Monthly Archives: January 2010

Deze 5 vaardigheden bezit een echte ceo

25-01-2010 | Mariska Habets
Veel ceo’s falen doordat ze essentiële competenties missen. Voor iedereen die ceo wil worden of op zoek is naar een ceo: de 5 belangrijkste vaardigheden.

Een goede ceo vinden is lastig, doordat deze functie een grote verscheidenheid aan vaardigheden vraagt op verschillende ‘werkgebieden’. Eigenlijk zijn bedrijven dus op zoek naar het schaap met de vijf poten. Het grootste probleem is volgens Mike Zwell, ceo van Zwell International, dat niemand een idee heeft welke competenties de toekomstige opvolger in ieder geval moet hebben. “Opvolgers falen vrijwel altijd doordat ze een of meerdere van de essentiële competenties missen en niemand daar naar heeft gekeken.” Op Inc.com geeft hij de vijf meest cruciale en meest over het hoofd geziene competenties prijs. Ook handig om te weten als u zelf de ambitie heeft ceo te worden.

1. In een team werken
“Een (toekomstige) ceo moet een zeer divers managementteam kunnen leiden en ermee kunnen samenwerken”, legt Zwell uit. Werknemers moeten zowel op individueel niveau als per afdeling aan dezelfde bedrijfsvisie werken. Het de is de verantwoordelijkheid van de ceo dat de neuzen daadwerkelijk allemaal dezelfde kant op staan.

2. Strategisch denken
Wat is de visie en het toekomstbeeld van de organisatie? En hoe denkt de toekomstige ceo hier over? Komt dit beeld overeen? “De huidige ceo heeft meestal een duidelijk toekomstbeeld voor ogen. Zodra hij zijn afscheid aankondigt, is de chief operating officer vaak de meest beoogde opvolger. Maar juist deze mensen zijn vaak niet visionair ingesteld”, legt Zwell uit. Dat hoeft echter niet zo’n groot probleem te zijn, zolang iedereen zich daar maar goed bewust van is. Een oplossing kan dan zijn om als ceo binnen het bedrijf een rechterhand te zoeken die deze competentie wel bezit.

3. Communiceren
De bedrijfswaarden en visie van het bedrijf kan iedere ceo nog wel uit het hoofd leren. Maar de vaardigheid communiceren gaat verder dan dat. “Je moet met mensen kunnen samenwerken en ervoor zorgen dat de communicatie door het hele bedrijf goed is”, vertelt Zwell. Een ceo moet op een laagdrempelig niveau met werknemers van alle functieniveaus kunnen spreken. Ook moet hij iedereen binnen het bedrijf duidelijk kunnen maken hoe belangrijk ieder individu binnen het bedrijf is om deze zaak tot een succes te maken.

4. Motiveren
“Dit is een complexe vaardigheid”, waarschuwt Zwell. Want Klaas de accountant motiveren is iets heel anders dan Piet van de marketingafdeling inspireren. Het vraagt van een ceo een grote mate van oplettendheid en het vermogen wensen van mensen in kaart te brengen. Daar moet de ceo vervolgens op een correcte manier op kunnen inspelen. “Op sommige momenten zal een ceo zich net een cheerleader voelen”, benadrukt Zwell. En nee, deze vaardigheid kan niet afgeschoven worden op bijvoorbeeld de hr-afdeling. “Werknemers verwachten op sommige momenten nu eenmaal aandacht van de hoogste baas.”

5. Blijven ontwikkelen
Een mentor voor uw werknemers zijn is een goed begin, maar niet voldoende. Het menselijk kapitaal is voor veel bedrijven essentieel. Daarom moet een ceo erop gefocust zijn hoe hij zijn werknemers kan ‘optimaliseren’. Dat houdt onder andere in dat u hen van trainingen voorziet, gedegen feedback geeft, hun sterke en zwakke punten uitlicht en hun werkzaamheden daarop aanpast. Een goede ceo kan en wil hier voldoende aandacht aan besteden.

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Peter Drucker’s revolutionary teachings decades old but still fresh

His philosophy on business management and the corporation’s role in society need to be relearned by company leaders every few years.

By Michael Hiltzik

12/31/2009

The mark of a truly revolutionary thinker is that his revolution has to be fought anew in every generation.

That’s the case with Peter F. Drucker, whose teachings on business management retain their startling wisdom four years after his death at the age of 95 and seven decades after the publication of his first book — the first of 39.

