Singapore PM Lee: Strengthen system that let you succeed

PM Lee: Strengthen system that let you succeed

20131120_PMLEE_Zaobao

MESSAGE TO STUDENTS: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the principal of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, Mrs Tan Wai Lan, at the 80th anniversary of the school on Monday. The Chinese characters “yin shui si yuan” on the easel is a Chinese saying meaning “know where you come from”.

Friday, November 22, 2013 – 07:30

The New Paper

Schools, especially those with students who have done well, should imbue them with the spirit of service, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday. Mr Lee was speaking at an event marking the 80th anniversary of the CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School. He said that while the students may have succeeded through talent and hard work, they also had to realise that this is possible because they live in a society with a meritocratic system that rewards them for their abilities and develops them to their potential, one that cheers those who succeed instead of cutting them down. Read more of this post

How Mohnish Pabrai Uses Checklists

Hierarchy Is Overrated

Hierarchy Is Overrated

by Tim Kastelle  |   2:00 PM November 20, 2013

Maybe you’ve heard the old cliché – if you’ve got “too many chiefs,” your initiative will fail. Every time I hear it, I wonder, “Why can’t everyone be a chief?” For instance, the Second Chance Programme is a group that raises money to help reduce homelessness among women here in Southeast Queensland.  It’s achieved impressive results since being founded in 2001, and is run by a committee of about ten people. In the early days, a management consultant used the familiar chiefs/Indians line to predict they’d fail. This kind of thinking assumes: You need a hierarchy to succeed. The people that do the work are of lower status than those that decide what work to do. Organizations that don’t follow the norms are likely to fail. I think that all of these ideas are wrong.  Second Chance has certainly been very successful with their flat, non-hierarchical structure.  They have achieved a great deal, while keeping their overhead close to $0.  If the structure of the management committee was a problem, they would have failed by now. But maybe this kind of structure only works for not-for-profits? Nope.  About 20% of the world’s websites are now on the WordPress platform – making it one of the most important internet companies.  And yet, Automattic, the firm behind WordPress, only employs a couple hundred people, who all work remotely, with a highly autonomous flat management structure.  GitHub is another highly successful firm with a similar structure. Read more of this post

Old hands steered by the young: The CEO of Tesco is among the veterans using reverse mentors to bridge a generation gap

November 20, 2013 4:24 pm

Old hands steered by the young

By Emma Jacobs

Every month, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke meets 28-year-old Paul Wilkinson for a mentoring session. In this time Mr Wilkinson, who works in the British supermarket’s technology research and development division, teaches his boss everything he knows. For this is not the traditional professional development practice in which a young, junior employee is given career advice by a senior manager. Instead, the roles are reversed. Read more of this post

Morpher’s Flat-Folding Bike Helmet

Morpher’s Flat-Folding Bike Helmet

By Karen Epper Hoffman November 21, 2013

Innovator: Jeff Woolf, OBE
Age: 54
Title: Managing director of London-based Morpher Helmet

Form and function: A half-pound helmet that can fold up into a block measuring 6.5 inches by 12.9 inches by 1.9 inches, compact enough to fit into a bag or briefcase.

tech_innovation48_970

 

Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

PETER JACOBS NOV. 20, 2013, 1:19 PM 49,634 53

Without a doubt, John F. Kennedy is one of Harvard University’s most accomplished and impressive graduates. However, the former POTUS was not the best applicant when he decided he wanted to take up residence in Cambridge, Mass. He had poor grades from high school, and while he had spent two months at Princeton University before leaving due to an illness, even his own father called him “careless.” In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, The Washington Post has highlighted many of his school records, including a handwritten Harvard application. You can check out the digitized originals at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. As part of the Harvard application — which at the time was a mere three pages — students were asked to give a “careful answer” to the question “Why do you wish to come to Harvard?” Here’s what a young JFK had to say:

The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a “Harvard man” is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.

