Issue 1, 2014

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Home > Publications > Today's Manager > Issue 1, 2014

 Issue 1, 2014

Cover Story

Clamour to Increase Women Board Members—Round Two (Part One)

​In this article, we look at what limits female entrants into the boardroom. This is part one of a two-part article.

From the Editor's Desk

From The Editor's Desk


Putting "Thought" into Customer Centric Design

​The first in a two-part series, this article dispels the myths about design thinking, what it seeks to achieve, and how it can help in businesses. It looks at how companies can exploit the popular problem-solving method to answer the question of “what’s next” and achieve extraordinary results.


Servant Leadership: Creating Benefits for Employees and Their Organisations

​Several researchers worldwide are now conducting research on servant leadership, and evidence supporting servant leadership has emerged showing its positive effects on individuals, groups, business units, and entire organisations.

Turning Leaders' Good Intentions into Sustained Actions

​Leaders can quickly identify several flaws that get them in trouble. However, coaching, performance management, and training sessions can help leaders recognise these flaws and how to overcome them. Any sustained change has to start with the leader’s desire for change but for intentions to turn into actions, desires must shift to disciplines.  

Positivity: On the Path of Leadership

​Becoming a positive leader is about finding the right script. A leader can only find the right answer by asking the right question, especially when he/she is in a tight corner. In this article, we look at how to stay positive on the path of leadership.


Chinese Business Families: Keeping the Business Intact

​In the second part of the article (first part was in Issue Four 2013) on Chinese business families, we shall look at the influence of other Chinese philosophers, risk-taking, and how Chinese family owners keep the firm intact from generation to generation.

Godfathers, Gin Muang, and Gift Giving: When is Corruption Morally Defensible?

​Cambridge University-trained scholars Professors Pasuk Phongpaichit and Sangsidh Piriyarangsan argued in 1994 that in order to “build informal influence in the local community the jao pho or godfathers extend their patronage to ordinary people including low ranking officials…senior bureaucrats and military officers”. This makes it difficult for officers with high morals and integrity to avoid becoming engulfed by the widening gyre of the jao pho. 

Sweet Book Venture Despite Trying Times

​ came about because of one woman’s utmost love and passion for books. A trying time to get into the book business, Ms Archana Patel is undeterred as she strives to encourage more people to read by making it accessible.

Removing Bottleneck Constraints: A Strategy for Your Business

​For the past 80 years, the complexity of our systems and environments has increased rapidly and continues to grow at an astounding rate—stretching our ability to oversee and manage them effectively. The distance between the consumer and the business community, and between entities within businesses alike are reduced with technologies such as the Internet, customised user-oriented mobile phone services, affordable global travel, and globally-linked computer interfaces.


Marketing To Women: Getting It Right In 2014

​Men and women are different and businesses need to market to them differently. Marketing experts believe that if firms do not change their approach to marketing to women, they will get left behind in 2014.

Art of Persuasion in Fake Advertising

Humour is an excellent tool for persuasion. Its diverse applications include advertising, social marketing, and teaching. When used properly, it has the potential to elicit behavioural changes and create bonds with audiences that increase the efficacy of persuasion.​

Information Technology

Smarter Data Centre Design: Critical To Increased Business Value

​Five years ago, we saw the emergence of a smarter planet. Since then, our world continues to become more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent.

Ladies' Shoe Designer Invests in Latest Technology

​Over the past decade, many organisations have been making significant investments in the areas of business intelligence. A Singaporean firm, Pazzion, has benefitted from such technologies and continues to seize the greater value from its investments to support its ambitious international growth plans.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Road to Corporate Sustainability

​Corporate Sustainability creates long-term consumer and employee value by taking into consideration every dimension of how a business operates in a social, cultural, and economic environment. Formulating strategies to build a company that fosters longevity through transparency and proper employee development can be beneficial to organisations.

Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: Just doing Good Business

​Many companies worldwide are assessing their risks as targets to some of the world’s environmental, social, and climate problems. These organisations are taking up the challenge to recalibrate their firms towards a model that is “good”, and have created ambitious plans to alter the way they do business.


Why are MBAs Not Teaching About Project Management?

​Senior executives seem to neither understand project management nor regard it as an important means of business strategy execution. Only a few top business school’s Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) teach project management as part of their core course curriculum. I have spent the last 10 years trying to understand why.


Conversion of Organic Land as a Fast Expanding Market in Spain: When Growth comes Unexpectedly

​In our previous articles, we have provided you with the theoretical framework as well as a series of examples on fast expanding markets (FEMs), as we find them worldwide. After Korea and Italy, we now present a really promising FEM in Spain.


Viewpoints of a Leader: Ms Kim Underhill

​We speak with Ms Kim Underhill, regional head for Electrolux Southeast Asia and India. Ms
Underhill is a remarkable woman who despite her tough challenges, rose to the top armed with sheer determination and a desire for success.

Analysis of the Internal Environment to Improve Business Strategy

​As the competition picks up strength and new players enter the industry, companies must transform themselves in order to survive and prosper. The strategic team should spend time analysing the internal environment to evolve plans for new products and services.

Cross-Culturally Yours

​For today’s leaders, the ability to connect people and build successful teams in cross-cultural environments is a crucial competency. Successful leaders understand the importance of creating cross-cultural understanding and trust in their organisations.

Cultivating Innovation in the Office

​Innovation. It is a perennial buzzword, hot button, and key driving motivational force all rolled into one; and an integral concept which sets apart the ingenious industry leaders of today from the competition. It is imperative for organisations such as Fuji Xerox to invest in and develop strategic innovations to stay ahead of industry changes. This is especially so in today’s fast paced world of technology where a simple misstep or a leap of faith can leave a tumultuous impact on the business’ future.

Human Resources

How to Measure Informal Learning

​Informal learning arose from the need to learn on-demand rather than wait for conventional methods of learning so workers could stay knowledgeable and productive in a dynamic work environment. But how is it measured?

Talent Acquisition is not your Father's Hiring Process Anymore

​The talent acquisition process is more than putting merely an advertisement on LinkedIn and hoping that potential candidates have the skills, knowledge, and experiences to do the job. It is realising that you have an employee brand and are able to hire people who fit your existing brand culture.

Finding The "Serious" in Fun

​A business is seen as a serious matter focused on returns on investment (ROIs) and profit margins. Sometimes, this means losing sight of the things that made the business successful in the first place: entrepreneurship, creative thinking, a passion for the fun of business, and staff motivation. Putting the “play” back in work can help restore some much-needed wonderment in a business depleted of fun.


Social Media Could Be The Best Thing For Your Employer Brand

​The emergence of social media has caused employers to lose some control over the influence they desire to have over existing and future talent. Universum believes that the strategic use of social media would actually reap more benefits than cause harm to their employer branding and recruitment strategy.

Communicating in the Office: Decoding Gender Differences

​Men and women are different in many ways and they see the world with different perspectives. The key to understanding their differences is in the way they communicate. There are several important communication differences in a corporate setting that all employers and employees should be aware of in order to communicate more effectively.

Customer Service

Building Blocks Strategies for Service Excellence

How can organisations invest in service excellence to gain a sustainable competitive advantage? Here are 20 “Building Blocks” strategies to help organisations plan their service excellence road maps in order to enhance profitability.