This year was the centenary of Peter Drucker’s birth. It wouldn’t be right to let the year expire without reviewing how his ideas apply to business today.

As is true with every revolutionary thinker, Drucker’s most enduring ideas contradict conventional wisdom. That’s why business leaders need to relearn his lessons every few years, and that’s why his insights seem perennially fresh.

Forbes put its finger on the phenomenon with its headline on a 1997 cover story about Drucker: “Still the youngest mind.” Drucker was then 87.

Born in Vienna on Nov. 19, 1909, Drucker joined a London investment firm upon Hitler’s rise to power, then immigrated to the United States in 1937. After teaching politics and philosophy at Bennington College, he moved to the graduate business school of New York University, where he stayed 20 years, and subsequently to Claremont Graduate University, where he held a professorship from 1971 nearly until his death.

Drucker’s most important insight concerned the role of the corporation in society. “The business enterprise is a creature of a society and an economy, and society or economy can put any business out of existence overnight,” he wrote in 1974. “The enterprise exists on sufferance and exists only as long as the society and the economy believe that it does a necessary, useful, and productive job.”

From that simple observation sprung a wealth of further insights. It placed the corporation’s social responsibility in perspective by establishing its breadth and its limitations.

Drucker showed that there is no “inherent contradiction between profit and a company’s need to make a social contribution,” but that the former is indispensable to achieve the latter. He also warned that an enterprise that fails to “think through its impacts and its responsibilities” exposes itself to justified attack from social forces. Consumerism and environmentalism, he taught, are not enemies to be vanquished, but symptoms of business’ failure to understand its broad social role.

“Peter was talking about this in the 1950s,” or long before corporate social responsibility became a formalized management principle, says Rick Wartzman, a former Times colleaguewho is executive director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University.

His views placed him in conflict with classical economists of the Milton Friedman stripe, who considered profit maximization the be-all and end-all of corporate behavior.

Profit may be the motivating force of the businessman, Drucker wrote, but it fails as “an explanation of his behavior or his guide to right action.” Worse, this narrow view of the corporation’s role inspires the hostility toward profit that is “among the most dangerous diseases of an industrial society.”

He held that the purpose of a business is to serve the customer by providing a good or service useful in both personal and social terms. Businesses that took their eyes off that objective in favor of pursuing profit as a paramount goal could not succeed. Such subtle distinctions eluded classical economists.

Of course, Drucker could not have maintained his position as one of the world’s most sought-after management consultants had he limited his work to social philosophy. Few people could match his crystalline understanding of what it took to be an effective manager of enterprises or people. Credit the years he spent observing business organizations up close, starting with a consulting assignment at General Motors in the 1940s.

His targets included the celebrity chief executive and excessive compensation at the top. “Every CEO, it seems, has to be made to look like a dashing Confederate cavalry general or a boardroom Elvis Presley,” he wrote in 1988. But real leadership “has little to do with ‘leadership qualities’; and even less to do with ‘charisma.’ It is mundane, unromantic, and boring. Its essence is performance.”

Are there real-world examples of this? Think Hewlett-Packard, which almost tore itself apart under its dazzlingly glamorous CEO Carly Fiorina yet has become one of high-tech’s most successful companies under her resolutely colorless successor, Mark Hurd.

Real leaders, Drucker observed, are leaders of teams showing respect for people and their work. Nothing destroys that as efficiently as excessive CEO compensation. He maintained that the appropriate pay range was 20 to 25 times what the rank and file earned — it’s now in the hundreds. That level of inequality foments disillusionment among mid-level managers, as he said in a 2004 Fortune interview, and corrodes mutual trust between the enterprise and society.

Excessive compensation, he wrote in 1974, is designed to create status rather than income. “It can only lead to political measures that, while doing no one any good, can seriously harm society, economy, and the manager as well.”

And when a financial benefit accrues to managers who lay people off, he stated in 1996, “there is no excuse for it. No justification. This is morally and socially unforgivable, and we will pay a heavy price for it.”

Drucker was not the first management guru. Among the pioneers he acknowledges in his work are Frederick Winslow Taylor, who died in 1915 and is regarded as the father of scientific management, and Chester Barnard, who wrote classic textbooks on executive leadership before his death in 1961.

