Aiton English

Learning Languages for Life

Category: Business (page 1 of 2)

MIT Sloan business school: How to lead digital transformation

Report

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/coming-of-age-digitally/

webinar

images (all taken from the sloanreview report linked above)

MIT Business school (Sloan): Digital Business Model for a bank

In the video, the MIT Sloan speaker talks of his interview with he Executive chairman of Spain’s second largest bank and leader in digital innovation on how it executed its digital transformation. You will hear ideas related to the following questions. Before watching, think of your ideas, then compare.

1 – What six questions should a company CIO / executive ask himself when thinking about the digital business model of his company?

CASE STUDY:

Situation:

Imagine you’re the CEO of a large European bank. Times are tough. There’s pressure on margins. Customer satisfaction scores are not brilliant. You have a whole lot of new competitors biting at your heels like platform companies offering financial services.

How can you change your business model of providing products such as car / home loans?

What is your digital competitive advantage?

How will you connect using mobile / IOT?

Do you have crucial capabilities to reinvent your enterprise?

Do you have the leadership to make the transformation happen?

Now watch the video (2.39 – 15 minutes= 12 minutes)


Harvard Business School: competitiveness in the digital transformation era

Answer the questions below that the Harvard business school lecturer answers in the video. Then watch the video to see if he agrees with you

Are you experimenting with use of tech across the board? Is there any result?

Is it a good idea to outsource the innovation ?

Which aspects of your business should you reconsider as a result of digital transformation (he mentioned four)?

What, in your opinion, are core strategy rules for a business?

Who are Amazon’s competitors?

Imagine you’re selling a bike. Apart from saying that the bike is better or
cheaper, how can you create value?

People often walk into a tech hardware selling (e.g. phones) brick and mortar shop, find what they want then order online. What might the BM shop do to increase income?

Big data analysis has been done on how the weather effects buying habits. Can you guess what 3 correlations were noticed?

Video..


Job Interview: What are your weaknesses?

The video below shows some bad answers to the question “What are your weaknesses?” What makes the answers bad?

Now watch the same bad answers, but followed by good versions. What language techniques does the interviewee use to sound more positive?

Fill in the gaps below from memory, then listen and check

Psychologically BAD Weakness Psychologically GOOD Weakness
My English is bad / not good.My English is good, but I think it 1) _____ be better.

My English is good, but I think it could be 2) _ _____better

My English is good but it is 3) ___ __ good ___ it _____ be
I always have difficulty talking on the phone in English4)_________ I have a bit of difficulty communicating in English on the phone

, 5)________ if the other person has a very strong accent

I 6)___ always clarify the ideas

It 7)_____ be nice if it ____ a little bit easier
My communication skills are really badMy communication skills, 8)_____ good, could be a bit better I think.

It would be nice if my communication skills were a little bit better.

I think I need to 9)_____ my communication skills a bit 10)_____.
It’s always a problem for me to talk to other team membersI 11) ____ _________ had a problem communicating with a team member,

12)____ it’s something I’ve 13)_____ working _____

It’s something I’m getting better 14) ____

I 15)____ ____ I need to improve it a bit more
I’m not punctualAlthough I’m 16)____ a punctual person, occasionally I 17)____ be a little bit late 18) _____ ___ family commitments or things like bad traffic.

Although there’s 19)____ _____ a problem because of this, I think that it is something that could be improved a little bit.
I’m not patient / I’m really impatientFor me it’s 20)____ ____ important to meet targets and to meet 21)______, and I push myself a lot to achieve these 22) ____.

Occasionally, as a result, I 23)___ be a little bit impatient with colleagues.

24)________ , this is something I’ve been working on, and I’ve improved.

It’s just that I think 25)___ ____ _____ a little bit more improvement.

And then I’ll be quite happy.

Answers below:

Psychologically BAD Weakness Psychologically GOOD Weakness
My English is bad / not good.My English is good, but I think it could be better.

My English is good, but I think it could be a bit better

My English is good but it is not as good as it could be
I always have difficulty talking on the phone in EnglishSometimes I have a bit of difficulty communicating in English on the phone

, particularly if the other person has a very strong accent

I do always clarify the ideas

It would be nice if it was a little bit easier
My communication skills are really badMy communication skills, although good, could be a bit better I think.

