Thursday, April 30, 2009

BusinessVictoria's Find a Grant System & Angel Investors

BusinessVictoria's Find a Grant System may be accessed here.

Angel Investors: Looking for opportunities

Company bright sparks on rise as individuals fall

Company bright sparks on rise as individuals fall
Philip Hopkins
February 21, 2009.

MOST inventions in Australia sell for $100,000 to $500,000, but don't reach the stage of mass production or export, according to an industry expert.

Read full story here.

Uniquest is hiring!

Senior Project Coordinator

– International Development Assistance

UniQuest Pty Limited is one of Australia’s leading commercialisation and consulting companies and is based at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus. UniQuest’s International Projects Division is a consultancy and project management group specialising in the design and delivery of overseas development projects. Our core sectors are governance, education and training, community and private sector development, natural resource management and rural development, and ICT for development. In the last decade, we have delivered more than 200 projects in almost 40 countries throughout Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, South-East Asia and the Indian sub-continent.

We seek a Brisbane-based Senior Project Coordinator to join the team, to ensure projects in the Education and ICT sectors run smoothly. The role involves project management, reporting and logistics, client and sub-consultant liaison, invoicing and payments, and editing and proofing project reports. In addition there will be opportunities to participate in-country on our Education Management Information System Projects. Furthermore, you will help us win new business by coordinating and providing inputs to new project proposals.

Our ideal candidate has relevant in-country experience in the areas of information management, capacity building, education sector monitoring and evaluation, and/or information systems development. Prior experience in these areas with a similar international development organisation, relevant tertiary qualifications, an ability to cope with the pressure of deadlines, excellent writing skills and a strong interest in international development will ensure your success in this role.

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to Enquiries may be directed to Jennifer Howe, Manager of Human Resources on 07 3365 4037.

Uniquest Case Studies

Uniquest Case Studies: Provide examples of consulting, testing and research and development projects.

bluebox is hiring!

Commercialisation Managers (two full-time positions)
Be part of a small dynamic team in a developing technology commercialisation company.

qutbluebox Pty Ltd (bluebox) is the technology transfer and commercialisation company of Queensland University of Technology. It was established to identify and commercialise promising research outcomes developed at QUT, and works with QUT’s staff and students in all disciplines and across multiple campuses.

We are seeking two highly motivated professionals to build relationships with key researchers, identify new commercialisation opportunities, add value to existing projects and deliver commercial outcomes via IP protection, licensing, proof-of-concept funding and startup companies as appropriate.

Reporting to the General Manager (Life Sciences) or the General Manager (Physical Sciences), you will be responsible for the identification, evaluation and management of research outcomes; internal and external relationship management; development of new business opportunities; development of commercialisation strategies, and education of QUT staff and students regarding intellectual property matters.

These roles will suit dynamic self-starters with the technical and commercial experience and credibility to engage and develop strong relationships with a range of senior internal and external stakeholders. The ability to prioritise and manage concurrent projects and activities is essential.

Minimum requirements:

A PhD or Masters degree in either:
a life sciences discipline, or
an engineering, IT or other scientific discipline
Strong analytical skills and ability to rapidly acquire an understanding of complex subject matter
Experience in managing technology-based projects
Commercial negotiation and business development experience
Excellent communication and relationship building skills
Formal business qualifications or progress towards would be highly regarded.
A competitive salary package, including bonus plan, will be negotiated with the successful applicants.

To apply for either position, please send your CV with a cover letter to: by Monday 11 May 2009.

For further information, please telephone Colin Kinner (GM Physical Sciences) or Dr Nirdosh Puri (GM Life Sciences) on (07) 3138 9420.

Australia's CSIRO wins big Wi-Fi patent battle

Australia's CSIRO wins big Wi-Fi patent battle
by Rich Bowden - Apr 23 2009
(The Tech Herald)

Australia's government science agency, the Commonwealth, Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has claimed an important victory in the ongoing patent battle concerning the use of its wireless technology.

"CSIRO has negotiated [a] settlement with each of the 14 companies involved in four concurrent litigation cases. The commercial terms of the settlements with these companies will remain confidential," it said in a statement.

The CSIRO has struck gold with expected benefits of up to $1 billion after a court in Texas finalised the compensation when the remaining 14 companies utilising the technology in videogame consoles, wireless equipment, mobile phones and other technology, agreed to settle.

The CSIRO has previously settled payments with other users in out-of-court arrangements.

"We are very pleased with the outcome in financial terms," said deputy chief executive of operations Mike Whelan about the case, of which news only filtered through today.

"In aggregate, it will present the largest amount from IP [intellectual property] that this organisation has ever earned," he added.

The companies CSIRO took to the Texas court include some of the giants of the technology industry, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Dell, Toshiba, ASUS, Microsoft and Nintendo, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Some of the companies agreed to settle before the judgement was handed down.

