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Showing posts from August, 2006

Giving up Planning

I just gave up on – planning.

It is absurd. It’s alright as long as you do it as a play, but it does not remain playful too long.

I remember, I never planned when I was sane, when I was in college and had no time, when I loved every moment of my existence. I started planning as I got hurled into a windowless office, and wishing every moment about the day when I can get out. That madness got me into planning.

I don’t mean that I never thought about future before I got stuck in an office. That would have been irresponsible. But I never planned, I dreamt – of playing cricket in Eden Gardens, of writing a great novel, of making my mother immensely proud, of seeing my eternally cynical teachers startled by my success – sort of. I could not have planned for these. So, I dreamt.

These dreams appear less absurd than my plans. For a start, I was not trying to run away from the present when I dreamt, I loved it – all of it – its lightness, its temporariness, and its possibilities. I was logical in …

Story Based Learning

Consider this story that appeared today:

New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) has ditched traditional classroom-based learning for a story-based approach to teaching fire safety to its 20,000 or so staff. The new Story-based Learning Objects (StoBLs™), delivered via e-learning, have been developed by the global e-learning producer, Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) - and have generated strongly positive reactions from managers and thousands of learners at NYP. Staff trained via the classroom-based courses had consistently demonstrated levels of comprehension and retention which were lower than desired. One reason suggested for this was that the training was presented only in terms of steps and rules, without the application of the principles in a real-world situation. "Basically, the content didn't relate closely enough to the audience's daily experiences," said TIS's Chaitanya Hakkaladadi. "NYP, like many hospitals, has a recurring training requirement related …

Lessons from Kotler's Seminar in Mumbai [Business Standard/ Reproduced in Rediff.com]

Lesson 1: R&D must be market-ready
Kotler had a poser for his audience. His question: "If you were the chief marketing officer of your organisation, who would you prefer to be close to? The CEO, CFO, CIO (chief information officer) or the CRO (chief research officer)?" There was no single opinion, so Kotler decided to have the final say. He would have had it, anyways.
According to Kotler, the CMO needs to be close to everybody from the CEO to the CRO. Typically, the CFO does not see logic in investing behind brands because he is not close to marketing. And, there is an 80 per cent failure rate in new products.
"The R&D is farthest away from customers, hence they often get it wrong," he explained. Now, even in research-focused organisations like IT giant Microsoft, "marketing has become the front door and their new product success rate has become higher".
Lesson 2: Number-crunching is more than just calculating market shares
"In B-schools most stud…

NIIT & Element K : Analyst Views

Analyst Review: NIIT and Element K Consummate the Perfect Marriage

By Doug Harward, Founder and CEO of TrainingOutsourcing.com

On July 27, global learning services provider NIIT, headquartered in New Delhi, India announced that it had acquired Rochester, N.Y. based Element K. Combined the companies will have more than 3,000 employees throughout the world with revenues in excess of US $250 million. Instead of terming this an acquisition, I like to view it more as the perfect marriage of two complementary organizations. The union of the two companies has the ability to become one of the most powerful companies in the corporate and educational marketplace.
This is the second merger this year among "Top 20 Companies in the Training Outsourcing Industry" and definitely the most significant in terms of global reach. In June, ACS announced it was acquiring Ernst and Young's Intellinex Learning Services division. Although each deal has great importance to the industry, the NIIT - …

The Exciting Future of Music

From Rediff.com : On the Future of Music Distribution

Zinedine Zidane's seeing red in the final of the football World Cup has inspired a chart-topping song in France. The song is called, you guessed it, Head-Butt (or rather, Coup de Boule in French).

The reggae-ish song, which was reportedly composed in 30 minutes and posted on the Internet by a music producer trio, goes: 'Zidane a frappe, la Coupe on l'a ratee (Zidane struck, we blew the cup).'
Reports in most major newspapers of the world say the song is playing everywhere in France and being downloaded in the thousands from the Internet.

Warner Music France has bought the song from composers Franck Lascombes, S├ębastien Lipszyc and Emmanuel Lipszyc, who wrote the song out of the depression that hit them and all of France after their football captain's head-butt on Italian defender Marco Materazzi blew France's hopes of being champions of the world.

Reportedly, the trio sent the song to friends over the Internet a…

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