's ruminations had equipped him with quiet steel.

A CEO must be willing to act boldly, yet boldness is worthless if you're wrong. It's an obvious point, but one routinely ignored by those caught up in the fanfare of big action. Smith grasped that it is better to be right than to be impressive.

And Smith got it right. Twenty-five years after becoming CEO, Kimberly-Clark was the world's No. 1 paper-based consumer-products company—its stock outperforming the market by a factor of four over that span—and owned its main rival, Scott Paper, outright. Smith moved rocks and, in the end, moved a rock that nobody thought could be moved.

No. 4: George Merck
Put profit second

The Merck & Co. boss didn't worry about Wall Street—and grew profits 50-fold.

Late one afternoon in 1978, Dr. William Campbell did what all great researchers do: He wondered at the data. While testing a new compound to battle parasites in animals, he was struck with the idea that it might be effective against another parasite—one that causes blindness and itching in humans so horrific that some victims have committed suicide. Campbell might have simply scribbled a note in the files and gone to lunch. After all, the potential "customers"—tribal people in remote tropical locations—would have no money to buy it. Undaunted, Campbell penned a memo to his employer, Merck & Co., urging pursuit of the idea. Today 30 million people a year receive Mectizan, the drug inspired by his observation, largely free of charge.

The most exceptional part of the story is that it wasn't an exception. "Medicine is for people, not for the profits," George Merck II declared on the cover of Time in August 1952—a rule his company observed in dispensing streptomycin to Japanese children following World War II. Yet fuzzy-headed moralistic fervor wasn't George Merck. Austere and patrician, he simply believed that the purpose of a corporation is to do something useful, and to do it very well. "And if we have remembered that, the profits have never failed to appear," he explained. "The better we remembered, the larger they have been." It's the mirror image of CEOs whose unhealthy fixations with Wall Street have served neither people nor profits: Merck served shareholders so well precisely because he served others first.

No. 3: Sam Walton
Overcame his charisma

'I have the personality of a promoter,' the Wal-Mart founder wrote, but 'the soul of an operator.'

A Brazilian businessman once told me how he'd sent letters to the heads of ten U.S. retailers in the1980s, asking to visit to see how they ran a retail operation. Most didn't bother to reply, and those who did sent a polite "No, thank you." All except Sam Walton.

When the Brazilian and his colleagues stepped off the plane in Bentonville, Ark., a white-haired man asked if he could help. "We're looking for Sam Walton," they said, to which the man replied, "That's me." Walton led them to his truck and introduced his dog, Roy. As they rumbled around in the front cab of Walton's pickup, the Brazilian billionaires were pummeled with questions. Eventually it dawned on them: Walton had invited them to Bentonville so that he could learn about South America. Later Walton visited his friends in Sao Paulo. Late one afternoon there was a phone call from the police. Walton had been crawling around in stores on his hands and knees measuring aisle widths and had been arrested.

The story encapsulates some of Walton's greatest strengths, notably his hunger for learning. But it also points to his biggest liability: his singularly charismatic personality. Companies built around a cult of personality seldom last. After Sam, would Wal-Mart decline like a church that loses its inspirational pastor?

Yet Walton himself refused to let his colorful personality distract from his central message: to make better things ever more affordable to people of lesser means. And before his death in 1992, he made two brilliant moves to ensure that idea would outlast him. First, he set a goal that he knew would be unachievable in his lifetime: to grow annual sales from less than $30 billion to $125 billion by the year 2000. Second, so that no personality would become bigger than the idea, he picked a successor who had seemingly undergone a charisma bypass. Under David Glass, Wal-Mart blew right past the $125 billion goal, clocking in at $165 billion in 2000.

Walton knew better than anyone the dangers of charismatic leadership. He proved that, like any other handicap, it can be overcome.

No. 2: Bill Allen
Thought bigger

'Don't talk too much,' Boeing's new chief admonished himself. 'Let others talk.'

Its planes helped win the war—yet victory in 1945 looked like death for Boeing. Revenues plummeted more than 90% as orders for bombers vanished overnight. And bombers, everyone knew, were what Boeing was all about.

Everyone, that is, but its new leader. An understated lawyer who said he wasn't qualified for the job, Bill Allen never saw Boeing as the bomber company. It was the company whose engineers built amazing flying machines. In 1952 he bet heavily on a new commercial jet, the 707. At the time, Boeing had no business being in the commercial market, or at least that's what potential customers said. ("You make great bombers up there in Seattle. Why don't you stick with that?") Yet Allen's time frames were bigger too. He saw that Boeing could compete by changing the industry. Under his leadership, Boeing built the 707, 727, 737, and 747—four of the most successful bets in industrial history. At a board meeting described by Robert Serling in Legend & Legacy, a director said that if the 747 was too big for the market to swallow, Boeing could back out. "Back out?" stiffened Allen. "If the Boeing Aircraft Co. says we will build this airplane, we will build it even if it takes the resources of the entire company." Like today's CEOs, he endured the swarming gnats who think small: short time frames, pennies per share, a narrow purpose. Allen thought bigger—and left a legacy to match.

No. 1: Charles Coffin
Built the stage on which they all played

General Electric's first president didn't see himself as a genius; he came from the shoe business.

Most people have never heard of Charles Coffin—and that's the ultimate testimony to his greatness. His predecessor had something to do with this. No CEO finds it easy to take over from a founding entrepreneur; now imagine that founder holds patents on the electric light, the phonograph, the motion picture, the alkaline battery, and the dissemination of electricity. But Coffin knew his job was not to be the next Thomas Edison—though Coffin, too, would prove a master inventor. His invention was the General Electric Co.

Coffin oversaw two social innovations of huge significance: America's first research laboratory and the idea of systematic management development. While Edison was essentially a genius with a thousand helpers, Coffin created a system of genius that did not depend on him. Like the founders of the U.S., he created the ideology and mechanisms that made his institution one of the world's most enduring and widely emulated.

Edison's wouldn't be the only name to overshadow his. Coffin's era (1892-1912) became known as the "Steinmetz era," in homage to the brilliant GE electrical engineer Charles P. Steinmetz. What little name recognition Coffin did enjoy would then be obliterated by the likes of Swope, Cordiner, Jones, and Welch—GE CEOs who became giants in their own day.

Jack Welch's stature, in particular, reached a point where GE was called the House That Jack Built. In fact, Welch was as much a product of GE as vice-versa. Certainly Welch vastly improved the system, and history will likely judge him a great executive. He was a master at developing general managers and steadily increasing profit per unit of executive talent. But Welch did not invent this concept; he inherited it.

The same cannot be said of Charles Coffin. More than any other leader, Coffin made GE into a great company, creating the machine that created a succession of giants. For that reason, he stands a notch above the CEOs whose names eclipsed his. He built the stage on which they all played.

Best New Year's Resolution? A 'Stop Doing' List

Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.

One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, "I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person."

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I'd inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

"Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline," Rochelle continued. "Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life."