April 23, 1935
John F. Kennedy

From the JFK library, here’s the original:

john kennedy jfk harvard university application essay

 

German “luxury bishop” settles with court over 1st class flight-to-poverty case

German “luxury bishop” settles with court over 1st class flight-to-poverty case

Mon, Nov 18 2013

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German court has dropped for the time being an investigation into a Roman Catholic prelate known as the “luxury bishop” over accusations he lied under oath about taking a first-class flight to visit poverty projects in India. State prosecutors had sought to have Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg fined for making false affidavits about the flight, but the court accepted a 20,000-euro settlement. Read more of this post

From physician to Web entrepreneur of online medical portal DocDoc

From physician to Web entrepreneur

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SINGAPORE — As someone used to plying 20-hour shifts in a highly stressful hospital environment, Dr Dawn Soo was no stranger to hard work. But it was not until she made the transition from physician to entrepreneur that she truly understood the concept.

BY FRANCIS KAN –

4 HOURS 33 MIN AGO

SINGAPORE — As someone used to plying 20-hour shifts in a highly stressful hospital environment, Dr Dawn Soo was no stranger to hard work. But it was not until she made the transition from physician to entrepreneur that she truly understood the concept. “Your brain never (really) stops working. Starting a company from scratch is like having a baby — you don’t have time for anything else,” said the 30-year-old, one of five co-founders of DocDoc, an online medical portal. Read more of this post

Cineworld founder started off by testing auditorium seats

November 20, 2013 6:14 pm

Cineworld founder started off by testing auditorium seats

By Robert Cookson

Steve Wiener, the New York-born cinephile who built the UK’s biggest cinema chain, started his career as an usher. Mr Wiener was studying at the University of Miami in 1970 when he took a part-time job at a cinema in Coral Gables, Florida. One of his first duties was to sit and rock in every chair in a 900-seat auditorium to check that they had been installed correctly. After graduating, he quickly worked his way up through the ranks of the US cinema industry. In 1991 he moved to the UK to become managing director of Warner Bros Europe – his first trip outside the US. Read more of this post

Alli Webb, a former hairstylist, built Drybar, a 32-store chain of salons that offer $40 blowouts. She says repeat clients are one of the keys to sustaining the business, as women pursue an affordable luxury

Hair Chain Drybar Finds Niche in Affordable Luxury

Co-Founder Says Repeat Clients Provide the Lift to Sustain Business on $40 Blowouts

CAITLIN HUSTON

Nov. 20, 2013 8:37 p.m. ET

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Drybar entrepreneur Alli Webb: ‘We’ve changed behavior, which is really amazing and humbling…. We are kind of like the fabric of people’s lives.’ Annie Tritt for The Wall Street Journal

Alli Webb started a door-to-door hairstyling business in 2008 as a way to get out of her house and take a break from rearing her two kids. The former hairstylist saw the need for a service that focused on providing affordable, high-quality blowouts—in which a client’s hair is washed and blow-dried into a style, without being colored or cut. The business spread through word-of-mouth, and Ms. Webb soon found herself unable to keep up with demand. Her side project turned into a company with a projected $40 million in revenue this year. Read more of this post

Sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seen to get most of revenue from overseas

Updated: Thursday November 21, 2013 MYT 9:42:23 AM

Sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seen to get most of revenue from overseas

LOS ANGELES  When the sequel “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” debuts worldwide on Friday, industry analysts believe the movie from studio Lions Gate Entertainment  will set international box offices ablaze in a bigger way than the first film. The original “Hunger Games” movie in 2012 became a smash hit with strong sales in the United Statesand Canada, but pulled in less than half of its box office grosses in overseas markets, a modest foreign take by blockbuster standards. Today’s biggest Hollywood movies often earn 50 to 70 percent of their revenue overseas. Read more of this post

Singapore-sized iceberg threatens global shipping

Singapore-sized iceberg threatens global shipping

LONDON — An iceberg estimated to be about the size of Singapore has broken off from Antarctica and could threaten shipping, NASA’s Earth Observatory announced on Nov 15.

