Today’s picture: New Zealand’s volatile landscape – Craters of the Moon, near Taupo
Part 1: Today's word
If a situation is volatile, it means it is very unstable and so tends to change quickly and without warning. In chemistry, substances that are volatile can be dangerous – for example, they might suddenly explode. When there is a crisis in the world, it tends to cause volatility in oil prices and on the financial markets.
Click here for interactive exercises on academic vocabulary and writing.
Part 2: Test
Here are FOUR sentences with the word of the day. But only THREE are correct. Which is the Odd One Out?
Unfortunately, the manager had a rather volatile personality, which made life in the office exciting but very unpredictable.
Manchester United defeated Tottenham in a volatile encounter earlier today, during which the lead changed hands three times.
Although sales fluctuated from month to month, there was, nonetheless, an underlying volatility, which was a basis for long-term growth.
In a volatile market, companies may seek to have their share offers underwritten in order to guarantee a sale.
Part 3: Practice Questions:
Do any of your friends have volatile tempers?
How volatile is the New Zealand society and economy?
Part 4: The Phrasal Five
arrive (for a meeting etc)
I was disappointed that only 10 people turned up.
leave in protest / go on strike
Ship workers have walked out in a dispute over pay.
do exercises to make your muscles warm and flexible
You need to warm up before playing a game if you don’t want to pull a muscle.
gradually become less strong / go away
It was terrible at first, but the pain soon wore off.
use something until it can’t be used any more
I’ve worn out three pairs of shoes delivering these leaflets.
Part 5: Kiwi Quiz Question
Which position does Auckland hold in the list of the world’s best cities to live in?
Part 6: Today's online listening
This is an interview from the BBC World Service with the leading Indian-born Management thinker, C. K. Prahalad (sorry for my mispronunciation of his name!)
Vocabulary for the article:
Questions for the article:
1) C. K. Prahalad believes that managers need strategic __________
2) Which of the following is NOT one of the strategies C. K. Prahalad recommends managers in the auto-industry to adopt in order to survive the current crisis?
move core skills to other tasks
declare war on waste
negotiate a new deal with the Trade Unions
manufacture to order
3) Which of these is the main source from which C. K. Prahalad synthesised his management theories?
4) C. K. Prahalad believes that managers in developing countries tend to be more ...
5) For what reasons was Prahalad’s advice initially rejected by the CEO?
6) Why did he sell off his own company?
to guarantee a healthy return for his investors
to protect the interests of the workforce
to address the problem of lack of innovation
to reduce salary costs in the engineering department
7) The current situation in the world has led to ...
8) “Velcro organisations” ...
need constant restructuring
have task-based teams
are disengaged from society
have a limit of 25 employees
9) One positive effect C. K. Prahalad sees coming out of the recession is ..
10) C. K. Prahalad believes that in order to work effectively, market forces require ..
11) What point does C. K. Prahalad make by referring to Cambridge?
the decline of Western capitalism
the West’s continuing intellectual vitality
the lack of moral leadership in the West
the global involvement of the UK and the USA
Today’s musical suggestion: from the USA
Waiting on the World to change by John Mayer