Drucker eclipsed these forerunners, in part by his more lasting influence. Indeed, it’s not unusual upon reading the work of the latest generation of management experts to come across a rule or finding articulated by Drucker decades before. Consider “Good to Great,” the 2001 bestseller by Jim Collins, an acknowledged Drucker disciple. Collins employed a platoon of researchers to help him determine the common factors in the emergence of superperforming companies like Walgreens, Gillette and Kimberly-Clark from the pack.

Here’s the first factor: a humble, self-effacing CEO most often selected from within the company — a plow horse rather than a show horse, as Collins puts it. Drucker made the same point years earlier, without the help of a team.

That’s not to say he reached his conclusions by pure ratiocination. “One of the things that drives a lot of analysts crazy about Peter is that he’s not empirically based,” Wartzman told me. “But he was around so long that he was able to create his own statistical sampling from his own observations.”

Shareholders, customers and society at large would be better served if Drucker’s precepts became ingrained in business management. That’s unlikely: Greed and the short-term mind-set are powerful forces pushing the other way. But at least Drucker’s writings will always be around to point us in the right direction.

Michael Hiltzik’s columns appear Mondays and Thursdays. Reach him at michael.hiltzik@latimes.com, read previous columns at http://www.latimes.com/hiltzik, and follow @latimeshiltzik on Twitter.
Copyright Los Angeles Times

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Drie redenen waarom startups falen

14 januari 2010 10:14

Startups halen vaak de eerste drie jaar niet. Hoe komt dat toch? De drie belangrijkste redenen:

Bedrijfsadviseur Koenders & Partners begeleidt veel startups en ziet al snel: ‘het wordt niets’. Hoe komt dat toch? Jan Boeren, adviseur bij Koenders & Partners noemt drie belangrijke redenen:

Realiteitszin
“Het begint bij het rekenwerk vooraf: hoeveel wil of moet je verdienen? Hoeveel verdien je aan één opdracht of aan één klant? Hoeveel aankopen van hoeveel klanten heb je dan nodig en wat is je plan om die klanten te krijgen? Veel ondernemers maken dit soort rekensommetjes niet. En worden ze toch gemaakt, dan worden de ‘onbekenden’ vaak veel te rooskleurig ingecalculeerd. Vaak komen aannames tot stand door veronderstelling op veronderstelling te stapelen.”

“Bij veel ondernemers is de realiteitszin verdwenen. De ondernemer kan geen afstand meer nemen van zijn idee en kritiek wordt niet getolereerd!”

Helder verdienmodel
“Hoe moet het dan wel? Wij zien graag een businessplan waarin een helder ‘verdienmodel’ is opgenomen. Daar staat dan in hoe dat allemaal gaat werken, wat er dan moet gebeuren en dat dat misschien wel heel uitdagend, maar toch ook realistisch haalbaar is. Simpele vragen als: ‘hoeveel klanten heb je nodig, van welk type en met welke omzet? Hoeveel verdien je aan die klanten? Is het allemaal wel te doen met de personele bezetting die is voorgecalculeerd? Past het wel in de tijd? Levert het voldoende snel cash flow en resultaat op in relatie met de financieringsmogelijkheden?’ En zoiets basaals als: ‘Waarom doen we het eigenlijk?’ is toch een essentieel onderdeel van zo’n businessplan.”

Kopende klanten
“Een andere faalfactor zit in de aandacht die de ondernemer heeft voor hoofd- en bijzaken. Hoofdzaak is in elk geval de ‘kopende klant’. Als die er niet is houdt het snel op. Toch zijn er veel ondernemers die ‘alles’ in stelling hebben gebracht – administratie geregeld, voorraad in orde, showroom, autootje voor de verkoper, bedrijfskleding voor het personeel, bedenk het maar – maar die ‘kopende klant’ zijn ze nog even vergeten: ‘Dat komt wel: eerst alles netjes voor elkaar!’ Het lijkt soms een vlucht voorwaarts.”

“Natuurlijk zien wij graag dat alles helemaal in orde is. Maar als er dan toch iets aan mankeert, dan maar liever iets anders dan ‘kopende klanten’. Die situatie noemen wij graag een ‘prettig probleem’. Dat is óók een probleem dat opgelost moet worden, maar het tast het bestaansrecht niet meteen zo aan. Een advies dat wij vaak geven: zoek een partij die misschien ook wel een klant zou kunnen worden, maar beschouw hem voorlopig alleen als vraagbaak: vraag vooral waarom hij je product niet zou willen kopen! Bouw vervolgens aan je argumentatie, zorg dat je in de communicatie met je doelgroep de tegenwerpingen als het ware vóórblijft door vooraf al de argumenten te noemen waarom de potentiële klant jouw product nu juist wel zou moeten willen hebben.”

