Latest read: Our Choice

Al Gore’s latest book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis should be considered by anyone interested in learning how the world can conserve resources with next generation technologies to reduce the globe’s carbon footprint.

 Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate CrisisIts easy to think this book is a political sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. That would be a mistake. The book has set off all the political rhetoric one would expect.

I found Chapter 11: Population rather interesting and worth the read alone.  Clearly we live in a world that is experiencing a sustained population boom in China and India.

This brings ultra-large scale social responsibility as well.  The impact of population on energy and food is obviously critical but the underlying issue on this still taboo subject must be moved to the forefront.

How will China and India care, feed and shelter their children?  More importantly how can green fuels be utilized in favor of coal and other cheap, outdated solutions?  There are options.

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Latest read: The Post-American World

Most recognize Fareed Zakaria from his CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS. His book The Post-American World is an enjoyable read. The bottom line:  The US is not falling behind but rather (quite simply) the world is catching up.  Some amazing technologies are lifting the citizens of the poorest third world countries.
The biggest elephant called out in his book is America’s educational system. It needs a much required re-boot in order to compete against tomorrow’s globalized students who have access to free, powerful computing tools including Linux, or new technology like water pumps in Africa.  He references Tom Friedman‘s The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century which I found to be a great read as well.

Zakaria is able to simply convey that America remains the top country for innovation, technology and intellectual property but India and China are catching up fast by introducing more of their citizens to the global economy.  India is first only in population growth while their level of poverty slowly dropped.

While true to some extent the reader may be surprised to see the detail about how splintered Al-Qaeda has become.  In Iraq for example the aim of this terrorist group has moved from targeting American and Israel to fighting other Muslim warlords and religious groups for control of Al-Qaeda’s future.

It should be noted Zakaria also addresses the issues of global climante and energy.  But to again point to Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America not a lot of new ideas or information.

Overall Zakaria’s book is a gentle wake up call for America and is much smoother on the American reader than Mark Steyn’s America Alone.  The war in Iraq and Afghanistan while critical, reveals Al-Qaeda‘s struggle since 9/11 to deliver any significant violence on American soil.  Why?  Zakaria’s position is that Bin Laden has been so tightly curtailed, his organization still under a microscope has evolved into a communications company and is no longer a true terrorist organization.

Latest read: Hot, Flat and Crowded

Over the long holiday I finally finished Tom Friedman’s book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America. The book is a mixed blessing.  Friedman has written one of the best books to understand the emergency need for a global environmental revolution.

hot, flat and crowded

Friedman provides detailed examples of how the world has been wasting energy resources since the industrial revolution. Sadly I am convinced we are (environmentally speaking) screwed.

Friedman provides well written pages that will awaken those still asleep on the environment’s impact on the human race.  If you think “green” is a movement to replace your light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs your WAY off base.  Its about re-educating how we waste energy and in today’s global economy risk losing more industries to countries around the globe.

The major challenge?  This issue is no long America’s alone to fix. Thanks to globalization its now a problem for the entire world.  Mother Earth needs assistance from China and India. Both must engage in green technologies to ensure planet earth’s health for the long term.

For China and India that includes all 3.5 Billion of their citizens who are just coming out of poverty.  Their governments cannot permit new coal plants to dominate their air pollution.  China alone brings coal-fired (dirty) power plants online every two weeks and will continue to do so for the short term future.

The Beijing Olympics was a perfect example of population and industrial pollution impacting the Chinese environment … and their economy.

Why China and India are causing the price of gasoline to rise.
When I was born in 1966 the earth’s population stood at 3.4 billion.  When my son was born in 2007 the population doubled to 6.7 billion.  What does our future hold when the earth’s population reaches 9 billion in 2050?  Forget fuel costs for a moment.  How much will it cost to feed your family?

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Latest read: Competing in a Flat World

Searching for the next emerging career in business?  Its Network Orchestrator and this does not refer to computer networks or chamber music.  If you understand fluid, globalized supply chains your on the right track.  Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World proves success is less about what a company can do itself and more about what it can connect to in the global world in order to succeed.