It would be nice if my communication skills were a little bit better.

I think I need to hone my communication skills a bit more.
It’s always a problem for me to talk to other team membersI have occasionally had a problem communicating with a team member,

But it’s something I’ve been working on

It’s something I’m getting better at

I just feel I need to improve it a bit more
I’m not punctualAlthough I’m quite a punctual person, occasionally I might be a little bit late because of family commitments or things like bad traffic.

Although there’s never been a problem because of this, I think that it is something that could be improved a little bit.
I’m not patient / I’m really impatientFor me it’s always been important to meet targets and to meet deadlines, and I push myself a lot to achieve these goals.

Occasionally, as a result, I can be a little bit impatient with colleagues.

However, this is something I’ve been working on, and I’ve improved.

It’s just that I think it does need a little bit more improvement.

And then I’ll be quite happy.

Business: Motivate employees

Text 1

Below are 5 ways to motivate people in a small business. Read the text, for each point, think of whether this is true only for small business, is true mostly for small business, is true equally for small and large business.

5 Ways to Motivate Small Business Staff (adapted from here )

1. Offer Some Flexibility

If there’s one thing that employees might appreciate more than money, it’s time. With today’s hectic life, more employees than ever are struggling to find the time for family, friends, hobbies, and health.

By offering your employees some flexibility in hours, you’re acknowledging that you know they have a life outside of work. Even if you can’t offer your employees benefits like everyday core hours or work-from-home shifts, you might still be able to work some flexibility into your employees’ schedules. Think about letting employees come in early in exchange for letting them leave early, or even consider rewarding a hard worker with an unexpected paid afternoon off.

2. Recognize Good Performance

Nothing’s more discouraging than working hard on a project, only to have your hard work go unnoticed.

You should provide your employees with recognition for their hard work on a regular basis.  Show him or her your appreciation right away, with personalized gifts and awards, small bonuses, or even just by saying thanks.


3. Provide Professional Development Opportunities

Giving your employees the chance to enhance their skills makes them feel like the company is just as invested in them as they are in it, so it can increase loyalty and motivation. Professional development opportunities also motivate employees to succeed, and give them the tools they need to accomplish more. Knowledgeable, skilled employees are more motivated employees, and they’ll be more valuable employees, too.


4. Foster a Fun Environment

 Your employees spend a good deal of their lives at work, and by making the workplace more fun, you’ll make going to work more enjoyable, which can keep employees motivated and engaged. How can you do that? Workplace parties, bring-your-dog-to-work days, and weekly employee happy hours are some common strategies. Ask your employees for their feedback on what would make the workplace more fun.

5. Practice Effective Communication Strategies

In a small business, employees have the advantage of being able to directly see the impact their contributions have on the company. By communicating openly and effectively with your employees about how the business is doing and how they’ve contributed, you can help your employees feel like a part of the company’s big picture. Take their input seriously, and they’ll feel like a more valued member of the team.

Text 2 – video

Wall Street Journal interviews CEOs of big US companies. Do they mention any of the five pieces of advice above?  What else do they mention?


Soft skills (intermediate business)

1 -PRE – READING:

For each of the following soft skills decide

a – why it is important

b – if you are happy with your level

c – if you need to improve it. If you choose ‘c’ think about how you can improve it

 

communication / teamwork / adaptability / problem solving / critical observation / conflict resolution / leadership

 

 

 

2 – READING:

read the article below and see if you agree with “why you need it” / ” why employers look for it” / “how to gain it”

(adapted from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/soft-skills-you-need)

What are soft skills?

Some examples of soft skills include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership.

Research from the Society for Human Resource Management found that employers actually care more about soft skills than they do technical abilities like reading comprehension and mathematics.

“Soft skills are key to building relationships, gaining visibility, and creating more opportunities for advancement,” says Kathy Robinson, founder of Boston career-coaching firm TurningPoint.

 

Soft skills for your career

1. Communication

Why you need it: Both written and verbal communication skills  improve your chances of building relationships with co-workers.