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the "stop doing" list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions — a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Rochelle's challenge forced me to see that I'd been plenty energetic, but on the wrong things. Indeed, I was on entirely the wrong path. After graduate school, I'd taken a job at Hewlett- Packard. I loved the company, but hated the job. Rochelle's assignment helped me to see I was cut out to be a professor, a researcher, a teacher — not a businessman — and I needed to make a right-angle turn. I had to stop doing my career, so that I could find my real work. I quit HP, migrated to the Stanford Business School faculty and eventually became — with some remarkable good luck along the way — a self-employed professor, happily toiling away on my research and writing.

Rochelle's lesson came back to me a number of years later while puzzling over the research data on 11 companies that turned themselves from mediocrity to excellence, from good to great. In cataloguing the key steps that ignited the transformations, my research team and I were struck by how many of the big decisions were not what to do, but what to stop doing.

In perhaps the most famous case, Darwin Smith of Kimberly-Clark — a man who had prevailed over throat cancer — said one day to his wife: "I learned something from my cancer. If you have a cancer in your arm, you've got to have the guts to cut off your own arm. I've made a decision: We're going to sell the mills."

At the time, Kimberly-Clark had the bulk of its revenues in the traditional paper business. But Smith began asking three important questions: Are we passionate about the paper business? Can we be the best in the world at it? Does the paper business best drive our economic engine?

The answers came up: no, no and no.

And so, Smith made the decision to stop doing the paper business — to sell off 100 years of corporate history — and throw all the resulting resources into the consumer business (building brands such as Kleenex), which came up yes, yes and yes to the same questions.

The start of the New Year is a perfect time to start a stop doing list and to make this the cornerstone of your New Year resolutions, be it for your company, your family or yourself. It also is a perfect time to clarify your three circles, mirroring at a personal level the three questions asked by Smith:

1) What are you deeply passionate about?
2) What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just "made to do"?
3) What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?

Those fortunate enough to find or create a practical intersection of the three circles have the basis for a great work life.

Think of the three circles as a personal guidance mechanism. As you navigate the twists and turns of a chaotic world, it acts like a compass. Am I on target? Do I need to adjust left, up, down, right? If you make an inventory of your activities today, what percentage of your time falls outside the three circles?

If it is more than 50%, then the stop doing list might be your most important tool. The question is: Will you accept good as good enough, or do you have the courage to sell the mills?

Looking back, I now see Rochelle Myers as one of the few people I've known to lead a great life, while doing truly great work. This stemmed largely from her remarkable simplicity. A simple home. A simple schedule. A simple frame for her work.

Rochelle spoke to me repeatedly about the idea of "making your life a creative work of art." A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit — to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort — that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.

How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In

How the Mighty Fall presents the well-founded hope that leaders can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course – in part by understanding the five step-wise stages of decline uncovered in the four year research project behind the book.

Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. Anyone can fall, and most eventually do. But decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.

Manager's Dilemma

- Managers spend energy as they fight through tough realities; leaders generate energy by creating new realities.

- Managers control to avoid crisis; leaders thrive in the game changing mind changing and system changing potentiality of crisis.

- Managers become mired in have to dos, thereby depleting energy; leaders seek want to dos, thereby restoring energy.

- Managers try to manage time, to get more out of people; leaders seek to foster energy by investing more in people.

- Managers tend to focus on limited resources (time, money) while leaders tend to focus on investing in unlimited resources of energy, purpose, engagement, vision and contribution.

- Managers hope to find life balance; leaders discover their own resilience formula for generating sustainable energy.

મોદીએ ભાષણ શરૂ કરતા જ મહિલાઓએ ચાલતી પકડી

રેસકોર્સ મેદાન ખાતે યોજાયેલા જળશક્તિ મહાસંમેલનમાં ગામે-ગામથી બસો ભરી-ભરીને જંગી મેદની દેખાડવાની તંત્રએ કવાયત કરી હતી. સરકારી કર્મચારીઓ તથા આંગણવાડીની બહેનોને પણ પરાણે આ સંમેલનમાં હાજર રાખવામાં આવી હતી.

જેમના માટે આ કાર્યક્રમ ગોઠવવામાં આવ્યો હતો એ મુખ્યમંત્રી મોદી દસ વાગ્યાને બદલે ૧૧:૪૫ મિનિટે આવ્યા. ત્યાં સુધીમાં બધા કંટાળી ગયા હતા.

મુખ્યમંત્રીએ પોતાનું ભાષણ શરૂ કર્યું એ સાથે જ ઉઘરાવીને એકત્ર કરવામાં આવેલ મહિલાઓએ ચાલતી પકડી હતી અને સમારંભનો મહિલા વિભાગ થોડી મિનિટોમાં જ ખાલી થવા લાગ્યો હતો. એકંદરે મુખ્યમંત્રીના પ્રવચનને કોરાણે મૂકી અને મહિલાઓએ વહેલાસર ઘરભેગા થઇ જવામાં પોતાની ભલીવાર માની હતી.
ગુજરાતના વિકાસ પર અત્યંત જુસ્સેદાર ભાષણ આપનારા મોદીએ એક વાતનો સ્વીકાર કર્યો કે જે કોઈ વ્યક્તિ તેમના પડખે ઊભી રહે છે, તેના પર સમાજના એક વર્ગ દ્વારા હુમલા કરવામાં આવે છે અને જાત-જાતના આક્ષેપો કરવામાં આવે. તેમણે એમ પણ કહ્યું કે, તેમનાં વખાણ કરનારી વ્યક્તિ જ નહીં પરંતુ તેઓ ખુદ જે વ્યક્તિનાં વખાણ કરે તેની પણ ટીકા કરવામાં આવે છે.

We Need Leaders

We so often think of leadership as something a few rare and gifted individuals are born with.

But leadership is so often a function - not of your personality or psychological makeup, but of the role you find yourself in.

Leadership Realities

1. Your Job Never Stops, 24 * 7 *365

2. You're expected to provide answers quickly, and speed is of the essence.

3. You are criticized and blamed publicly

4. You must be constantly learning on the job.

5. You must deal effectively with conflicts.

6. You must be clear about what drives you personally.

7. You and your team must be clear on the firm's societal purpose, aspirations, values and core capabilities and then create alignment.

8. You need authentic self assurance.

9. You must develop other leaders and prepare a successor.

10. You must deal with losing your leadership position.

April 22, 2011

ધરતીનું આ સત્ય કદાચ તમે નહીં જાણતા હોવ!

વાયુ, ધૂળ અને તોફાનથી બનેલી પૃથ્વીના વિકાસની શરૂઆત

અંદાજે ૪૬૦ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાં. અવકાશમાંથી નીકળેલા વાયુ, ધૂળ અને તોફાનથી ધરતીનો આકાર બનવાની શરૂઆત થઈ હતી. આ તોફાન સાથે આવેલા ઘટ્ટ ખનીજ પદાર્થો જમીનને આકાર આપવા લાગ્યાં. જે હળવા પદાર્થો હતા તે બધા એક થઈને પાતળું પડ બન્યા અને ઉપરના ભાગે એકઠા થયા.