Enter Globalization 3.0 and now business must be in a position to take advantage of a Network Orchestrator.

This book follows Li & Fung, a garment company which produces annual sales over $8 billion for some of the most respected brands in the world.

What may surprise you is that Li & Fung do not own any factories.

This book may be crafted for business schools but its larger impact is for educators.

More importantly parents should read this to see how the world has already changed and learn how their children (regardless of profession) will enter a vastly different marketplace.  The changes from their generation are drastically different.  Li & Fung’s message is quite simple: evolve or die.
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Latest read: Planet India

India is the second fastest growing economy in the world, second only to their Asian neighbor China.  Both have embraced globalization yet are racing to secure resources as their economies, populations, markets and environments grow out of control.  India has the second largest population with almost 1.5 billion citizens.

Planet IndiaMy understanding of India’s impact on the global market continues to grow after reading Planet India: How the Fastest Growing Democracy Is Transforming America and the World.  Mira Kamdar’s has hilighted both positive and negative (poverty, piracy and global warming) developments in India.

I’m very impressed by India’s innovation in creating the world’s next motion picture industryBollywood will not compete with Hollywood in America, it will simply run it over as India’s youth overtakes America.  Remember their population is growing and has acquired new-found wealth as a result of globalization.  It is a safe bet their children will be interested in watching movies like American teenagers.

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Latest read: The Elephant and the Dragon

Tectonic Economics?  Robyn Meredith has written a must read book, The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us. Take a look at Wall Street lately? Then think about oil, the environment and the post cold war shift in the global economy.  Its time for business and education to take note…and fast.
Tectonic Economics is about the impact of the two fastest growing economies who have embraced capitalism AND globalization at the same time.

And by the way America and Europe have been left out of this economic growth spurt since 9/11.

Actually at the rate China and India are rising you just need to look at both countries since 9/11 to see their immediate impact.

Meredith has done a great job of helping understand these two transformations.  There is no more waiting for a new generation they have arrived and instituted global change in less than a decade.  For most Americans they still do not see changes occurring at this speed affecting the global economy.

Meredith makes the hard salary figures easy to understand why companies around the globe have jumped to China and India.  But this will not be easy for IT professionals in America.  India’s InfoSys hires computer science graduates (some also have an MBA) to be a VoIP specialist in Bangalore with an annual salary of $5,000.  Yes, five grand a year for a VoIP specialist.  This similar type job in California via InfoSys pays $120,000.

This should be really easy to understand why hundreds of tech companies including Cisco, Apple, IBM and HP have moved operations (some larger than others) to Bangalore.  Remember you have to please your stockholders.  The changes already underway (and under the radar) will continue to add stress to America’s middle class.

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Latest read: Bangalore Tiger

Y2K.  Remember the rush to fix computer software that was programmed to stop working on January 1 2000?  Many Americans probably did not realize their software fix was coming from Indian companies including WiPro located in Bangalore India.  Today American business is filled with examples of India’s outsourcing success.

Bangalore TigerBangalore Tiger is a must read for everyone working in Information Technology. Organizational leaders will learn how one of the larger tech companies in India is changing the rules of business competition in today’s globalized marketplace. If you read

The World Is Flat then you already know about all the success coming from India’s technology outsourcing giants in Bangalore.

If you want to learn how a company located in the heart of India’s globalization capital can thrive this book is really for you. The early chapters focus on how Wipro is taking on the West (and winning) as a new breed of tech company.

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Wipro is changing education

I have begun reading a really good book called Bangalore Tiger and have become very impressed with the closing of the fifth chapter and second section called People Principals to Lead By.

This book is about Wipro, one of India’s great IT companies.  This chapter concluded with an overview to their companies’ social responsibility initiatives and volunteer efforts in India called Wipro Cares:

The education program provides training for teachers, administrators, and parents –with the goal of fostering more creative and analytical curricula in pubic schools, rather than rote learning.  In an effort that targets underprivileged children, Wipro volunteers spend two hour every Saturday tutoring and encouraging these kids…..The Azin Premji Foundation is an attempt to help transform Indian society through improving public education.  Premiji established the foundation in 2000 and it became operational in 2001.  To date [Azim Premji] has contributed $125 million in Wipro stock –and has pledged to keep replenishing as money is spent.

