Communications over the world wide doesnt depend on sytax or eloquence or rethoric or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard.
People can only hear you when they are moving toward you and they are not likely to when your wordss are pursuing them
Even the choices words lose their powe when they are used to overpower.
Attitudes are the real figures of speech '-Friedman

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Financial crisis renewed attention to governance

The recent financial crisis has brought renewed attention to governance of companies in the financial sector. Questions are being raised as to how we ended up in the current situation in a sector already heavily regulated and under tight scrutiny by financial authorities as well as market participants. Some of the answers must be found in the sector’s culture for corporate governance. 
The new millennium is still young – not even nine years old. Still, during this time, the world has already experienced two major market crises. The burst IT bubble in 2000 and the ensuing corporate scandals among giants like Enron, Xerox and WorldCom cost investors billions of dollars and sent shockwaves through the economy.
The situation sparked a mistrust of the commercial system in general, and gave rise to the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) act in July 2002. SOX sets new standards for all public US companies in order to ensure sound corporate governance and hence protect investors from losses incurred by bad management and controls, hidden risk and exposure or outright fraud. The need for common guidelines for corporate governance is however a global phenomenon, and SOX compliance was quickly adopted as a common benchmark for governance worldwide. However, despite the SOX initiative, the world found itself in turmoil again in 2008. This time though, the scenario was different. Whereas the situation that led to the SOX legislation came on the back of the collapse of an overrated IT segment followed by revelation of cheating, fraud and bad management amongst leading blue chip companies, this time the crisis struck at the very foundation of the capitalist system – the institutions in charge of ensuring availability of capital and funding of corporate activity.
The crisis started amongst the financial institutions with sudden collapses of big international banks like Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch as well as leading insurance groups like AIG and US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It spread like fire across the entire international capital marketplace and the financial system was brought to the brink of melt down. Liquidity was frozen by banks out of fear of losing out on counterparty default, and the mechanisms for funding of commercial activities thereby basically came to a standstill. The entire corporate world was soon embroiled in a deep and spiralling crisis.
Was this excessive gearing and exposure understandable? From a short-term profit perspective – absolutely. From 1998 to 2006, house prices in the US were booming, and as the saying went, ‘when the music plays, you have to get up and dance’. Was it prudent? Not at all.
So the only reason for expecting the imbalance between rental and house prices to be sustainable, would be if there was a fair expectation that household income would increase correspondingly so that renters would be able to pay higher rent
 One can only guess why the carrousel then was allowed to continue spinning at higher and higher speed. The explanation is most likely that the markets lost control through a lethal cocktail of weak corporate governance, short-term greed and lack of transparency and understanding of true risks and exposures. The big international banks operate in departmental silos, each with their own performance goals

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC)

The situation calls, again, for increased focus on corporate governance. The financial sector is faced with special challenges in this respect compared to other segments. The financial industry relies heavily on information, loads of information, and this information needs to be available at the right time, which, in many cases, means immediately. Furthermore, companies in the financial sector can rapidly change their overall risk profile, through actions undertaken by portfolio managers or traders, and the different firms are so intertwined in their business that the collapse of some big players quickly develops into a systemic crisis that affects the whole market.
As information is the clue, sound corporate governance in the financial sector should start with creating the foundation for making the right information available to all levels in the organisation
The statistics will not help you much in times of extreme volatility or movement in prices. Sound risk management should therefore first and foremost take care of the bread and butter needs of the organisation. A company needs to have a true picture of how it is exposed and what the consequences are if such exposures turn into true liabilities.

Compliance Concerns Control Mechanisms

Based on the hypothesis that you do not get what you expect, you get what you inspect, legislators very wisely make huge efforts to try and control the financial marketplace in a way that promotes good corporate governance but preserves the basic ideas behind the free market economy. a company needs, of course, to comply with regulation. The consequences of not doing so will be fines, compensation claims, loss of reputation and even loss of license to operate.
GRC is becoming increasingly challenging for the financial sector due to its complexity. It is however not always the best approach to throw a complex solution at a complex problem. For the financial industry it is crucial to get the fundamentals in place, and this means a proper IT infrastructure to ensure quality and timely data

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

what is sustainable development


What is Sustainable Development?