લગભગ ૧૨૦ કરોડ વર્ષ સુધી સતત કુદરતી રીતે ફેરફારો ચાલતા રહ્યા. ત્યારબાદ ધરતી પર જીવનની શરૂઆતના અંશ જોવા મળ્યા. અંદાજે ૩૪૦ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાં. લીલા અને ભૂરા રંગનો શેવાળ અને કેટલાક જીવાણું (બેક્ટેરિયા) થવા લાગ્યા. મતલબ કે ધરતી પર જીવ આકાર લેવા લાગ્યો હતો. સમયનું ચક્ર ફરતું ગયું અને લગભગ ૭૦ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાં કેટલીક જટિલ રચનાઓવાળા છોડ અને પશુઓ ધરતી પર વિકસવા લાગ્યાં.

આ જીવનના વિસ્તરણનું પ્રથમ પગથિયું હતું. ત્યારબાદ છોડ અને પશુઓની અનેક પ્રજાતિઓ વિકસવા લાગી. તેમાંથી કેટલીય પ્રજાતિઓ ટૂંક સમયમાં ખતમ થવા લાગી. પરંતુ ડાયનાસોર જેવી કેટલીય પ્રજાતિઓ લાખો વર્ષ સુધી ટકી રહી. ધરતીના મહાદ્વીપોની સ્થિતિ પણ પાંચ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાં સુધી ઘણી નજીકની કહી શકાય તેવી હતી.

તેની વચ્ચેનું અંતર સમયની સાથે વધતું ગયું. આ પ્રક્રિયા હજુ પણ ચાલુ જ છે. ધરતીની સપાટી પર આ દરમિયાનમાં જ પર્વતો અને પર્વતમાળાઓ આકાર લેવા લાગ્યા. લગભગ ચાર કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાં હિમાલયે આકાર લેવાની શરૂઆત કરી અને હજુ પણ ચાલુ છે. જળવાયુ અને હવામાનમાં સતત પરિવર્તનો આવતાં રહ્યાં. ક્યારેક હિમયુગ તો ક્યારેક ભીષણ ગરમીનો દોર ચાલતો રહ્યો. ધરતી પર છેલ્લે૨૦ હજાર વર્ષ પહેલાં હિમયુગ આવ્યો હતો.

ધરતીના આવાં જ રસપ્રદ તથ્યો સામે લાવતું ઈન્ફોગ્રાફિકસ.....

ધરતીનું સમયચક્ર ચાર હિસ્સામાં વહેંચાયેલું છે

ધરતીના વિકાસના સમયચક્રની ચાર મુખ્ય અવસ્થા છે.

(૧) પ્રાયમરી (પ્રિક્રૈંબ્રિયન કાળનો પુરો હિસ્સો)

(૨) સેકન્ડરી (ક્રૈંબ્રિયનથી ક્રેટેશિયસ કાળ સુધી)
(૩) ટર્સરી (ત્રીજી અવસ્થા)
(૪) કવાટર્નરી (ચોથી અવસ્થા), જે હાલમાં ચાલુ છે.

૪૬૦ કરોડ વર્ષ અગાઉ જ કેમ?
ધરતીની વયની જાણકારી વિભિન્ન રીતે પથ્થરની તારીખ (કેટલી જુની છે તેની માહિતી મેળવવી) પરથી મેળવાય છે. વિશ્વમાં અત્યાર સુધીનો સૌથી જૂનો પથ્થર ૧૯૯૯માં કેનેડાના ઉત્તર-પશ્ચિમ ક્ષેત્રમાં અકાસ્ટા નદીની આસપાસના વિસ્તારોમાંથી મળ્યો હતો. આ પથ્થરનું નામ અકાસ્ટાનાઇસ છે તેની વય લગભગ ૪૦૦ કરોડ વર્ષ આંકવામાં આવી છે. સાથે જ ભૂ વિજ્ઞાનીઓ એવું માને છે આ પથ્થરને આકાર મેળવવામાં લગભગ ૫૦થી ૬૦ વર્ષ લાગ્યા હશે. આથી પૃથ્વીની વય ૪૬૦ કરોડ વર્ષની આસપાસની માનવામાં આવે છે.

>>૪૬૦ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી ધરતીની વિકાસયાત્રા શરૂ

ક્રૈંબ્રિયનથી પહેલાંનો સમય. ક્રિપ્ટોજોઇક (છુપાયેલું જીવન) પણ કહે છે. ધરતીની વયનો ૯૦ ટકા હિસ્સો આવરી લે છે.

>>૫૭ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી જીવનની સૌપ્રથમવાર શરૂઆત

જીવનની શરૂઆત. ટ્રિલોબાઇટ (એક ખાસ જીવ, જે સૌથી વધુ હતો) નો યુગ પણ કહે છે. કૈંબ્રિયા (વેલ્સનું લેટિન નામ)થી મળતું નામ.

>>૫૧ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી માત્ર સમુદ્રમાં જીવન હતું

ઉત્તર વેલ્સના ઓડોgવિસેસ (એક જન જાતિ) ક્ષેત્રના પથ્થરોમાં સૌથી પહેલાં નિશાન મળ્યા. તેના આધારે નામ અપાયું.

>>૪૩.૯ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી નાયગ્રા ધોધ જેવી ઘટના સર્જાઈ

અમેરિકાના નાયાગ્રા ધોધ જેવી પ્રાકૃતિક ઘટના આ સમયમાં બની. હાલમાં તેલ-ગેસ ભંડાળનો ૯ ટકા સમય આ પથ્થરો સાથે સંલગ્ન છે.

>>૪૦.૯ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી માછલીઓની વધુ વસ્તીવાળો કાળ

આને માછલી કાળ પણ કહે છે. કારણ કે તે સૌથી વધુ હતી. આ કાળમાં એક વર્ષમાં ૪૦૦ દિવસ હતા.

>>૩૬.૩ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી કોલસાના ભંડાર બનવાની શરૂઆત

કોલસાનો ભંડાર બનવાની પ્રક્રિયા શરૂ થઈ. તેના પરથી તેનું નામ પડ્યું. ૨૦૦ વર્ષથી સમગ્ર વિશ્વ કોલસાનું ખાણ કામ કરી રહ્યું છે.

>>૨૯ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી મહાવિનાશની મોટી ઘટના

ધરતીના ઈતિહાસની મહાવિનાશની ત્રીજી સૌથી મોટી ઘટના સર્જાઈ. તેમાં ૯૦ ટકા જીવજંતુઓની પ્રજાતિઓનો નાશ થયો.

>>૨૪.૫ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી પહેલીવાર ડાયનાસોર જોવા મળ્યા

ડાઇનોસોર પહેલીવાર નજરે પડ્યા. પછી ગુમ થઈ ગયા. એક ગરોળી એવી હતી કે તેને પાંખ હતી અને તે થોડું ઉડી શકતી હતી.

>>૨૦.૮ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી ડાયનાસોરનો વાસ્તવિક સમય

સૌથી મોટું પ્રાણી ડાઇનોસોર હતું. તેના પરથી સ્ટીવન સ્પીલબર્ગે ‘જુરાસિક પાર્ક’ ફિલ્મ બનાવી હતી. તેનાથી તેમને રૂ.૧૧૦૦ કરોડનો ફાયદો થયો હતો.

