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In the Company of the Courtesan: A Novel

In the Company of the Courtesan: A Novel My lady, Fiammetta Bianchini, was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperor’s army blew a hole in the wall of God’s eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage and punishment.

Thus begins In the Company of the Courtesan, Sarah Dunant’s epic novel of life in Renaissance Italy. Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid.

With a mix of courage and cunning they infiltrate Venetian society. Together they make the perfect partnership: the sharp-tongued, sharp-witted dwarf, and his vibrant mistress, trained from birth to charm, entertain, and satisfy men who have the money to support her.

Yet as their fortunes rise, this perfect partnership comes under threat, from the searing passion of a lover who wants more than his allotted nights to the attentions of an admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his sultan’s court. But Fiammetta and Bucino’s greatest challenge comes from a young crippled woman, a blind healer who insinuates herself into their lives and hearts with devastating consequences for them all.

A story of desire and deception, sin and religion, loyalty and friendship, In the Company of the Courtesan paints a portrait of one of the world’s greatest cities at its most potent moment in history: It is a picture that remains vivid long after the final page.

The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action

The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action Why are there so many gaps between what firms know they should do and what they actually do? Why do so many companies fail to implement the experience and insight they've worked so hard to acquire? The Knowing-Doing Gap is the first book to confront the challenge of turning knowledge about how to improve performance into actions that produce measurable results. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, well-known authors and teachers, identify the causes of the knowing-doing gap and explain how to close it. The message is clear--firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the "smart talk trap." Executives must use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for action. Companies that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive internal competition, measure what matters, and promote leaders who understand the work people do in their firms. The authors use examples from dozens of firms that show how some overcome the knowing-doing gap, why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the gap in the first place. The Knowing-Doing Gap is sure to resonate with executives everywhere who struggle daily to make their firms both know and do what they know. It is a refreshingly candid, useful, and realistic guide for improving performance in today's business.

Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It--No Matter What

Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It--No Matter What The bestselling author of The Discipline of Market Leaders reveals how companies can achieve sustained growth.

In their 1995 blockbuster The Discipline of Market Leaders, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema explained how great companies dominated their markets by offering superior value propositions. Now Treacy is back with an equally groundbreaking book-revealing how great companies master growth each year and how all businesses can identify and exploit opportunities for increased revenues, gross margins, and profits.

Treacy's main point is simple-it really is possible to grow your business by 10 percent or more, year after year, in good times and bad, without cheating. Great companies already know how to do it, and the rest of us can learn their strategies and do the same thing. Using case studies from industry leaders such as Dell Computer, Home Depot, and GE, he shows the five steps that are imperative to ensure growth:

€ keep the growth you have already earned
€ look for growth where it's likely to be found
€ take business from your competitors

Treacy believes that any business can grow at a consistent double-digit rate, and with Double-Digit Growth, managers and investors now have the tools to achieve that lofty goal and maintain corporate success.

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Article Update
Company Logos

So what is Company Logos really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about Company Logos--info you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.

A company logo signals the identity of a company. It represents the overall individuality and image of the company. So, company logos must be unique, and the design should be simple and appealing to the clients. A well designed and thoughtfully drawn company logo will definitely add mileage to a company?s business. They help companies to stand out from the crowd.

Generally, there are three types of company logos - text logos, symbol logos, and combination logos. In text logos, the name or initials of the company is written in a particular calligraphic style. Symbol logos make use of graphical symbols, images or icons to represent the company?s individuality. Combination logos include the features of both text logos and symbol logos.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

You have to be very careful when selecting the design of your company logo. The design of the company logo should go with its philosophy, precepts and ideals. Apart from defining the company?s image, it should also reflect the company's services and goods, if possible. For example, the logo of a sports company should be vibrant and sportive. To bring in the idea sports, symbols of football, baseball, or basketball can be used.

A logo is a company?s identity. So, it should be protected from plagiarism or any form of duplication by other companies. Today, there are several laws to protect the copyright of the company logo. Companies are free to make minor changes in their existing logo. But, drastic changes can affect the brand equity built over the years.

There are various free online sources that help you design your company logo. It is always recommended to consult a professional company logo designer. LogoWorks, Logo Design Guru, and Flyte New Media are among the top online company logo designers.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Company Logos. Share your new understanding about Company Logos with others. They'll thank you for it.

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