Focus, energie, tijd
“De derde reden waarom startups het vaak niet halen ligt in de energie die de ondernemer als het ware beschikbaar heeft voor dit nieuwe product. Veel ondernemers doen zo’n nieuw product ‘er even bij’. En dat gaat dus niet! Het is verstandig om je vooraf te realiseren dat een startup altijd een enorme energievreter is en dat succes alleen komt als die energie er in ruime mate is. Bij de ondernemer, maar ook bij medewerkers die bij de productintroductie bestrokken zijn. De regels van projectmanagement helpen om die energie in goede banen te leiden: Een project heeft een kop, een staart, dus een doorlooptijd. Er is een projectdoel: datgene dat klaar is als het project klaar is. En er is een budget. In geld én in tijd. En de projectleider is degene die op zich neemt om het projectdoel op tijd en binnen het budget te realiseren. Focus is het toverwoord. Als die er niet is komt er van de startup zelden iets terecht.”

Mijn Opmerking: In Amerika is gebeleken dat wanneer ervaren 50 +ers bij de opzet betrokken zijn, in de begeleiding en met advies, ook vaak deeltijd, meer dan 80% succesvol is.

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Erben Wennemars

Gisteren nam Erben afscheid van de actieve wedstrijd sport, een markante sportman, gedreven tot het uiterste, vaak met alle risico’s net over the edge en dat is topsport. Erben we zullen je in de wedstrijdsport missen. Complimenten voor je rol als vader en echtgenoot. Thnx!!

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Fifty faces that shaped a decade

By Peter Aspden, Ralph Atkins, Justin Baer, Bertrand Benoit, Jonathan Birchall, James Blitz, Roger Blitz, Clive Cookson, Mure Dickie, Geoff Dyer, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Ben Fenton, Matthew Garrahan, David Gelles, Chris Giles, Francesco Guerrera, Krishna Guha, Kathrin Hille, Andrew Jack, Johanna Kassel, Roula Khalaf, James Lamont, Edward Luce, Peter Marsh, Joseph Menn, Joseph Milton, Josh Noble, George Parker, David Pilling, Stefan Wagstyl, William Wallis, Richard Waters and Jonathan Wheatley
Published: December 29 2009 02:00 | Last updated: December 29 2009 02:00

1 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President, Iran
The symbol of the Islamic Republic’s defiance of the west in its pursuit of a nuclear programme. His belligerence, however, has turned many Iranians against their rulers. Protests followed his re-election in 2009, when opponents alleged widespread fraud.

2 Osama bin Laden al-Qaeda leader
The mastermind behind the attacks on the US of September 11 2001, which triggered the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and were precursor to a wave of terrorism in countries such as Britain, Spain, India and Indonesia.His death or capture – western intelligence agencies are confident he is in the Pakistani tribal areas – would be a blow to the jihadist insurgency.

3 Tony Blair Former UK prime minister
New Labour’s “straight kinda guy” dominated British politics in the first half of the decade but the euphoria had worn thin by his third victory in 2005. He was widely seen in Britain as former president George W. Bush’s poodle as he followed the US into Iraq in 2003. He now earns millions making speeches and representing banks; he is also a Middle East peace envoy.

4 George W. Bush Former US president
A broad consensus holds that the 43rd president was one of the least competent. For expanding the “war on terror” after the September 11 2001 attacks to include the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he is charged with leaving his country isolated. Having inherited a budget surplus, he is accused of bequeathing the largest deficit since the second world war.

5 Sonia Gandhi President of India’s ruling Congress party
As well as rebuilding India’s largest party and assuring the continuity of the Nehru-Gandhi family after the assassinations of her husband, Rajiv, and mother-in-law, Indira, she has upheld the secular vision of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister.

6 Al Gore Climate change activist
Since failing to persuade his countrymen to sign up to the Kyoto protocol in 1997 as US vice-president, he has done more than any individual to draw attention to man-made climate change – primarily through his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth . In 2007, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

7 Hu Jintao Chinese president
Has guidedrapid expansion even during the global financial crisis. On the diplomatic front, he has overseen the country’s increasingly confident international role. Domestic fragilities remain, however, including ethnic tensions in Tibet and Xinjiang.