>>૧૪.૬ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી પેટ્રો ઉત્પાદનોના ભંડાર બન્યા

હાલમાં દુનિયાભરમાં ઉપલબ્ધ પેટ્રોલિયમ ઉત્પાદનોના ભંડારનો લગભગ ૫૦ ટકા હિસ્સો આ સમયમાં તૈયાર થયો.

>>૬.૫ કરોડ વર્ષ પહેલાંથી ઘાસની ૮૦ ટકા પ્રજાતિ બની

હાલમાં ધરતી પર ઉપલબ્ધ છોડ અને ઘાસની ૮૦ ટકા પ્રજાતિ આ સમયમાં સામે આવી.

>>૨.૬ કરોડ વર્ષ અગાઉથી આજ સુધી આધુનિક માનવજીવનનો વિકાસ

લગભગ દોઢથી બે લાખ વર્ષ જુના આધુનિક માનવ (આ કાળમાં વિકાસ થયો)ના નિશાન પહેલીવાર આફ્રિકામાંથી મળ્યા.

હું શું કરી શકું છું?

>>વધુમાં વધુ વૃક્ષ લગાવો. વિચારો જો દેશના માત્ર ૪૦-૫૦ કરોડ યુવા જ દર મહિને એક છોડ ઉગાડવાનો નિર્ણય કરે તો દર વર્ષે આશરે ૪૮૦ કરોડ વૃક્ષ ઉગાડી શકાય છે.

>>જરૂર નહીં હોય તો, વીજળીની સ્વિચ બંધ કરો. કમ્પ્યૂટર, ટીવી, ફ્રીઝ જેવા ઉપકરણ પણ ઉપયોગ ન હોવાની સ્થિતિમાં મેઇન સ્વિચથી બંધ રાખો.

>>જુના બલ્બ અને ટ્યૂબલાઇટ્સને બદલે નવા સીએફએલ બલ્બ વાપરો. તેનાથી ઊર્જા અને પૈસાની બચત થાય છે.
>>જે લોકો ગરમ પાણી વધુ વાપરે છે, તેઓ સોલર વોટર હીટરનો ઉપયોગ કરે. તેનાથી પૈસા તો બચશે જ સાથેસાથે ઘણા ટન કોલસાની બચત થશે, જે વિધ્યુત ઉત્પાદનમાં કામ આવશે.

>>સૌર ઊર્જા અને જળ સંરક્ષણ તકનિકોના પ્રયોગની ટેવ પાડવી પડશે.
>>એસયુવી (સ્પોર્ટ યુટિલિટી વ્હીકલ) અને ડીઝલથી ચાલનારી કાર્સની બહુ જરૂર હોય ત્યારે જ ઉપયોગ કરો.
>>ઓફિસ આવવા-જવા માટે કાર પુલ (એક જ માર્ગે જનારાઓની સાથે પરસ્પર સંમતિથી ભાગીદારી)નો ઉપયોગ કરી શકાય છે.
>>કાગળ, પાણી, વીજળી, લાકડાંના ઉપયોગમાં કરકસરને દરરોજની ટેવ બનાવો. દરરોજ વપરાતા સાધન અને ટેકનિક એવી હોય જેનાથી પર્યાવરણનો બચાવ થઇ શકે.

>>પોતાની જરૂરિયાત મુજબ સંસાધનોનો ઉપયોગ કરો, જેથી આગામી પેઢીની જરૂરિયાત મુજબ સંસાધનો બચે.
>>બુદ્ધિજીવી અને વિદ્યાર્થી પોતાની આસપાસ સ્થાપવામાં આવી રહેલા ઊર્જા અને જળ પ્લાન્ટ્સ પર નજર રાખી શકે છે. ક્યાંક ગેરરીતિ જણાય તો આરટીઆઇનો ઉપયોગ કરી શકે છે.

>>નિવૃત્ત લોકો જળ, જંગલ, જમીન માટે કરવામાં આવી રહેલાં લોકઆંદોલનોને પોતાનો સમય અને ઊર્જા આપી શકે છે.
>> વકીલ પર્યાવરણ સંબંધિત વિષયો સાથે જોડાયેલા ઓછામાં ઓછા ૧૦ ટકા કેસ ફી લીધા વગર લડી શકે છે
.>>વેપારી અને ઉદ્યોગપતિ પોતાની આવકનો એક ભાગ પર્યાવરણ સંબંધિત અભિયાનોમાં લગાવી શકે છે.

The Knowledge-Creating Company How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation

How have Japanese companies become world leaders in the automotive and electronics industries, among others? What is the secret of their success? Two leading Japanese business experts, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, are the first to tie the success of Japanese companies to their ability to create new knowledge and use it to produce successful products and technologies. In The Knowledge-Creating Company , Nonaka and Takeuchi provide an inside look at how Japanese companies go about creating this new knowledge organizationally.

The authors point out that there are two types of knowledge: explicit knowledge, contained in manuals and procedures, and tacit knowledge, learned only by experience, and communicated only indirectly, through metaphor and analogy. U.S. managers focus on explicit knowledge. The Japanese, on the other hand, focus on tacit knowledge. And this, the authors argue, is the key to their success--the Japanese have learned how to transform tacit into explicit knowledge.

To explain how this is done--and illuminate Japanese business practices as they do so--the authors range from Greek philosophy to Zen Buddhism, from classical economists to modern management gurus, illustrating the theory of organizational knowledge creation with case studies drawn from such firms as Honda, Canon, Matsushita, NEC, Nissan, 3M, GE, and even the U.S. Marines. For instance, using Matsushita's development of the Home Bakery (the world's first fully automated bread-baking machine for home use), they show how tacit knowledge can be converted to explicit knowledge: when the designers couldn't perfect the dough kneading mechanism, a software programmer apprenticed herself with the master baker at Osaka International Hotel, gained a tacit understanding of kneading, and then conveyed this information to the engineers. In addition, the authors show that, to create knowledge, the best management style is neither top-down nor bottom-up, but rather what they call "middle-up-down," in which the middle managers form a bridge between the ideals of top management and the chaotic realities of the frontline.

As we make the turn into the 21st century, a new society is emerging. Peter Drucker calls it the "knowledge society," one that is drastically different from the "industrial society," and one in which acquiring and applying knowledge will become key competitive factors. Nonaka and Takeuchi go a step further, arguing that creatingknowledge will become the key to sustaining a competitive advantage in the future.

Because the competitive environment and customer preferences changes constantly, knowledge perishes quickly. With The Knowledge-Creating Company , managers have at their fingertips years of insight from Japanese firms that reveal how to create knowledge continuously, and how to exploit it to make successful new products, services, and systems.

April 21, 2011

વૈશ્વિક મંદીમાંથી 65 ટકા બેન્કો બહાર આવી

વૈશ્વિક આર્થિક મંદી પછી હવે દુનિયાના બે ત્રત્યાંસ પ્રમુખ બેન્કોનો કારાબોર મંદી અગાઉના સામાન્ય સ્તરે પહોંચી ગયો છે.

