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glomc00 - The Global Millennium Class
Topic: agriculture & rural development | authors | business & finance | economy | design | education | entrepreneurship & innovation | environment | general | healthcare | human resources | nonprofit | people | policy & governance | publishing | reviews | science & technology | university research
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January 2014

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 jan 2014

Customers are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about the products and services that are provided by companies and expect customer service to attend them effectively, efficiently and with an understanding approach. In a highly competitive business environment companies are using all possible resources to acquire and retain customers, and are trying to restrict them to switch to other comparable brands. Customer service is at the forefront of this customer acquisition and retention process. But all companies aren't able to provide proactive customer service and are still stuck in the older methods of reactive customer service. Article provides detailed example of a customer service delivery process by two companies, one of them is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) and the other a managed hosting service provider, serving the same client. The hosting provider has proactive approach (frequent and continued communication of the problem's status and step by step explanation of the solution process) while CDN had a reactive approach (only responding to client messages without providing assurance of solving the problem or trying to find a way to tackle it). Author also provides some basic steps that fulfil the requirement of a proactive customer service approach - Have processes that track potential problems before customers know them; Automate customer contact when a problem alert happens and manually evaluate severity of problem; Communicate humanly and effectively with customers when problem is identified; Don't keep users in the dark and share with them the solution process; Engage all possible communication channels and utilize the ones that customer prefers and is comfortable with. Read on...

ClickZ: Proactive vs. Reactive Customer Service
Author: Jack Aaronson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 jan 2014

Human resources are critical component of any organization. They provide their skills and services in exchange for wages and other benefits. Moreover organizations try to care for their employees and provide them better environment for enhanced productivity and efficiency and generally would like them to be happy and satisfied. But when it comes to volunteers, they are not paid employees and give their important time to charities and nonprofit organizations due to their personal commitment to a particular cause. They also act as unofficial community ambassadors for the charity's work and without their valuable contribution it would become difficult for nonprofits to fulfil their commitments and objectives considering their limited finances and budgets. Therefore it becomes important for these organizations to have a caring and supportive work environment and provide a positive volunteering experience. According to research by YouGov only 42% of those who volunteered in past 12 months in UK had a happy experience. Russel Findlay, CEO of London Youth Games Foundation, explains how his charity is able to attract more volunteers than others in UK and provides suggestions to charities to make volunteering happier and more fulfilling - Make it fun; Meaningful roles; Appreciation. Read on...

the guardian: What can charities do to improve the volunteering experience?
Author: Russell Findlay


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 jan 2014

In a recent research based on a Pollara-BMO survey it was found that wealthiest Canadians will give an average $5127 to charities this year in the following areas - Medical Research (72%), Children's Charities (38%), Community Programs (36%), Religious Institutions (33%), Animal Welfare (24%), Education (18%), Arts (16%), Political Causes (13%), Environment (13%), Foreign Aid (13%). In another research by TD Bank it was mentioned that new generation of Canadians are more community-minded than previous generations and would like to see the impact of their contributions. The bank suggests better decision making when planning to donate - Define shared values; Have a plan and do research on charities; Find tax efficiencies; Consider an endowment. Read on...

The Star: Wealthy donate most to health, kids' charities
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jan 2014

Harvard University's Center for Nonprofits estimates that US-based nonprofit organizations have about US$ 40 billion fraud losses every year. While a Washington Post analysis of filings from 2008 to 2012 found that top 20 nonprofit organizations have a combined loss of more than half-billion dollars due to unauthorized uses of funds. Professor Eugene Fram of Rochester Institute of Technology have some suggestions for the boards of charitables - Audit committee to review annual audits; Supervise executive compensation & other financial activities; Annual review of conflict of interest policies; Honesty background of new hires; Interactions with external auditors without the presence of management. He also suggest a list of questions that should be asked with the auditors to ascertain any financial wrongdoings and ensure fraud prevention. Alert, attentive and proactive boards can create environment of honesty and deter happenings of fraud. Read on...