According to Mr Whelan, the payments include one-off compensation payments, agreements to pay ongoing royalties, and a combination of the two, reported the Herald.

"We are going to reinvest the proceeds into further research," he said.

Alex Zelinksy, the CSIRO's group executive of information and communication sciences and technology, said he was delighted with the outcome.

"This is a huge result for Australia as Australian property rights have been protected," he said. "I have enormous respect for the US system of IP protection; we are a foreign entity claiming infringement of property yet they have respected our claim."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

U.S. Loses a Trade Case Over Japanese Steel Imports

U.S. Loses a Trade Case Over Japanese Steel Imports
(New York Times – The Associated Press)

The World Trade Organization ruled against the United States on Friday in a trade case, saying that it continued to apply illegal import duties on Japanese steel products and ball bearings. The 65-page verdict said that Washington had failed to change how it sets fees for goods it suspects are being sold in the United States at below-market value, despite previous rulings that the United States was violating international trade rules.

If there is no appeal, Japan can ask the global trade body to authorize sanctions against American goods to force compliance. It said last year that the fees were costing Japanese industry $248.5 million each year.

The office of the United States trade representative had no comment.

The United States has lost similar disputes with the European Union, Canada and others over how it determines antidumping fees for foreign goods. Governments investigate dumping when they suspect foreign producers are exporting goods at artificially low prices – usually as a result of subsidies or in an attempt to corner a market. WTO panels have consistently found that the United States overestimates how far below market value imports are, and as a result penalizes them with antidumping duties that are too high.

Container Volumes Continue to Decline in China, the U.S. and Europe

Container Volumes Continue to Decline in China, the U.S. and Europe
(eye for transport)

Container throughput at various ports continues to decline, with only three of China's Top 10 ports showing a negligible increase in volumes.

China's biggest port in terms of volumes – Shanghai – handled 5.61 million TEU in the period January-March 2009, down 15% compared with same period last year.

Throughput for Shenzhen (3.88 million TEU) and Guagngzhou (2.15 million TEU) were down 21% and 24% respectively.

Ningbo-Zhoushan, Xiamen, Dalian and Lianyungang also reported volumes declines of between 2% and 10%, although volumes for Qingdao, Tianjin and Yingkou were up 2%, 1% and 9% respectively compared with the first three months of 2008.

By comparison, the Port of Los Angeles handled 1.53 million TEU in the first quarter of this year, down 17.43%.

The Port of Rotterdam handled 2.25 million TEU in Q1 2009, down 16% compared with 2.68 million TEU during the same period last year, and the Port of Antwerp handled 1.74 million TEU, down 16.3% from 2.07 million TEU in Q1 2008.

Hans Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, says that throughput is expected to decline by between 6% and 10% for the whole year.

Antwerp Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx says the volume decline is in line with forecasts announced at the beginning of the year, and total container volume for 2009 is expected to drop by up to 20%.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Canada Needs Bigger Profile Abroad: Provinces

Canada Needs Bigger Profile Abroad: Provinces
(CKTB-FM – Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press)

The Harper government needs to beef up Canada's profile overseas if it wants to stimulate more trade and create jobs, say provincial trade ministers. The ministers were meeting with their federal counterpart, Stockwell Day, on Thursday to discuss strategies to help exporters and investors during the economic downturn.

One of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's priorities when he took office was bolstering Canada's presence on the world stage. But some provinces – as well as retired diplomats and former Conservative Trade Minister David Emerson – have been critical of his cuts to the Foreign Affairs Department. In particular, budget reductions in diplomacy and closures of Canadian missions abroad have been condemned as short-sighted. The latest closures, revealed this week, are slated for Cambodia and Bosnia.

Meanwhile, the United States has been pouring more resources into its international profile, as has the United Kingdom and Australia.

Ontario Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello complimented Day for his "activist agenda," saying he took the trade portfolio in the right direction with an aggressive travel schedule that has taken him to China and India for long sojourns.

Harper has not visited India, China or Brazil – the world's biggest emerging markets – since taking office three years ago.

"In our experiences abroad, we are given a clear message by leadership in other countries that they do want to see Canada," Pupatello told reporters. "And while they really do appreciate provincial intervention, they really anticipate seeing ministers and the prime minister."

Ron Stevens, Alberta's minister of international and intergovernmental relations, also praised Day's efforts, but stressed that it's only a beginning. "What we have to do as a trading nation is build upon what we have today, and in many of these countries people like Mr. Day are actually pretty respected," Stevens said.

"It's something that you have to tell people back home because, in truth, it is elected representatives that speak on behalf of countries. While a great job has been done in recent months, more has to be done to build upon what we have." Stevens noted that the western provinces were taking matters into their own hands by organizing their own trade missions to places like China and India.

Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien regularly led trade missions abroad with provincial premiers in tow as part of his Team Canada trips. Stevens said he would support the reintroduction of such missions, as long as they weren't just "photo-ops" with little strategic thought behind them.

The federal government is working to finalize new free-trade agreements with Peru and Colombia, and is in talks with the Caribbean community, Panama, the Dominican Republic and four Central American countries. Harper pressed his free trade goals during the Summit of the Americas last weekend.

There are also discussions underway with the European Union. "There's some final details that have to be worked out. We're hoping to make an announcement soon related to formal negotiations," Day said.

Day said he urged the provincial and territorial ministers to deal directly with American governors in neighbouring states to try and combat any signs of protectionism head-on. While Washington has committed to respecting NAFTA in its recent stimulus package, state and local governments are free to pursue "Buy American" measures when dealing with procurement contracts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Acadia and Wolfville Promo

Costello in Korea: Knowledge Transfer Research Market Analysis

Costello in Korea: Knowledge Transfer Research Market Analysis

1. What is the domain (or domains) of knowledge transfer to which your research most clearly applies? What features of your research locate it in this domain?

PUBLIC DOMAIN: My research conducted for coursework requirements over the last five years has been readily posted to my blog site as an attempt to share these resources with other students and/or readers interested in my field(s) of studies. It is made available freely as evidence of continued efforts for possible private domain employment and no income from its use is directly generated by me. A recent controversy in Korea surrounding a local blogger code-named Minerva implicates dilemmas concerning free access to information which the government deems harmful to the national economy. My awareness of this case moderates my blog publishing activities however the issue is often overlooked in the case of expatriates who are often singled out by the Korean press when they make unfavorable comments about Korea or Korean culture. I feel my blog represents a more global perspective on international business and thus attract little if any negative attention. By contrast readers of my blog may be so confounded by its seeming irrelevance to the average reader that my efforts at contributing to knowledge diffusion are somewhat ineffectual.

PRIVATE DOMAIN: Any associated contractual research or knowledge production I have conducted or may conduct on a fees-based level remains the IP of the principle buyer and resides in the private domain. This research would not be publically posted by me and might even fall under rules of nondisclosure. For example I am not in some cases permitted even to reveal the employers of my private domain research. This would be in terms of publications where perhaps even my identity is not disclosed.

2. Given the knowledge transfer domain(s) in which you are working, what avenues for commercialisation are possible for your research. Why?

AVENUES: These include knowledge production reports, case studies, desk and interviews based research papers to fulfill policy proposals for key stakeholders in government, non-profit or business at this time. Contract research and consultancy opportunities exist in Korea either through local agents or foreign government or business research requirements often on a haphazard scale. For example, my last research proposal was generated by a contract lead enquiry in Germany who happened to search and found my profile listing consultancy offers of availability. His hometown is Wollongong so my studies there reassured him of my competency. Previous to this an agent in the UK unaccustomed to regional research contacts connected with me through a CV posting page on the UK Embassy in Korea website.

3. Does a particular market, or set of market segments, stand out as a potential consumer/purchaser of your research product or service? What characteristics differentiate this market from others?

I am particularly aware of a number of government agencies in Canada which may perhaps seek my services in contractual research projects focusing on Canada-Korea free trade issues while here in Korea in the near future. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has had a challenging time with its negotiations possibly due to an exclusive Korea desk operation preferring to handle its affairs in Korea jointly with those in Japan through a regional north-east Asia desk located in Tokyo. I am making myself known to them slowly as there are many factors in Canada's political economic milieu which discourages actual field based contributions to policy development.

As well, research projects through the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a government sponsored non-profit located in Vancouver are endeavoring to increase awareness of Canada's expatriate contributions to its economic success. I have indicated willingness to participate in their projects. Through the Forum for International Trade Training in Canada a national certification agency for international trade learning I have made critical assessments of evaluation strategies and was satisfied to see new openings in international trade training evaluation specialization quickly following my suggestions. Is it mere coincidence? Perhaps. A similar series of suggestions made to government officials may have resulted in a decision to open the Virtual Trade Commissioner Service in 2003.

CANADA: Highly competitive with many resident experts on international trade. As of yet, no real offers for contractual research assignments however my search for them has only actually begun.

KOREA: Highly competitive yet with perhaps fewer expatriate experts on international trade. My developing association with the Korea Institute of Management Evaluation may lead to some interesting networking opportunities in the field of innovative and incubated start-up businesses either directly producing or developing new technologies and services. My role will be as a quality evaluator for the purpose of generating comparative data for annual global innovation awards in conjunction with KIME, The Seoul Economic Daily and government funded sponsorship. These efforts may lead to consulting opportunities.

AUSTRALIA: Highly competitive with many resident experts on international trade. I am less familiar with Australia's Korean market-based knowledge production needs but hope to gain some competencies ongoing through this course.