ઇન્સ્ટીટ્યૂટ ઑફ ઇન્ટરનેશનલ ફાઇનાન્સ (આઈઆઈએફ)માટે અર્નેસ્ટ એન્ડ યંગ દ્વારા 62 વૈશ્વિક બેન્કો ઉપર કરવામાં આવેલા આ સર્વેક્ષણમાં 65 ટકા બેન્કોએ કહ્યું કે તેમનું કામકાજ સામાન્ય સ્તરે પહોંચી ગયું છે. અને 32 ટકા બેન્કોનું કહેવું છે કે કારોબારમાં સુધારો થઈ રહ્યો છે. ત્યાંજ માત્ર ત્રણ ટકા બેન્કોએ કહ્યું કે તેઓ અત્યારે પણ સંઘર્ષની સ્થિતિમાં છે.

- સર્વેક્ષણમાં 50 ટકા બેન્કોએ કહ્યું કે આર્થિક સંકટની તેમની ઉપર ગંભિર અસર પડી હતી
- અને 32 ટકાએ કહ્યું કે તેમની ઉપર સામાન્ય અસર થઈ હતી
- માત્ર 20 ટકા બેન્કે કહ્યું કે તેમની ઉપર આર્થિક સંકટની ખાસ્સી ઓછી અસર પડી છે
- 33 ટકાથી મોટા ભાગની બેન્કોએ અસ્થિર બજાર ફેક્ટર્સને પોતાની પ્રમુખ ચિંતા જણાવી

ભારતના આઈસીઆઈસીઆઈ બેન્ક ઉપરાંત સિટીગ્રુપ, એચએસબીસી, મોર્ગન સ્ટેનલી, બાર્કલેજ, બેન્ક ઑફ અમેરિકા, ક્રેડિટ સુઇસ, આઈએનજી, રૉયલ બેન્ક ઑફ સ્કૉટલેન્ડ, યૂબીએસ, સ્ટાન્ડર્ડ ચાર્ટર્ડ બેન્ક, બેન્ક ઑફ ચાઇના અને કેનેડાની પાંચ પ્રમુખ બેન્કો-સ્કોશઇયા બેન્ક, રૉયલ બેન્ક ઑફ કેનેડા, ટોરેન્ટો-ડોમિનિયન બેન્ક, બેન્ક ઑફ મૉન્ટ્રિયલ અને કેનેડિયન એમ્પીરિયલ બેન્ક ઑફ કૉમર્સને પણ આ સર્વેક્ષણમાં શામેલ કરવામાં આવ્યા છે.

સર્વેક્ષણમાં 50 ટકા બેન્કોએ કહ્યું કે આર્થિક સંકટની તેમની ઉપર ગંભિર અસર પડી હતી. અને 32 ટકાએ કહ્યું કે તેમની ઉપર સામાન્ય અસર થઈ હતી. માત્ર 20 ટકા બેન્કે કહ્યું કે તેમની ઉપર આર્થિક સંકટની ખાસ્સી ઓછી અસર પડી છે. મોટા ભાગની બેન્કોએ કહ્યું કે આર્થિક સંકટ હવે ગઈ કાલની વાત છે અને વિશ્વના મોટા ભાગના હિસ્સાથી અર્થવ્યવસ્થામાં સુધારાના સંકેતો મળી રહ્યાં છે.

ત્યાંજ 33 ટકાથી મોટા ભાગની બેન્કોએ અસ્થિર બજાર ફેક્ટર્સને પોતાની પ્રમુખ ચિંતા જણાવી, સાથે જ તેઓએ કહ્યું કે બજારમાં અસ્થિરતાના માહોલના કારણે વેપાર યોજનાઓ બનાવવી અને નિર્ણય લેવો ખાસ્સો મુશ્કેલ થઈ ગયો છે. બેન્કોનું કહેવુ છે કે જે સમયે આ સર્વેક્ષણ કરવામાં આવ્યો તે સમય સુધી બજારમાં અસ્થિરતા અને ઉતાર-ચઢાવ ખાસ્સો વધી ગયો હતો, કેમ કે આ દરમિયાન મઘ્યપૂર્વમાં રાજકિય સંકટ અને જાપાનમાં ભૂકંપથી ઉભી થયેલી સમસ્યાઓ સામે આવી છે.

રાકેશ સિંહ બન્યા HDFC બેન્કના નવા ઇન્વેસ્ટમેન્ટ બેકિંગ પ્રમુખ

ખાનગી ક્ષેત્રની એચડીએફસી બેન્કના રાકેશ સિંહને બુધવારે રોકાણ બેકિંગના પ્રમુખ તરીકે નિમણૂક કરવાની જાહેરાત કરી.

સિંહ પહેલા રાથચાઇલ્ડ ઇન્ડિયાના પ્રબંધ નિર્દેશક અને મુખ્ય નાણાંકીય સલાહકાર હતા. એચડીએફસી એ કહ્યું કે સિંહ બેન્કના પ્રોજેક્ટ ફાઇનાન્સિંગ કોર્પોરેટ ફાઇનાન્સ (લોન અને ઇક્વિટી કેપિટલ માર્કેટ)નું કામ જોશે.

સિંહ આઇએમટી ગાઝિયાબાદના ભૂતપૂર્વ વિદ્યાર્થી છે. તેમણે મોર્ગન સ્ટેનલી, મેરિલ લિન્ચ, સ્ટાન્ડર્ડ ચાર્ટર્ડ બેન્ક અને એએનજી ઇન્વેસ્ટમેન્ટ બેન્કમાં પણ કામ કર્યું છે.

શા માટે વધી રહ્યા છે સોના-ચાંદીના ભાવ? સોનું 25000એ પહોંચશે?

વિશ્વભરમાં કિંમતી ધાતુઓના બજારમાં વાવાઝોડું ચાલી રહ્યું છે. તેનો વાયરો છેક ભારતીય બજાર સુધી પણ ફૂંકાય છે. છેલ્લાં પાંચ ટ્રેડિંગ સેશનથી સોના-ચાંદીના ભાવમાં રોજે ઉછાળો જોવા મળી રહ્યો છે. તેની પાછળ ઘણા બધા પરિબળો કામ કરી રહ્યા છે.

આજે પણ સોના-ચાંદીના ભાવમાં ઉછાળો જોવા મળ્યો, અને વૈશ્વિક સ્તરે સોનું પ્રતિ ઔંસ 1500 ડોલરની સપાટી કૂદાવીને 1505.86 ડોલર પર ટ્રેડ કરી રહ્યું હતું. જે તેની ઓલટાઇમ હાઇસ સપાટી છે. સ્થાનિક બજારમાં પણ સોનું પ્રતિ દસ ગ્રામ રૂ.22,000એ આંબી ગયું છે.