Huffington Post: Nonprofit Fraud Robs Charities of Substantial Dollars
Author: Eugene Fram


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jan 2014

According to the recent research brief by MediaPost, online advertising is still lagging behind substantially in terms of total ad spending by global firms in the first six months of 2013 - TV (57.6%), Newspapers (18.9%), Magazines (10%), Radio (5.4%), Internet (4.3%), Outdoor (3.5%), Cinema (0.3%). But what is to be noted here is that TV ads cost substantially more than any other media. Another important fact that is found in the data provided by Nielsen is the fastest growth of the internet-based advertising spend globally during the same period - Internet (26.6%), Outdoor (5%), TV (4.2%), Magazines (-1.9%), Newspapers (-2%). The rise in online advertising is even higher in Asia-Pacific (43%) and Latin American (38.5%) countries. Read on...

Examiner: The most hyped advertising medium is the world's third smallest
Author: Bruce Goldman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jan 2014

Technological advancements and innovations bring game changing shifts in the dynamics of industries. Data science is transforming the online advertising industry with newer concepts and technologies like real-time bidding, advertising exchanges, social media, retargeting techniques, lookalike targeting, online data dashboards, analytics softwares like Hadoop etc. Technology have also led to the democratization of online advertising, and even businesses with smaller advertising budgets are been able to utilize it. Use of big data and analytics is providing advertisers with information, insights and tools to focus on specific consumers and market segments for better value and return on their advertising campaigns. But to interpret and utilize the data in right context and for maximum impact, newer set of skills are required by advertising human resources. Data scientists are expected to have knowledge of mathematics and statistics alongwith expertise in using spreadsheets and other analytics tools. Read on...

the guardian: What's the role of data scientists on online advertising?
Author: Tony Evans


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jan 2014

Diversity in entrepreneurial and product development teams is capable of bringing not only valuable inputs and perspectives but can also make firms enhance and expand to markets they haven't actually planned to target. In case of most mobile apps that are currently been developed, the founders are young and educated and most of them are trying to serve the market that they themselves belong. But there is lack of apps development for the other segments like elderly, rural population, less effluent etc. Although there are some efforts in healthcare focused mobile apps development for senior population. According to an expert there is also a visible divide between tech-sector startups - big data and biotech firm's leadership tend to skew older, while consumer focused tech firm leadership skews younger. When products from large corporations are considered it is observed that they seem to be more prepared in handling diverse set of market segments in their product delivery. Skype and FaceTime, by Microsoft and Apple respectively, are the two apps that have been well adopted by seniors. Moreover such corporations are also the ones that have implemented workforce diversity and inclusion programs. While startups are just beginning to consider inclusiveness in their workforce. Read on...

Fast Company: STARTUP CULTURE'S LACK OF DIVERSITY STIFLES INNOVATION
Author: Neal Ungerleider


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jan 2014

To predict and prepare for the uncertain future is a challenging task. But to keep ahead and stay competitive and relevant, it is required not only to mitigate risks but also to anticipate to some accuracy what is going to happen next. As Wayne Gretzky, professional hockey player, rightly said, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." So it becomes important to have a strategic map to successfully participate in the future. Seth Godin provides three ways of coping with future: Accuracy (the most rewarding and also the most risky way is to predict correctly about the future and put all on one outcome thus involving high investment of time and money on information and decision making but without any guarantee of getting it right); Resilience (the best strategy to minimize risks and maximize gains by participating in a range of outcomes without predicting future on a specific outcome); Denial (considering that the future will be same as today and avoiding to participate in the changing environment thus losing the chance to gain and win). Read on...

