Saturday, 9 November 2013

E - Report - Official Statement by Mavin Records on Wande Coal's Exit

Here is the official press statement from Marvin Records in regards to Wande Coal's issue.




It is with deep regret that we officially announce the departure of recording artist Wande Ojosipe, popularly known as Wande Coal, from Mavin Records due to irreconcilable differences.
Over the past few months, Mavin Records has made a concerted move to consolidate its position in the Nigerian music industry. Mavin has pursued a renewed ethos to raise its standards of quality and professionalism to a world-class level. Wande’s vision has not aligned with ours and a few months ago all parties mutually agreed that a separation would be the best course of action.
Legal parties on both sides have spent the past six months trying to reach an amicable solution in terms of musical property rights. However the decision by Wande Coal to release ‘Baby Face’ purportedly as his own material is a direct breach of intellectual property law and compelled an immediate clarification on our part.

Both Mavin Records and Wande Coal have enjoyed a remarkable run in the course of their working relationship. It is unfortunate that conflicting priorities contributed to the premature curtailment of a hitherto fruitful accord.

Mavin Records reaffirms its goal to constantly provide high quality music to our fans and introduce new and exciting talent into the industry.
We wish Wande Coal the best of luck in all his future endeavours.

Signed
Management

Mavin Records Ltd

E - Report - Video: Omawumi Ft. Remy Kayz - Somori [Official Video]

Video: Omawumi Ft. Remy Kayz - Somori


Somori', a Yoruba slang is someone that is highly respected in the society and can't be ignored. The song is a fast paced jam that is already one of the favourites of all fun lovers.

Music video by Omawumi, featuring Remy Kayz.. Produced by Philkeyz.

Follow Omawumi on twitter @omawumi





Friday, 8 November 2013

Grow Your Business - 3 Ways to Pitch Yourself in 30 Seconds



People often think of the elevator pitch as something you use when you’re interviewing for a new job or trying to raise capital for a new venture. The elevator pitch, however, is no less important once you’ve got the job as it is when you’re looking.
In fact, your personal 30-second spiel about who you are, how you’re different, and why you’re memorable is arguably more important once you’ve landed that great position or won the support of investors and now interact with senior colleagues and important clients regularly.
A managing director on Wall Street once told me of a summer associate who made an uncharacteristically strong impression on senior leadership during a welcoming cocktail party. Within days, the managing director received numerous calls from senior partners advising him to “make sure she gets the attention and resources she needs to succeed this summer.” The young woman’s career has been on the fast track ever since.
So what can you possibly say over canapés and white wine to create so many powerful advocates so quickly and effectively? Think through the following ideas before you craft your pitch:
  1. Have a compelling reason for why you want to be there, as in “why did you decide to join the firm?”
  2. Know what it is that uniquely qualifies you for the position so that you can answer the how, as in “how did you actually get a job here?”
  3. Be able to explain what ties together past and current experiences in a way that is compelling and makes sense — what is the glue that holds your story together?
Of course, no executive or senior manager would dare ask those questions, but your elevator pitch is your opportunity to communicate these critical pieces of information to someone in a crisp but casual way — without even being asked.
As you answer the why, how, and what,
  1. Think relevant, not recent. There’s no rule that says you must talk about your resume in reverse chronological order. Mike was a marketing executive who took a sales position abroad for two years. Yet when he returned to marketing, he kept introducing himself as a someone who had just made a career switch, always leading off with an anecdote about his short stint in sales. Instead, Mike should have started with the fact that he was a seasoned marketing professional who had taken a sabbatical but was now back where he belonged — putting his marketing prowess to work and thinking about what drives consumer spending habits.
  2. Focus on skills-based versus situation or industry-based qualifications. You don’t have to have a background in finance to be good at finance. Alex was a chemist and researcher who had gone back to business school to get her MBA. She decided she wanted to work in corporate finance for a large pharmaceutical company but she was afraid no one would take her seriously given her background. When I pressed Alex to explain to me why she chose finance, she exclaimed, “That’s the way my brain works.” Her thinking was methodical, mathematical and formulaic — all of which translated to someone who was a natural fit within a corporate finance department. Instead of focusing on the fact that her background was in academia, Alex could emphasize to colleagues and clients that she was a numbers person at her core.
  3. Connect the dots — what ties it all together? If you are a chemist turned finance professional or a marketing executive with experience in international sales, you should find a way to bring together the richness of your experiences and show how each one complements the other. For me, personally, I had a significant hurdle to clear with clients as a former Peace Corps volunteer turned investment banker. I explained away the dichotomy of the two by emphasizing to others that I was big picture thinker by nature and a numbers person by training. Banking was a perfect combination of the two — I liked looking at client’s challenges and issues from 30,000 feet and then digging down into the details to come up with creative financing solutions. Whether the client was the mayor of my Peace Corps town in Chile or the CEO of a healthcare company, I could start at a high level and drill down quickly and effectively.
Mike, Alex and I were all arguably better positioned because of our unique stories and experiences. Ask yourself these questions as your craft your personal pitch and you’ll be able to use your story to impress others from the get-go too.

by Jodi Glickman  HBR

Grow Your Business - Advice from successful entrepreneurs





While the list of inspirational quotes is like the universe; vast and constantly expanding, here are six seeds of wisdom from successful entrepreneurs.