કિંમતી ધાતુઓમાં જેટ ગતિએ ચાંદીના ભાવ દોડી રહ્યા છે. ગઇકાલે પણ સ્થાનિક બજારમાં એક કિલોગ્રામ ચાંદીના ભાવરૂ.67180ની ટોચે પહોંચ્યા હતા, જે તેની ઐતિહાસિક સપાટી હતી. વૈશ્વિક સ્તરે ચાંદીના ભાવ પ્રતિ ઔંસ આજથી ત્રીસ વર્ષ પહેલાં 50 ડોલરે પહોંચ્યા હતા. આથી હાલ સટ્ટોડિયાઓ ચાંદીને 50 ડોલરની ઉપર લઇ જવા માટે મોટો સટ્ટો કરી રહ્યા છે.

આના લીધે સોના-ચાંદીના ભાવ વધી રહ્યા છે
- વૈશ્વિક સ્તરે ફરી એકવખત આર્થિક મંદીનો વાયરો ફૂંકાવાની શક્યતા
- સ્ટાન્ડર્ડ એન્ડ પુઅર્સે અમેરિકાનું નેગેટિવ રેટિંગ કર્યું અને ટ્રિપલ એ નું રેટિંગ પાછું ખેંચી લે તેવી ધારણા
- આના લીધે ડોલર અન્ય મુખ્ય કરન્સી સામે નબળો ટ્રેડ થઇ રહ્યો છે
- અમેરિકાની જેમ જ યુરો ઝોનમાં હજુ પણ ચિંતાના વાદળો ઘેરાયેલા છે
- વૈશ્વિક સ્તરે મંદીના એંધાણના લીધે ક્રૂડ તેલ ભડકે બળી રહ્યું છે
- ક્રૂડ તેલ બળે એટલે સોના-ચાંદીનો ચરૂ ઉકળે
- હાલ હેજફંડોના મતે સલામત રોકાણ સોનું-ચાંદી
- વિશ્વના કેટલાંય દેશોમાં ફુગાવાએ માથું ઊંચક્યું
- સોનું-ચાંદીએ એક એવી વસ્તુ છે કે જેને વેચતા તરત જ નાણાં ઉપજે

..તો સોનું 25,000 અને ચાંદી રૂ.70,000 થી 75,000એ પહોંચશે

જો વૈશ્વિક સ્તરે પરિસ્થિતિ સુધરશે નહીં તો સોના-ચાંદીમાં તેજી બરકરાર રહેશે. ટ્રેડરો ચાંદી પ્રતિ ઔંસ 50 ડોલરને પાર કરશે તેવી ધારણા પાછળ મોટો સટ્ટો ખેલી રહ્યા છે. જો આમ થશે તો સ્થાનિક સ્તરે ચાંદીના ભાવ પ્રતિ કિલોગ્રામ રૂપિયા 70,000 થી 75,000ની સપાટીએ પહોંચે તો નવાઇ નહીં. સોનું પણ પ્રતિ દસ ગ્રામ રૂપિયા 25,000એ પહોંચશે તેવી શક્યતાઓ છે.

ગુજરાતમાં રિટેલ ગ્રોથ મેટ્રો કરતાં વધુ

ગુજરાતનો રિટેલ ગ્રોથ દેશના મોટા નવ શહેરોને ધ્યાનમાં લઈને જે ગ્રોથ છે એના કરતાં પાંચ ટકા ઊંચો રહ્યો છે. ફ્યુચર ગ્રૂપ ગુજરાતમાં રસના સાથે મળીને ફુડ પાર્ક સ્થાપવાની યોજના ધરાવે છે એમ ફયુચર વેન્ચર્સના સીએમડી કિશોર બિયાનીએ જણાવ્યું હતું. ફ્યુચર વેન્ચર R૭૫૦ કરોડનું R ૧૦થી R ૧૧ના પ્રીમિયમ ધરાવતા ભરણાં સાથે ૨૫મી એપ્રિલે મૂડીબજારમાં પ્રવેશી રહી છે. આઈપીઓની જાહેરાત માટે અમદાવાદ આવેલા કિશોર બિયાનીએ જણાવ્યું હતું કે કંપની બેંગ્લોરમાં R ૧૪૦ કરોડના ખર્ચે ફૂડ પાર્ક સ્થાપી રહી છે.

કંપનીનું રિટેલ ક્ષેત્રે ફેશન, ફૂડ અને હાઉસ ફર્નિચર ક્ષેત્રે વધુ ફોકસ રહ્યું છે. વધતા ફૂગાવાની કેવી અસર થઈ છે અંગે તેમણે જણાવ્યું હતું કે હાલ અમે નોન ફૂડ ઇનફ્લેશનનો સામનો કરી રહ્યા છે. આ ફુગાવો ૧૨ ટકા સુધી વકર્યો છે અને તેને કારણે આંતરિક વસ્ત્રોના વેચાણને અવળી અસર જોવા મળી રહી છે. તૈયાર કપડાં ખાસ કરીને ફેશનેબલ વસ્ત્રોની માગ સારી રહી છે અને તે લોકોની વધેલી ખરીદશકિતને આભારી છે. ફુડ ક્ષેત્રે ન્યૂડલ્સ, બિસ્કિટ, કોનફ્લેકસ જેવી પ્રોડકટની માગમાં છેલ્લા કેટલાક વર્ષમાં અસાધારણ વધી છે. કંપની આધાર યોજનાને પણ વિકસાવી રહી છે. પંજાબ, મહારાષ્ટ્ર, હરિયાણા બાદ હવે ગુજરાતમાં આગળ ધપાવશે. કંપની આ માટે ફેન્ચાઇઝી મોડલને વિકસાવશે.

મોબાઇલ અને કેન્સર વચ્ચે કોઈ સંબંધ નથીઃ સિદ્ધાર્થ મુખર્જી

આ વર્ષના પુલિત્ઝર પુરસ્કાર વિજેતા ભારતીય મૂળના અમેરિકન ડૉક્ટર સિદ્ધાર્થ મુખર્જીએ કહ્યુ છે કે મોબાઇલ ફોન અને મગજને પરસ્પર કોઈ જ સંબંધ નથી.

અત્યારે તો બન્નેને જોડનારી કોઈ નિર્ણાયક સંશોધન ઉપલબ્ધ નથી. કોલંબિયા યૂનિવર્સિટીમાં આસિસ્ટન્ટ પ્રોફેસર મુખર્જીને કેન્સર ઉપર લખાયેલા તેમના પુસ્તક "ધ એમ્પરર ઑફ ઑલ મેલડીઝઃ એ બાયોગ્રાફી ઑફ કેન્સર"ને 2011ના પ્રતિષ્ઠિત પુલિત્ઝર પુરસ્કારથી સન્માનિત કરવામાં આવ્યું છે.

- કેન્સરના કારણોને શોધવા એ કઈ ગણિતના સમિકરણોને સોલ્વ કરવા જેવા નથી
- કોઈ પણ સંશોધનમાં આ બન્ને વચ્ચે કોઈ સંબંધ હોવાનું પ્રમાણ નથી જોવા મળ્યું

તેઓએ નેશનલ પબ્લિક રેડિયોને આપેલા એક ઇન્ટરવ્યૂમાં કહ્યું "કેન્સરના કારણોને શોધવા એ કઈ ગણિતના સમિકરણોને સોલ્વ કરવા જેવા નથી, અને કેન્સરના કારણોની તપાસ કરવા માટેની કોઈ ચમત્કારિકપણે ફોર્મૂલા પણ નથી, કે જેનાથી બીમારીની ઓળખ થઈ શકે."