4. Are particular elements of the model for small business financial structure (provided) likely to be more challenging to quantify than others? How might you go about addressing this challenge?

While reading snippets of The Bootstrapper’s Bible I recall the teachings of Dr. Jack Sheriff, my favourite English Literature Professor at Acadia. He instilled the concept that one's business must be self-sufficient enough to fit in a briefcase and thanks in no small part to this I am endeavoring to make my value as a contractual market researcher as cost effective as possible. I want and need to be in the right places at the right times with the right skills needed. Through association with KIME my Korean local distribution may be fairly inexpensive, and advertising will also be free, while my local presence now entering its thirteenth year may provide me with the relationship development equity which may penetrate otherwise difficult to access government contracts-based employment opportunities usually off-limits to expatriates. This will also increase my local equity as well as global usefulness to either Canadian or Australian-based projects. As a freelancer with full-time employment my financial structure is quite simple. I have no overhead. However it is a gray area for income tax purposes as contractual research conducted in country and paid for outside of it is considered non-taxable income for a resident expatriate as it registers no local employment. The value chain is: zero marketing and product development costs, no variable expenses, while at the same time no known or estimated revenue however no debts, access to credit, and combined assets. However these would not fit in the briefcase. Reliance on the balanced score card approach to finance may fully apply in later years when (or if) I reach a stage when consulting might sustain my income without an alternate full-time employment.


Godin, Seth (2004), The Bootstrapper's Bible, ChangeThis [Accessed: April 24, 2009]

Gascoigne, Toss, and Metcalfe, Jenni (2005), Commercialisation of Research Activities in the Humanities, Arts And Social Sciences in Australia, Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Dept of Education, Science and Training, Canberra

Howard, John (2005), The Emerging Business of Knowledge Transfer: Creating Value from Intellectual Products or Services, Dept of Education, Science and Training, Canberra

Choe, Sang Hun (2009), "South Korea Frees Blogger Who Angered Government," April 20, 2009, The New York Times, The New York Times Company, New York [Accessed: April 24, 2009]

Wright, C (2003) Promoting Demand, Gaining Legitimacy, and Broadening Expertise: The Evolution of Consultancy-Client Relationships in Australia, Kipping, M. and Engwall, L. (Eds.) Management Consulting: Emergence and Dynamics of A Knowledge Industry, pp. 184-202, Oxford, Oxford University Press

UAE, S.Korea sign MoU

UAE, S.Korea sign MoU

Apr 23, 2009 - 06:35 -

WAM ABU DHABI, Apr. 23rd, 2009: The United Arab Emirates and South Korea on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a mechanism for political consultations and coordination on regional and international issues of common concern.

The MoU was signed in Abu Dhabi by Assistant Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the UAE Foreign Ministry Dr Tareq al-Haidan and South Korean Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Yong-Joon.

Representatives of UAE and South Korea will hold talks and consultations on a regular basis in Seoul and Abu Dhabi.

At the first of such meetings which was already held today in Abu Dhabi following the signing ceremony, the two sides stressed the keen desire of both countries to further promote relations and cooperation in various fields.

In particular, the UAE and South Korean officials underscored stronger economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries.

Trade between the UAE and South Korea reached US$ 25 billion in 2008.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Financial Points Pondered...

Financial Points Pondered...

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business. Henry Ford

It is a paradox that Ford's own innovation, the assembly line process of production, has been replicated the world over while consistently improved and with the balanced score card approach (remarkably similar to Shewart's and W. Edwards Deming's PDCA Cycle) has not been actively implemented into the present at Ford, Chrysler or GM.

After a certain point money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts. Aristotle Onassis

It would be nice to be so meaninglessly rich? Imagine the games being played in the ghettos and barrios of any of the world's poorest cities and one might wonder if the game is only affordable if you are rich already? The year after I completed my MIB I spent reading and idyling in the salmon rich riverside village of Yang Yang (while paying for it) on Korea's east coast where I happened to pick up a few copies of Herando De Soto's books on the role of governmental regulatory growth impediments and the continued poverty of the world's urban poor.

He claims that most poor people can be described as entrepreneurs without the capital to start their own businesses. You can read a summary of his thoughts in this interview. Mainly he claims extralegal businesses exist on an outrageously huge scale due to exceedingly rapid growth in urban populations where multinational foreign direct investments themselves 15 to 20 times higher in the last twenty years than over the last century do not even begin to compare to the untaxed, off the books unregulated business growth concurrent and present in every developing country but not enclosed regulated or calculated in world trade.

So financial considerations may be considered a luxury of a well regulated business environment. De Soto's books The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital still make good reading twenty years on and are perhaps highly applicable discussions on this topic of finance drivers.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery. Charles Dickens

Are poorer people happier people? My grandmother used to say, "If you can pay your bills you are rich." She had grown up through The Great Depression in a subsistence farming village in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Other villages not so very far away were given pet names like "Stove Pipe City" where entire farm labourer families would cower around a wood stove in one room shacks through the winters.