8 AQ Khan Nuclear scientist
Leader of the teamthat helped Pakistan bridge the nuclear gap with India but some of his methods, such as the use of global black markets, tarnished his achievement. Freed this year after five years of effective house arrest for sharing information with Iran, Libya and North Korea.

9 Paul Kagame President of Rwanda Admired in the west and the sub-region for his leadership in rebuilding Rwanda since 1994’s genocide – and blamed for his army’s role in Congo’s wars. Has prioritised economic development over political freedom.

10 Junichiro Koizumi Former prime minister of Japan
The most charismatic prime minister for decadesforced the long-ruling Liberal Democratic party to change. His drive to privatise the post office won backing from voters in 2005. He left the political stage in 2006; this year, his party suffered electoral defeat.

11 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President, Brazil
The country’s most popular leader yet. Charm and political skill no doubt contribute but so do low inflation and cheap but effective income-transfer programmes. Many including the International Monetary Fund expect Brazil to be the world’s fifth biggest economy before 2020, bringing lasting change to the world order.

12 Trevor Manuel Former finance minister, South Africa
One of the emerging markets’ most influential policymakers and, until this year, the world’s longest serving finance minister. Kept inflation under control and maintained fiscal discipline. Mere rumours of his departure provoked a fall in the rand.

13 Kumari Mayawati Chief minister, Uttar Pradesh, India
A champion of the Dalits at the bottom of the Hindu caste ladder. Since her 2007 victory in India’s most populous state, and one of its poorest, she has transformed the state capital with huge monuments to Dalit heroes.

14 Angela Merkel Chancellor, Germany
The first female chancellor and the first raised in the former East. The most popular postwar leader has acted as a moderator over two coalitions, most recently of the centre right. Under her management, Germany has weathered well its steepest downturn in almost a century.

15 Barack Obama US president
His impact since his 2008 victory has been more symbolic than substantive. As the first African-American president, his election replenished global respect for the promise of his country but also underscored a shift in the way it deals with the world. Unlike his predecessor, he seems comfortable with the idea of multipolarity.

16 Rima Khalaf Hunaidi Human rights advocate
The former assistant secretary-general of the regional bureau for Arab states at the UN Development Programme oversaw the Arab Human Development report in 2002, the first in a series that forced the region to recognise deficiencies in areas such as women’s rights and democracy.

17 Vladimir Putin Prime minister, Russia
When the former KGB man came to power in 2000 he set to work restoring great power status, imposing control over the country’s 89 provinces, natural resources, bureaucracy and neighbours.He remains the most powerful man in Russia.

Business
18 Jeff Bezos Founder and chief executive, Amazon.com
Amazon ends the decade as the world’s largest internet retailer, with sales expected to grow by about 25 per cent this year to more than $23bn. In 2008, Mr Bezos launched the Kindle electronic reader.

19 Lloyd Blankfein Chief executive, Goldman Sachs
Under his direction, the firm emerged from the financial crisisthe way it en- tered it: as the most powerful investment bank. Yet this year’s recovery has fuelled a backlash, shining a spotlight on its secrecy and compensation.

20 Warren Buffett Chairman and chief executive, Berkshire Hathaway
His reputation as the best living investor long since secured, he spent much of this decade as a statesman and philanthropist. While the downturn has taken a toll on many of his businesses,he has recently made some of his biggest and boldest deals.

21 Liu Chuanzhi Chairman and founder, Lenovo
Changed the computer industrywhen his company acquired IBM’s personal computer division in 2005 in a $1.75bn deal. Also showed China how to build a multinational by moving headquarters abroad and including foreigners in management.

22 Angelo Mozilo Co-founder, Countrywide
As the former head of one of the largest mortgage lenders in the US, has come to epitomise subprime lending. Left Countrywide in 2008 after a rescue takeover by Bank of America.

23 Mo Ibrahim Telecommunications magnate
An entrepreneur and philanthropistwho is one of Africa’s most sought-after voices. Took an early punt on the potential of mobile phones to transform the continent and came out, after selling his company Celtel in 2005, $2bn richer. Proved it is possible to build a world-class African company with a clean reputationand showed investors there is demand for services despite widespread poverty.

24 Steve Jobs Chief executive, Apple
The company was on the brink of irrelevance at the start of the decade when he unveiled the iPod, followed by the iTunes Music Store, which helped insulate the music industry from piracy. With the iPhone, Apple generates more profit from handsets than any other company, analysts say, and has created an ecosystem of more than 100,000 applications.