Mary Kay Ash – founder, Mary Kay Incorporated
“We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal.”
After being passed up for a promotion after 25 years in the direct selling business, Mary Kay Ash took her $5,000 in savings and created Beauty by Mary Kay. The company was founded on the belief that women could foster their talents and realise unlimited success. Today, Mary Kay Incorporated has more than 2 million independent beauty consultants worldwide. In addition to founding Mary Kay, Ash authored three books which all became best sellers.

 Thomas Edison – Inventor
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Edison developed the phonograph, commercially practical light bulbs and the motion picture camera. He was a pioneer in applying mass production to the process of invention, and he was known for his systematic approach to research and development. He is credited with creating the first industrial research laboratory.
As the holder of more than 1,000 United States patents, Thomas Edison was one of the most productive inventors in history. Edison accepted the progression that is inherent to success. He demonstrated that each step in the process is vital to meeting the goal.

 Yvon Chouinard – founder of Patagonia
“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”
As a member of the Southern California Falconry Club, Yvon Chouinard, dissatisfied with the climbing equipment that was available, decided to make his own. He purchased a coal-fired forge, an anvil, tongs and hammers. He set up a shop in his parents’ backyard. By 1970, Chouinard Equipment became the largest climbing hardware supplier in the United States.
Since founding Patagonia, one of the world’s most successful outdoor clothing and gear companies, Chouinard has been a pioneer in mixing environmentalism with sound business practices. How we play the game, whether in business or in life, can matter more than how we finish.

 William Rosenberg – founder of Dunkin’ Donuts
“Show me a person who never made a mistake, and I will show you a person who never did anything.”
In the 1940s, William Rosenberg founded Industrial Luncheon Services using $1,500 in war bonds and $1,000 in borrowed seed capital. Following its success, and noticing that a significant percentage of revenues came from coffee and doughnuts, Rosenberg founded the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in 1950. Dunkin’ Donuts is now represented in 32 countries with more than 10,000 locations.

 Bottom line
For thousands of years, entrepreneurs have discovered, invented, created, developed, improved and theorised. Their quotes help to explain their mode of operation and the reasons they believe they have become successful. Their words of wisdom may also motivate others to set goals, embrace failure and learn from their mistakes.

investopedia.com

Five ways to know your budget is broken


Five ways to know your budget is broken.



Having a budget is the first step toward financial freedom, security and success. But just creating a budget isn’t enough – it has to be a budget you can stick with; one that works for you, not against you. Here are five signs that it’s time to re-evaluate your budget.
Consistent monthly financial restructuring
Everything seems fine and dandy at the beginning of a new month. But as the weeks pass, things begin to change. You might be overspending in certain categories or dealing with unexpected costs, but whatever the reason, towards the end of the month, you are forced to make major changes in your budget.
Remember, your budget should keep you in line and on track from the first of the month until the last day of the month. If you consistently find yourself having to make changes, just to make ends meet, something isn’t working out.
Tip: Take a look at your budget every time you write out a check, use cash or make a purchase with your debit card. This will ensure that you stay on track throughout the month.
Over reliance on credit
Using credit cards if you are responsible enough to pay off the balance monthly isn’t a problem. But a problem does arise when someone relies solely on credit to get by. If your budget is broken, you may notice you depend upon your credit cards to make ends meet, especially at the end of the month. This is a telltale sign that your budget is in desperate need of attention, and should not be ignored.
Your books never balance
The money that you have at the beginning of the month needs to cover your expenses until the end of the month. Your budget and accounting system should appropriately reflect this. If they don’t, it may not seem like a big deal at first. But the risk is that a long-term imbalance in your books will become a massive issue.
Increasing financial fights with your partner
A bad financial situation can begin to take a negative toll on your life and relationships. “Your budget never works;” “We never have any money;” or “Why do we keep spending money on this?” are phrases that might come up if you’re consistently fighting with your partner about your finances.
Instead of “we never have any money,” you should focus on “why don’t we have any money?” This gives you the chance to work together to find a solution.
Always borrowing money from friends and family
This sign, above all else, is one of desperation. Taking money from a retirement account should never be an option, as the penalties can be very high and a large financial blow. Along with this, borrowing money from friends and family runs the risk of souring your relationships. This is something that can have a negative effect on your budget, as well as your relationships with other people.
As tempting as it may be, borrowing from friends or family, or taking money from your savings or retirement is a mistake. Make a rule: you will only do this under the most desperate of times, and if you have exercised all other options. If you need to borrow money to eat and pay the rent, so be it. If you need to borrow money to go to the movies and dinner, you are out of luck.
The final word
Living with a broken budget can damage not only your finances, but also your relationships with those around you. So, it’s important to be able to pick out the signs of a cracked budget in order to implement the changes that will fix it in the long run.

