Help the Society by Staying Some Nights at YWCA Hotel

A social enterprise is a business that applies commercial strategies that not only achieve sustainable profit but also maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being.

YWCA Hotel is one of the real life examples of a social enterprise. Ideally located in downtown Vancouver, the YWCA Hotel provides cosy and economical accommodation for all types of travellers. The daily rates begin as low as $65 per night during the winter months.

A Social Enterprise Hotel

Different from other commercial hotels, YWCA is a registered charity, providing a variety of integrated services for women and their families, and those seeking to improve life’s quality. YWCA aims generating revenue that sustains YWCA Metro Vancouver community service work to improve housing, health and fitness and employment services of the community. “Each year, more than 50,000 lives were touched by the YWCA.”

YWCA Mission:

“Our mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.”

What you contribute by staying at YWCA:

  • You create an opportunity for the YWCA Single Mothers’ Support Services program participant to attend a workshop that will help them to achieve personal and economic independence.
  • You provide up to 15 meals to women and children in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Each year, more than 28,000 plates of hot food are served to YWCA Crabtree program participants and their children.

Besides YWCA, there are many social enterprises exist in the market. For example, Fifteen, Amul and SEKEM. Social enterprise is a very good form of business as it helps society to achieve better sustainability.

Click on the link if you are interested in how to build your own social enterprise :

YWCA video’s Youtube link:

BMW’s Hot Management Theory

The big size of a company is no longer the ticket to success; nowadays, is the ability to shift and adjust as circumstances in the market change ensures a company to be unbeaten.

In order to stay innovative and competitive, BMW has forgone the old slow-moving bureaucratic system and started to establish networks within each level of the organization.

Cross-functional Team

According to James M.Manyika, a partner at McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco who has studied the effectiveness of such networks, “Cross-functional teams look messy and inefficient, but they are more effective at problem solving.” By organizing cross-functional teams, BMW leverage workers’ tacit knowledge, making them more progressive and productive. This makes BMW stands up among its competitors. BMW encourages workers to build a web of personal ties to speed up the process of problem-solving and innovation, be it in production, design, marketing or R&D.

Discipline V.S. Creativity

To emphasize on creativity, BMW even allows workers to forget about formal meetings, hierarchy, and stamps of approval, when they are pushing on a fresh idea. Besides, unlike Toyota’s standardized lines, BMW empowers its workers to make changes on production when it is necessary. Similar to Dell Computer (DELL), BMW provides the customization option to customers. Hence, each auto moving down the production line is different.

Only change is constant. As the market keeps changing every day, a company should never be satisfied with its current status and management strategy. Being innovative and creative is the only way to be successful.

The article that I have referred to : “Online Extra: The Secret of BMW’s Success

Big Data: The Management Revolution

As IT development and globalization makes the world becomes smaller, it also quickens the pace in business world. As the idiom goes, “time and tide wait for no mean”, nowadays, managers have to make high-pressure decisions in a shorter period of time.

According to a survey done by Havard Business Review, 74% of the global executives SAS claimed that they “feel under heavier pressure to make a smart decision in less time than ever before”.

To make a faster and more accurate decision, savvy managers turn to analyzing data about customers, operations, risk and more.

Rather than collecting data from traditional databases, businesses are also adding on unstructured text from call-centre logs and social media – into their decision-making to attain competitive insight.

As far as we concerned, the volume, variety and velocity of data being stored by organizations has grown tremendously. Procter & Gamble’s chief information officer, Filippo Passerini said, “analytics accelerates our decisions because everyone is now looking at the same reality.”

There are some IT companies that are doing very well in managing their database, such as Google and Facebook. Both of the companies utilize the data of its users in targeting and maximizing the efficiency of advertising. Essentially, Google and Facebook generate their revenue mainly by analyzing users’ online behaviors by “putting the right advertisement to the right person at the right time“.

Data management not only helps a business in marketing but also other fields such as R&D, accounting and so forth. According to the authors of “Big Data: The Management Revolution“, not only high-tech companies but every company from other sectors, are prompt to instil a culture of data-driven decisions, supported by the people, processes and technology – especially analytics – to ensure success.

Also read “Viewpoint: Big data and big analytics means better business

HTC’s Failure: No Longer “Quietly Brilliant”

As the one who is always being impressed by HTC smartphone’s design and hardware specifications, the blog post entitled “HTC: A Falling Giant” written by Wilfred Loh has interested me a lot.