If ever again our nation stumbles upon unfunded paper, it shall surely be like death to our body politic. This country will crash. George Washington

This reminds me of Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor, a well written history of financial speculation up to the bubble which reminds a reader that the current financial crisis is one in a long line however its greatest/greater scale is in line with Tom Friedman's claims in Lexus and the Olive Tree that globalization would inflict greater and more frequent financial crises on the world.

If you can grasp the idea that money is not real, you will grow rich faster. Robert T. Kiyosaki

Well, it is an intangible asset to be sure highly affected by perceived value.

Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money. W. J. Cameron

I would agree a good idea should sell itself.

The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers. Sir John Egan

This agrees with the balanced score card approach.

The buck stops with the guy who signs the cheques. Rupert Murdoch

In that case it doesn't matter how good your idea is if you displease the latest Chinese Communist Party leader your cable or satellite TV stations might just get blocked.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. Warren Buffett

One man's trash is another man's treasure? GM was a cash cow up to a couple of years ago. Milked dry of value. Wonder if Coca Cola will be next?

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. Albert Einstein

I agree with this as far as quarks, quanta, dark matter, and the stars in the night sky. However I believe entrepreneurs find a niche and exploit it much as in Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction one product's life cycle is heavily influenced by its ability to be replicated, replaced or reduced in value by other products.

There is one and only one responsibility of business - to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game. Milton Friedman

This liberal free market laissez-faire approach is well known at present. However I tend to think creative destruction plays a larger role than competitive advantage and as far as satisfying share holder values there are quite a number of irrate and disillusioned shareholders in the world right now who might question the responsibility of derivatives markets managers at this time.

In a knowledge economy, a good business is a community with a purpose, not a piece of property. Charles Handy

Is this man a Communist?

Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes it obstructs your vision. Hsi-Tang Chih Tsang

Don't let greed blind you. Money is not everything.

The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated. Henry Louis Mencken

All I could think of here is: "In the four decades of philanthropy that have paralleled my business career, I’ve found that the same principles apply whether you’re providing access to capital to grow a business, creating a new paradigm for medical research, or pioneering innovative approaches to education: Empower the most talented people in each field and encourage them to pursue their passions." Michael Milken (Infamous Junk Bondsman turned Philanthropist)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ode to Sun Dan Dong Village

Dedicated to the Village of Sun Dan Dong.

SOUTH KOREA: Trouble brewing at Ssangyong

SOUTH KOREA: Trouble brewing at Ssangyong
14 April 2009 | Source: editorial team

The labour union at Ssangyong has, as expected, said that its members have overwhelmingly approved a proposed strike against mass layoffs.

The Ssangyong union said that 86.1% of 5,025 unionised workers (total workforce is 7,100) supported the strike call. A walkout would complicate Ssangyong's bid to turn itself around.

"As the strike action was endorsed, we will thwart the restructuring plan by all means," a union official told Yonhap.

The union will hold a press conference on Wednesday to announce details of the strike, the official said.

Ssangyong said last week it would axe 2,646 jobs, or 37 percent of its total workforce, to ensure creditors of its viability.

Next month a bankruptcy judge at the Seoul Central District Court will meet creditors of Ssangyong and its debt holders to decide on the viability of the company.

Commentary: It is unfortunate that between union workers and management a better product cannot be designed and produced to save this company?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Barriers to Knowledge Transfer

Barriers to Knowledge Transfer

Any of W. Edwards Deming's books relates the cultural differences at the organisational level of any businesses in comparison of American versus Japanese management principles and especially the "bottom up" versus "top down" orientation to knowledge transfer.

It is a great paradox that an American statistician, also an accomplished musical composer, introduced quality management techniques in Japan to market-oriented research and production (production came first!) where it had previously only ever been applied in the areas of mechanisation and machinery of weaponry and armourments. At the same time Americans basically ignored his principles of management and only began to implement them albeit often at a perhaps superficial level during the early 1980s when Japanese global growth of exports began to seriously impact US corporations.

The idea of quality circles as described in Plakalo often does not sustain itself over the long-term in many western corporations where it gets implemented as it often becomes vestigial and toothless. Powerless people become listless and at times emotionally non-responsive (I'm thinking of Office Space).

Rene Cormier a Canadian employee engagement specialist describes the problem as significant indeed as identified by Gallup in the US:

According to extensive studies conducted by Gallup Management Journal, only 29% of employees are engaged in their work. 54% are disengaged (mentally checked out) and 17% are actively disengaged (sabotaging the efforts of their co-workers). What’s more, Gallup has determined that the only source of this problem of employee disengagement is bad managers!