BY –

14 MIN 19 SEC AGO

LONDON — An iceberg estimated to be about the size of Singapore has broken off from Antarctica and could threaten shipping, NASA’s Earth Observatory announced on Nov 15. The news sparked off tracking efforts by UK researchers, who were given a £50,000 (S$101,000) emergency grant to fund a six-month project predicting the movements of the 700 square km giant block of ice and possible environmental impacts. The team will track the progress of the iceberg through satellite data, reported The Daily Telegraph. Read more of this post

The author of The Lean Startup is thinking big about the challenges facing companies in an economy driven by innovation

November 12, 2013 / Winter 2013 / Issue 73

Why Eric Ries Likes Management

The author of The Lean Startup is thinking big about the challenges facing companies in an economy driven by innovation.

by Paul Michelman

Most of us think of entrepreneurship as the antithesis of traditional management, especially when it comes to the stars of the digital economy, like, say, Eric Ries. But Ries, who is known for extolling the virtues of rapid-fire innovation—he coined the term minimum viable product to describe his methodology for getting new products (sometimes barely functioning prototypes) into the hands of customers as early as possible—views things in a different light. Entrepreneurship is not an opposing force to “serious” management, he says, but its own distinct, and complementary, variety of it. Read more of this post

What Inexperienced Leaders Get Wrong (Hint: Management)

What Inexperienced Leaders Get Wrong (Hint: Management)

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter  |   8:00 AM November 21, 2013

There are an awful lot of leaders in trouble these days. Not just those under attack for ethical lapses, accounting problems, or excessive compensation – retired college presidents are the latest to join corporate executives in the latter category. The trouble I’m referring to is getting new ideas implemented and brought to scale. The leaders range from entrepreneurs with great ideas but a flaw preventing expansion (Tesla?) to new CEOs with a vision their stakeholders won’t rally behind that won’t guarantee results anyway. Read more of this post

Cholesterol Drug From Trash Seen Preventing Heart Attack

Cholesterol Drug From Trash Seen Preventing Heart Attack

A way to boost good cholesterol and avert repeat heart attacks, which has eluded two of the world’s biggest drugmakers, may have been sitting in CSL Ltd. (CSL)’s trash. The Australian company realized that instead of discarding unused blood components left over from making hemophilia, burns and immune-system treatments, it could extract the beneficial cholesterol known as HDL and infuse it into patients. The idea is that HDL therapy may quell inflamed arteries and dissolve the life-threatening plaques that clog them, said Andrew Cuthbertson, CSL’s chief scientist. Read more of this post

Prince Frog Plummets on Short Seller’s Report: Hong Kong Mover

Prince Frog Plummets on Short Seller’s Report: Hong Kong Mover

Prince Frog International Holdings Ltd. (1259) plunged 22 percent as it traded in Hong Kong for the first time since allegations from short-seller Glaucus Research Group dropped the stock by a record last month. The shares of the Chinese maker of children’s care products such as bath soap and lotion fell HK$1 to HK$3.63, the lowest in eight months. Read more of this post

In Retailing Years, PetSmart Shows Its Strength

In Retailing Years, PetSmart Shows Its Strength

SPENCER JAKAB

Nov. 21, 2013 4:40 p.m. ET

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Before Americans became obsessed with 140-character bon mots or status updates, cat videos dominated cyberspace. Even today, we spend over 10 times as much on our pets as the combined U.S. revenue of Twitter Inc. TWTR +2.46% and Facebook Inc. Fluffy and Fido aren’t only big business but fairly recession-proof, as shareholders ofPetSmart  Inc. PETM +1.44% happily discovered. The retailer went public 20 years ago but spent the first 15 tracking the broad stock market. It fell hard in the early months of the financial crisis as investors figured superpremium pet foods, if not pets themselves, would be a casualty of the downturn. Read more of this post

Rivals Aim to Break German Hold on China Luxury-Car Market

Rivals Aim to Break German Hold on China Luxury-Car Market

U.S., British and Swedish Car Makers Spending Billions of Dollars to Crack Growing Demand