25 Mikhail Khodorkovsky Jailed Russian oil tycoon
Once Russia’s richest man, now its most famous prisoner. In 2003 the former head of the Yukos oil group was arrested following hints he might run for president, then found guilty of fraud and jailed in proceedings supporters condemned as politically motivated. Yukos’ assets were seized and sold to state companies. Just before he became eligible for parole he was put on trial again for fresh offences.

26 Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum Prime minister and vice-president, United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s ruler helped establish the emirate as the region’s leading business hub. By the end of the decade, crushed under debt, it looked like an example of pre-crisis excess.

27 Lakshmi Mittal Steel magnate
Has used a series of increasingly large global acquisitions to construct the world’s largest steel producer. His biggest was the €26.9bn purchase of Luxembourg-based Arcelor in 2006. Faces a tough 2010, as the sector looks set for only a faltering recovery.

28 Indra Nooyi Chief executive, PepsiCo
Indian born and Yale educated, she seemed to epitomise both the decade’s spirit of globalisation and a new generation of female CEO when she was appointed in 2006. Her initiatives have included a push to revitalise PepsiCo’s North American drinks business.

29 Larry Page and Sergey Brin Founders, Google
Their uncompromising engineering sensibility brought them into conflict withtraditional industries, from media to communications. “Do no evil”, their declaration at the time of their Wall Street debut in 2004, drew accusations of naivety and arrogance from rivals but they show no sign of losing their outsized ambition.

30 Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams Founders, Twitter
The web-based system for communicating short updates was such a simple idea that it took the founders months to realise what they had come up with in 2006. The trio, all previously involved with less successful start-ups, has turned down a buy-out approach from Facebook.

31 Meg Whitman Former president and chief executive, Ebay
Under her leadership, from 1998 to 2008, the online auctioneer grew into a powerhouse with almost $8bn in revenue. Having accumulated a personal fortune of $1.3bn, she has turned her attention to politics and is working to succeed Arnold Schwar-zenegger as California governor.

Economics
32 Ben Bernanke Chairman, US Federal Reserve
Although he initially underestimated the subprime shock, many economists believe his leadership helped avert a second Great Depression. But bailing out Bear Stearns and AIG amplified the problem of moral hazard, while the rescue of Wall Street infuriated the public and led Congress to develop proposals to curb its powers.

33 Alan Greenspan Former chairman, US Federal Reserve
A legend on stepping down in 2006 after 18½ years, his stock crashed with the onset of the economic crisis in 2007. Blamed, perhaps unfairly, for keeping interest rates too low too long and fuelling a series of bubbles, he conceded he “made a mistake” in relying too much on market discipline.

34 Liu Mingkang Chairman, China Banking Regulatory Commission
Instrumental in restoring the health of the country’s banks – many of which were technically insolvent at the start of the decade – underpinning another decade of rapid economic growth.Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is now the world’s largest in terms of market capitalisation.

35 Nouriel Roubini Chairman, RGE Monitor Known as Dr Doom, he was warning that the global economy was heading for a fall as early as the middle years of the decade. Initially concerned that the US trade deficit would lead to a dollar collapse, he also spotted the subprime mortgage market was tottering – although in 2007-08, he offered predictions rosier than the outcomes.

36 Jean-Claude Trichet President, European Central Bank
The ECB was the first big central bank to react to the financial storms that erupted in August 2007, helping avert a Lehman Brothers-style disaster in Europe and turning the eurozone into a haven of stability for members. As such, the former French bureaucrat has significantly driven forward economic integration.

Culture
37 Maria Bartiromo Financial journalist, CNBC
The CNBC anchor has made the transition to the inner circle of the global business elite. The “Money Honey” symbolises the popularisation of financial news, earning her the accolade of a Joey Ramone song: “I watch you on the television every single day. Those eyes make everything okay.”

38 Richard Dawkins Scientist and writer
The British academic known as “Darwin’s Rottweiler” vigorously defends his rationalist world view against attack from creationists through books such as the 2006 bestseller, The God Delusion .His Foundation for Reason and Science re-searches the psychology of religious belief.

39 Melinda Gates Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Where her husband, co-founder of Microsoft, brings a passion for science to the world’s largest philanthropic foundation, she provides compassion and ability to influence, boosting the role of the foundation, which last year gave $2.8bn to health, development, education and community causes.

