Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Make sure you have some "yellow" with your greens...

Remember my earlier post Getting to the "root" of the matter : US "discovers" turmeric. Looks like the story gets even better.

The BBC quotes new research published in the British Journal of Cancer in a news story "Curry spice 'kills cancer cells' ":

An extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells, scientists have shown.
The chemical - curcumin - has long been thought to have healing powers and is already being tested as a treatment for arthritis and even dementia.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: "This is interesting research which opens up the possibility that natural chemicals found in turmeric could be developed into new treatments for oesophageal cancer. "

Hand me the spice jar....."yellow" suddenly became even better !!

Monday, October 19, 2009

McKinsey "rediscovers" Gandhi

In a blog titled Financial Firms and the New Diplomacy I came across an interesting news byte : "today the McKinsey Quarterly released a video of public-relations expert Richard Edelman exploring the new landscape of corporate reputation and trust. "

The blogger talks about the new mantras for the financial world -"common good";"commitment to a stakeholder model as opposed to just for the shareholder'';

To me it sounded like Gandhi 101. Gandhi addressing very rich people had said “I venture to suggest to you that you are not using your riches wisely, though you seem to be using them profusely.”

He went on to add “The art of amassing riches becomes a degrading and despicable art if it is not accompanied by the nobler art of how to spend wealth usefully. Let not possession of wealth be synonymous with degradation, vice and profligacy.”

Gandhi defined this concept as “Trusteeship” – ‘“That no matter how much money we have earned, we should regard ourselves as trustees, holding this money for the welfare of all our neighbours.”

Looks like McKinsey and others are “rediscovering” the same principles and repackaging them in a “common good” model.

Gandhi was more forthright in acknowledging that he was drawing upon pre-existing ideas from religion and philosophy :"Having been in my own days in possession of some amount of money, I want to present you with my own recipe. That recipe is nothing original that I am going to give you. It is really a part of our religion, and it is this: that no matter how much money we have earned, we should regard ourselves as trustees holding these moneys for the welfare of all our neighbors.... If God gives us power and wealth, He gives us the same so that we may use them for the benefit of mankind and not. for our selfish, carnal purpose."

Well, consultants have sometimes been described as people who borrow your watch to tell you the time and get paid handsomely for that. Looks like they are borrowing heavily from Gandhi too as they advise Wall Street Firms on how their “rating” reflects less about the dollar value of the deal they just won — and more about what the deal does for the common good.

I'm sure if these "new" mantras are likely to boost bonus payouts, Wall Street managers will be quick to adopt them, else, they will be discarded by the wayside once the tarnished reputations of their firms have been burnished by a generous application of the PR polish of "common good".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

IBM Global CIO Survey: Old Wine or New Voice?

IBM has come out with their Global CIO Survey titled The New Voice of the CIO. They have based their findings on interviews with 2500 CIOs spanning 78 countries and 19 industries.

Key Highlights:

At any given time, a CIO is:

  • An Insightful Visionary and an Able Pragmatist
  • A Savvy Value Creator and a Relentless Cost Cutter
  • A Collaborative Business Leader and an Inspiring IT Manager

By integrating these three pairs of roles, the CIO:

  • Makes innovation real
  • Raises the ROI of IT
  • Expands business impact

Is this Old Wine in a New Bottle? or is it the New Voice of the CIO? I will leave it up to you to decide.

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