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Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Do Office Yoga?? 03-01

How to Do Office Yoga

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

View Shyam's contributions to wikiHow

Today's professional life in the office is notably pressured––relentless noise, constant sitting, many interruptions and urgent deadlines all lend themselves to stress and strain. While you may dream of escaping for good, a more realistic approach is to find ways to cope that ease your feelings of stress and allow you to feel happier in the workplace. And one such way of achieving this is to perform Office Yoga, a way to preserve your health and increase your inner happiness, all while at the office. Note: This article assumes that you're seated at your desk.


  1. Put your hands together. Turn the palms upward and facing outside. Then, stretch your hands comfortably over your head. Keep your hands above your head and breathe deeply several times, inhaling in and exhaling out.
  2. Stretch the right and left sides of your body. Continue to hold your hands over your head. Breathe several times, while stretching each side of your body.
  3. Continue to hold your outstretched hands above your head. Turn your spine gently several times to the right, then to the left.
  4. Lay your hands on your shoulders. Circle your elbows energetically. Feel how much good this is doing––it will help to alleviate the tension in your shoulders and neck. Make both small and large circles.
  5. Lay your hands on your legs. Stretch your head backwards, first to the right side, then to the left side. Let your head hang forward. Each time, breathe gently, inhaling in and exhaling out rhythmically.
  6. Rub your eyes and face, just gently, so that you can see clearly again. Visualize a color of healing (such as purple or blue). Visualize massaging this color from head to foot down your body.
    • What is your healing color today? Think of the name of your color as a mantra: "orange, blue, gold, pink ...".
    • Then, imagine bowing down and rubbing the ground.
  7. Put your hands in your lap. Think the mantra: "I am a Buddha (Shiva, Goddess) of the rest. I live in the rest. I go the way of rest." Then, move your hand in blessing and think: "I send light to (name). May all people be happy. May the world be happy."
  8. Rub your feet on the ground. Visualize yourself as a tree with its roots, trunk, leaves and crown. Then, think as a mantra: "Tree." Let the roots grow deep into the earth and think your mantra until you are well rooted in the earth. A little bird comes flying, sits on the tree and gives you a positive sentence. What is your bird? What does he say to you?


  • With many potential sources of stress coming at you in the workplace, a daily health and relaxation program is essential. The law of life is relentless. Who does not care for his body has not very long to gain anything from it. A well maintained car lasts twice as long as a badly treated car. A human body can live 20 to 30 years longer if it is properly fed, sufficiently relaxed and has moved well daily. The person who wants to live healthily, must first make a clear decision. Only this gives you the self-discipline for a healthy life. Clearly define your health goals and create a strong will to do the necessary things. Only then man will you have the strength to live a long healthy and positive life.Second, look closely at your life situation. Recognize what your body and mind truly need. Consider how to organize your life so that you maintain your health long-term and increase your happiness. Create a clear daily schedule of sport, relaxation and a healthy diet.Third, implement your health care plan at least two months every day consistently. That way, your mind gets used to it. The daily health practices are then part of your life.


  • Too much stress is one of the main problems of today's professional life. A person who is constantly under great stress is harming his or her health and inner happiness long-term. Stress causes us to become mentally negative, weak and if not dealt with, it will often plague the rest of our lives, inducing various diseases and poor health conditions. Every working person has a personal responsibility to do enough exercises every day for the sake of his or her body and soul. Those who do not learn to deal with stress cleverly, will quickly consume their life energy.


  Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Do Office Yoga. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Is corporate social responsibility profitable for companies? 02-28

Is corporate social responsibility profitable for companies?
By Floyd Whaley on 20 February 2013

In 2011, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter – the king of business gurus – put forward a radical proposition to global corporations.

“Businesses must reconnect company success with social progress,” he wrote in the Harvard Business Review. “Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the center.”

“We believe that it can give rise to the next major transformation of business thinking,” he boldly pronounced.

Though Porter’s idea of “shared value” was warmly embraced by the heads of some of the world’s largest corporations – all of which have active corporate social responsibility and sustainability programs – not everyone was convinced.