Initially, as a brand from nowhere, the Taiwanese mobile-phone firm has experienced a swift rise from anonymity to omnipresence after the releases of some good smartphones such as One X, HTC Touch, and the Sensation series. However, mentioned by Wilfred Loh, the revenue and profit of HTC has been plummeting after decreasing sales. The rationale of the sales drop is simple: HTC does not understand its customers.

For example, in 2011, HTC spent $300millions to purchase 51% share from Beats Audio to upgrade the audio system of its smartphone. HTC tended to build a point of difference and a point of brand recognition by installing the very famous Beats Audio speakers and logo into its flagship smartphone. Unfortunately, the strategy fails, as only a few customers choose to buy a HTC phone because of its offer of a Beats headphone. For those who like Beats Audio they will just buy the headphone by themselves. As a result, this never helps HTC to create a sales increase. After that, HTC sold the shares back to Beats Audio.

More importantly, HTC has been too focusing on hardware building and neglecting the very vital software development. Apple has a large smartphone’s market share because iPhone not only has a good design and build quality but also very fascinating software such as iTunes and iOS. Besides, Samsung is also aiming to add some “soft-power” to its mobile devices by shopping for software companies, particularly those offering mobile music services.

While implementing innovations, HTC’s engineers must make sure that they understand the needs of customers and customize the phone that the customers willing to buy.

Corporations’ Dominance

Inevitably, every single business, no matter small or large, depend on “labor surplus” to survive. Unfortunately, the exploitation of the working class is no longer a new issue we heard about. As the main goal of a business is to achieve maximum profit, employers often force employees to work beyond their limit or try to keep their wages as low as possible. The examples of unfair treatment towards employees of Nike and Apple mentioned by Vinotha in her blog post entitled “Corporate Social Responsibility at Large Firms” are just tip of iceberg.

According to, Walmart has filed an unfair labour practice charge against United Good and Commercial Workers union on November 15, accusing that UFCW is challenging its business by encouraging Walmart’s employees to set up a series of protest and strikes at the outset of holiday shopping season. Who is correct and who is wrong?

In fact, Walmart’s employees make less than $10 an hour. Protesting workers are demanding a pay rise from $10 to $13 an hour. Also, health care premiums are reportedly escalating as much as 36% in next year. Workers must meet a $1750 deductible in order to enjoy an 80% cover of their doctors visits, tests, and other required medical services.

Walmart is facing a dilemma: it is difficult to satisfy workers by not increasing its costs for labor wage. Hence, Walmart filing unfair labor practice charge to the union in order to protect its image. Anyhow, Walmart still refuses to rise the salary of its workers as demanded.

As consumer’s awareness is rising, they do care about the image of a company when purchasing their product or service. Hence, CEOs must figure out the best approach to create a win-win situation between business and employees. Corporate’s social responsibility should never be undermined.

Click on the link to learn more about corporate’s social responsibility:

Google Knows Each of Us!

Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated: “If we target the right ad to the right person at the right time and they click it, we win.” What does this quotation means?

Google is the most convenient and powerful search engine in the Earth. Google is estimated command 66.7% of search engine market share in the United States. However, even many of us like to use Google, some of us might not aware that Google collects the search query of each of its users without their consent.

In May 2007, European privacy regulators had launched an investigation into Google’s data retention and privacy. They concluded that search engines are required to delete or anonymize personally identifiable information collected by them in 6 months. However, Google has so far reacted by cutting its retention period from 18 to 9 months. Google argues that the “retention of search query logs is critical in operating and improving its services, especially it provides adequate security for the users.”

The truth is harsh. Google analyzes search-query logs for revenue-generating purposes, particularly for targeting and maximizing the effectiveness of advertisements, as advertising is the main source of income for Google. In this case, Google has been partnering with DoubleClick, which was a leading company in the field of behavioural advertising for over fifteen years. DoubleClick can follow the online behaviour of an Internet user over all sites on which it serves advertising.

If Google forgoes the data gathering among its users, it will become non-profitable and be closed. On the other hand, data gathering is considered unethical, as every human deserves privacy rights.

This scenario is actually like a prisoner’s dilemma, no matter how Google will still collect data from its users. Hence, every of us must be alert when surfing Internet.