તેમના કહેવાનુસાર "કારસીનોઝન(કેન્સરના કારણોની તપાસ)ની ઑળખ એક પ્રક્રિયા સ્વરૂપે કરવામાં આવે છે, જે હકિકતમાં ડિટેક્ટિવનો કેશ ઉકેલવા જેવો લાગે છે. પાછલા બે દાયકાથી મોબાઇલ ફોનનો ઉપયોગ ખાસ્સો વધવા પામ્યો છે. જો મોબાઇલ ફોન ખરેખર કેન્સર વધારવાનું એક કારણ હોત, તો દિવસે દિવસે આ બીમારીની કુલ સંખ્યાની સાથે બ્રેઇન કેન્સરની સંખ્યામાં પણ વધારો થતો. કોઈ પણ સંશોધનમાં આ બન્ને વચ્ચે કોઈ સંબંધ હોવાનું પ્રમાણ નથી જોવા મળ્યું.

ભ્રષ્ટાચારમાં ભ્રષ્ટાચાર: સંજય ચંદ્રા 'અર્શ થી ફર્શ' સુધી

- સંજય ચંદ્રા 2જી સ્પેક્ટ્રમ ગોટાળામાં ધરપકડ કરાયેલા સૌથી હાઇ પ્રોફાઇલ કોર્પોરેટ

- સંજયની ધરપકડથી યુનેટિક અને યુનિનોરની જ નહીં પણ કોર્પોરેટ ઇન્ડિયાની ઇમેજ પર દાગ લાગ્યો.

- 2001માં યુનિટેક જોઇન્ટ કર્યું અને તેને બુલંદીઓ પર પહોંચાડયું.

- સંજયે યુનિટેક વાયરલેસ નામની કંપની બનાવીઅને ઓગસ્ટ 2007માં 2જી લાઇસન્સ મેળવ્યું

- ઓક્ટોબર 2008માં યુનિટેકે 60 ટકા હિસ્સો ટેલિનોરને વેચવાની જાહેરાત કરી.

- 2009માં 7000 કરોડ રૂપિયાની લોનના લીધે તેમની રિઅલટી કંપની યુનિટેક ચર્ચામાં હતી.

- 2009ના સત્યમ ગોટાળા બાદ આ બીજો સૌથી મોટો મામલો.

- સંજયે બિઝનેસ જગતના કામકાજની પદ્ધતિ અને તેના કોર્પોરેટ ગવર્નન્સ પર પ્રશ્નો ઉભો કર્યો છે.

યુનિટેકના મેનેજિંગ ડાયરેક્ટર સંજય ચંદ્રા 2જી સ્પેક્ટ્રમ ગોટાળામાં ધરપકડ કરાયેલા સૌથી હાઇ પ્રોફાઇલ કોર્પોરેટ છે. દેશના યંગ એન્ટરપ્રેન્યોર્સની લાઇનમાં આગળ રહેનાર સંજયની ધરપકડથી ફકત યુનેટિક અને યુનિનોરની પર જ નહીં પણ કોર્પોરેટ ઇન્ડિયાની ઇમેજ પર દાગ લાગી ગયો છે.

દેશની બીજા નંબરની સૌથી મોટી રિઅલ એસ્ટેટ કંપની યુનિટેકનું ટેલિકોમ સેક્ટરમાં પગરણ માંડવાનો નિર્ણય તેમના નસીબ માટે સારો રહ્યો નહીં. આ નિર્ણય કંપનીના જોઇન્ટ એમડી સંજય ચંદ્રાનો હતો, જેમણે 2001માં યુનિટેક જોઇન્ટ કર્યું અને તેને બુલંદીઓ પર પહોંચાડયું. પોતાના પિતા રમેશ ચંદ્રાની બનાવેલ કંપની યુનિટેકને ડાઇવર્સિફિકેશન માટે સંજયે ઘણા મહત્વકાંક્ષી નિર્ણય કર્યા અને તે જ તે ચૂકી ગયા. સંજયે યુનિટેક વાયરલેસ નામની કંપની બનાવીઅને ઓગસ્ટ 2007માં 2જી લાઇસન્સ મેળવ્યું. તે સમયે એ પણ પ્રશ્ન ઉઠી રહ્યો હતો કે જે કંપનીને ટેલિકોમ સર્વિસ સાથે દૂર દૂરનો પણ સંબંધ નથી, તેને લાઇસન્સ મળ્યું કંઇ રીતે.

ઓક્ટોબર 2008માં જ્યારે યુનિટેક જાહેરાત કરી કે યુનિટેક વાયરલેસનો 60 ટકા હિસ્સો નોર્વેની ટેલિનોરને 6,120 કરોડ રૂપિયામાં વેચી રહી છે, તો આખા ટેલિકોમ સેકટરમાં તહેલકા મચી ગયો. લાઇસન્સ પ્રાપ્ત કર્યાના ફકત 13 મહિનામાં જ નોર્વેની સૌથી મોટી કંપની ટેલિનોરને આટલા ઊંચા વેલ્યુએશન પર હિસ્સો વેચ્યા બાદ સંજય ચંદ્રાની નિયત પર પણ પ્રશ્ન થવા લાગ્યા. આ પ્રશ્નોવની ચર્ચા હતી ત્યારે તત્કાલીન ટેલિકોમ મંત્રી એ.રાજા હતા, જે હવે 2જી ગોટાળાના સિલસિલામાં જેલમાં છે.

આવું નથી કે સંજય ચંદ્રાનું નામ ખોટી બાબતોના લીધે પહેલી વખત ચર્ચામાં આવ્યું હોય. 2009માં 7000 કરોડ રૂપિયાની લોનના લીધે તેમની રિઅલટી કંપની યુનિટેક ચર્ચામાં હતી. તેના થોડાંક દિવસ બાદ જ 2જી લાઇસન્સ વહેણચીની સીએજી તપાસમાં યુનિટેક-યુનિનોર ડીલ શંકાની નજરમાં આવી. 2જી એપ્રિલ, 2011ના રોજ જ્યારે સીબીઆઇ એ 2જી સ્પેક્ટ્રમ ગોટાળામાં ચાર્જશીટ દાખલ કરી, તો તેમાં જે લોકોને આરોપી માનવામાં આવ્યા તેમાં સંજય ચંદ્રા પણ એક હતા.

સંજય ચંદ્રા માટે મુશ્કેલીઓ એટલા માટે પણ વધી ગઇ કે તેમના ભાઇ અને યુનિટેકના જોઇન્ડ એમડી અજય ચંદ્રાએ યુનિટેકને ટેલિકોમ બિઝનેસથી ખુદને દૂર બતાવ્યા છે. સાથો સાથ 2જી લાઇસન્સ પ્રાપ્ત કરવાની પૂરેપૂરી જવાબદારી સંજય ચંદ્રા પર જ મૂકી છે. ટેલિકોમ બિઝનેસ માટે યુનિટેકના પાર્ટનર ટેલિનોરે પહેલાં જ તેના પૂરા મામલાની તમામ જવાબદારી યુનિટેક પર નાંખી છે. 2009ના સત્યમ ગોટાળા બાદ આ બીજો સૌથી મોટો મામલો છે, જેને બિઝનેસ જગતના કામકાજની પદ્ધતિ અને તેના કોર્પોરેટ ગવર્નન્સ પર પ્રશ્નો ઉભો કર્યો છે.

