Brain Exercise Benefits At Any Age

18. July 2013

Date: 18-07-2013
Source: Scientific American

Elderly adults who worked their mental muscles, both early and late in life, remained more intellectually limber than those who didn’t.

A book a day may keep dementia away. Even if you read it as a kid. Because a study finds that exercising the brain, at any age, may preserve memory. The work appears online in the journal Neurology. [Robert S. Wilson et al, Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging]

Previous studies have shown that engaging in brain-building activities is associated with a delay in late-life cognitive decline. But why? Does flexing the old gray matter somehow buffer against age-related intellectual impairment? Or is cognitive loss simply a consequence of the aging brain’s physical decline? Read the rest of this entry »


„Dem Alter begegnen“ – Eine neue Initiative

17. July 2013

WandernZweck der Initiative

Das „Altwerden“ positiv zu entdecken, richtig wahrzunehmen und anzunehmen stellt für viele Menschen eine Schwierigkeit dar. In unserer Gesellschaft ist Alter bzw. „Altwerden“ meist negativ besetzt. Die Initiative „Dem Alter begegnen“ hat vor, das Thema von einem ganz neuen Blickwinkel aus zu erschließen.

Der Prozess des „Altwerdens“ wird ganzheitlich aus verschiedenen Perspektiven betrachtet. Unterschiedliche Aspekte dieser Lebensphase werden miteinander vernetzt und damit neue Impulse für die Zukunft gesetzt. „Heil zu sein“ findet auf mehreren Ebenen statt – in Körper, Geist und Seele. Eine bessere Vermittlung zwischen den Generationen soll möglich gemacht, verloren gegangene Werte und Beziehungen wiederhergestellt und ein Ausstieg aus falschen Bildern zum Thema „Altwerden“ geschaffen werden.

Vision 2020

Die Initiative „Dem Alter begegnen“ hat neue Quellen erschlossen: Alter ist Schönheit, Weisheit (das Wissen, worauf es ankommt) und Erfüllung. Die Akzeptanz jeder Lebensphase – auch des Alterns – in unserer Gesellschaft soll erhöht werden, ganz unpathetisch und unprätentiös. Loslassen zu können, Trost zu finden, Vergebung zu leben und Dankbarkeit zu verspüren sind wesentlich. Dabei spielt auch eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Kunst des Möglichen eine Rolle. Der Umgang mit dem Altern kann generell gelassen und heiter erfolgen.

„Altwerden“ ist keine Ankunft, sondern ein Aufbruch. Read the rest of this entry »


Where thinking is king

17. July 2013

Date: 17-07-2013
Source: The Economist

A more rigorous attempt to dissect the corporate mind and its effect on success

Raynor three rulesThe Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think. By Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed. Portfolio Penguin; 376 pages; $29.95 and £20. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

NOTHING succeeds in business books like the study of success. The current business-book boom was launched in 1982 by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman with “In Search of Excellence”. It has been kept going ever since by a succession of gurus and would-be gurus who promise to distil the essence of excellence into three (or five or seven) simple rules. The undisputed king of the genre at the moment is Jim Collins, whose “Good to Great” and “Great by Choice” can be found piled high in airport bookshops around the world.

“The Three Rules ” is a self-conscious contribution to the genre; it even includes a bibliography of “success studies”. Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed work for a consultancy, Deloitte, that is determined to turn itself into more of a thought-leader and less a corporate plumber. They employ all the tricks of the success genre. They insist that their conclusions are “measurable and actionable”—guides to behaviour rather than analysis for its own sake. They divide companies into three cutely named categories: “miracle worker”, “long runner” and “average Joe”. They even employ the cutest trick of all: the third rule is, “There are no other rules.”

But the authors are also more rigorous than most success-ologists. Mr Peters and Mr Waterman chose the companies that form the heart of “In Search of Excellence” by canvassing McKinsey partners and “a bunch of other smart people” about “who’s cool” and “who’s doing cool work”. Messrs Raynor and Ahmed studied Compustat data on companies that traded on American exchanges between 1966 and 2010—25,000 companies from hundreds of industries over 45 years. It uncovered 344 companies that produced statistically exceptional results. Read the rest of this entry »


MBAs: Schools answer call for big data experts

17. July 2013

Date: 17-07-2013
Source: The Financial Times

Clive Holtham: ‘Value of big data less than being claimed’

Consumer industries are amassing huge data sets, highlighting the importance of choosing the right analytical models to help make commercial decisions.
Analysing data is a straightforward matter for statisticians or engineers, but not for many executives. As a result there is demand for more commercially savvy IT professionals, known as data scientists, and business schools are responding to this call.

Imperial College London recently announced a research partnership with Chinese telecoms company Huawei in July. Backed by the UK government, academic and business experts will work together to develop technologies that utilise “big data” – the term used to describe masses of information harvested from commercial activities, social media and other sources.

Another sign of the times can be seen at University of Oxford Saïd Business School, which has added a big data module to its MBA programme. This is taught through an online platform called “Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford”, and aims to help students learn how to ask questions of the data that will help an organisation to prosper. Read the rest of this entry »