Source: smartmoneydaily.com

Grow Your Business - The Problem with the CEO’s Job Title

To all you entrepreneurs and anyone that aspires to be one, this is a must read for you"




The Problem with the CEO’s Job Title


The title Chief Executive Officer is something of a misnomer. The task of a CEO — and for that matter of any manager — is not wholly or even primarily about execution.  In fact, when the CEO starts to “do” things, and starts becoming more “active,” that is usually when a company gets into trouble. An effective CEO makes things happen principally through his executive colleagues, aptly called “Chiefs” too: the CFO, CCO, and COO. Of course, given that these team members are Chiefs as well, they also should not be doing too much, either. Their job is to  make sure that, in turn, their teams do most of the “execution” work. And so on.
In fact, if you ask successful executives to describe what keeps them so busy, you’ll typically get a list of six truly distinct tasks:
  1. Visioning, or framing of their firm’s business challenge;
  2. Planningor generating potential solutions to the issue at hand;
  3. Deciding, or making a commitment to a course of action;
  4. Explaining the rationale that led to this commitment, and presenting the legitimate expectations stakeholders can hold about the results that will be produced, about how this will be done, and about the rewards that successful execution allows (all of which may cause a change in the decision taken);
  5. Executing, where all energies are devoted to the execution of the decisions, until results are realized, and which concludes with the distribution of rewards; and finally
  6. Evaluating, where one evaluates both the process followed in generating a vision, and the outcomes thus obtained and the rewards shared, with a search for errors that may have occurred, and for corrections and adaptations that need to be made for errors not to be repeated in the future.
Few executives, of course, are good at all of these tasks. The key to identifying where the greatest need for improvement is, therefore, to ask executives this question: what is your biggest improvement wish concerning your boss and colleagues in the executive team you are a member of?
Answers to this question are diverse, but have a common and remarkable pattern:  first, the activity least identified actually concerns Executing (5 in the above list). This answer is a stark opposite to the commonly heard complaint from CEO’s that the greatest difficulty they face concerns execution!  Secondly, the large majority of answers (typically above 70 to 80%) lie in the first four steps.  Thirdly, the single biggest frustration of business executives in their “up-teams” lies in tasks 3 and 4:Deciding and Explaining.
These questions to followers reveal what business executives want from their CEOs and their senior executives: make clear decisions and communicate them to us, with their rationale and implications. Trust us, support us, and leave execution to us — and stop thinking that the execution problem is (only or largely) with us. Execution, when well framed, well motivated and well prepared, is the easiest step in management: all that is left, under those conditions, is to execute what we agreed upon in our meetings.  The difficult task lies in the preparation of execution, and after execution, in proper evaluation, learning and correction.
The language used in business at the top is thus a problem: it anchors executive action (and mindset) precisely where the challenge does not lie!  Perhaps, therefore, it’s time to change the label:  The British term Managing Director or the French equivalent Directeur Général both appear superior to CEO.  But perhaps an even more accurate title would be Chief Decision Officer as this is the task that rests most fully on the shoulders of the boss. Chief Framing Officer probably won’t work (because of the acronym confusion with Chief Financial Officer) but perhaps Chief Evaluation Officer would (at least it shares the acronym).
The point here is not so much to replace a bad title with another partially flawed one, but rather to identify the duality at the heart of the executive’s job: responsibility for actions mostly and largely taken by others, that are influenced by (always imperfect) framing, and the need to (always imperfectly) make adaptations revealed through imperfect execution. CEOs do not so much execute as influence execution through framing, decision-making, and evaluation.  Of course, it would be better if their job title did reflect that fact.

by Ludo Van der Heyden HBR

Grow Your Business - Why Your Innovation Contest Won’t Work


"This is an interesting read"


