Malaysia is one of the most vulnerable Asian economies should a “perfect storm” of a disorderly debt default in Europe, a slowdown in China and the US, and rising tensions in the Middle East materialise, Roubini Global Economics (RGE) has said in a recent report.
Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the collapse of the US housing market and the 2008 global financial crisis, said that Malaysia had the highest exposure to a pullout of capital as its eurozone and US bank claims amount to more than 25 per cent of GDP. Malaysia's domestic debt almost doubled in the space of less than 5 years, from RM247 billion in 2007 to an estimated RM421 billion in 2011, far outpacing its revenues which only grew 31% or from RM140 billion to RM183 billion during the same period.
Signs of trouble ahead. Let's see if Bank Negara will act decisively by reducing interest rate instead merely stating "we are monitoring the situation closely".
Most meetings are a complete waste of time. People in them are not paying attention. If you are the CEO, meetings seems to be endless. Worst of all, sales people spent almost 80% of their time in meetings, preparing for meetings and doing administrative tasks instead of making sales.
Before you group everyone in a meeting, ask - is this really necessary? There are better and cheaper ways of communicating with your team members such as emails, tweeter, shared calendar etc. Think cloud computing.
If meeting is absolutely required, make it brief, agenda/purpose circulated 48 hours ahead and only need-to-have people are invited. The rest of the people can continue doing their work - creating and serving customers. Isn't that the purpose of your company in the first place? Enjoy these cartoons (click to enlarge).
In Malaysia, house prices are at all-time high. Shares are artificially manipulated to be expensive. Market is uncertain due to the global financial crisis. Where to invest your money? The best bet is actually investing in farmland. Better still, buy tractors and learn farming.
For RM350,000 (USD100,000), you can only buy a smallish apartment measuring 700 square feet. With the same amount, you can buy a farmland measuring 2 to 3 acres (depending on location). 1 acre is almost 43,000 square feet!
According to Jim Rogers, over the next 20 years, farmers and agricultural investors will be the ones driving Lamborghinis, not bankers. What will bankers drive? Taxis.
It is not what you say that counts, it is how you say it. So, be creative and think outside the box. It can really make a huge difference in business and in life. This short video cleverly sums it up.
This Procter & Gamble commercial honours everything that all moms do to help their children succeed by showcasing the amazing moms behind Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The hardest job in the world is truly the best job in the world. Have you called your mom lately?
The use of animation (or cartoon) can be a powerful and effective mean of communication. It is fun, interesting and attention-catching compared to old-fashion writing. A simple animation about HTC Evo vs iPhone 4 has gone viral with more than 15 million views. Give it a try - use animation to promote your business, create a movement or simply spread a message.
You can use any of the user-friendly cloud-based animation software such as Go Animate and Xtranormal. Basic features are free. Just log in and be creative. I created this simple animation in less than 2 minutes:
When dealing with a problem or potential opportunity, do you bog yourself down in details, tweaking, brainstorming, researching, anything and everything ... except just getting on with it? If yes, you are suffering from a modern work place "disease" known as: analysis paralysis.
It refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, resulting in NATO (no action, talk only).
As a consultant, I design reports such as cash flow, financial models, KPI, debtor aging, stock movement etc etc to assist clients in monitoring their business. Reports are necessary but over-dependent and over-analyse can be disastrous. Executives lost common sense and gut feel of the business. They no longer able to manage the business without reports or refuse to take action until all data are analysed. "Nothing but perfection be may spelled paralysis" Winston Churchill. Take action, prevent or cure this disease - urgently.
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona has been sacked by United Arab Emirates club Al-Wasl after only 14 months in charge. The 1986 World Cup winner arrived in Dubai on a lucrative contract in May 2011, but could only manage to take Al-Wasl to eighth place in the 12-team UAE Pro-League.
Performance matters. Business leaders make firm and fast decisions. Not such thing as let's see what happen in next few months. Reward performers, sack the Bozo.
Diego Maradona is warned by a referee during Al-Wasl's defeat in the final of the GCC Champions League in June. CNN
Most companies are innovative especially in their sales and product development (front end). However, the back end (e.g. accounting) may still operate in the same manner for the last 20 to 30 years. How do you know if your accounting people are up-to-date? Easy.
If they are still using dot matrix printer, something is terribly wrong. Common excuses include: we have to print invoices and payment vouchers in duplicates, accounting documents must be printed with NCR papers etc etc. These excuses further confirm that the accounting procedures used are as obsolete as the printer.
Time to innovate, front end and back end. For Generation Y, here is a picture of the noisy "device".
American College of Cardiology reveals that prolonged sitting is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even early death. Sitting could be just as dangerous, if not more so, than smoking. Cardiologist Dr David Coven said "smoking certainly is a major cardiovascular risk factor and sitting can be equivalent in many cases".
People who take the most standing breaks throughout the day, even as short as a minute, have slimmer waists, lower cholesterol and better insulin response than those who take the fewest, regardless of how much other exercise they get. How sitting kills you slowly? Let's kill your chair and start standing.
China has again unexpectedly cut interest rate today, twice in a month. Deposit and lending rates are reduced to 3% and 6% respectively. Yesterday, ECB cut its deposit rate to record low, exactly ZERO! BOE just printed another GBP50 billion to "stimulate" the economy. 3 central banks acting in concert? Reuters has the news.
What about Malaysia? Bank Negara says "... there continues to be considerable uncertainties in the global economic and financial environment" but rate is maintained at 3%. The music is still on, let's continue dancing.
Strictly speaking, things are not getting expensive. It is the value of money that is getting smaller. The economists call this inflation - same amount of money gets you fewer things. Why? Ask Bernanke (hint: watch out for QE3 or whatever name, expected in end July 2012). PS: Bank of England did it again today.
PivotTable is a very powerful tool, which can transform tons of data into user-friendly information for decision making - without using a single formula. Just drag and drop. You can export data to Excel or Google Docs from most software (SAP, NetSuite, ERPLY, XERO, MYOB, UBS etc) to analyse further using PivotTable.
I constantly remind and conduct training for my clients to harness the power of PivotTable. When I was lecturing Financial Modelling in Monash University (Malaysia) few years back, I demonstrated PivotTable, although officially it was not part of the syllabus. This is to prepare the students for the real world.
Learn it, you will be amazed. Here are 2 introductory videos (to learn more, view other videos):
Business, economy, education and current issues. Providing tips, tricks and tools in managing business.