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Issue of December 2004 

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Business success

A look behind every breakthrough business success will revel that in their personal lives every individual has had to battle against monumental odds.

The book profiles the business successes in 55 stories and shows what it really takes to succeed in business. The stories cover a wide range of industry leaders and technology innovators.

Written in a sort of a behind-the-scenes book format, Business Leaders & Success talks about the journeys made by individuals like Hewlett Packard's Carly Fiorina-who as a philosophy major came to drive technology's big engines; Bank of America's AP Giannini-whose focus on ordinary people helped build a financial Goliath; and innovator Joseph C. Wilson-whose determination built Xerox into a billion dollar company.

The book aims to fire the imagination of the reader and instigate him/her to use innovation and strategy in order to make a difference in the line of business and responsibilities currently held.

- Soutiman Das Gupta

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Knowledge: a property of IT and requirement for business

As the dictum goes, knowledge is power. So with the increased use of IT for data storage, the volumes of data are fast becoming a problem because data and information are not to be confused with knowledge, according to Carla O'Dell, the author of The Executive's Role in Knowledge Management. In that context many organizations are looking at data mining and business intelligence solutions for knowledge management.

Contrary to how it appears, knowledge management is not just about some IT guys plugging expensive software onto the network. Although "There is a powerful symbiotic relationship between knowledge management and IT," writes O'Dell, "Knowledge management has to be a part of business model, and embraced."

For the business, O'Dell identifies a four-step process to pinpoint a well-aligned knowledge management policy.

  • Define customer requirements and business goals
  • Determine critical success factor
  • Determine major business process that would be impacted by appropriate information
  • Establish the knowledge management policies made for the organization

Knowledge management is about sharing thought and that has to be integrated in the cultural mindset of the employees. O'Dell suggests two ways to do that: influencing by example and rewarding valuable contributions to the process.

IT can only function intelligently if the IT implementers are closely linked to the business process. O'Dell, portrays this evolution trend lucidly in the book.

-Deepali Gupta

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