What’s the best way to quickly improve innovation in your organization?
That was the question posed to me recently by Warwick, the head of innovation for the Australia and New Zealand region of a multinational engineering firm.  He asked because their CEO had just announced a new innovation initiative.  It’s an idea contest – submit your ideas, and the person that submits the best one wins $10,000.
If you think about this for a minute, you can see a few assumptions about innovation that underlie this contest:
  1. The main problem the firm has with innovation is that they don’t have enough ideas.
  2. The reason that people aren’t innovating is that they aren’t being paid enough to do so.
  3. Idea generation is the best place to invest money to improve innovation.
All three of these assumptions are false, and that is why this initiative isn’t going to work.  This is the most common innovation mistake that I see: acting like innovation is all about generating new ideas.
Innovation is the process of idea management – so, yes, you need great ideas to innovate, but that is only part of it.  You also need to be able to select ideas.  Once you’ve done that, you need the ability to execute them.  While all this is going on, you have to keep people inside your organization enthusiastic about the ideas.  And at the end of all of this, you have to get your great new idea to spread.  To innovate, you need to be good at all of these things.
Morten Hansen and Julian Birkinshaw refer to this process as the Innovation Value Chain, and they say that to innovate successfully, you need to be good at all of these steps.
Over the past five years, I have had all of my MBA and Executive Education students evaluate the Innovation Value Chain within their organizations.  Over that time they have analyzed the innovation capability of more than 300 organizations.  They cover the full spectrum – large multinationals and tiny start-ups; for-profit, not-for-profit and NGOs; private sector, government units and university sections.
Out of all of these organizations, only about 10 are idea-poor.  That’s less than 4%.  The other 96% of organizations have problems with other parts of the innovation process.  So the first assumption of Warwick’s CEO is wrong.  We know that there are actually plenty of good ideas in the firm – the bigger issue is figuring out how to sort them out and get them executed.
The second assumption is just as wrong.  The CEO is assuming that the best way to motivate innovative people is with money.  This is a bad approach to take with innovation and other creative work.  Dan Pink does a great job of summarizing the research on this in his book Drive.  The research shows that to motivate work built on creativity, people need autonomy, mastery and purpose.
The problem here is that it is a lot easier to offer a $10,000 prize than it is to design work so that people have autonomy, mastery and purpose.  That requires an entirely new approach to management for most organizations.  This is why many innovation initiatives fail – managers simply try to bolt an innovation initiative onto an existing business model that is ill-suited to innovating.  If you want to start thinking about how to make changes in this area, answer this question: what would I do differently if everyone reporting to me were a volunteer?
The third assumption is also wrong.  This follows from the discussion of the first assumption.  If innovation is a process, and most firms are weakest in activities other than idea generation, than it should be clear that the most sensible place to invest money is in the area where you’re weakest.
So why do organizations focus on improving idea generation, when this is almost never the problem? Because idea generation is the easy part! It’s the one area where you can show measurable improvement almost immediately.
But if your main weakness is idea selection, or idea execution, then generating more ideas won’t help.  In fact, generating more ideas can actually make you less innovative, because the weaknesses in other parts of the process will sink the new efforts, which in turn increases the frustration of your people – demotivating them.
So what should Warwick’s CEO do?
The first thing that I would recommend is evaluating the firm’s innovation strengths and weaknesses.  The Hansen and Birkinshaw article includes a quiz for this, but there is an even better version available in the Australian Public Sector Innovation Report.  The assessment will indicate which part of the process is the weak link in the chain.
Once this weakness is identified, take the $10,000 and invest it in improving that part of the process.  It will likely involve making genuine changes in the way things are managed.  But it will lead to genuine improvement too.  After six months or a year, run the assessment again to see if things are better.  If they are, start working on the next weakest link in the chain.  Over time, innovation really will improve.
I wonder if I could submit that idea into the contest?
by Tim Kastelle HBR

Nigerian Boy, 3, Murdered After He Wet The Bed in London






A man has been found guilty of murdering his partner's three-year-old nephew after the child wet the bed they were sharing.
Ben Igbinedion, 44, inflicted "catastrophic" injuries upon Daniel Evbuomwan that were so severe they were likened to those caused by a car crash.
Igbinedion, of Bromley, south London, had put Daniel back to sleep in a different bed but when family members tried to wake him in the morning he did not respond.
The youngster suffered multiple injuries to his ribs and multiple fractures to his pelvis.
They were described by Professor Anthony Risdon, who carried out a post-mortem examination as "among the most severe he had seen".
Daniel had been living with his grandmother Rosemary since earlier this year and was in normal physical health but all that dramatically changed when he went to stay with Igbinedion and his family in March, the court heard.
Daniel's grandmother had wanted to go shopping and to church so it was decided he should stay with his aunt Sandra Okundaye, a nurse, and her partner Igbinedion, jurors were told.
Ms Okundaye was away working that night and Igbinedion was left in charge of looking after Daniel and his three children, the trial heard.
At bedtime, Igbinedion stated that Daniel and his youngest son should sleep in his room, while the other children slept in their own room, it was claimed.
In the early hours of the morning on March 2, one of the children was woken by Igbinedion telling off Daniel for wetting the bed, the court heard.
Giving his own evidence, Igbinedion told the court that he treated the boy as if he was his own son.
Igbinedion claimed he woke Daniel up at 5.30am to use the toilet, before returning the boy to the children's bedroom and turning the light off.
He accepted the youngster had been well during the day but could not explain what happened.
Daniel's cousins had tried to wake the boy but after several attempts he slumped from the bed to the floor.
He was taken to University Hospital in Lewisham, south east London, where he was pronounced dead at 11.25am.
Igbinedion, who denied murder but was convicted at the Old Bailey, is due to be sentenced on November 27.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Grow Your Business - Control Is for Beginners