Does Social Responsibility Help Protect a Company’s Reputation?

NEGATIVE INFORMATION about businesses is omnipresent. Even much-admired businesses, such as Apple Inc., must deal with negative information, as Apple discovered when consumer complaints surfaced in 2010 about the antenna design of its iPhone 4. Negative information tends to spread faster than positive and, because of increased usage of social media and the Internet, businesses are likely to be confronted with more — not less — negative information about their companies in the future. While the spread of negative information may not always be under the control of a business, it can try to mitigate the potential damage from negative information in different ways.

An increasing number of companies invest money in corporate social responsibility initiatives, in part to build general good will for their organizations. However, we have not known how effective corporate social responsibility initiatives are in strengthening customer resistance to negative information, compared to other tactics that can enhance a company’s reputation — such as investing in product or service quality or customer care. Does doing good help protect a business’s reputation against negative information it may be confronted with in the future?

Not completely, some recent research of ours suggests. We conducted a study with Gaia Rubera, an assistant professor of marketing at Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and Matthias Seifert, an assistant professor of operations and technology at IE Business School in Madrid, to look at how customers reacted to negative information about a company. Detailed results from the study were published in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of Service Research.

In the first part of our study, we surveyed 854 customers of a commercial bank about their opinions of the company and how they would react to negative information about it. The results of the survey showed that the company’s reputation for corporate social responsibility had a greater effect on consumers’ willingness to overlook negative information about the company than the company’s reputation for being customer-oriented (defined as the extent to which a business is viewed as being caring and attentive to customer needs) or for being oriented toward service quality. These results suggest that a dollar invested in corporate social responsibility initiatives would buy greater insurance against negative information than a dollar invested in either service-quality orientation or customer orientation.

Despite the positive impact of corporate social responsibility on customer resilience to negative information, the next part of our results tells a cautionary tale. In a second experiment involving 133 participants, we exposed customers to negative information of specific types — relating to a company’s corporate social responsibility, service quality orientation or customer orientation. In this second experiment, we found that a reputation for corporate social responsibility did notprotect a service business against negative information related to service quality or concern for customers; what it did was help protect a company’s reputation more narrowly against negative information related to corporate social responsibility. Something similar held true for service quality and customer orientation as well. Customers who began with a high opinion of an organization’s customer care, for example, were less likely to be influenced by new negative information about the organization’s customer care.

In light of this research, businesses are warned not to expect investments in corporate social responsibility to provide blanket insurance against any negative information they may be faced with in the future. Furthermore, we found that corporate social responsibility is more effective in strengthening customer resistance to negative information when the majority of customers have low levels of service-related or product-related expertise. In the case of expert customers, however, a company’s reputation for good quality has a stronger influence on customers’ resistance to negative information than corporate social responsibility does.

The Most Important Question a Manager Can Ask

When is the last time you asked the group you manage, and the individuals in it, this simple question:

What can I do to help you be more effective?

What question could be more central to being a good boss? If you want to manage and lead successfully, you've got to know what the people doing the work need. So why not ask them? But the truth is, this question is not asked by bosses nearly enough.

You'll get a variety of answers, especially in the beginning — including non-answers ("Gee, nothing. Keep doing what you're doing.") and requests you can't do much about — personal problems, company policies you can't change, complaints about colleagues who make this person's work life miserable, as well as personal requests you can't or won't address (such as "Raise my pay" from someone whose performance is mediocre). Take everything under advisement, if you can't respond immediately. Promise to take action when you think it's warranted but resist efforts to "delegate up."

You will also get answers that are implicit or even explicit criticisms of you. Respond to these by explaining yourself, but don't argue or react defensively. Admit mistakes, if appropriate. At the least, respond with, "Let me think about that. Thanks for telling me."

Discuss, listen, explain, educate, and, above all, understand what the person or group is saying. Be caring but candid. If you can't change company policies or pay grades, explain that. If you disagree with what you're hearing, talk about that respectfully. These are opportunities for both or all of you to learn.

Beyond such answers, however, you will hear ways you really can make people more effective. Finding that may require discussion, careful listening, and respectful probing, and a willingness on your part to hear hard things and to change. Perhaps you really do need to step back and let people do their work; or, perhaps you should get more involved. Perhaps some group work processes need to change. Perhaps you need to talk to a colleague who heads another group about how uncooperative her people are. These things are often easy to do and can make an immediate difference.

Once you start these discussions, you'll find they don't take much time, except when they deserve more time. And they pay dividends. They build trust, they help people work together better and do better work, they identify and remove obstacles.

They also make you more effective because they reveal what's on people's minds. Like it or not, what people think is what they think, and you need to know what that is. Above all, you need to know what people expect from you, the boss. If you don't know what they expect, and their expectations are unreasonable, you can't negotiate new ones and you'll go on disappointing them.

In many organizations, expectations are assumed to flow in only one direction — down. In fact, they flow up as well, though few organizations pay much attention. Too bad. Being a boss is a two-way street. People are more likely to rise to your expectations if you try to understand and rise to what they expect of you.

Powers of Persuasion The Inside Story of British Advertising

During the second half of the 20th century advertising in Britain led the world. In those years advertising boosted economic growth and peoples' affluence. It reached its peak as a proportion of the Gross National Product and increasingly came to touch upon almost every aspect of every individual's life. At the same time the advertising industry was frequently under siege, as politicians, pressure groups, and others constantly sought to restrain its influence--and often succeeded.

Yet no history of British advertising covering this heady period has previously been published. During the 1970s and 1980s British advertising creativity led the world. ButPowers of Persuasion is not just about advertisements-- it is about advertising. In the second half of the last century Britain was also a world leader in setting industry benchmarks--innovating the disciplines of account planning and market research, setting the standard for public service advertising, launching global advertising awards festivals, introducing the best system of advertising regulation, setting up the world's largest advertising archive, and the most comprehensive on-line advertising research databank in the world. All these were the keystones on which British creativity was build. Simultaneously, British advertising companies--particularly Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP--took their place among the world's greatest.

Powers of Persuasion tells the authoritative story of this dynamic, exhilarating era, with pen portraits of the personalities involved, anecdotes, case histories, and essential data. Written from the inside by one of the industry's leaders, it is a book for advertising specialists and the general public alike.


  • The authoritative inside story of UK advertising, from a leading industry figure
  • Tells the stories of the most memorable campaigns for products such as Heineken, Silk Cut, Levis, and the Conservative Party, set in their social and cultural context, and with illustrations
  • Offers insight into the industry's personalities, rivalries, and business models and traces the growth of major firms such as Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP
  • Shows the influential role of advertising in society and the economy
  • Describes the tools and techniques of the advertising agencies