понедельник, 31 января 2011 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

We offer you some new set of books selected by SKOLKOVO Library project manager Helen Edwards.
A previous set can be found here.

1. The power of positive deviance : how unlikely innovators solve the world's toughest problems

Richard T Pascale, Jerry Sternin, Monique Sternin
Harvard Business Press, c2010
xvi, 231 pages
ISBN: 9781422110669

Why is it that some individuals seem not to suffer from problems which are affecting everyone else? The central concept of this book is the value of learning from those few people who are able to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems in new ways. The authors were involved in fieldwork dealing with malnutrition in Vietnam where it was noticed that some village children were thriving much more than the rest. It turned out that their mothers were mixing low value sweet potato greens with the rice and from this insight an effective social programme could be generated. The book describes other instances of the value of "observable exceptions" in health, social and business settings. Importantly the book also discusses the implementation issues and the type of leadership which, by engaging and transforming social dynamics at the grassroots level, best enables the adoption of new practices.

2. China 2.0 : the transformation of an emerging superpower--and the new opportunities

Marina Yue Zhang and Bruce W. Stening
J. Wiley & Sons (Asia), 2010 .
xxvii, 300 pages
ISBN: 9780470824238.

This book argues that Web 2.0 or the social web is having a more profound impact on China than anywhere else. The possibility of collaborating has altered the social order by mobilising public opinion and enabling an unheard of level of transparency in Chinese society. Zhang explores technology, the economy, the move from the primary focus on infrastructure and export to the domestic consumer markets, and society from a Chinese perspective. Also highlighted is China's unique business system "neither black nor white, but grey", with its unwritten codes and the need to establish the optimal distance between government and private enterprise.

3. Crisis management in the new strategy landscape

William Crandall, John A. Parnell, John E. Spillan
Sage, 2010
xiv, 265 pages
ISBN: 9781412954136

A crisis can be a major environmental disaster or terrorist attack but also any sudden unexpected event of low probability but high impact. This book describes the latest trends in crisis management, advocating incorporation of crisis planning into the regular strategic management processes. It offers a number of crisis management frameworks highlighting the usefulness of identifying "families" of potential crises and also discusses an alternative approach based on chaos theory. Case studies, tools for applying the frameworks and an outline crisis management plan are included.

среда, 26 января 2011 г.

SKOLKOVO MBA: Work on Real Projects Has Started!

While all of us are gradually resuming our work, SKOLKOVO students have already started an active work of putting their knowledge into practice.

A period from January till March is one of the most serious one in the education process for SKOLKOVO MBA students: the first module that includes the preparation of practical business solutions in particular areas is under way. 4 previous months were just a theoretical preparation for them, but true education begins when they work on real projects, when material and lectures given by professors are consolidated through practice and they acquire valuable experience and knowledge.

The module covers projects in public sector and social sphere. You can read about last year's projects here. This year students will prepare 6 projects... Yet let’s ask straight Alexey Germanovich, Public Projects Director, about that.

- Please tell us about projects which students are to work on in this module.
- Just like last year we’ve tried to select as projects the most urgent tasks Russian economy faces and show students by these examples the way public and social sector works from the inside. Since the current intake consists of fewer students, the number of projects is 6 rather than 8. We’ve divided them like last year: one half is preparing in Moscow, mostly with federal authorities, and the other half is developing projects for Russian regions.

In Moscow we continue working on the project dealing with implementation of changes to Federal Law No. 94 on state purchase contracts that SKOLKOVO students developed last year. That project was a success; it was supported by a number of state authorities and industrial organizations. We received an offer to continue work in the same way, and the team started.

The second Moscow project that we are working on is ordered by our last year’s client - Ministry of transport of the Russian Federation. Igor Levitin, Head of the Ministry, suggested that our team should estimate a business model of the Moscow-Kiev highway. Thus, we had a project for airports, Russian sea ports with Ministry of transport and now we have a project for a highway, i.e. we cover all areas of the Russian transport industry.