Why employers look for it: Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their peers, says Robinson.

How to gain it: One way to improve your communication and presentation skills is to join Toastmasters, a national organization that offers public speaking workshops.

2. Teamwork

Why you need it:  Success is the result of many people working toward a common goal.

Why employers look for it: Employers look to team players to help build a friendly office culture, which helps retain employees and, in turn attracts top talent.

How to gain it: Lend a hand when you see a co-worker in need. (“Hey, I know you have a lot on your plate. How can I help?”)

3. Adaptability

Why you need it: Things don’t always go as planned.  “Successful leaders are the ones who know how to be flexible when problems arise,” says Robinson.

Why employers look for it: “The speed of change in any given workplace is so rapid,” says Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. Consequently, employers need workers who can adapt well.

How to gain it: Push yourself to be an early adopter of change. “For example, adapting to technology is crucial for people to be seen as someone who  meets new challenges,” says Garfinkle.  Offer to teach your co-workers what you learn.

4. Problem solving

Why you need it: When something goes wrong, you can either complain or take action.

Why employers look for it: Companies rely on problem solvers to deal with unexpected challenges.

How to gain it: “Always approach your boss with a solution, not a problem,” says Robinson.

5. Critical observation

Why you need it: Data doesn’t mean much if you don’t know how to interpret it.  Being a critical observer can help make you a better worker all around.

Why employers look for it: Companies need critical thinkers—people who bring a fresh perspective and offer intuitive solutions and ideas to help the company be better than the competition or improve internal processes.

How to gain it: To be a critical observer, you need to be able to analyze information and put it to use. For example, does your boss actually read the weekly sales reports? What was her reaction to bad news in the staff meeting? What’s the best time of day to approach your manager with a question?

6. Conflict resolution

Why you need it: “Any time you put more than one person into an organization, there is going to be conflict,” says Robinson. “It’s human nature.” Therefore, being able to resolve issues with co-workers will help you maintain relationships with peers and work more effectively.

Why employers want it: Being able to constructively solve disagreements with people shows leadership potential. Someone like this helps to promote a healthy, collaborative workplace.

How to gain it: The best way to resolve disagreements between co-workers is to address issues directly but diplomatically. So, when trying to solve a conflict, let both sides give their opinion and then work together to find a solution.

7. Leadership

Why you need it: Having confidence and a clear vision can help influence your co-workers. Displaying such leadership skills can lead to more opportunities for promotions.

Why employers want it: Bosses and managers are always looking for employees with leadership potential.

How to gain it:  Leadership means inspiring and helping others reach their full potential. One way to do that is to become the internship supervisor, which gives you the opportunity to manage people, learn how to motivate a team, and take on more responsibility.

 

 

 

VIDEO 1

Think about these questions:

Do you have charm? How important is it? How can you develop it?

then watch the video

 

 

VIDEO 2

Pre-watching questions:

Why is communication so important?

Do you communicate well with people?

Do people listen to what you say?

How important are words and actions ?

Now watch the video:

 

 

Business: Porter’s 5 forces

Pre-module work: Use a search engine to familiarize yourself with Porters 5 forces, including advantages and disadvantages of the system

Module work:

Part A: Visualization

1  – think about how you might draw a chart of Porters 5 forces

2 – scroll through the following pages to look at the charts and compare your ideas

first

second

third

use google pictures if you want to find more

3 – draw a final chart (using relevant business jargon you have found)

 

Part B: Case studies

1 – think about your own analysis of Starbucks according to Porter’s 5 forces

2 – RECORD YOURSELF TALKING about it, listen to yourself and think “How did I use business jargon expressions?” / “How did I use signalling words?”

3 -read the text here

https://www.investopedia.com/university/starbucks-porters-5-forces-0/

4 – compare your ideas to the author’s

5 – make notes of your ideas in comparison to the author’s USING some jargon from the text. To increase flexibility, think about your linguistic choice

6 – if possible, before the lesson, send a Telegram / WeChat oral message in which you present the information.