Larry Summers, the former U.S. treasury secretary, and a colleague of Porter’s at Harvard, was overheard at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, not longer after the announcement of the idea, asking incredulously: “Do you believe this [expletive]?”

Summer’s offhand comment captured the core argument at the root of corporate global governance efforts. There is a wide chasm between those who believe that corporate social responsibility and sustainability are integral to company profits and growth, and those who believe such efforts are public relations at best and a distraction from core activities at worst.

“These conversations about corporate social responsibility and profits are held in silos,” said Nigel Cameron, president of the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET), a Washington D.C.-based think tank that analyzes emerging trends in business and government. “The CSR people talk to the CSR people and the corporate people talk to corporate people.”

“There isn’t a connected discussion going on at a high level,” he said.

The question of whether corporate social responsibility is profitable and adds value to a company is important to the development community because the private sector has far greater resources than government aid programs. If the game-changing resources of the world’s largest corporations are put toward the tasks of poverty, climate change and other global challenges, the results could be dramatic.

Corporate social responsibility over the years has developed from a simple form of check-writing by companies to a complex set of principles that encompass nearly every interaction a company has with society.

“Corporate social responsibility encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them,” according to a definition from the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental impacts, as well as their relationships in all key spheres of influence: the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.”

Porter’s theory of “shared value” takes the concept of corporate social responsibility further. He argues that companies should use their interactions with society – and more importantly address society’s problems – to drive new business opportunities and create a source of significant untapped profits.

“The ability to address societal issues is integral to profit maximization instead of treated as outside the profit model,” Porter wrote in the Harvard Business Review article, which he co-authored with Mark Kramer, founder of the nonprofit consultancy FSG.

In the debate over the role that profits should play within the realm of corporate citizenship, the views on both sides of the issue can be stark.

Alice Korngold, a New York-based corporate social responsibility consultant to global corporations, echoes many of Porter’s basic concepts.

“There is no question that companies that are the most effective in integrating sustainability in their values and strategy will be the most successful in increasing shareholder wealth,” she said in an email interview. “Businesses that are the most innovative in finding solutions to global challenges – such as climate change and energy, economic development, education, healthcare, human rights, and protecting ecosystems – will be the most profitable.”

The opposite case has been made by Aneel Karnani, a professor of strategy at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He argues that by seeking profits and growth, companies generate employment and other benefits to society. They should focus on that task.

“The idea that companies can ‘do well by doing good’ has caught the attention of executives, business academics, and public officials,” Karnani wrote in his 2010 study “Doing Well by Doing Good: The Grand Illusion.” “This appealing proposition has convinced many people. It is also a fundamentally wrong proposition.”

“If markets are working well, there is no need to appeal to companies to fulfill some vague social responsibility,” he wrote.

As a practical matter, for those who make decisions associated with large scale investments in companies, the issue is more nuanced, according to Bharat Joshi, an investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management in Malaysia who works with a team to oversee $1.7 billion in assets.

“If you ask us strictly as an investor, the key is that the company is being responsible on the social side but at the same time they have sustainable earnings, and it does not jeopardize the operations of the business,” he said in a telephone interview.

“Companies should do CSR in a measured way, not funnel cash to a founder’s social business or charity,” he said. “It is okay to take from the bottom line if it is being done in a sustainable way. It’s healthy and investors look at it quite highly.”

Joshi noted that the relationship between profit and social responsibility is a more pressing issue in the United States, where companies place a premium on corporate social responsibility. Many large companies in other parts of the world, including Asia, need to focus on running their operations with more transparency before they try to improve the world around them.

“They must get corporate governance right, get their house in order first, before they address sustainability and social issues,” he said.

Peter Gampel, the director of business valuation at the accounting firm Fiske & Company in Florida, in the United States, noted that a company’s value is based on its tangible assets – such as it cash holdings, property and buildings – as well as its intangible assets.

“If there is a merger, we are brought into put a value on intangibles,” he said. “There are dollar amounts for patents, licenses, customer relationships, trademarks, but we don’t usually try to assess the value of a company’s social responsibility. This is not quantifiable from a numbers point of view.”

