How Collaboration Impacts Productivity in Different Cultures

 

Source: www. cutcaster.com

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Collaborative attitude vs. individual brilliance has always been a matter of debate. The subject elicits different responses depending on the socio-cultural context.

Countries like Japan,with team driven culture, have made remarkable progress in technology, thanks to their collaborative attitude. The American system and the European systems have been able to drive innovation with the help of their educational and legal frameworks that allow for collaboration between various people, encourage out of the box thinking and risk taking.

In the Indian society though individual brilliance is highly admired, but team working skills do not receive the desired consideration. Read more

English really is the language for the global highly-skilled worker—especially if she’s a woman

Lack of opportunities to educated women in developing countries contributes to brain drain from developing economies.

Ten Most Traded Currencies in the World in 2013

 

Notwithstanding the fact that trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, the world’s largest market with 24-hour market action is the currency trading market.

There are more than 190 countries in the world with currencies that can be traded, of course, subject to government restrictions. The value of daily foreign exchange trading exceeds the value of annual international trade in goods and services by more than one hundred times.

The cumulative share in daily currency trading of the top ten currencies is about 180 percent and the rest of the currencies in the world have a share of 20 percent.  (Since two currencies are involved in each transaction, the sum of the percentage shares of individual currencies totals 200% instead of 100%.)

As per reports of The Bank for International Settlements, which is an international organization of central banks, these are the top ten traded currencies of the world in 2013.

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Tough Decision? 3 ways to get moving

Leadership lessons from the life of Nelson Mandela

 

Nelson Mandela
Illustration by Manas Maisnam courtesy Kanglaonline.com

On 18th of July, in the year 1918,  Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo in South Africa, who grew up to be anti apartheid revolutionary, served as the President  of South Africa and became a great champion of humanity for the world.

Here are some quotes from Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations

 

On life

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

On death

Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.

On determination

Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.

On time 

I never think of the time I have lost. I just carry out a programme because it’s there. It’s mapped out for me. Read more

How to Manage Expectations At Work

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Source: www.howik.com

 

Very few people will dispute the fact that managing expectations is critical to the success of any relationship, be it a business relationship, a professional relationship, or a personal relationship. A business that manages to balance the customers’ expectations with its product/service emerges successful. On the other hand, a business that fails to live up to the expectations of the customers, loses its customers to the competitors. At work, employees are rated on how often they exceed expectations, meet expectations or fail to meet expectations.

Managing expectations does not imply giving in to all the wishes of your clients or managers which you may think of as unreasonable, but it is about being objective, subtly putting across your views, setting the right expectations, communicating those expectations, and meeting the expectations. At work people need to manage expectations at different levels to ensure that their efforts are directed towards the desired outcomes and their performance gets noticed. As such those who can manage expectations well are often more productive at work.

 

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Understanding random market behaviour

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

For an investor, the pain of selling a stock at a loss far exceeds the pleasure of selling the stock at an equal amount of gain.

Strange but true!

Such behavioral aspects of investing and many more are brought out in the study of behavioral finance, that was introduced in the late 1980s, owing to anomalies in stock price prediction by the two main existing theories of academic finance, i.e. Modern Portfolio Theory’ and ‘Efficient Market Hypothesis’.

According to the ‘Efficient Market Theory’, put forth by Eugene Fama, financial markets are believed to be efficient and investors are understood to make rational decisions. Further, market participants are supposed to be sophisticated, informed and known to act only on available information. Since market participants are believed to have equal access to information, it is implied that stock prices always reflect the best information about fundamental values of the stocks. According to the efficient market theory and Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) the price of a stock is the Present Value (PV) of all the entire future earnings of the company i.e. the future dividend paid by the company. 

The ‘Modern Portfolio Theory’ pioneered by Harry Markowitz suggested that an investor can maximise returns by holding a diversified portfolio of assets with different levels of risk.

 However stock prices were found to exhibit more volatility than efficient market hypothesis could explain.   Read more

Why you must build Professional Networks

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networking_misner

Networking is establishing and maintaining informal relationships with people whose acquaintance or friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities. Professional networking is a critical skill that is required for succeeding at workplace or in business. Building a strong professional network doesn’t happen overnight; these relationships have to be cultivated over time. Read more

Diversification Dilemma


Diversification has given way to focus in developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom,  and has often been correlated with lower performance. In contrast, diversified business groups have been hugely successful in most emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

Since the mid 1980s, strategists in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have mostly advocated the use of focused strategies for businesses and have advised companies to ‘stick to their knitting’. Many diversified conglomerates in these advanced economies have been dismantled since 1980s to focus on one or a few core businesses.

A look at the motives with which companies diversify reveals some of the reasons why diversification by conglomerates yields benefits in the developing markets as against the discount associated with diversified conglomerates in the developed economies.

Growth is a primary motive for diversification

However growth does not always translate into higher profitability. Since management status and power is correlated more closely with the size of assets under management, management (the ‘agent’) may have the incentive to diversify for pursuing growth in preference to profitability, which is not in the best interest of shareholders.

Reducing risk

Having different businesses in their portfolio can potentially balance differences in the industry cycles and thus it increases the stability of a company. But the value of diversification advantage to the company may be offset by the high transaction cost associated with acquisition. Moreover shareholders can themselves reduce the risk of their portfolio by holding diversified portfolios. This is another argument against diversification in the developed economies.

Diversify or not

Corporate parenting advantage

Effective corporate management is given as the reason for existence and success of diversified conglomerates in the developing markets. The differences in the institutional context—i.e. a country’s capital markets, labour markets, consumer awareness, regulatory and legal system  that influences business practices and ethics,  infrastructure etc favours the presence of diversified conglomerates in developing countries.

Profitability

Corporate advantage due to diversification exists if the portfolio performance is greater than sum of performances of individual businesses. In the developing economies, diversified conglomerates wield considerable economic and political clout. Being a part of a diversified group increases the overall stability of the company’s cash flow.

Thus, diversification is context specific. “Stick to your knitting” may not be the best recommendation for firms in high-growth markets or regions that have strong corporate advantages.

How do you deal with conflicts at work?

By Somali K Chakrabarti

How would you feel if, on a particular day when you plan to leave office somewhat early, your manager calls up and asks you to complete an urgent piece of work?  Alternatively, as a manager when you ask your subordinate to collate information that you need to plug into an important report and follow up after some time only to realize that your team member has not even started working on it.

Conflicts are a reality of life! Whether you like it or not, in your day to day life, you would invariably come across several conflicting situations, both in office and at home. Your response to dealing with such conflicts often depends on your personality, your tendency to assert yourself, or to impose your viewpoint, or to adjust with others.

Conflict 1If you are in a habit to always assert yourself or one of those who wants to prove their point at all times, you may end up expending a lot of time and effort in dealing with conflicts. On the other hand, if you worry too much about a conflict then you will be discontent, frustrated and feel demotivated. That will hamper your productivity at work.

The most pressing types of conflicts are those arising due to differences in personality. Then there are conflicts due to differences in style of work, due to interdependence on each other for work and differences in emotional and cultural background. Whatever is the nature of the conflict, ignoring it in the hope that it will go away rarely helps.

An awareness of different styles for managing conflicts can help you to selectively pick your battles and fight for those that matter the most.

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