7 – in the lesson present (again)

repeat for either more articles or further down video:

Articles

Coca-Cola:

Apple:

 

Videos

ikea

 

sportswear industry

 

more general ideas and examples

 

 

Business reading to speak: Accenture 2017 report

THe following is adapted from Accenture’s 2017 annual report (here)

Step 1: Read and fill in the gaps

Accenture’s very strong financial performance in fiscal 2017 reflects the 1)c______________successful execution of our growth strategy—in particular, the 2) r______rotation of our business to new, high-growth areas. We 3) d_________all the objectives in our initial business outlook for the year, driving broad-based revenue growth that 4) s__________ outpaced the market, as well as double-digit growth in earnings per share on an adjusted basis. We also 5 )g___________excellent free cash flow and significantly increased our investments in the business, while 6)  a_______ returning substantial cash to shareholders.

We delivered 7) r_________  net revenues of $34.9 billion, with positive growth across the 8) v _________majority of our industry groups, geographic markets and businesses.

We also reached an 8) i___________________ milestone in fiscal 2017: Net revenues from what we call “the New”—digital, cloud and security services—grew about 30 percent to $18 billion. With our rapid rotation to the New and our 9) h_________ diverse portfolio of business, we successfully executed in an uncertain and 10) i____________ competitive environment and continued driving strong, profitable growth. Our very strong performance in fiscal 2017— on top of our 11) o___________ results for the last two fiscal years—clearly demonstrates that we are executing our growth strategy in a 12) d______ and sustained way. in each of our five businesses and driving synergies across them to deliver 13) ta_________ business outcomes for our clients. We also continue to leverage our 14)u__________ position in the technology ecosystem as the largest independent services provider and the leading partner of many key players. This is why Accenture 15) r________ the partner of choice for so many of the world’s leading companies and largest government agencies. We continue to build strong and 16) e___________ client relationships.  We are 17) e_______ pleased with the leadership positions we have built in digital, cloud and security services. We are in the midst of a technology revolution that is disrupting and transforming businesses and entire industries around the world. In this context, we are working with our clients to apply innovation and intelligence at the 18) h______ of their organizations.

 

 

Step 2: Check your answers below, then build your lexical choice. For each presented “gap”, think of 3 options in your context

 

  1. continued successful execution – continued successful______ x 3
  2. rapid rotation: rapid _______ x3
  3. delivered all the objectives: delivered _______ x3
  4. growth that significantly outpaced the market:   _______ significantly outpaced_______
  5. we generated excellent free cash flow:  we generated excellent _____________
  6. again returning substantial cash to shareholders: substantial ________
  7. record net revenues: record _____
  8. an important milestone: a ________ milestone
  9. the vast majority of:  the vast majority of ____________
  10. highly diverse portfolio: highly diverse ____________
  11. increasingly competitive environment:  increasingly competitive ________
  12. on top of out outstanding results:  outstanding ____
  13. in a durable and sustained way:  durable and sustained _____
  14. deliver tangible business outcomes:  deliver tangible _____
  15. leverage our unmatched position: unmatched _______
  16. Accenture remains the partner of choice: our company remains _______
  17. build strong and enduring relationships: strong and enduring _______
  18. we are especially pleased with:  We are especially pleased with_____
  19. at the heart of their organisations: at the heart of ______

 

Step 3: download and import the attached anki deck from here : make sure you do it third stage active style

 

 

 

 

Business listening to speak: Google 2rd quarter 2017

adapted from Alphabet’s website (https://abc.xyz/investor/)

 

5 steps

Step 1: read through part of the Alphabet 2017 2nd Q results and think of as many possibilities for the gaps.