But, Gampel said, social responsibility does clearly have an impact on a company’s value and profitability. Companies that are socially responsible make their brands more attractive to consumers and are more appealing to high quality potential employees. The impact on the profits of companies that behave poorly is less clear.

The situation of Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer best known for making Apple products in China, is one of the clearest examples of the conflict between social responsibility and profit. Foxconn has been implicated in using underage workers and poor conditions at its factories have been linked to a series of employee suicides.

Despite the scandal, however, the sales of Iphone, Ipads and other Apple products produced in China have soared.

“If conditions were very dire and deplorable for the workers, consumers at some point would say maybe we shouldn’t buy this product, but I think it will take a lot to get that point,” said Gampel. “It will take a lot to get consumers to switch brand loyalty over social issues.”

The situation is similar for investors, he said. They might be concerned about social issues, but it will not easily stop them from making a profitable investment.

“I don’t think the social responsibility issues override the importance of profitability from the investors’ perspective,” he said.

The research on the relationship between profits and social responsibility is inconclusive. It indicates that large scale investors and the stock market do not clearly reward or punish a company based solely on its global corporate citizenship or sustainability efforts, though there are indicators of a slight profit benefit to doing social good.

The one thing that proponents and opponents of linking corporate social responsibility to profits agree upon is that more definitive data is needed. A key problem is how to gauge corporate global citizenship. Companies often have an inflated view of their efforts on the issue, and public relations is often inter-twined with social responsibility activities.

A 2009 working paper by the Bank of Finland looked at companies that were included or excluded in a key social responsibility ranking between 1990 and 2004, and the impact that it had on the value of their stock. The study found that stocks dropped an average 3 percent when a company was removed from a list of socially responsible companies. When a company was added to the list, its stock enjoyed a market value boost of about 2 percent.

In one of the most definitive studies on the topic, researchers from Harvard Business School, University of California and the University of Michigan reviewed 167 scholarly studies, according to a summary of their work in the report “Measuring the Value Of Corporate Philanthropy: Social Impact, Business Benefits, And Investor Returns,” produced by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

The study authors concluded that “after thirty-five years of research, the preponderance of scholarly evidence suggests a mildly positive relationship between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance and finds no indication that corporate social investments systematically decrease shareholder value.”

The research indicates that the profit link to social responsibility could be vulnerable to other company activities. For example, global corporate citizenship might indeed be profitable but exploiting workers or destroying natural resources in developing countries might be more profitable.

The relationship between social responsibility and profits has not been demonstrated to the point that it is the primary driving factor in the way large scale, mainstream investments are undertaken. But there are notable efforts to go beyond socially responsible investing and bring in the hedge funds, institutional investors and other major players.

In 2006, then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, a set of values and guidelines for sustainable investing. To date, nearly 1,000 asset owners and investment managers – including many mainstream funds – are signatories to the program. Though the effort is worthy of praise, its critics note that the principles are voluntary. Asset managers can enjoy the prestige of becoming a signatory and ignore the principles if they choose.

Another more low-key but influential effort was established by the late actor Paul Newman in 1998. The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy was created to encourage companies to commit greater resources to philanthropy. Today, its members include the CEOs of some of the top global corporations, and it funds in-depth research into topics such as the links between profitability and corporate responsibility.

Though many are having the conversation about linking core company operations and profit to social responsibility, their clearly remains a large divide in the debate.

To illustrate this point, Cameron, the president of the Washington D.C. think tank Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET), recalled a speaking engagement he had at the Planet Under Pressure conference in March 2012 in London in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

He noted that the event was billed as a premiere gathering of those interested in issues associated with climate change, but there was almost no corporate presence at the meeting. The heads of the world’s energy companies were also not in attendance.

“If the energy companies saw this discussion as part of their core mission, they would have been part of the process,” he said. “It was mostly CSR people.”

According to Cameron, the debate on whether social responsibility is profitable will not be answered by studies and research. It will be answered by the actions of the world’s largest companies those who lead them.

