What Works: Success in Stressful Times
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Using examples ranging from Ikea to the slums of Mumbai, leading economic expert Hamish McRae studies which businesses, organisations and initiatives have what it takes to succeed, and what it is that distinguishes them in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Calling on years of experience as an award-winning financial journalist and international public speaker, the author brings a fresh perspective to the question of success, differentiating the few 'big ideas' that have transformed the marketplace from passing trends and over-hyped blind alleys.
Through an extraordinary range of case studies and an authoritative grasp of his material, the author demonstrates that although there is no surefire recipe for success, there are several key ingredients – such as sense of mission and market sensitivity – which ambitious readers can apply to their own business practices. This is a book of very real successes rather than overblown ideologies: each case study is based around an on-site visit by an author and interviews with the people in charge. Bearing in mind the role of fashion, scale and other less predictable factors, ‘What Works’ ultimately offers the general reader the chance to learn from some of the grandest economic successes and unexpected failures in the world today, through a series of imaginative, unusual and insightful examples.
afterwards, workers had to remove the top six feet of soil to get rid of all the syringes. This made the problem less visible but the drug users regrouped, first in local streets and then in the Letten railway station nearby. They were allowed to stay there because the citizens felt it was better than having them on the streets. But so many people were arrested that some 60 per cent of the inmates in the jails were drug users. Switzerland was spending more per head on law and order than even the
in a complicated, if informal city must listen to the signals of the market to show what people really want, rather than impose some theoretical solution to perceived problems. If you listen to what people want, you may get it right. If you impose an external solution, even if it seems to have been successful elsewhere, you are liable to get it wrong. There are many ways in which the condition of the residents and businesses of Dharavi could be improved, but the solution is in the detail.
Shanghai. Both are of comparable size. Both have had strong European influences. Both are great ports and trading centres. Both are also financial hubs now. But whereas the municipality of Shanghai has followed a decisive, if brutal, scheme of redevelopment, turning into a modern shining metropolis, Mumbai remains chaotic. ‘We are bad at maintenance,’ an Indian banker explained, as we looked out from his modern office just a twenty-minute cab ride from Dharavi, over a dilapidated set of
so ensured the city’s success. Why? Well, Bangalore has one thing on its side: it is a place where clever people choose to live. Some 40,000 of its residents have a PhD.10 My own introduction to Bangalore came from some dear friends who run an architectural practice there, Mohan and Nina Bopiah. It is a small one but large enough to have designed some of the huge office blocks that surround the city, as well as similar projects in other hi-tech cities. To help me get a physical perspective, we
unfolds. How do governments meet the aspirations of their people without getting bogged down in the conflicting charges that they are not providing good enough services, or providing them at too high a cost? You might say it is rather eccentric that the Hong Kong government should supply a service most people would not regard as essential-gambling on the horses-but be rather thin by developed world standards in its provision of state support for education, healthcare and pensions. Put that way,