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A Business Book by Sir Richard Branson

On 8 September 2011, Sir Richard Branson, a hugely successful international entrepreneur, cut the ribbon at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean in Montego Bay. The Centre in Jamaica is the first facility of its kind in the region and is operated by Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, and lead business sponsor Virgin Holidays, the UK’s number one long haul holiday company. It will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a launch pad for their businesses and a platform for job creation across the Caribbean, helping destinations like Jamaica – where unemployment rose to an eight year high of 12.9 per cent earlier this year – to prosper.

Screw Business as Usual is the latest book by Sir Richard for the new wave of emerging entrepreneurs as well as for existing business people who are transforming their organisations. The author thinks that there is no incompatibility between doing business in an ethical and transparent manner and achieving good financial results: the driving force behind capitalism shouldn’t be making a profit but caring about people, communities and the planet.

In support of his ideas, Richard Branson gives the example of Fabio Barbosa, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and former CEO of Santander Brazil. In an interview with Upsides magazine, Fabio Barbosa said that the social and environmental risk analysis at Santander has shown that, in the long run, companies with adequate environmental policies, well-defined labour relations and a balanced relationship with the community end up achieving more consistent financial results and establishing a more attractive brand name. It is in the company’s own interest to adopt corporate governance policies in line with the development of the country.

By | December 14th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

10 Tips to be a Good Manager

One of the topics of discussion in the blogs of Psychology Today is how to be a good manager. This is fundamental to maintaining a happy working environment, but it is not always an easy task. According to professor Ronald E. Riggio, those in leadership positions need to keep their pulse on the levels of employee morale and dissatisfaction. They need to take steps to stop dysfunctional behaviours on the part of employees and build a positive culture.

Renato Tagiuri, who was a professor emeritus of social sciences at Harvard Business School, after decades of research into what makes a great manager, came up with one conclusion: “It’s not about personality. It’s about behaviour.” Many different kinds of people make good managers. Tagiuri has distilled a lifetime of inquiry into 10 essential actions that make a great boss:

  1. Clarify objectives of job assignments
  2. Describe assignments clearly
  3. Listen to your employees’ views
  4. Make sure the resources necessary to carry out assignments are available
  5. Be explicit about evaluation standards
  6. Reward effort and offer incentives
  7. Give prompt feedback on performance
  8. Avoid personal friendships with employees
  9. Admit your errors, don’t tell lies
  10. Make the decisions that are yours to make

By | December 12th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

SIGGRAPH Asia 2011

SIGGRAPH Asia (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) is the name of the Asian annual conference on computer graphics (CG) convened by the ACM SIGGRAPH organisation since 2008. This year the conference will be held in Hong Kong on 12-15 December.

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Technical Papers programme is a premier international forum for presenting new research results in computer graphics and interactive techniques. All papers appear in the journal ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG).

International experts will be presenting their findings in a wide range of research areas, such as new imaging hardware, acquisition devices, stereoscopic displays and systems; illustration and artistic tools for rendering and animation; light transport, material editing, and GPU rendering; computational photography and imaging; architectural modelling and reconstruction; as well as animation of hair, crowds, traffic and fluids.

The inaugural Symposium on Apps focuses on the opportunities and challenges of mobile applications development. The speakers will talk about the application of Augmented Reality on mobile phones and how it enhances the functionalities on mobile devices, GPU-centric programming, geo-location, development and marketing, as well as hardware extensions to smartphones.

The event also includes the exhibition FANTAsia. The visitors will be given the opportunity to admire an array of artistically beautiful and technically sophisticated installations, as well as live performances.

By | December 12th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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