“For most people at the top end of the investment community, the business community, the banks, the people who push the capital markets around, corporate social responsibility is a fringe issue,” he said. “If the people at the top saw this as an issue of building long-term value, there would be a retooling of corporate resources and activities across the board. We aren’t seeing that now.”

Though the debate is far from settled over the profitability of corporate social responsibility, there is near complete agreement that corporate citizenship is no longer an option. It is now a requirement.

Corporate social responsibility is an intangible asset that in some cases is integrally linked to a company’s profits – such as Starbuck’s, which markets its coffee as beneficial to the growers who produce it. Its social responsibility in part justifies the fact that its prices are higher than a generic cup of coffee at the convenience store.

In other cases, social practices are more about risk mitigation. A chemical company might have little public profile or apparent need to address social issues, but if its waste fouls its surrounding community it will likely pay a price in litigation and government sanctions that affects its profits.

Companies around the world, and those who trade their shares and analyze their value, have recognized that corporate social responsibility has inherent value for a company. The exact dollar figure on that value may never be clearly quantified but the general trend toward greater corporate engagement in social issues is one that will have long-term impacts on the development community.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ability of brain to protect itself from damage revealed 02-26

Ability of brain to protect itself from damage revealed

NeuronThe origin of an innate ability the brain has to protect itself from damage that occurs in stroke has been explained for the first time.
The Oxford University researchers hope that harnessing this inbuilt biological mechanism, identified in rats, could help in treating stroke and preventing other neurodegenerative diseases in the future.
‘We have shown for the first time that the brain has mechanisms that it can use to protect itself and keep brain cells alive,’ says Professor Alastair Buchan, Head of the Medical Sciences Division and Dean of the Medical School at Oxford University, who led the work.
The researchers report their findings in the journal Nature Medicine and were funded by the UK Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research.
Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. Every year around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke.
It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly, and they begin to die.
‘Time is brain, and the clock has started immediately after the onset of a stroke. Cells will start to die somewhere from minutes to at most 1 or 2 hours after the stroke,’ says Professor Buchan.
This explains why treatment for stroke is so dependent on speed. The faster someone can reach hospital, be scanned and have drugs administered to dissolve any blood clot and get the blood flow re-started, the less damage to brain cells there will be.
It has also motivated a so-far unsuccessful search for ‘neuroprotectants’: drugs that can buy time and help the brain cells, or neurons, cope with damage and recover afterwards.
The Oxford University research group have now identified the first example of the brain having its own built-in form of neuroprotection, so-called ‘endogenous neuroprotection’.
They did this by going back to an observation first made over 85 years ago. It has been known since 1926 that neurons in one area of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, are able to survive being starved of oxygen, while others in a different area of the hippocampus die. But what protected that one set of cells from damage had remained a puzzle until now.‘Previous studies have focused on understanding how cells die after being depleted of oxygen and glucose. We considered a more direct approach by investigating the endogenous mechanisms that have evolved to make these cells in the hippocampus resistant,’ explains first author Dr Michalis Papadakis, Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Cerebral Ischaemia at Oxford University.
Working in rats, the researchers found that production of a specific protein called hamartin allowed the cells to survive being starved of oxygen and glucose, as would happen after a stroke.
They showed that the neurons die in the other part of the hippocampus because of a lack of the hamartin response.
The team was then able to show that stimulating production of hamartin offered greater protection for the neurons.
Professor Buchan says: ‘This is causally related to cell survival. If we block hamartin, the neurons die when blood flow is stopped. If we put hamartin back, the cells survive once more.’
Finally, the researchers were able to identify the biological pathway through which hamartin acts to enable the nerve cells to cope with damage when starved of energy and oxygen.
The group points out that knowing the natural biological mechanism that leads to neuroprotection opens up the possibility of developing drugs that mimic hamartin’s effect.
Professor Buchan says: ‘There is a great deal of work ahead if this is to be translated into the clinic, but we now have a neuroprotective strategy for the first time. Our next steps will be to see if we can find small molecule drug candidates that mimic what hamartin does and keep brain cells alive.
‘While we are focussing on stroke, neuroprotective drugs may also be of interest in other conditions that see early death of brain cells including Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease,’ he suggests.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Infographic: Which CEOs have the Most Influence According to Klout? 02-26

Infographic: Which CEOs have the Most Influence According to Klout?