Your Greatest Competitive Advantage

A cool Deming inspired map useful for business planning perhaps?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Brief Example of Art Work Valuation as "Value Proposition"

Brief Example of Art Work Valuation as "Value Proposition"

Are you enquiring about paintings for example? This I can answer specifically regarding the work of Robert Genn who has many fans in Canada. His style is reminiscent of Group of Seven or post-modern landscape and figural art which increasingly commands higher auction prices at houses like Heffel's.

In terms of valuation, Genn may be seen to observe very strict control over pricing and distribution of original annual sales through a limited number of direct sales agents. This prevents his "brand image" from being weakened. The reason I would refer "Robert Genn" as a reliable example of artwork "value proposition" is that in my modest knowledge he is the only Canadian artist with such a well defined distribution network.

His original paintings range in price from 10-20 CAD dollars per square inch.

His target customers range from individual buyers more likely to purchase fewer and smaller works but also more likely to be charged higher rates per square inch. While a second target customer, corporate buyers, purchase paintings above 30x30 inches taking advantage of distinctive corporate tax savings offered as incentives to purchase Canadian artwork by the government. Also large sculptural works in Canada are heavily incentivised by government rebate programs for new urban and commercial architectural projects.

As for myself the best proposal I have ever seen for research data was 25 CAD dollars per square inch ~ unsubsidized.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Translation of Concept into Value Proposition

Translation of Concept into Value Proposition

I would assume most researchers are working within complex organizational environments as this illustration relates where a lack of clear consensus on the topic of methodology or agreed business models to promote their concepts could create a situation such as is described by this brief article on consumer options. Australia as is Canada represents a socio-economic environment which may be described as risk averse. The result of too many options further increases aversion to risk as described by Barry Schwartz in "The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less" (Ecco, 2004). Similarly a tendency towards making decisions without fully investigating alternatives or choices may then be imposed upon research projects themselves as a reaction to an incapacity to adequately address a diversity of opinions and alternatives which turns the collaboration into a series of power and position-based struggles as in Flyvbjerg’s, “Bringing Power to Planning Research: One Researcher’s Praxis Story” (2002)

It appears many research oriented business plans rely upon Michael Porter’s value chain approach in determining their business models and companies like Dell Computers further demonstrate the extensive differentiating strategic development which is required to produce a plan structurally and competitively different from perhaps every other plan also based on the same thirty year old book “Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors.” (The Free Press, 1980) Morris, Schindehutte and Allen (2003) describe a few of the most common value drivers essential to a functional business model again demonstrating a lack of progressive and agreed development of business modeling research itself since Porter. These most common components consist of:

1.A value offering: Listed as the basis of Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction which is at odds with the theory of competitive advantage nevertheless, a combination of resources which uniquely result in innovations.

2. A sound economic model: These must include reasonable expectations for growth, profit and value creation. A return on investment must appear attractive enough to develop the product value.

3.Customer relationship: Internally and externally the value proposition must meet needs and satisfy downstream customers. For example, if the researchers provide a value proposition which does not integrate with other already functioning propositions in design or parts assembly at a factory the newly acquired product will not fit current needs. The same for knowledge based propositions. If for example I need a recipe for a Boston Crème Donut giving me Coconut Crème will not do it.

4.Partnerships Network: This would be reflexively informative as partners may easily and quickly be able to provide information regarding current customer-based needs however the larger the network conversely perhaps the more risk-averse to value proposition development may occur. The same kind of indecisiveness and challenges may perhaps be observed in large networks as in consumer selection.

5.Internal infrastructure: Korean academics for example represent a large level of variation in exposure to and acceptance of global business management processes which filters into their applied research and thus in the business environment of the nation. A book like Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg (1998) demonstrates that various institutions continue to operate in various historical methods of organizational management. Perhaps even in Australia. Recognition of perhaps disparate methods of decision making must be applied to internal infrastructural co-development of knowledge value drivers. Researchers Beim and Caswell first suggest in “A value network model for strategic analysis” (2008) that many organizations are mismatching knowledge value first-tier or immediate customers rather than end consumers or the overall market segment perhaps out of a lack of agreed evaluation models.

6.Well targeted markets: Beim and Caswell’s second suggestion relates directly to commercialization principles themselves with regard to financing. They recommend a focus on separating the knowledge valuation and the financing of the project which supports open source and web- based network assimilations rather than immediate profits. This would suggest that research business planning should focus on first developing co-research collaborations as the target market however often perceived as oriented to the first-tier consumer rather than the end. A metaphorical approach would suggest that the research business planning model would attempt to localize independent researchers into nodes or proverbial “electrons around a nucleic and agreed” end consumer product. This would then implicate higher rates of co-patents and/or co-authored research. Co-evolutionary research suggests that this would lead to higher levels of successful innovation as in Baba’s, Shichijo’s and Sedita’s Pasteur Scientists approach in “How do collaborations with universities affect firms’ innovative performance?”