Control Is for Beginners



My daughter’s voice teacher recently told another student to stop practicing.  ”What?!” I almost yelled.  ”What happened to the theory of 10,000 hours of practice for mastery?”  But she explained that, at times, over-practicing can stifle music, just like over-training can stifle athletes and over-engineering can create products too complex to use.  There is a time to stop rehearsing, stop waiting for perfection, stop waiting for control and just go for it.
We need to balance grabbing opportunities as they present themselves — even if we’re not ready and have to ramp up as best and as fast we can — and practicing a lot so that when the opportunity appears, we’re prepared.   At Bell Labs, we were all about practicing; we called it experimenting.  We experimented, learned, applied, and iterated until it was flawless; AT&T wouldn’t release anything into the market until it was absolutely perfect.  When I was designing the system for which I received a patent, I wanted to get prototypes in front of potential customers for feedback before we got too far down the road. How naïve of me! Of course we couldn’t show customers something that wasn’t perfect — it would affect their expectations and maybe (horreur!) negatively impact the brand.  Needless to say, by the time the system was perfect enough to get into the market, we had lost most of our competitive advantage.
In its quest for perfection, for example, AT&T acquiesced creating and leading the cellular industry.  Even though Bell Labs invented cellular telephone technology in 1946, received the patents for it, and piloted mobile telephone service from the 1940’s through 1980’s, AT&T didn’t offer it on a broad commercial basis because, among other things, it didn’t meet the same “perfect” quality standards as wired telephone service. In 1994, AT&T bought McCaw Cellular, getting back into the cellular telephone industry, 50 years after having created the technology. As my daughter says, “Sometimes, perfection is the enemy of accomplishment.”
So how do you get it right? That depends on what you mean by “right.”  Maybe we can learn from musicians who practice spontaneity: jazz musicians.  My daughter’s voice teacher, Kim Nazarian, has taught me a lot. One of the founders of the Grammy-winning jazz vocal group The New York Voices, Kim   teaches her students to be in the flow, the conversation of the music.  Yes, she sometimes practices not practicing, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a gifted and successful jazz singer. This isn’t a paradox — if you know what you’re doing and you’re competent, spontaneity becomes its own skill.
Another musician I’ve learned from is Carl Størmer, founder of Jazzcode.  Carl was a fellow-storyteller at this year’s BIF-9 conference. As he shows us by jamming with two people he’d never practiced with before, sometimes you just need to let go.  A Jazz musician needs to stop controlling and start trusting his band members’ competency and artistry.  This trust, the willingness to let go and allow for space, lets band members take risk (that’s what a jazz solo is!) and try something new and different — while being supported by their band-mates. Without that support, you get a chaos of sound. With too much control, you don’t get jazz. Carl’s wife, Ane, sums up this attitude with her own adage: “Control is for beginners.”
When we don’t give our people the space to take calculated risks, learn, apply, and iterate, we are really risking our future.  While there is a risk to improvising and spontaneity, control brings its own insidious dangers. In our push for perfection, we over-engineer. We add so many bells and whistles that it takes a Ph.D. to use the product. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.  Just because we can practice to perfection doesn’t mean that’s best.
Spontaneity and relinquishing control provide enormous advantages, even if it takes a certain kind of non-practice to feel comfortable with it.  Jazz musicians know that.  Innovators should learn that as well… because sometimes, control really is for beginners.

by Deborah Mills-Scofield 

Twitter's IPO, Feathering its nest

Twitter's IPO

Feathering its nest


JUST a few days ahead of its planned initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter has raised the price range for its shares to $23 to $25, up from the original target of $17 to $20. The microblogging service and its bankers have hinted that strong demand for its stock justifies the increase. But the move, which could value the company at up to $13.6 billion, means that investors should be even more wary of taking a flutter on the firm’s stock.
True, the IPO market is hot right now, with quite a number of firms raising their initial price targets. True, too, Twitter has increased fast both the size of its audience (some 230m people visit it on average at least once a month) and its revenues. But, as we noted in last week’s issue, there are good reasons to think the firm’s shares will be overpriced.
At a valuation of $13.6 billion, Twitter would have a market capitalisation-to-trailing-12-month sales ratio of roughly 26, which is higher even than those of Facebook and LinkedIn when they went public. Yet Twitter has been coy about how exactly its advertising machine will be able to generate the billions of dollars of future revenues to justify such a lofty multiple. Rett Wallace of Triton Research, which analyses private companies, points out that Twitter has provided far less granular information about its sales activities in its regulatory filings than, say, LinkedIn did when it went public in 2011.
Those who think Twitter’s share price will soar over the long term point out that it hasn’t increased the number of shares it intends to offer and that its existing owners with big stakes aren’t cashing out en masse in the IPO. Both of these things, they say, should reassure nervous punters who fear a re-run of Facebook's IPO. The giant social network's share price plummeted following its debut on the stockmarket and it was many months before it rose above the initial $38 offer price again.
But one thoughful estimate published on the same day that Twitter increased its price range concluded that the firm is in fact worth no more than $17 to $18 a share. BIA Kelsey, which analyses advertising markets and firms operating in them, says that Twitter faces some very big challenges just to get to the $5 billion of revenue a year it will need to generate by 2020 to justify a share price today of $17. Among other things, it notes that Twitter’s growth in America is slowing and that it is generating far less revenue from foreign users, who account for about four-fifths of its audience. Perhaps the hype around the IPO market right now will still make Twitter’s shares fly in the short-term. But they are unlikely to stay aloft for long.

by M.G.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Fake drugs: Lawmakers prescribe life jail for offenders

"I don't believe in an eye for an eye but there are some offences that ticks the box, anyone selling fake drugs is a murdered"

The House of Representatives has proposed stiffer penalties for manufacturers, marketers and hawkers of counterfeit and fake drugs in the country.
Penalties can go as high as life imprisonment or a fine of N10m or both for manufacturers on conviction while those who engage in marketing such drugs and unwholesome processed foods, risk seven-year jail term or a fine of N5m.
These provisions were the highlights of a bill, which passed second reading at the House on Tuesday.
The “Bill for an Act to Amend the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellenous Provisions) Act, Cap. C34, Laws of the Federation 2004 to Increase Penalties for Offences under the Act” was sponsored by a lawmaker from Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia.
Danbia argued that the current penalties for offenders were mild and that they allowed the offenders to get away with the serious crime of murder.
Dan-Abia, who described those who engaged in the act as “killers”, “murderers” and “destroyers of human lives,” said some of the extant provisions were as low as two-year jail term or a fine of N500,000.
Another lawmaker, Mr. Haruna Kigbu, told the House that people died daily due to intake of counterfeit and fake drugs.
“When the patient is sick and at the point of death what you need are drugs that can help their situation. But, when the drugs administered are fake, certainly the patient will not recover,” he stated.

