Browsed by
Month: October 2009

House prices in the UK on the rise?

House prices in the UK on the rise?

And interesting article on the BBC website today talks about how house prices were higher last month than they were a month before. It’s interesting because the increase is a month-on-month increase rather than a gradual increase which could be attributed to seasonal frustrations. Here’s what the trend looks like:

Interesting, isn’t it? Well, there’s also a quote from an economics expert who maintains:

“With the housing market still overvalued, activity still at levels which would normally result in falling prices, and unemployment still rising, we expect house price falls to resume in 2010.”

Pity the future isn’t as easy to read as running it under a barcode scanner; but it will be fun to see what happens.

When your market disappears

When your market disappears

Here’s an interesting development that emerged today. Google has announced a free turn-by-turn navigation product, which is placed bang square in TomTom and Garmin‘s target market. As you can imagine this has wrecked havoc to the share price of existing sat nav companies.

It’s a tough reminder that your market share can be here one day and gone the next. Innovation is the name of the game here, and unless these companies have something new and exciting that consumers will find compelling, I’m afraid it’s curtains for them. They’ll be as useful as an rv towing company in Antarctica; if there are no clients around, that’s going to spell disaster for the company.

It will be an interesting one to watch, not for sat nav companies though!

Considering an online MBA?

Considering an online MBA?

It’s great that we have so many options available nowadays. It wasn’t so many years ago that the only option to do an MBA would be to take some time off work and attend a University campus. Now there are a multitude of options around. I did mine with Heriott-Watt in Edinburgh, by correspondence, but here’s another option for people living in the US.

Western Governors University is an online university that has a variety of courses ranging from teaching and health degrees, all the way to IT and business degrees. They are designed for people to participate remotely, at their own pace. They work on an interesting basis where you pay for a six-month term at a time, rather than for the credits you’re taking. They also offer scholarships and tuition aid if you require.

So if you want to do an online nursing degree or a business degree, check them out; they might work well for you.

Firo-B

Firo-B

I went to an interesting talk earlier this week and I was introduced to an interesting personality matrix called Firo-B. It stands for Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation and is theory useful for analysing interpersonal relationships. It’s based around three different criteria which are Inclusion, Control and Affection, where people exhibit both Expressed and Wanted traits. Different people operate across different measures of these scales and it was interesting to see how these factors affect people’s behaviours.

It was interesting to see how different personality traits will affect behaviour. Obviously, these are all intrinsic factors, but there are others that also take their toll. The interesting thing is how you can apply these ideas to marketing. Say you’re trying to sell the best acne treatment around. You can appeal to different people based on their behaviour and what they’re looking for. You may consider it all psycho-babble, but if it can help you market your product better, it’s worth taking a look.

Soft Skills talk by the BCS

Soft Skills talk by the BCS

I went to a great talk yesterday organised by the BCS here in the Isle of Man focusing on soft skills. It was an interesting couple of sessions, first about understanding personality traits and then a second session about dealing with conflict collaboratively. There are slides from both sessions here:

Handouts from event
Understanding and applying your relationship tendencies
Managing conflicts collaboratively

I find it’s always good to go to sessions like this as they help you consolidate what you know and learn new things. It doesn’t matter to if you’re doing GMAT prep or just a casual session, learning something new can always be valuable.

Real vs Perceived Risk

Real vs Perceived Risk

Risk boardgame cannon unit
Image via Wikipedia

Interesting post on Seth Godin‘s blog entitled Apparent Risk and Actual Risk which talks about how people can perceive situations as being more risky than they actually are, and sometimes end up choosing to go down more risky paths just because of this perception.

So, what drives this perception. I put it down to two different factors. First of all, it’s easy to overlook certain factors when performing your personal “risk evaluation”. Assumptions and ignorance are the worst two factors here and can lead to a shortfall in evaluation. The other problem is jumping on the bandwagon and accepting “common knowledge”. It’s amazing how many misconceptions make their way to the mainstream; one of my favourites is that celery is a natural fat burner because it consumes more calories to digest than it contains.

Anyway, morale of the story. Next time you think about a “risky” decision, look at if from a different angle and check whether it’s really risky.