Boing Boing: Strategies for the future: accuracy vs. resilience vs. denial
Author: Cory Doctorow


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jan 2014

Search for affordable and quality education is a challenge for students all around the world. Better education is considered as a channel to provide future career opportunities. Internet and associated digital technologies focused towards education are capable of transforming the learning landscape. Initiatives like - online education from traditional universities; diverse learning content providers like Khan Academy, Alison.com, etc; MOOC platforms like Udacity, edX, Coursera etc - and not to forget the large number of self-learning content freely available through independent websites, all adds up to the online learning spectrum. Certification and degree recognition are some of the issues and challenges related to this form of education. According to University of Pennsylvania survey most of the MOOCs availing students are those that are already educated and take them up for enhancing specific knowledge and skills for career advancement, in poor countries accessed by mainly those who are wealthy and have computer and internet connection and 90% of those who register drop out without completing the course. Blended learning is also being utilized where online learning mechanism is adopted alongwith traditional education delivery. Coursera has started Learning Hubs in 10 countries that provide physical infrastructure to enhance learning access. Online learning and education space is expected to evolve innovative and more disruptive models in future particularly in a country like India with shortage of trained faculty and inadequate educational infrastructure. Read on...

The Hindu: India's virtually challenged universities
Author: C. Gopinath


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 jan 2014

Higher education has consistently been in the state of transformation and evolution. According to Professor Steven Mintz of University of Texas, higher education underwent profound transformations almost every 50 years - Colonial colleges joined by large number of religiously founded colleges (early 19th century); Public colleges & Morrill Act of 1862 (mid 19th century); Modern research universities, Wisconsin Idea and inclusion of extension services (early 20th century); Conversion of normal schools into comprehensive universities, proliferation of community colleges, end of legal segregation, increase in federal aid (1960s). He suggests 15 innovations that have potential to affect higher education in next three years - (1) e-Advising (2) Evidence-based pedagogy (3) The decline of the lone-eagle teaching approach (4) Optimized class time (5) Easier educational transitions (6) Fewer large lecture classes (7) New frontiers for e-learning (8) Personalized adaptive learning (9) Increased competency-based and prior-learning credits (10) Data-driven instruction (11) Aggressive pursuit of new revenue (12) Online and low-residency degrees at flagships (13) More certificates and badges (14) Free and open textbooks (15) Public-private partnerships. Read on...

The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Future Is Now - 15 Innovations to Watch For
Author: Steven Mintz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 jan 2014

'Holacracy' is a concept and structural system of oranizational governance that involves non-hierarchical entities that self-govern and come together to work on a common goal. It's a type of flat management system but with a constitution and governance process for discussions and running meetings and that finally results in power and responsibility allocation through specific roles. In the upcoming book 'A Shift Of Power' the concept's creator, Brian Robertson, explains what it's like to operate within 'holacracy' - "It comes as a revelation and a challenge for everyone involved. The workers realize that they are no longer just employees following orders. They have real power and authority - and with that comes responsibility. They no longer have a parent-like manager to solve their problems." Article provides the evolution of 'holacracy' by exploring the main events from Brian Robertson's life - Self learning to code as a child; Teaching programming at age 13; Involvement with agile software development; Experimentation with sociocracy; Influence of philosopher Ken Wilber's concept of 'holarchies' (overarching systems that are made up of other self-organizing systems or entities called 'holons'); Partnership with serial entrepreneur Tom Thomison to crystallize ideas into a firm HolacracyOne. Read on...

QUARTZ: The story of the man who's flattening the world of corporate hierarchies
Author: Aimee Groth


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 jan 2014

'Corporatization of governance' - trying to run government like a business might be a popular thought seeking acceptance in political circles but it is important to understand the implications and outcomes of its application. Another important thing would be to understand what models of business are to be considered in this regard. According to the author this type of agenda might include free trade, privatization, weakening labour rights, deregulation, slashing government services and taxes on large corporations, and the advent of the surveillance state. The basic difference between the government and business is regarding the interests they serve - public or private. Article provides perspectives and views on various aspects of this model of governance by sharing specific instances from the Canadian politics. Read on...