Mintzberg, H. (1998) Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management

Porter, M.E. (1980) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. (The Free Press)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

KIC Positions in IB

Position: Full-Time Lecturer (Non-Tenure Track / Tenure Track)
Salary: Competitive compensation (commensurate to rank, experience and qualifications), plus housing
Institution: Keimyung International College (KIC), Keimyung University
Location: Daegu, South Korea
Application deadline: November 15, 2009 (for the 2010 March)

Keimyung University, founded in 1954 to provide Christian higher education just after the Korean War, is a well-established academic institution in Daegu, South Korea. The current student population is in excess of 26,000 and is the 9th largest University in the South Korea. Keimyung International College (KIC) is a new and unique program of Keimyung University opened in 2006 to offer International Business, International Relations and MS Information Technology to both Korean and international students. All courses in KIC are taught in English by international faculties. KIC is in a rapid growth mode and is seeking new faculty members.

Required Qualifications
Candidates must have Ph.D. or be ABD in one of the following areas: Marketing, Finance, Accounting, and Management. Candidates must be committed to excellence in teaching, able to complement existing faculty, and committed to supervising and advising students.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for teaching 9 hours (Tenure Track) or 12 hours a week (Non-Tenure Track), evaluation, administration.

Salary and Housing
The successful candidate will be paid minimum of US$70,000 per year (negotiable). We also offer free housing (on- or off-campus excluding utility), round trip economy airfare, medical insurance, and pension.

Application Procedure
Submit the required documentation below to the contact address (prints by airmail or scanned files by an e-mail). Finalist(s) will be individually informed of their selection for formal interviews.

Required Documentation - Curriculum Vitae with a recent photo
- Diplomas (for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D.)
- Transcripts (of final diploma courses)
- Certification for teaching/ research career (to provide evidence from previous experience of teaching and research career)
- Enveloped references of department chair/ dean of college to which you belong
- A photocopy of passport

 Applicants may send their CV first by email or by fax.
 Finalists will be required to submit the original copies of the above documentation and other relevant materials (e.g. Diplomas, PhD dissertation, career certificates, and others)

Contact Information
Email: Dr. Jinha Kim(Associate Dean) –
Ms. Young-Wook Woo (Administrative Coordinator) –
Phone: 82-53-580-6510, 6503 Fax: 82-53-580-6505
Address: Keimyung International College, Keimyung University
2800 Dalgubeoldaero, Dalseo-Gu, Daegu, Korea 704-701
Information about Keimyung University can be found at and about Keimyung International College at

Friday, April 03, 2009

Karsh 100 in Seoul until May 8th

Karsh One-Hundred
Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Arts Center
Through May 8, 2009

"A deep-seated something about you is hidden far away. Maybe so far that you can’t even reach it yourself. But you know it as your friend, as your essence and it has shaped you into the image that you have become to the world.

Photographer Yousuf Karsh saw his job as something of a unique nature. He was a seeker of “essence”; his assignment was to capture the unknown as well as the famous in a snaphot that left the world a visual depiction to take in.

Karsh’s works are irreplaceable; some of the most recognized images of famous men and women of the 20th century. His subjects included Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Dwight Eisenhower, Humphrey Bogart, Jacques Cousteau, Hellen Keller, Fidel Castro, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Jaqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.

Among the 100 Karsh images currently on display at Hangaram Art Museum, 70 are on loan from the collection held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. These shots honor the 100th anniversary of Karsh’s birth. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 93. His known works amount to 15,312 images.

Born on December 23, 1908, in the city of Mardin, modern-day Turkey, Karsh grew up during the brutality of the Armenian Genocide. His family fled to Syria and two years later sent him to live with an uncle in Quebec when he was 16. He learned the art of the camera from his photographer uncle. Displaying a gift, he became an understudy of John Garo in Boston. Upon his return to Canada, he took up formal studies in Ottawa. A meeting with then Prime Minister Mackenzie King won him the chance to start a network among members of high society and the privilege of making their images. Images the world now views as these people themselves.

The vast majority of Karsh’s photos remain in black-and-white, though a handful of people were cast in color such as Italian actress Sophia Loren. On display you will also find an interesting collection of Korean figures taken by local photographers, such as Lim Eung-sik, Yuk Myung-sim, Park Sang-hoon, Lim Young Kyun and Kim Dong-wook.

Getting there: Take Line 3 to Nambu Bus Terminal Station and transfer to one of the small green shuttle buses outside Exit 5.

For more information please refer to:"
Hangaram Art Museum

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Phronesis: Early Knowledge Transfer Casualty

Phronesis: Early Knowledge Transfer Casualty

A combination of implicit and explicit knowledge is being transferred according to Howard and I focus my skills in commercialization in the realms of building and managing knowledge relationships. The means and modality define competitive success if we agree “knowledge is power” or the right combinations of useful information must be collated to provide newer and better insights into future scenarios planning.