Another project in Moscow is a non-financial reporting ordered by Russian Ministry of health and social development headed by Mrs. Golikova. By this project the Ministry wants to encourage Russian companies to be more active in reporting their social success and achievements. Social reporting is a very popular in the world now and it seems useful because it clearly shows the interface of business, state and society. If we manage to promote this idea with the help of the project, I think the project will enrich the students and be of much benefit to Russian business and non-commercial community.

As regards regions, we have a project with our old client – the city of Cherepovets. Although the client is not the city administration as before, but the governor of the region, Vyacheslav Pozgalev, we will continue a project on developing a new quarter in the heart of the city around an old city museum - "Galskikh mansion".

A museum subject will also be covered in the project that we make in Volgograd. This is a project called “Victory” around the Mamayev Kurgan memorial, where a unique entertaining centre “Russia” should be created.

Our last regional project is a project in Kazan, where the client is its Mayor. This projects deals with positioning and marketing of the city. It’s interesting to say that we’ve received this project with the help of our alumnus Ivan Kuznetsov who I taught just a month ago. Now he is one of my clients, which is great, I think, because all over the world all business schools exist thanks to their alumni, and alumni help a business schools develop. Although we have only one class of graduates, we have examples of our cooperation with our former students.

пятница, 21 января 2011 г.

A new issue of "SKOLKOVO Go Inside" magazine

SKOLKOVO School pleases us with a new issue of SKOLKOVO GO Inside. This is the second issue of the magazine, the first one can be read here.

The last autumn was rich in events for SKOLKOVO School. They may have concerned you personally, or you may have read about them in the Internet. Now you can learn everything about them! The new issue reflects all brightest and most important moments of the School.

You can also find in the new issue:
  • a colourful report on the birthday of the School: How it was
  • an interview with David Adjaye: Architect’s Opinion
  • an interview with students of the School: Why SKOLKOVO?
  • Pierre Casse about macroleadership
  • SKOLKOVO Students and MIT
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Immaterial Globalization

You can read about the above and other things in the new issue. Have a nice reading!

SKOLKOVO GO Inside magazine winter 2010/2011

среда, 12 января 2011 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

We are glad to greed you again!
We are opening our blog with advice on business literature from Helen Edwards!
Hopefully, it will make you feel enthusiastic after New Years holidays

1. Business exposed: the naked truth about what really goes on in the world of business.
Freek Vermeulen
Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2010
237 pages
ISBN: 9780273732921

This books uses the evidence from research to challenge many of the myths about business. How do strategies evolve? Why are executives paid so much and is it necessary? What use are management consultants, or are they even harmful, propagating ineffective management fads? Further strategy insights include thoughts on the long term downside to downsizing; the benefits of R&D departments as a means to assess the innovations of the competition even when they do not invent anything themselves and the problem of knowledge management systems resulting in formulaic "cookie cutter" solutions rather than real insights.

2. The buying brain: secrets for selling to the subconscious mind
A K Pradeep
Wiley, 2010
252 pages
ISBN: 9780470601778

Described as "a one-stop playbook for understanding and applying the latest research using findings from sophisticated neuromarketing techniques", this book shows how advertising really works. For example research shows faces with ambiguous expressions hold the attention longer than smiles; whereas younger people process both positive and negative images, older people focus much more on the positive and respond to advertising which promotes"the idea of wisdom". Practical methodologies for utilizing the research include the Brand Essence Framework, a tool for understanding how consumers connect to brands at a subconscious level.

3. The mesh: why the future of business is sharing
Lisa Gansky
Portfolio Penguin 2010
242 pages
ISBN: 9781591843719

This book is based on the simple idea: some things are better shared. Mesh companies use information and its technologies to provide goods and services as they are needed and are changing the concept of ownership. With many examples and case studies of the new sharing companies, from renting living Christmas trees to Zipcar, the author shows how these business models work and explores social media in its broader economic, cultural and environmental context.