The Rossland Telegraph: The problem with running government like a business
Author: Murray Dobbin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 jan 2014

Big data and analytics is finding applications in businesses and governments for better decision and policy making. Stephen Wolfram is talking about 'personal analytics' (converting life into packets of personal data) as the next big thing and introduced an app on facebook based on this principle. On the same line researchers and thinkers are proposing that cities can also be considered as sources of data and information that can be utilized for better urban planning and development. This concept of 'quantitative urbanism' is finding support from leaders in software, consultancy and infrastructure industries. According to Assaf Biderman of MIT, this science will assist in making the cities 'more human'. In 2003 research team led by Geoffrey West of Santa Fe Institute collected large data sets of select urban centers and obtained information on various parameters from multiple sources and put them into a single database. The results reduced the life of a city to a mathematical rule - 'unified theory of urban living', similar to what Max Kleiber showed in the form of zoological rules that suggested that all forms of life follow the same equation that combines size, energy use and life expectancy. But cities don't follow Kleiber's law exactly - they don't slow down when they become bigger in size. On the contrary they accelerate, becoming more productive, creative, efficient and sustainable. Other model of urban thinking utilizes mathematics of complexity which views the city as a combination of networks and information. But this data intensive approaches on thinking about cities may not be sufficient & complete and other ways of looking at the city must be considered too. Read on...

New Statesman: Architecture - What does Big Data mean for our cities?
Author: Leo Hollis


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 jan 2014

'Datafication' of businesses is creating new models that harness the power of big data by storing, analyzing and monetizing it. There is a need for 'datafying' human resources as it happened with marketing that became a data-centric function some 25 years ago. Considering that businesses spend 50-60% of their total revenues on payroll it is even more important for them to optimize employee spending by analyzing data related to HR. Article provides detailed examples of companies that have taken the initiative to 'datafy' their HR function and are getting positive results by doing so. It is helping businesses to retain right set of employees, to enhance hiring and training programs to a targeted employee segment and to hire and predict high performers in a business function. The 'datafication' process have already started and it has potential to change and transform many aspects of HR that are currently in practice - Data management; Analytics tools; Data providers; Analytics education; New decision-making processes. Read on...

Forbes: The Datafication of Human Resources
Author: Josh Bersin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jan 2014

Globalization as an economic and business phenomenon has consistently been a norm and countries have been encouraging and developing collaborations and partnerships with each other. Globalization impacts life of every consumer. For thirty years there has been a consistent trend where global trade grew at about twice the rate of global economy. According to WTO (World Trade Organization), global trade grew at an average 6.2% annually and global GDP at 3.7% during 1988-2007. But a new thing that emerged in the last two years is drop in global trade even below the global GDP growth. Although developments like internet, opening up of Chinese economy, rise of emerging markets, better travel connectivity etc point towards faster globalization. But the rise of protectionism and localism are the probable reasons for the decline. Nature of global politics will play an important role in shaping the future of globalization. Moreover the growing possibilities of large scale use of technologies like 3D printing may shift the global manufacturing patterns by giving rise to self-manufacturing of certain goods that are currently being outsourced, thus encouraging localization. Read on...

CNN: Have we reached the end of globalization?
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 jan 2014

After coining the term 'BRIC' (Brazil, Russia, India, China) in 2001 for the emerging economies, economist Jim O'Neill is now focusing on another emerging economic grouping 'MINT' (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey). For the next 20 years, countries in this group will have large and attractive demographics with substantial working population. Thus in a better position to evolve into thriving and attractive economies in future. Article provides analysis of 'MINT' countries based on various parameters and also compares it with 'BRIC' economies. GDP in $US trillions (2012, Estimated 2050) - Mexico (1.18, 6.95); Indonesia (0.88, 6.04); Nigeria (0.26, 4.91); Turkey (0.79, 4.45). Average income in $US thousands (2000, 2012, Projected 2050) - M (7.0, 10.6, 48.0); I (0.8, 3.6, 21.0); N (0.2, 1.4, 12.6); T (4.1, 10.6, 48.5). Some of these economies also face challenges and issues like corruption, infrastructure, energy policies, politics & leadership etc. The future prospects of these economies will depend on how they overcome these challenges and fix the systemic issues. Read on...