BY JOHN AMEH

Transcorp to raise Ugheli plant’s capacity to 1,500MW

"So many good news coming out of the new power sector in Nigeria, the competition has began" More power to the people.

The core investor in Ugheli Power Plc, Transcorp Nigeria Plc, has pledged to raise the capacity of the power plant from 900 megawatts to 1,500MW within three years.
The Chairman of Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu, made the pledge while receiving the handover documents of the company, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday by the Head of Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe.
Elumelu also said that Transcorp Ughelli Power had huge plans for the host communities in terms of corporate social responsibility, among which were the establishment of a football academy to be managed by one of the leading European soccer training institutes; and establishment of an integrated petrochemical plant, health care facilities and the provision of street lights.
 At the event, Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman, National Council on Privatisation, said the participation of the private sector in the electric power sector reform programme would bring about higher generation capacities through the provision of more efficient and cost effective power stations and improvements in distribution, transmission networks, billing and collection of revenue.
Represented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, Sambo pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to creating the enabling environment that would give incentives to private sector investors to take on challenges.
In his address, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, noted that the handover of Ughelli Power Plc was the greatest thing that had happened to the state in recent history.
He promised the state government’s support to ensure that the plant was quickly turned around.

BY EVEREST AMAEFULE

EVENT: Wande Coal performing live at GTCrea8 Concert UK. Friday 15th November 2013!

" Hey, I have tickets to give out for this concert! leave a comment on this blog to win a ticket!"



On Friday, 15th November, 2013. Guaranty Trust Bank plc will be hosting an event for students in the United Kingdom. The Bank is working with African and Caribbean Societies in various Universities across England to celebrate Black Heritage and to provide an unforgettable evening of music laughter and dance.

GTBank has over the years celebrated students in Nigeria through its undergraduate focused product; GTCrea8. As one of our initiatives to reach out to students in Diaspora, this event will help unite students from around the world in a relaxed and entertaining environment. The event is scheduled to hold at Indigo 02 Arena, London at 7pm.

Confirmed artistes for the night are Award Winning African Music Entertainer, Wande Coal; UK based artiste Lola Rae, DRB, Comedians and a Live DJ for the after party. Admission to the launch party is free for students with ID cards.


Twitter: @Gtcrea8concert
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E - Report - Don Jazzy and Wande Coal clashes!

"Its such a shame that what should have been the biggest record label out of Nigeria and even Africa, Mo'Hits has disintegrated into this"


Don Jazzy and Wande Coal on war path!




Two versions of a new song by Wande Coal titledBaby Face are at the centre of a brewing altercation between the Afro pop singer and his erstwhile boss, Don Jazzy of Mavin Records. Our correspondent gathered that after listening to the song, which was allegedly released barely two hours earlier, Don Jazzy went on Twitter claiming that it was stolen from him by Wande Coal.
An indignant Don Jazzy claimed the song was a studio demo that he made about a year ago. He allegedly accused Coal of disrespecting him by going ahead to record and release the song to the public without give him due credits.
“How long will I continue to sweat and some people will choose to steal from me? I am nice and easy going does not mean you should disrespect me,” he tweeted.
Then in another tweet that seemed to suggest that he was displeased with some of his fans for keeping quiet while his intellectual property was being infringed, the music mogul said, “I honestly expected you all to come at me for being childish. But enough is enough. Even if I send my legal team on him you will complain too. I can decide to shut him down with one call. But didn’t. All I ask for is “give me my credit” and nothing else.”
Evidently Don Jazzy’s claims did not go down well with Wande Coal. The latter was hurt by the fact that the Mavin Records boss had to express his feelings on Twitter. He tweeted a message, accusing Don Jazzy of trying to bring him down.
“After these years of being loyal to you, I can’t believe that you will ever say this to me and trying to bring me down on Twitter. You have my phone number, email address and my DM to communicate with me, but you chose the Twitter attention syndrome. I served for 10 years. Why are you unhappy with my progress? Is it bad that I kept quiet and moved on with my life?”