Environmental, economic and social well-being for today and tomorrow

Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
  • the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."
All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system—a system that connects space; and a system that connects time.
When you think of the world as a system over space, you grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia.
And when you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today; and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on urban poverty when our children are adults.
We also understand that quality of life is a system, too. It's good to be physically healthy, but what if you are poor and don't have access to education? It's good to have a secure income, but what if the air in your part of the world is unclean? And it's good to have freedom of religious expression, but what if you can't feed your family?
The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of systems thinking. It helps us understand ourselves and our world. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can't address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them.
It's that basic optimism that motivates IISD's staff, associates and board to innovate for a healthy and meaningful future for this planet and its inhabitants.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Challenges faced by human resource managers in the era of gloablization

Written by Bharti Venkatesh  
HR today is playing a lead role along with business functions in creating the necessary momentum and internal capabilities.
Now first let us understand what we mean by globalization.
What is globilzation?
Every day we hear it on news, we read it in the newspapers, we overhear people talking about it… and in every single moment the word ‘globalization’ seems to have a different meaning. So what is globalization?
“…integration of business activities across geographical and organizational boundaries.”
“The capacity to treat the world as one market while…dealing with many culturally diverse merchants.”
“…the process by which markets expands to include competitors for customers and productive inputs without regard to national boundaries”.
“…doing business with a world wide focus… rather than doing business in an international market with the focus from a home-country viewpoint.”
Globalization is not just a recent phenomenon. Some analysts have argued that the world economy was just a globalized 100 years ago as it is today. Yet the term is used since the 1980’s, reflecting technological advances that have made it easier and quicker to complete international transactions, both trade and financial flows. The most striking aspect of this has been the integration of financial markets made possible by modern electronic communication.
At a political and economic level, globalization is the process of denationalization of markets, politics and legal systems i.e. the use of the so-called global economy. Globalization refers to an extension beyond national borders of the same market forces that have operated for centuries at all levels of human economic activity (village markets, urban industries, or financial centers). It means that world trade and financial markets are becoming more integrated.
At a business level, we talk of globalization when organization decides to take part in the emerging global economy and establish themselves in foreign markets. First they will adapt their products or services to the customer’s linguistic and cultural requirements. Then, they might take advantage of the internet revolution and establish a virtual presence on the international market place with a multilingual corporate website or even as an e-business.
Overall, globalization requires a combination of linguistic, engineering and marketing knowledge that is not easily available. (Sparrow, Paul, R, 2006)
Globalization is linked to four major aspects:
  1. Trade
  2. Capital movements
  3. Movement of people
  4. Spread of knowledge
Drivers of globalization
Driving factors of globalization can be divided into four groups:
Market drivers
  • Convergence of per capita income
  • Convergence of life styles
  • Organizations behavior as global customers
Cost drivers
  • Push for economics of scale
  • Advances in transportation
  • Emergence of newly industrialized countries with productive capability and low labor costs
Competitive drivers
  • Growth of global networks making countries interdependent
  • Rise of new competitors intent on becoming global competitors
  • Increased formation of global strategies alliances
Goverment drivers
  • Reduction on tariffs and other trade barriers
  • Privatization of industry in many parts of the world
  • Creation of trading blocks (i.e. EU)
Globalization has elevated the importance of HRM development in organization. These changes have led to the notion of the HR system as a strategic asset. Many of the arguments about processes of globalization within the HR function rest on the assumption that there has and continues to be longitudinal change in the conduct of HR. in the intervening seven years a wide range of contextual changes have led to significant globalization of activity, including: the transfer of work abroad, either to outsourced providers or on a global in-sourcing basis; the e-enablement of many HR process; greater sophistication in the HR information technology, new structures for international HR functions; greater competition for talented staff at all levels of organization; more protracted and strategic talent pipelines. In particular, there has been a very strong marketing, corporate communication and IT influence on the HR function. The HR function is realigning itself in response to this process of cross-function globalization (building new alliances with these functions) creating new activity streams and new roles and skills required of the HR function (Sparrow, Brewster and Harris, 2004).
Human resource managers: their role in a changing environment
Issues facing HR are expected to change dramatically in the next decades. Thus, HR professionals must play special roles in dealing with these changes and must develop specific competencies to support these roles.
Workplace flexibility is expected to be on the rise as the future workplace, the ‘virtual office’ is characterized by creative and flexible work arrangements. As more employees work off-site-up to two thirds of an organization in the 21st century – there will be an increase in emphasis on performance and results as opposed to the number of hours worked. In addition, off-site employees can expect to attend fewer meetings. Specified work will become much more collaborative and management will spend nearly all its time managing cross-functional work teams who enjoy a lot of autonomy. In essence, there will be a movement, a trend towards a decentralized model of HR.
HR managers will have to accommodate employees in their virtual work locations and find ways to manage corporate culture, socialization and employee orientation. In order to obtain and maintain a competent workforce, they must act as organizational performance experts and shape employees behavior without face to face meetings.
Another expected change in HR is the ‘Global Business’ concept world trade knew a major growth during the last years and there is forecasted as well the growth of international businesses, especially among small firms. Organization rely more and more organization HR specialists as the facilitators of work across borders and among different cultures. Therefore, they must be knowledgeable of other cultures, languages and business practices. They will be required to develop and manage an international workforce, maintain written and unwritten corporate polices for transportability to other cultures, keep top management informed of the costs of not paying attention to the transnational issues and provide their services to a variety of locations world wide.
Concerning the recruitment in the above mentioned ‘global business’ it will be important which strategy will be adopted by the management.