Let me wrap-1)__. Almost two years after the creation of Alphabet, we see the benefits of our focus within Google and Other Bets and are 2)____with the opportunities we have for 3)_______revenue and earnings growth. We are obviously very happy with the ongoing strength in ads revenue, particularly in Search. Our 4)__________secular trends continue to drive user adoption and engagement with mobile devices. Our engineering and machine learning 5)_______enables us to build better experiences for users and advertisers. We 6)_________to see increasing contributions from our 7)___________non-ads revenue businesses. Play continues to be a strong 8)__________. In addition, we have been making 9)____bets within Google focused on Cloud, Hardware and subscription businesses in YouTube, in order to 10)_______serve customers while also building additional and differentiated revenue streams. These businesses are consistent with, and complementary to, our core capabilities and 11)_________our infrastructure, distribution and engineering. We believe we have a 12)___________runway here. Longer-term, we see great opportunity 13)____the businesses we are building in Other Bets. These businesses reflect the incredible engineering talent 14)______Alphabet — most 15)_______in machine learning.  Our revenue growth and Alphabet structure give us both the opportunity and confidence to invest in our businesses for the long-term. We are doing that, while being very deliberate about the focus, scale and pace of investments and 16)_______committed to being conscientious in our use of all resources. We’re increasing investment in areas where we see the most potential, scaling 17)_____in others and 18)_________our organizational effectiveness to make the 19)_____of the resources available. Thank you and let me now turn the call over to Sundar.

 

Step 2: Watch the video (it starts from the necessary point) to check the actual words used

 

Step 3: check the answers below

  1. let me wrap up
  2. pleased with
  3. sustained (growth)
  4. compelling (trends)
  5. (engineering / machine learning) acumen
  6. we continue to see
  7. growing businesses
  8.  a (strong) contributor (to)
  9. big (bets)
  10. (in order to) better (serve)
  11. (these businesses) leverage (our infrastructure / distribution / engineering)
  12. a compelling (runway)
  13. we see great opportunity in
  14. (incredible talent) across (our company)
  15. most notably
  16. we remain committed to + ING
  17. scale back investment
  18. we’re sharpening our effectiveness
  19. make the most of (resources available)

step 4: broaden your linguistic choice by thinking of variants for each expression: NOTE: not just synonyms, but other possible combinations in the context. THe first 3 have some possibilities, add to them if you can then continue with the rest

 

  1. let me wrap up – let me finish / I’d like to finish by….
  2. we’re pleased with – we’re excited about / .we’re….. (positive emotion)
  3. sustained (growth) -trendous growth / ……. growth/ ….. growth
  4. compelling (trends) – significant trends / ….. trends
  5. (engineering / machine learning) acumen –  business acumen / ….. acumen
  6. we continue to see – we continue to ……. / we continue to….
  7. growing businesses –  ……. businesses / ……… businesses
  8.  a (strong) contributor (to) –  a …. contributor to / a  …… contributor to
  9. big (bets) – ….. bets / …. bets
  10. (in order to) better (serve) –  to better ……..
  11. (these busin esses) leverage (our infrastructure / distribution / engineering) –  to leverage …..  / to leverage ……
  12. a compelling (runway) – a compelling…….. / a compelling……..
  13. we see great opportunity in – we see great …………. in  / we see great……. in
  14. (incredible talent) across (our company) –  ……. across our company / …… across our company
  15. most notably – more precisely  /
  16. we remain committed to + being conscientious – we remain committed to ….. / we remain committed to…..
  17. scale back investment
  18. we’re sharpening our effectiveness
  19. make the most of (resources available)

step 5: listen to / read the whole report. Take out expressions you like, build on them with your existing linguistic choice, use them to talk about your business.

click on the Q2 webcast on the link below to watch, or the transcript to read

https://abc.xyz/investor/

 

Business listening to speak: Google 3rd quarter 2017

Four steps

 

Step 1 – listen to / watch  the report from google

Step 2: Linguistic choice / flexibility:

For each gap below, brainstorm

 