BY CHUX OHAI

Grow Your Business - When Hiring, First Test, and Then Interview



Many service companies rely on skilled, personable employees to satisfy customers, but finding them can be costly; in some industries the annual churn rate exceeds 50%. Weak labor markets and click-to-apply online applications increase the burden on companies, which may get hundreds of applicants for a single opening. Consider the British call center industry: In 2012, 7 million people applied for 260,000 jobs.
Most companies have a standard hiring regimen: Recruiters start by reviewing résumés, move on to phone or face-to-face interviews with the most promising candidates, and then draw on various tests, often including psychometric tests, to determine which applicants are the best fit.
Our research suggests that this approach is backward. Many service companies, including retailers, call centers, and security firms, can reduce costs and make better hires by using short, web-based psychometric tests as the first screening step. Such tests efficiently weed out the least-suitable applicants, leaving a smaller, better-qualified pool to undergo the more costly personalized aspects of the process.
The test-first approach makes sense for several reasons. Evidence suggests that many more applicants today—by some estimates, nearly 50%—embellish their CVs than did so in the past, reducing the utility of résumés as initial screening tools. At the same time, the advent of web-based psychometric tests has made testing less expensive and more convenient. And recent research across industries shows that these tests are good predictors of performance.
We have studied how a variety of industries use the Dependability and Safety Instrument (DSI), an 18-question online assessment developed by the British test publisher SHL (which employs two of this article’s coauthors). A UK energy company concerned about absenteeism gave the DSI to 136 new employees and tracked their absences over the following six months; it found that workers who scored in the highest 30% of the group were 2.3 times as likely to have perfect attendance as workers who scored in the bottom 30%. A security company gave the test to 72 drivers and learned that the bottom 30% had five times as many accidents in six months as the top 30%. Research in hotel, customer service, retail, and video outlets in Australia and Europe has yielded similar patterns.
Other tests also show great promise. For example, a large UK-based supermarket chain recently began using a customized online situational judgment test to screen out the bottom 25% of applicants before reviewing CVs. Because the candidates called in for interviews were therefore better qualified, the average number seen for each successful hire fell from six to two—saving 73,000 hours of managerial time.
Some other firms have begun using tests in this way, but the practice is still fairly uncommon: Globally, companies spend less than $750 million a year on psychometric testing. If more service firms took this approach at the start of the hiring process, they would reap a better workforce and streamline a function that consumes enormous resources.

by John Bateson, Jochen Wirtz, Eugene Burke, and Carly Vaughan

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Grow Your Business - Why Sales and Marketing Don’t Get Along


Why Sales and Marketing Don’t Get Along


Sales teams and marketing teams pursue a common objective: create customer value and drive company results. But sales and marketing don’t always get along. Certainly, all-out war between the two teams drains productivity. Yet having the two teams work in perfect harmony and reach an easy consensus on every decision is a pipedream, and in fact, is not the best answer either.
Some tension between sales and marketing is healthy and productive.
Sales-marketing tension can stem from differences in marketers’ and sellers’ perspectives. Marketers think in terms of aggregate customer segments; sellers think in terms of individual customers. Marketers design strategies; sellers implement tactics.  Marketers focus on analysis and process; sellers focus on relationships and results. These diverse perspectives often lead to conflict. For example, marketing says, “We develop thoughtful strategies that can drive sales force success, but most salespeople won’t even take the time to understand them.” Sales says, “Marketers are locked in the ivory tower. Their plans look good on paper, but don’t work with real customers.”
But the tension created by diverse viewpoints also has a positive side. It sparks creativity and ensures that multiple sides of issues are expressed. Sales makes certain that customer needs are addressed and that short-term company revenue goals are achieved; marketing ensures that product and customer segment strategies anticipate the evolution of longer-term customer needs. Sales pushes for competitive pricing; marketing ensures that the company uses discipline in pricing.
Sales-marketing tension can also stem from the co-dependence of the sales and marketing teams. Especially when things don’t go well, situations can quickly turn to finger-pointing. Marketing says “We worked hard and generated good leads for sales, but they didn’t follow up.” Sales says, “Marketing’s leads aren’t worth my time; the last lead they gave us was for a business that shut down two years ago.”
But the mutual dependence of sales and marketing creates a productive sense of urgency and encourages both teams to do their jobs better. Sales insists that marketing provide better leads. Marketing makes sure that sales follows up. Sales helps marketing develop strategies and sales collateral that address customer needs. Marketing urges sales to spend time strategically and implement the marketing plan.
Accomplishing the common objective of creating customer value and driving company results requires competency in a wide range of tasks which fall into three categories.
  • Sales tasks. Account management, personal selling, distributor management, merchandising, sales compensation design, and numerous other sales management activities typically fall within the purview of Sales.
  • Marketing tasks. Market research, competitive analysis, market segmentation, brand positioning, packaging, and dozens of other market-focused undertakings are usually the responsibility of Marketing.
  • Joint Sales/Marketing tasks. Sales strategy formulation, lead generation, sales collateral development, pricing, sales forecasting, and many other tasks frequently require the participation of both Sales and Marketing.
Entire books, journals, business courses, and consulting companies are dedicated to helping marketers and sellers with these tasks. Yet very little is written about how to get sales and marketing to work together to keep all of the tasks aligned around the common objective.
Four strategies help companies accomplish all of this work with a healthy balance of sales-marketing harmony and tension.
  1. Make sure all sales tasks to get done well. Design a high-impact sales organization, hire sellers with characteristics such as interpersonal ability and results-drive, and develop the competencies sellers need to succeed. Support the sales force with structures, processes, systems, and programs that enable sales success.
  2. Make sure all marketing tasks get done well. Design a high-impact marketing organization, hire marketers with characteristics such as analytical savvy and strategic thinking ability, and develop the competencies marketers need to succeed. Support the marketing team with structures, processes, systems, and programs that enable  marketing success.
  3. Implement processes and systems that encourage communication and collaboration.Ensure that Sales and Marketing communicate about tasks that the two teams perform independently, and collaborate around tasks that require joint effort.
  4. Create a culture that facilitates teamwork. Start with strong sales and marketing leaders who, through their words and actions, consistently reinforce a cooperative, customer-focused culture.
by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer

Grow Your Business - How to socialize your company’s event


Get real. A hashtag like #MotoXBrasil2013 would last for two days, best case. Instead, we picked a short, generic, and evergreen hashtag: “MotoX.” The other 363 days of the year this hashtag represents whatever is happening with Moto X, but for two days it was the event in Brasil.
The big picture is that you want a hashtag that’s constantly in people’s faces, trending, and consistent, whether it refers to an event in Brazil, Mexico, or Peru, or new television commercials.