The main focus is on convincing education that they need to retool their approach to education and on giving them the tools to do it.  So far, one Indian sate has agreed to switch to analytical learning……”What we’re focused on is quality education,” says Dileep Ranjekar, a former head of HR who is now CEO of the Azim Premji Foundation.  Premji’s charity.  Unless India fundamentally addressed the quality issue and the shifts from rote learning to analytical learning, it can’t realize its dream of becoming one of the world economic superpowers.”

There’s obviously a crucial side benefit for Wipro.  Unless the Indian public education system improves dramatically, Wipro won’t be able to fulfill what it sees as its destiny – becoming one of the world’s great companies by offering up India’s brainpower to the world.

America needs this type of innovative company that can lead change in our education system.  As Intel’s CEO has stated many times America will continue to graduate more masseuses than engineers.  At some point this will catch up with us.  And by the looks of it when that time arrives India will be prepared to step in.

Tags: India, Wipro, Bangalore Tiger, globalization, education, technology, reading, trends

Latest read: Innovation Nation

Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back from John Kao is a timely read. To say I enjoyed his lessons how America is losing it’s innovation lead was not pleasant experience, yet the book is highly engaging.
There are timely lessons in this book from the $100 laptop and more importantly the exodus of top American talent. No surprise that top talent from India is returning home after attending college in America as globalization brings new opportunities to India.

You may be surprised to learn how Kao documents the loss of top Americans heading overseas. That’s native-born Americans leaving our best institutions (and their home country) to work in new innovation centers with more creative, less political conditions.

The list includes Paul Saffo from Stanford, John Seely Brown from Xerox PARC, Peter Schwartz from Global Business Network and Rita Colwell, former head of the National Science Foundation and current professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland.

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Latest read: How We Compete

Suzanne Berger and MIT’s Industrial Performance Center wrote a book after concluding a five year study of the new global economy How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing to Make it in Today’s Global Economy.

how we compete

If you want to learn more about globalization, this is a necessary addition to your bookshelf. Today companies must compete.

The study moves beyond the often discussed Dell approach to manufacturing. Lessons from auto and textile industries are included and should not be missed. How America can compete against the global marketplace?

Students entering the real world after school makes this book mandatory reading before graduating … from high school. By the time your set to graduate from college — it may be too late.

Companies that need to compete are shifting production … sometimes to very interesting locations for very interesting business reasons. Understanding this process and the major impacts of globalization will help us all prepare for tomorrow’s shifting economic climate.  There are powerful lessons from many industries that have shifted into a highly competitive marketplace with a global reach.  In doing so, these companies now compete with global brands.

Globalization can be very complicated. This book suggests very intriguing lessons from companies who need to compete are outsourcing their products, production lines or selected low end solution simply to survive against the competition.

We have a lot to learn from the Japanese and the Italians!

Latest read: Three billion new capitalists

Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East by Clyde Prestowitz is a good companion to Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat regarding globalization. At times I felt the chapters could have been written by both authors. Ultimately they complement the globalization story.
Three billion new capitalistsPrestowitz was counselor to the Secretary of Commerce during the Reagan Administration and is Founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute, a thinktank in Washington DC.

Globalization is certainly not new and some issues addressed by Prestowitz may be hard to wrap around completely, but he provides an overview of what has been accelerating … offshoring. To no surprise the destination is China and India. Released in 2005 Prestowitz could not have considered the Mattel lead paint product recalls fiasco just two months old as consequences of globalization. Or was that just bad management on Mattel’s part?

The shift in wealth and power also focuses on banking and oil. Two chapters focus on this impact for China and India … and America along with the EU. What is an example of the impact on America: 100,000+ new cars are registered every month in Bejing? I would like to see the numbers for Bangalore. Think of a billion new drivers wanting to see their country, visit family and travel to see friends.

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