COLUM MURPHY

Nov. 20, 2013 2:01 p.m. ET

GUANGZHOU, China—For Chinese car buyers, luxury means German. Audi AGNSU.XE +0.30% , BMW AG BMW.XE +0.31% and Daimler AG DAI.XE +0.12% ‘s Mercedes-Benz combined hold more than 70% of the country’s about $40 billion annual market for high-end vehicles. Now, a club of smaller scale luxury brands have China in their cross hairs. In the past yearGeneral Motors Co. GM -0.84% ‘s Cadillac, Tata Motors Ltd. 500570.BY -0.61% ‘s Jaguar Land Rover, and Chinese-owned Swedish brand Volvo have detailed plans to spend billions of dollars on factories in China that would bring at least half a million additional luxury cars to the market beginning 2015. Read more of this post

Reforming China’s state-owned firms: From SOE to GLC; China’s rulers look to Singapore for tips on portfolio management

Reforming China’s state-owned firms: From SOE to GLC; China’s rulers look to Singapore for tips on portfolio management

Nov 23rd 2013 | HONG KONG |From the print edition

SHORTLY before his confirmation as China’s “paramount leader” in 1978, Deng Xiaoping paid a visit to fast-growing Singapore. He planted a tree on a hill overlooking Jurong, a bustling industrial park built on what was once marshy wasteland close to the city-state’s harbour. Singapore’s success as a trading hub impressed Deng, who imposed his vision of economic reform on China’s Communist Party the following month, at an historic meeting known as the “third plenum”. Read more of this post

PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves

PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves

By Bloomberg News  Nov 20, 2013

The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation. “It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting. Neither Yi nor Zhou gave a timeframe for any changes. Read more of this post

On China’s roads, where luxury risks becoming ordinary

On China’s roads, where luxury risks becoming ordinary

4:19pm EST

By Samuel Shen and Norihiko Shirouzu

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Luxury car dealers are resorting to offering customers massages, mini-golf and other gimmicks, hoping this will give them an edge in a ferociously competitive Chinese market where brand loyalty is less common than in the West. Premium car sales slowed in China last year as the economy eased off the throttle and new Communist Party leadership was installed, but momentum is returning, and China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s top luxury car market by 2020 with annual sales of close to 3 million cars. Read more of this post

Luxury Car Dealers In China Are Using All Sorts Of Gimmicks To Lure Customers

Luxury Car Dealers In China Are Using All Sorts Of Gimmicks To Lure Customers

SAMUEL SHEN AND NORIHIKO SHIROUZUREUTERS 48 MINUTES AGO 633

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Luxury car dealers are resorting to offering customers massages, mini-golf and other gimmicks, hoping this will give them an edge in a ferociously competitive Chinese market where brand loyalty is less common than in the West. Premium car sales slowed in China last year as the economy eased off the throttle and new Communist Party leadership was installed, but momentum is returning, and China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s top luxury car market by 2020 with annual sales of close to 3 million cars. Read more of this post

Imax CEO Plans to Double Theaters in China in Five Years

Imax CEO Plans to Double Theaters in China in Five Years

Imax Corp. Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said he plans to more than double the big-screen theater company’s count in China over the next five years as it expands in the fastest-growing film market in the world. Imax will boost its theaters, which present films in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats on large screens with specialized sound systems, to 400 in China from 150 today, Gelfond said. Read more of this post

ICBC chairman sees inevitable rise in China bad loans

Last updated: November 20, 2013 6:14 pm

ICBC chairman sees inevitable rise in China bad loans

By Simon Rabinovitch and Paul J Davies in Beijing

The head of China’s biggest bank has warned that bad loans will inevitably rise and weaker lenders will be wiped out as the government relaxes its grip on the economy. But Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest lender by assets, also hit back at those foreign critics who have raised questions about the resilience of China’s banks after the lending spree that powered the country through the 2008 global financial crisis. ICBC was prepared for the challenges and should not be held to impossibly high standards, he said. Read more of this post