40 John de Mol Developer of Big Brother TV format
Gave birth to a genre that has dominated global TV for a decade. The show leaves UK screens next year but Mr de Mol has promised to produce one more blockbuster format “before I die”. Investors will be keen; audiences may be more ambivalent.

41 Damien Hirst Artist
The greatest skill of the bad boy of British art lies in playing the market. On the evening Lehman Brothers collapsed he took his latest work directly to Sotheby’s, cutting out the middle-man, and sold £111m worth. It was a better world, he said, when people “would rather put their money into butterflies than banks”.

42 Arianna Huffington Co-founder, The Huffington Post
Has turned the free-to-read news site into one of the web’s most popular destinations – though she dec-lines to say whether it is profitable. After a political conversion, she became a vocal critic of George W. Bush and a big supporter of Barack Obama’s campaign for the US presidency.

43 Beyoncé and Jay-Z Recording artists and music tycoons
With a joint net worth of $265m, the couple has been key in making hip-hop and R&B global cultural phenomena. He claims to have the US president on speed-dial; her rendition of “At Last” for Michelle and Barack Obama’s first dance on inauguration night seemed to encapsulate the mood of millions of voters and the culmination of a political movement.

44 Hayao Miyazaki Filmmaker
Revolutionised animated filmmaking, creating works of a depth and poignancy that have transcended Japanese culture to win worldwide recognition. His Spirited Away , about pollution and moral bankruptcy and set in a hot spring run by spirits, won the best animated feature Oscar in 2002.

45 Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani Al-Jazeera founder
As backer of the Arab world’s most popular news channel, the Qatari prime minister has introduced free debate into a region dominated by state broadcasts and offered a non-western view of global events.

46 JK Rowling Author
On the publication of instalments in her Harry Potter series, fans worldwide queue to get their hands on the latest. The author, said to be worth more than £560m after global sales in excess of 400m copies and blockbuster film versions by Warner Bros, says she will not add to the set.

47 Craig Venter Biologist
Known as “Darth Venter” for the erroneous belief he wanted to patent the human genome, he led the private-sector effort to decode human DNA, which ended in a dead heat with the public sector effort in 2000. His best known project is an attempt to build a living micro-organism from scratch.

48 Oprah Winfrey Media mogul
The most influential figure in US broadcasting thanks to her confessional style of TV and ability to score the most highly sought interviews. As audiences fragment, her showremains a “must-watch” for her huge and loyal fan base. In politics, she played a central role in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

49 Tiger Woods Golfer
His phenomenal record made him the world’s richest and most recognised sports star. Sponsors were transfixed by the narrative of a young black man conquering a white-dominated game. Though his image has been tarnished, few would bet against him remaining top dog for years to come if and when he returns to the tour. Whether he can maintain the same sponsorship levels is doubtful.

50 Mark Zuckerberg Founder, Facebook
The Harvard wunderkind ushered social networkinginto the mainstream, setting up the world’s largest social network, although lax privacy and security have become a problem for the site. The 25-year-oldis one of the world’s youngest billionaires.

Reporting by: Peter Aspden, Ralph Atkins, Justin Baer, Bertrand Benoit, Jon-athan Birchall, James Blitz, Roger Blitz, Clive Cookson, Mure Dickie, Geoff Dyer, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Ben Fenton, Matthew Garrahan, David Gel– les, Chris Giles, Francesco Guerrera, Krishna Guha, Kathrin Hille, An-drew Jack, Johanna Kassel, Roula Kha-laf, James Lamont, Edward Luce, Peter Marsh, Joseph Menn, Joseph Mil-ton, Josh Noble, George Parker, David Pilling, Stefan Wagstyl, William Wallis, Richard Waters, Jonathan Wheatley

Not just heroes and villains

In a decade that opened with the devastating events of September 11 and closed with the world having survived the prospect of economic collapse, the Financial Times list of the 50 people who shaped the past 10 years forms a very diverse group. Not all are heroes, some are villains and many fall somewhere in between.

All such lists are subjective and somewhat arbitrary, but we have tried to capture individuals who have had a powerful impact on the world or their region – for good or bad – in four areas: politics, business, economics and culture.