BBC News: The Mint countries: Next economic giants?
Author: Jim O'Neill


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 jan 2014

Human capital is one of the most critical and valuable component of organizations and the need for better qualified, skilled and talented personnels is imperative to successfully compete in the globalized environment. The latest 'Conference Board Challenge Survey' of 729 global CEOs rated human capital 10% higher than operational excellence as a major challenge for businesses. According to Erna Oldenboom of University of Capetown in South Africa, the challenges and confusion regarding HR can be overcome by aligning and integrating it into the overall business strategy and by involving it from the very beginning in the vision, mission and procedures of the organization. The 2013 Global Assessment Trends Report (GATR) based on a survey of 592 HR professionals identifies the following top priorities for HR globally - Engagement & retention (55%); Leadership development (52%); Performance management (49%); Workforce planning & talent analytics (43%); Training (42%); Succession planning (38%); External hiring (38%). Read on...

Ventures Africa: Strategic HR Answers To Human Capital Battles
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 jan 2014

Wearable technologies are finding prominence in the human-centered technology ecoystem with devices like smart watches, smart glasses, smart textiles etc. The article provides an interview with Oliver Stokes from PDD, a design consulting firm, where he explains the current and future prospects for the wearable and embedded devices. He mentions that more advancements are required in wearable technologies so that they blend seemlessly in human ecosystem without specifically affecting their body language and social behavior. Moreover healthcare is one of the areas where these technologies will get early adoption. Smart textiles, in addition to healthcare and fitness, may find use in fashion clothings where they can change color and patterns providing them more versatility or they can be used in cars for shape and color variations and changes. Considering the present research advancements, smart textiles will find commercial use in 5 years. Read on...

Shiny Shiny: Forget smart watches, are smart textiles and implants the future?
Author: Ashley Norris


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 jan 2014

As technology continues to pervade every aspect of human life, both personal and professional, it becomes essential for humans to have set of skills that complement the intelligent machine environment for their better prospects in future. Article explores the human types based on their mental abilities that complement the mechanized intelligence and will thrive in this environment in times to come - Freestylers (skill of knowing when a specific situation or case is following predictable patterns guided by intelligent machine and when there is a possibility of divergence or error); Synthesizers (capacity to explore and analyze vast amount of data and derive a generalized pattern and story); Humanizers (keeping the human aspects intact and making the interplay between man and machine more natural); Conceptual Engineers (ability to devise creative methods to think and solve unexpected problems); Motivators (ability to motivate in the machine dominated environment with lessened human-based evaluation and exchange); Moralizers (valuing human moral traits in the machine based environment with performance metrics while evaluating humans); Greeters (ability to attract customers by personalized and customized high-end service approach); Economizers (economic advising skills for those with less disposable income to provide better lifestyle opportunities); Weavers (skills that will combat social disintegration and dangerous inegalitarian tendencies of the new world). Read on...

The New York Times: Thinking for the Future
Author: David Brooks


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 jan 2014

Resolving dilemmas and ambiguity, anticipating change and thinking about future or predicting it, is a challenge that can seldom achieve definiteness. But there is a possibility to better understand what the future holds and prepare for the uncertainty if one follows the suggestions made by Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO of Legatum Institute, as mentioned in the article. He provides four ways to do so - (1) Enhance Your Power of Observation (be empirical, work with full data sets, listen carefully) (2) Appreciate the Value of Being [a Little] Asocial (avoid groupthink, inculcate curiosity) (3) Study History (helps to understand social patterns and human nature, condition & behavior) (4) Learn to Deal with Ambiguity (avoid sorting the world into binary choices, acknowledge the grey areas). Read on...

HBR Blog Network: Four Keys to Thinking About the Future
Author: Jeffrey Gedmin



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