For example the questionable ethics of tacit knowledge are evident in our current global fiscal recession and reminds me very much of the dangers of rampant community-oriented nepotism and cognitive dissonance or acting or proceeding in accordance with a group regardless of ethical dilemma. Many perceive executives to possess an excessive advantage in terms of golden parachutes as described by the annoying Max Keiser. It appears even KPMG is not immune from ethical disputes as exemplified by Wall Street Journal’s recent article concerning New Century Financial Corporation. Again in Zhan, we may be relying too heavily on poorly foundational pillars of perceived ethical standards with reference to Andersen Consulting whose explicit knowledge management systems did not prevent or discourage moral hazard in the case of Enron. For many businesses ethics management appears not profitable unless it is a case of hindsight.

As regarding Aristotle I am really more interested in what Socrates may have had to say about ethics however sadly he was too despised to be permitted any remaining works or perhaps all of his explicit writing were simply stolen by his students who outlived him. Had he not been forced to drink Hemlock perhaps he might have chosen to author his own texts in his twilight years?

I seek to focus on explicit to explicit knowledge transfer in combination with reference to Nonaka and Takeuchi while reserving implicit knowledge in the form of non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements mostly because I believe little knowledge is actually known only to me and I rarely feel as if I possess my own thoughts as a product of culture and community have assisted my filter in defining individual thought as according to Edward T. Hall in The Silent Language.

What an interesting sidebar – Phronesis which recalls a few of my own studies in Roman Art, Archeology and Culture. I believe it has merit and relevance to this discussion thus include this discourse in its entirety on my blog.

The Library of Celsus at Epeheus illustrates that Greek ethics have early remained culturally unrefined; ethics indeed was omitted from our cultural lexicon of transferred Greek values and knowledge. Built in 117 AD The Library of Celsus, the largest of its kind prior to that at Alexandria demonstrated core Greek concepts attributed to learning in its quartet of statuary. Displayed characters were wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Epsiteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and virtue (Arrete).

The concept of ethics itself may then be seen as an implicit cognitive development free of codification as early as the Roman Empire. In fact, even the original statuary were transferred to the Imperial Palace Museum in Wein, following Austrian excavations of the site in the last century by permission probably due to the fact that Sultans and Caliphates in Constantinople were so highly indebted to European banks in their final centuries of rule. Bankruptcy proceeded mostly due to the fact that Ottoman-Turk Empire expansion was limited due to an inability to absorb more territories in Europe paradoxically at the walls of Vienna as described by Lord Kinross in the fascinating book The Ottoman Centuries. This is all relevant to the current American Empire and its future evolution.

Sanchez highlights a few darlings of the explicit knowledge movement such as Daimler-Chrysler which is no more. As a child of the 1980s I recall when Motorola pagers were as large as walkie-talkies and were limited in use to doctors and firemen who appeared to respond to them most frequently during long homilies at church on Sundays. Fast-forward to Korea in the mid-nineties when pagers suddenly appeared on the market as small as Zippo lighters and as fashionable as pocket watch chains and fobs where a pernicious and ubiquitous communications culture appeared born. At the same time Motorola’s market share eroded considerably. I suspect that doctors and firemen remain the only sensible market for immediate and pervasive communication which demand an answer often equally immediately or otherwise call five times in a row. However entire global finance and logistics communities might argue differently. Yet I argue knowledge remains quite distinct from profits. Good decisions based on good information is still essential.

Books like Robert B. Cialdini’s, “Influence: Science and Practice” appear to indicate that the practice of ethics is itself as malleable as social conditioning is in its effects on individual behaviour as reciprocity, deference to authority, social proofs, liking and cognitive dissonance are to patterns of human reasoning.

My instructor at Notre Dame, Joseph A Holt describes ethics as something which is generally learned at a young age at home in a family environment and encourages students to act ethically at all times attempting to compare choices with personal beliefs. At the same time Charles Hampden Turner in “From Poverty to Dignity: a strategy for poor Americans” describes American lack of cultural self-identity as possibly being one of its essential flaws as a society in an inability to self-identify with the larger community. This might be extended to all western cultural values systems.

Thus our attitudes to implicit and explicit knowledge transfer may remain heavily influenced by the social factors of research or business corporate culture and as in the days of Rome and as in the concepts of quality itself described by Evans and Lindsay et. al. in The Management and Control of Quality.

So much of our consideration of the ethics of knowledge transfer relies on the examples and demands of our leaders. In an era of “laissez-faire” it is easy to see where we have gone wrong in terms of ethics “anything goes” has never worked indefinitely. It is then essential that successful research leadership demands consideration of ethical dilemmas on an implicit and tacit level.