We had a terrific quarter. Revenues  of $27.8 billion 1____ up 24% year-on-year. Advertising  revenues benefitted 2)____ strong performance in Sites, which was powered 3)__ tremendous  results in mobile search. 4)_______ growth in Network revenues was again led by our  programmatic business. We also benefitted from 5)______ growth in Other Revenues from  Cloud, Play and Hardware.    Turning to Alphabet revenues by geography, performance was 6)______ in all regions. U.S.  revenues were $12.9 billion, up 21% year-over-year. EMEA revenues were $9.1 billion, up 23%  year-over-year in both reported and fixed FX terms. APAC revenues were $4.2 billion, up 29%  versus last year, and up 31% in fixed FX terms. Other Americas revenues were $1.5 billion, up  33% year-over-year, and up 32% in fixed FX terms.    On a consolidated basis, total cost of revenues, including TAC, which I’ll discuss in the Google  segment results, were $11.1 billion, up 28% year-on-year. Other cost of revenues on a  consolidated basis was $5.6 billion, up 25% year-over-year, primarily 7)_______ by Google-related  expenses, specifically: costs associated with operating our data centers, including depreciation;  content-acquisition costs, 8)______ for YouTube; and Hardware related costs.    Operating expenses were $8.8 billion, up 11% year-over-year. Headcount at the end of the quarter was  78,101, up 2,495 people from last quarter. As in prior quarters, the 9)____ majority of new hires  were engineers and product managers. In terms of product areas, the most 10)_____ headcount  additions were once again made in Cloud for both technical and sales roles, consistent with the  priority we 11)____ on this business.    Operating income was $7.8 billion, up 35% versus last year and the operating margin was 28%.  Other income and expense was $197 million.

 

Now check:

We had a terrific quarter. Revenues  of $27.8 billion were up 24% year-on-year, and also up 24% in constant currency. Advertising  revenues benefitted from strong performance in Sites, which was powered by tremendous  results in mobile search. Healthy growth in Network revenues was again led by our  programmatic business. We also benefitted from substantial growth in Other Revenues from  Cloud, Play and Hardware.    Our outline for today’s call is: first I’ll review the quarter on a consolidated basis for Alphabet,  focusing on year-over-year changes. Next, I will review results for Google, and then Other Bets.    Finally, I will conclude with our outlook. Sundar will then discuss business and product  highlights for the quarter, after which we will take your questions.     Let me start with a summary of Alphabet’s consolidated financial performance for the quarter.  Total revenues were $27.8 billion, up 24% year-over-year. We realized a positive currency  impact on our revenues year-over-year of $255 million, or $64 million after the impact of our  1  hedging program. Holding currency constant to the prior period, our total revenues grew 24%  year-over-year.      Turning to Alphabet revenues by geography, performance was strong in all regions. U.S.  revenues were $12.9 billion, up 21% year-over-year. EMEA revenues were $9.1 billion, up 23%  year-over-year in both reported and fixed FX terms. APAC revenues were $4.2 billion, up 29%  versus last year, and up 31% in fixed FX terms. Other Americas revenues were $1.5 billion, up  33% year-over-year, and up 32% in fixed FX terms.    On a consolidated basis, total cost of revenues, including TAC, which I’ll discuss in the Google  segment results, were $11.1 billion, up 28% year-on-year. Other cost of revenues on a  consolidated basis was $5.6 billion, up 25% year-over-year, primarily driven by Google-related  expenses, specifically: costs associated with operating our data centers, including depreciation;  content-acquisition costs, primarily for YouTube; and Hardware related costs.    Operating expenses were $8.8 billion, up 11% year-over-year. The year-on-year expense  growth, in part, reflects the change in the timing of our annual equity refresh cycle from the third  quarter to the first quarter of each year. As discussed previously, this change in SBC grant  timing affects the quarterly pace of stock-based compensation in 2017, with elevated  year-on-year expense growth in the first half of the year, but benefits the year-on-year  comparisons for Q3 and Q4.    Stock-based compensation totalled $1.8 billion. Headcount at the end of the quarter was  78,101, up 2,495 people from last quarter. As in prior quarters, the vast majority of new hires  were engineers and product managers. In terms of product areas, the most sizable headcount  additions were once again made in Cloud for both technical and sales roles, consistent with the  priority we place on this business.    Operating income was $7.8 billion, up 35% versus last year and the operating margin was 28%.  Other income and expense was $197 million. We provide more detail on the line items within  OI&E in our earnings press release. Our effective tax rate was 15.6% for the third quarter. Net  income was $6.7 billion and earnings per diluted share were $9.57.

 

Step 3: Skim Read, make a note of expressions:

Click here to skim read through the report, pick out collocations of interest. Try and categorize the language you take out.

Step 4: Practice using the structures to talk about your business

 

 

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