Interesting Reads in Cyberspace: August 2013

Compiled by Bhavani Prakash

Here are some interesting picks from cyberspace in the month of August 2013:


1. Gratitude

Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin shares about the power of gratitude as “ The Highest ROI Management Tool in Business”. He quotes that “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  The key to happiness in the workplace is expressing gratitude, for which one  has to 1. Be Thoughtful 2. Be Genuine 3. Pick Your Spots (meaning the right amount. Research points to the Losada Ratio which is the optimal ratio of expressing positive vs negative feedback which is 2.9 times) 4. Solicit suggestions 5. Learn how to take a compliment.
Read the article here on Linkedin

2. Meaningful Meetings

Fred Kofman, Author of  Conscious Business advocates ‘Cutting meeting times by 90%’  Does this sound like music to the ear?
According to Kofman, most meeting times are wasted, not because they are badly organised, but because they are held for the wrong reason.  If a meeting is not meant to ‘decide & commit’ to something, then don’t have the meeting at all. Any other reason, such as to ‘update, review, discuss, evaluate, connect’ and so on, is a waste of time. Read the article here on Linkedin  if you think this will help improve productivity in your organisation.


3. We vote the article by Allen White, Co-Founder and former CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (Co-Founder of Corporation 20/20, and Founder and Co-Chair of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings) to be our favourite of the month. He laments in Guardian Business that organisations are ‘Swamped by sustainability indicators that fail to drive transformation’  There are apparently over 1500 sustainability indicators spanning 600 issues, but collectively, organisations are still likely to overstep planetary boundaries. Urgency is warranted to move from incrementalism to transformation change which can only be brought about by a holistic sustainability perspective, and public expectations.


4. Namrita Kapur,  Director of Strategy for Environmental Defense Fund, shares the benefit of tying executive compensation to sustainability,  quoting a 2012 Glass Lewis report stating that 42 percent of publicly traded companies interviewed across 11 major markets across the world disclosed a link between compensation and sustainability. These benefits include both financial ones such as saving costs and creating long term value,  as well as reputation & culture ones by increasing accountability and employee engagement.  Read the article on GreenBiz here. 


5. With an overload of gadgets, will the innovations around ‘wearables’ move from a want to a need like touch phones and ipads? This is something to ponder about! Here’s Why you’ll be hooked on wearables by this time next year.

6. Cradle to Cradle expert William McDonough writes in the Guardian on ‘Driving sustainable transformation through the power of design’  He shares several interesting examples on how companies such as Method (laundry detergents), Shaw Industries(carpet tiles), Carnegie Fabrics (textiles) have designed or redesigned products that are environmentally sound. He calls for companies to have inspiring goals, that enable them to do more good, instead of less bad..


7. It’s an alarmist headline from the Guardian, but probably one that contains a lot of truth that ‘The future China chooses will dictate the future of the planet’ China is already ” the world’s largest contributor to global warming – though on a per capita basis, CO2 emissions are still around half the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.”  Just imagine what will happen to energy demand and the environment when several hundred million people who have yet to join the ranks of the middle class, start increasing their per capita consumption. So it remains critical that China continues to invest in renewables, as the fate of the world literally depends on it.

8.  According to the article in the Scientific American, ‘Banks put a price on earth’s life support’  ” The 43 financial institutions, including the World Bank, are setting up a working party as a consequence of the Rio+20 summit, when the initial 39 large banks signed a Natural Capital Declaration.”

“The document went on to say that the food, fiber, water, health, energy, climate security and other essential services provided by natural capital were worth trillions of dollars a year, but that they were not adequately valued.”

These banks “want governments to force companies to disclose their dependence on natural capital and the impact they have on it by disclosures in annual financial reports. They also want penalties for companies not doing so and tax incentives for those who protect natural capital as part of their business.”   Read this important article here. 


9. We share the TEDxSingapore talk by the Founder of Green Collar Asia, Bhavani Prakash published on 30th August 2013. The intent of the talk was to simplify why we need to take care of the earth, and how we can do so in our individual capacities, quoting Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the UN,
“Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people.”

Watch the talk here

If you’ve read something of interest and value to this community or have any thoughts on what you’ve read or heard above, please feel free to add a comment below!

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