Electric VS hydrogen: China iIs battleground for auto giants

Updated: Friday November 22, 2013 MYT 1:16:52 PM

Electric VS hydrogen: China is battleground for auto giants

GUANGZHOU/BEIJING: German auto giants Volkswagen AG, BMWand Daimler see China’s future as being electric – encouraged by generous government subsidies – but that bet puts them at odds with some of their Asian rivals. While the Europeans were heralding the all-electric vehicle at the Guangzhou auto show this week, Toyota Moto and Honda Motor  were unveiling hydrogen fuel cell cars at shows inTokyo and Los Angeles. Read more of this post

China’s State TV Grapples With Advertising Slowdown

China’s State TV Grapples With Advertising Slowdown

CCTV Departs From Practice of Disclosing Ad-Auction Results as Companies Find New Ways to Reach Out to Customers

LAURIE BURKITT

Updated Nov. 20, 2013 10:38 p.m. ET

China Central Television is feeling the shift of advertising to the Internet. Shown, Communist Party officials with CCTV’s Spring Festival cast. Xinhua/Zuma Press

SHANGHAI—China’s most powerful propaganda outlet is grappling with a problem familiar to media companies world-wide: How to keep advertisers in the digital age. China Central Television this week departed from past practice and declined to disclose results of a closely watched auction for advertising slots for next year. In a written response to questions, the state-run broadcaster said only that its ad-auction sales growth this year was in line with the country’s economic growth. China’s economy grew 7.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier. Read more of this post

China’s Smaller Cities Thirst for the Luxe Life

November 20, 2013

China’s Smaller Cities Thirst for the Luxe Life

By JEN LIN-LIU

CHENGDU, China — Just yards away from the enormous statue of Mao Zedong in Tianfu Square, Chengdu’s two most exclusive malls are doing a brisk business on a Wednesday afternoon. Shoppers in the Louis Vuitton flagship at the Yanlord Landmark mall are buying this season’s handbags in bright purples and blues. Just outside the store, a woman in crystal-encrusted high heels and a man carrying a bulging Dior shopping bag walk by. And two men stroll along arm-in-arm, one holding a black Bottega Veneta hand-braided clutch. Read more of this post

China’s Bribery Culture Poses Risks for Multinationals

China’s Bribery Culture Poses Risks for Multinationals

To the risks of doing business in China — an authoritarian government, sprawling market, worsening pollution — add another one: running afoul of local and U.S. anti-corruption laws. Multinational companies are working to navigate bribery risks in China, where possible corruption by JPMorgan Chase & Co., GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Avon Products Inc. have sparked probes by the U.S. or Chinese authorities. Read more of this post

China regulator drafts new rules to tame shadow banking

China regulator drafts new rules to tame shadow banking

Thu, Nov 21 2013

* Banks use complex deal structures to evade lending curbs

* Risky corporate credit disguised as interbank loans

* Trust firms used for loans to real estate, local govts

* Rules target use of secret “drawer agreement” guarantees

By Hongmei Zhao and Gabriel Wildau

SHANGHAI, Nov 22 (Reuters) – China’s financial regulators are preparing new rules to crack down on explosive growth in complex interbank transactions used to evade lending restrictions, senior bankers who have seen drafts of the regulations told Reuters this week. The measures, likely to be put in place early next year, aim to curb excess credit growth to prevent a debt crisis as China’s economy slows. Despite a string of new rules earlier this year, banks have found ways to expand credit through shadow-banking channels that have raised concerns over the potential for systemic risk. Read more of this post

China corporate financing squeezed as reform plans spark rate spike

China corporate financing squeezed as reform plans spark rate spike

Thu, Nov 21 2013

* 10-year government bond yields at 8-year high

* Market expects interest-rate reform to raise funding costs

* Spike in rates forces firms to delay bond sales

* Policymakers seek de-leveraging to avoid debt crisis

By Gabriel Wildau

SHANGHAI, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Chinese bond yields have surged as the market starts pricing in interest rate reform, a development that makes borrowing more expensive and threatens China’s fragile economic recovery. Chinese bond prices have been hammered in recent days on expectations that reforms to loosen government control of interest rates will cause funding costs to rise. Bond prices move inversely to interest rates so when bond prices fall, their yields rise. Read more of this post

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