Mark Fidelman, Contributor

Powered by the ability to communicate with customers, partners and suppliers without expensive third parties, CEOs are becoming adept at using social to further their own agendas. According to Reuters and Klout, the CEOs in the list below are the most influential.  Most of these CEOs are household names, but some like Lucy Marcus, Tory Johnson and Charlene Li are only known to industry insiders.

Tweets from the Top

14. Dick Costolo
27. Bob Parsons
Company: HARPO
Klout score: 92
Followers: 15 million
Company: Twitter
Klout score: 82
Followers: 1 million
Company: GoDaddy
Klout score: 78
Followers: 37,000
28. Tory Johnson
Company: News Corp.
Klout score: 91
Followers: 371,000
Company: Dell
Klout score: 82
Followers: 59,000
Company: Women for Hire
Klout score: 78
Followers: 36,000
29. Mark Pincus
Company: Virgin Group
Klout score: 90
Followers: 2.6 million
Company: Carnival Corporation
Klout score: 80
Followers: 82,000
Company: Zynga
Klout score: 78
Followers: 37,000
4. Mark Cuban
17. Dave Morin
30. Marco Arment
Company: HDNet
Klout score: 87
Followers: 1.4 million
Company: Path
Klout score: 80
Followers: 344,000
Company: Instapaper
Klout score: 78
Followers: 49,000
5. Jack Dorsey
18. Jeff Weiner
31. Pete Cashmore
Company: Square
Klout score: 85
Followers: 2.1 million
Company: LinkedIn
Klout score: 80
Followers: 23,000
Company: Mashable
Klout score: 78
Followers: 44,000
6. Kevin Rose
19. Scott Heiferman
32. Chad Hurley
Company: Milk
Klout score: 85
Followers: 1.3 million
Company: Meetup
Klout score: 80
Followers: 16,700
Company: Delicious
Klout score: 77
Followers: 453,000
7. Steve Case
20. Daniel Elk
33. Andrew Mason
Company: Revolution LLC
Klout score: 85
Followers: 547,000
Company: Spotify
Klout score: 79
Followers: 29,000
Company: Groupon
Klout score: 76
Followers: 27,000
8. Steve Forbes
21. Drew Houston
34. Jason Calacanis
Company: Forbes Media
Klout score: 84
Followers: 48,000
Company: Dropbox
Klout score: 79
Followers: 20,000
Company: Mahalo
Klout score: 76
Followers: 159,000
9. Tim O’Reilly
22. Michelle Rhee
35. Angela Ahrendts
Company: O’Reilly Media
Klout score: 83
Followers: 1.6 million
Company: StudentsFirst
Klout score: 79
Followers: 41,000
Company: Burberry
Klout score: 75
Followers: 14,000
10. Dennis Crowley
36. Sumaya Kazi
Company: Foursquare
Klout score: 83
Followers: 55,000
Company: Tumblr
Klout score: 79
Followers: 28,000
Company: Sumazi
Klout score: 74
Followers: 26,000
11. Mark Benioff
24. Richard Rosenblatt
37. Lucy P. Marcus
Company: SalesForce
Klout score: 83
Company: Demand Media
Klout score: 79
Followers: 102,900
Company: Marcus Venture Consulting
Klout score: 73
Followers: 12,000
12. Jonah Peretti
25. Stephen Elop
38. Jason Fried
Company: Buzzfeed
Klout score: 82
Followers: 22,000
Company: Nokia
Klout score: 79
Followers: 34,000
Company: 37signals
Klout score: 72
Followers: 98,000
13. Esther Dyson
26. Charlene Li
39. Jon Oringer
Company: EDventure Holdings (Dyson sold her company in 2004 but remains high on the list)
Klout score: 82
Followers: 35,000
Company: Altimeter Group
Klout score: 78
Followers: 78,000
Company: Shutterstock
Klout score: 71
Followers: 9,500
40. Chad Dickerson
Company: Etsy
Klout score: 71
Followers: 7,000