HR Technology innovation and adjusting

The HR technology  will showcase an array of new business technology innovations for human capital management and talent management.The business technology to help human resources professionals is evolving dramatically, and this is a place for HR and workforce management professionals to find new methods that help increase productivity and optimize business outcomes.

Early this year our firm defined five business technology innovations that will be vitally important in this decade for HR as well as other lines of business: They are cloud computing, social media, mobility, analytics and collaboration. Each of these when integrated with business and workforce processes can improve worker/manager interactions, and when combined they can have a widespread impact across the enterprise.

Cloud computing is already the standard for these applications for talent management; now it is imperative to progress in integration of them with enterprise systems. To accomplish this will require using data integration technologies designed for operating across cloud computing and enterprise systems that come from providers like Dell Boomi, Informatica, Pervasive and SnapLogic

Workforce Mobility: The business use of smartphones and tablets continues to change how workers and managers operate and will cooperate, but it is hard to tell where the real advances lie. Keep in mind that while many vendors are quick to announce and show applications that you can be downloaded, few provide demonstration versions with predefined information that can help you understand the impact their app can provide
 Workday recently announced  its mobility offering for managers on tablets but is still not providing access to experience it before purchasing. SAP also announced a series of new mobile applications for managers called SAP Manager Insight and SAP Interview Assistant that builds on top of what  already at its SAPPHIRE conference. SuccessFactors has brought forward its BizX Mobile as the interface to its applications, but we are still waiting to see a public demonstration of its capabilities.

Workforce Analytics: Attracting and retaining talent are critical that can be more effective by using workforce analytics. Our workforce analytics benchmark research on HR organizations  found some significant challenges in the maturity of organizations trying to use analytics. To help with this, software vendor eThority has methods to access and integrate data for workforce analytics across a spectrum of cloud and enterprise systems contained in its recently upgraded platform eThority 5  who in a surprise announcement was acquired by Equifax and now part of the TALX business unit. Sonar6  made performance reviews cool and has introduced an analytics offering that is easily seen on this YouTube clip. I recommend visiting Peoplefluent to see the advances in analytics enabled by its acquisition of Acquire. SuccessFactors acquired Inform and YouCalc to advance its solution for stand-alone workforce analytics and should be another stop on your tour of workforce analytics. SumTotal Systems is also advancing its workforce analytics that I assessed in a recent briefing. Technomedia has launched TM Analytics to help complement its new talent management suite. Visier was founded by former Business Objects and SAP executives to spice up the workforce analytics market and now has brought its products to the market after being in development for some time.

When you think about establishing workforce collaboration, don’t get distracted just by the cute social media expansions of recruiting applications which only can help part of your overall talent management processes. Unfortunately this critical business factor is not receiving its full due in the HR Tech conference, but there are advances worth your time to examine.

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Alan Boyle Science editor
As's science editor, Alan Boyle runs a virtual curiosity shop of the physical sciences and space exploration, plus paleontology, archaeology and other ologies that strike his fancy. Since joining in 1996, Boyle has won awards from the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Science Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Pirelli Relativity Challenge and the CMU Cybersecurity Journalism Awards program. He is the author of "The Case for Pluto," a contributor to "A Field Guide for Science Writers," the blogger behind Cosmic Log: Bacteria can walk on 'legs' — and an occasional talking head on the MSNBC cable channel. During his 33 years of daily journalism in Cincinnati, Spokane and Seattle, he’s survived a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, a total solar eclipse and an earthquake. He has faith he'll survive the Internet as well.

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