Tell everyone what the hashtag is
From the moment you start promoting an event, the hashtag should be in place. This means on your website, in advertising, and all electronic correspondence including your email signature.
Your program should mention it on the cover. The introductory slides should publicise it in sixty-point type. Every employee, speaker,vendor, and guest should know what it is.

Ask attendees to use the hashtag
It’s not enough to pick a hashtag and tell attendees what it is. You need to ask attendees to use it, too. The “voice of God” should mention it when he/she is making announcements. Your host should exhort people to use it. Toward the end of the Moto X tour, I began my keynote with a request that people tweet that they were at the event and use the hashtag #MotoX and I waited while they tweeted. You cannot pimp your hashtag too much.
Broaden what socializing an event means
The audience for the hashtag is not only the people at the event. The audience is anyone in the world who’s interested in the product or company. Thus, a tweet such as “Not in Brasil? See this review of #MotoX to see what the excitement is all about:Motorola Moto X Review!” is appropriate. This kind of post with a high-value link is more likely to be retweeted and reshared.

Assign the socialising task to a person
There’s a lot going on at an event: audio-visual production, facilities, babysitting speakers, guest registration, food and beverage, and press coverage. If you truly want a socialised event, you need to assign someone at the event to do nothing but manage social media coverage. Expecting people to time slice at the event won’t work.
Done right, this person is the busiest person at your event. Before it, he or she will schedule promotional posts about the event. During it, she will live tweet what’s happening and take pictures and video of speakers and guests. During breaks, she will post these pictures and videos to Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as retweeting and resharing other people’s posts about the event.
After the event, she will post more pictures and videos and try to ensure people who are in these pictures and videos know that that they are so that they spread them, too. PR people from your agency cannot do this well if they are concerned with journalists and bloggers and taking care of the speakers and executives.
In the case of the Moto X launch, the founder of Pegitas, Peg Fitzpatrick ran the show for me. The social media success we achieved was simply not possible without her.
Livestream video coverage
Think of all the money that you’re spending to make the event happen. Why wouldn’t you broadcast live video coverage? Are you afraid that too many people will place orders? Get real. If you’re announcing a product in Bogota, you want a blogger in Moscow to write about it, too.
Livestreaming is obvious for a product announcement, but what if people are paying to attend your event? The fear is that people decide not to attend because they can watch for free. You could charge people to watch the livestream if that makes you feel better, but I would make the case that these people would not have attended anyway.
Also, if watching your event is as good as attending it live, you’ve got a bigger problem. I encourage to think big: livestreaming an event encourages people to attend in person the next time.
Provide real-time updates
If you’re not livestreaming video, at least have your social-media person provide blow-by-blow updates. Outfits like The Verge provide outstanding live coverage of events such as Apple announcements, so learn from what they do. This isn’t as good as livestreaming, but it’s cheaper and easier.
Display the tweet stream
There are services that display the tweets that contain a hashtag in real time. Displaying these tweets encourages more interaction and use of your hashtag. For some people this is like seeing their picture on the big display in Times Square -- they’ll find it irresistible. You can find many tools to do this by searching for “stream twitter hashtags” on Google.
There is a downside to this. First, tweets could get ugly if your speakers suck or your announcement isn’t impressive. Second, speakers must compete with the tweet stream for the attention of the audience. You can always turn off the feed if necessary.
Provide fast, free, and unprotected wireless access
If you want your event and hashtag to trend, you need to enable guests to post fast, free, and easily. Again, you’re spending a lot of money to get people to come to an event, you’re pounding the hashtag into them, and now you’re not going to make it easy to post by providing wireless access?
What alternate marketing universe are you living in?
And don’t password protect the wireless network. Are you afraid that somebody is going to host his website for five hours using your network? You should remove all the speed bumps to promoting your event. The upside of open access to a wireless network is much more social media exposure. The downside is … I can’t think of any.
Provide a place to take pictures
After the initial Moto X events, I requested an area for taking photos. The area needed good lighting and a backdrop with “Moto X” printed all over it. Think of the pictures of celebrities at the Academy Awards -- they’re standing in front of a backdrop with the Academy Award graphics.
I also learned that people will use this designated area to pose with their friends. They see the backdrop, and they think: “Let’s take a photo here to show we were at the event. Let’s pretend we’re Paris Hilton or David Beckham.” Roughly 100% of these photos get shared on social media -- hopefully, many with your hashtag. The bottom line is that every picture is a branding opportunity.
Power Tip: You can use a product such as Adobe Lightroom to watermark your photos with your logo. This means that no matter where the photo is taken, your logo will appear.

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