Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
What's on the web
Article Type: What´s on the web From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 5.
At first sight this seems to be a very strange set-up. The use of old fashioned fonts and the strange pictures make it look like something from the 1950s (if web sites had been around then). However a little digging (or “drilling-down” as management-speak would have it) provides an altogether more interesting experience.
The site promotes the work of Robert Heller and Edward de Bono, two of the leading creative thinkers in management today. Both are highly critical of many business management practices and much of this site explains why. The site offers a “letter to thinking managers” which you subscribe to (first two months free then $167 for a year) and provides solutions to hundreds of common management problems.
On the site there is also a “comment” section where you can suggest topics for discussion and a rather nice “guru watch” news service with the latest on your favorite (or not) management thinkers.
As we said, a little odd at first, but probably worth having a look and considering a trial.
Based in the north west of England, 4sight is a new initiative aimed at “developing a new way of business thinking for the twenty-first century”.
The 4sight project is based on the principles of Factor Four, a concept which postulates that how efficiently we use our resources can and should grow four fold in order to achieve sustainable development.
The site is quite user-friendly and has lots of good, fast hyper-links. Of course it is a regional set-up but the work has a global implication and quotes examples from other parts of the world.
Design-wise we found the typeface too small and a few more illustrations would have helped but otherwise this is an interesting site to browse. We enjoyed the rolling counter that calculates the money wasted by UK PLCs since we logged on (nearly half a million pounds in our case!).
More of a monologue?
The Global Dialogue Center is “a virtual gathering place for people throughout the world with a focus on leadership, professional and personal development a place to think, question, explore new ideas, learn and connect with a purpose”: that sounds like something well worth a look does it not?
Perhaps it is just personal taste but two “design features” of the site grated at the outset. The first was a picture on the home page of a business meeting that looked more like a social function or restaurant meal. The second, and more important, is the use of color (gray on green anyone?) that makes navigation more difficult than it should be.
The content seems to be too concerned to tick the right boxes and includes a commemorative video of Martin Luther King, “Insights of Leadership” from Nelson Mandela and a footnote that suggest that the Global Dialogue Center is a “proud supporter” of the Live Earth initiative and therefore involved in creating a better world. Perhaps we are being unfair but the words “bandwagon” and “jumping on” keep coming to mind.
With the environment finally as hot a topic for business as for the rest of the world, it is worth taking a few minutes to look at The World Resources Institute (WRI). This is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve people’s lives.
They focus on business as one of their four key targets with the intention to “harness markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect the environment”.
The site is well-produced and clear with good links and a comprehensive tagging system. There is space for comment and we read some well-informed ones. Take a look in your lunch break for some thought-provoking information.
The world’s second largest economy may soon be the first. It is in everyone’s interests to keep abreast of what is happening in China and this is a good place to start. The site has a wealth of information on the Chinese economy as well as features on which foreign firms are expanding their China operations, guides and directories to help your China business with contact details for thousands of companies and individuals and the opportunity to read magazine articles online.
With information on trade, shares, even the air quality ahead of the Olympics there is not much on the middle kingdom that is not at your fingertips here.
You thought it was bad news … An American business advice site has the following: “another business theme for the coming decade is the sub-prime mortgage lending scandal and the implosion of the housing market. With home foreclosures and a softer housing market, the falling prices and excess inventory of single-family housing may present investment opportunities. Houses available at lower prices will provide a speculative opportunity for an aggressive real estate investor.”
Best of all
For a particularly interesting and useful site you could always try the Emerald one!
If you have any favorite (or otherwise) sites that you would like us to review on these pages, or wish us to consider your own site, please drop us an e-mail and we will ask our reviewers to check them out.