It was not an easy task. We could easily have included 50 people from each category. So the men and women on our list should be seen as representative of the larger themes of the decade. There are some striking omissions where we felt that a historic event or trend had been captured by someone already on our list. Why no Saddam Hussein? Surely Iraq, and the overthrow of its ruler, has been one of the stories of the decade? Ultimately, we felt that the Iraq war was encapsulated by the two western politicians who did most to create it: George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

Some of our choices may not be familiar all over the world but they will have had an important effect on their region or particular industry. In the cultural category, we have focused on those who have had a profound influence on a large number of people rather than making judgments about the instrinsic artistic merit of their work.

We recognise that the 50 faces on this list are a jumping-off point for debate. Who did we miss? Who should not have made the cut? Who will shape the next decade? Join the debate on ft.com.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009.

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Magogo kamerorkest

Magogo Board Member Pieter Bon – Dean Fontys – proudly presents the Magogo Chamber Orchestra:

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Are you listening?

Do you know what people are saying about your brand?

If you have customers, odds are they’re talking about you to their coworkers, to their friends, and to anyone else within earshot — including those on social networks. Isn’t it in your company’s best interests to be engaged and take part in the conversation so you know what’s being said and can respond appropriately?

As brands get going with social media, they find that understanding who is talking about them online, what they are saying, to whom, and where is a great advantage. After auditing your current brand footprint, you’ll be armed with the data you need to start weighing what’s important to your audience about your brand and where you should have a presence.

Build a list of keywords and terms about your brand, customers, company, and market, then use some of these free tools to get a clearer view of what people are saying — with this knowledge in hand, you can begin to really develop a social-media strategy:

Addict-o-matic: Allows you to create a custom-made page to display search results.
Bloglines: A Web-based personal news aggregator that can be used in place of a desktop client.
Blogpulse: A service of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, it analyzes and reports on daily trends in the blogosphere.
BoardTracker: A useful tool for scanning and tracking forums conversations.
FriendFeed Search: Scans all FriendFeed activity.
Google Alerts: Target keywords that are important to your brand and receive streaming or batched reports .
HowSociable?: A simple way fto begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social Web.
Icerocket: Searches a variety of online services, including Twitter, blogs, videos, and MySpace.
Jodange: Tracking your brand or a product is one thing, but turning that tracking into a measure of consumer sentiment about your brand or product is something else entirely. Jodange’s TOM (Top of Mind) tracks consumer sentiment about your brand or product across the Web.
Keotag: Keyword searches across the Internet landscape.
Facebook Lexicon: What are people talking about on Facebook? Lexicon searches Facebook walls for keywords and provides a snapshot of the chatter volume around those terms.
Monitter: Everyone is talking about Twitter, but what are people talking about on Twitter? Beyond the integrated search of Twitter apps like Seesmic and TweetDeck, Monitter provides real-time monitoring of the Twittersphere.
MonitorThis: Subscribes you to up to 20 different RSS feeds through one stream.
Samepoint: A conversation search engine that lets you see what people are talking about.
Seesmic: Monitors multiple Twitter accounts and enables keyword searches and tracking.
Surchur: An interactive dashboard covering search engines and most social media sites.
Technorati: Search engine and monitoring tool for user-generated media and blogs. Billing itself as “the leading blog search engine,” Technorati has been helping bloggers and those with their fingers on the blog pulse stay informed for years.
Tinker: Real-time conversations from social media sources like Twitter and Facebook.
Trendrr: Want to know how your brand or product is trending compared with others? Trendrr uses comparison graphing to show relationships and discover trends in real time. Use the free account, or move up to the Enterprise level for more functionality.
Tweetburner: In the world of Twitter, URL shortening is the key to effectively connecting with the public. Tweetburner also lets you track the clicks on those magically shortened links, giving you some hard numbers.
TweetDeck: Not only a great way to manage your Twitter account, but the keyword search means you can see what people are saying about you.
Twendz: Public relations firm Waggener Edstrom’s Twitter-mining tool that monitors and highlights user sentiment in real time.
Twitter Search: Twitter’s very own search tool is a great resource. Can be subscribed to as an RSS feed.
UberVU: Track and engage with user sentiment across FriendFeed, Digg, Picasa, Twitter, and Flickr.
wikiAlarm: Alerts you to when a Wikipedia entry has been changed.
Yahoo! Sideline: A TweetDeck-esque tool from Yahoo. Monitor, search, and engage with the Twittersphere.
Listening and making sense of how your brand lives on the Web is only part of the calculus — the next step is how you leverage that information to engage with your audience.

Are you listening and monitoring your brand online? Have you tried any of these tools?

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