So Common Sense
Fresh Squeeze On Labor Relations
Toughening Up Today's Change
People Before Strategy: Four Types of Employees that
Help or Hinder a Changing Corporate
The Missing Link
Failed Mergers Linked to Poor Management of Workforce
Few Kind Words: The Importance of Positive
Assessing Management Tools
Turnabout Is Fair Play
by Peter Block
Diary of a Shutdown
Views for a Change
A recent study conducted by the
consulting firm Bain and Company, headquartered in
Boston, Massachusetts, ranks "Strategic Planning" as the
top management tool in use worldwide. In fact, 92 percent
of executives cited Strategic Planning as the management
tool they use most frequently, and the tool with which
they had the highest level of satisfaction.
"Scenario Planning," however, weighed in on the low end
of the spectrum. Only 27 percent of companies surveyed
cited "Scenario Planning" as a tool they used, and it
subsequently had the lowest satisfaction rating of any
A large number of managers surveyed
cited a need for short-term contingency plans, not a need
for the long-term plans associated with "Scenario
Planning." In other words, most managers seem to be
struggling with the ways to accomplish day-to-day work
with the resources they have and are too busy to develop
strategies for future "what if" situations.
"Unfortunately, 'Scenario Planning' is often misapplied,
with emphasis placed on long-term planning. As a result,
companies get too much cost and too little benefit,"
states Darrell Rigby of Bain and Company.
Hot and Cold
Other tools that ranked high in use included Mission and
Vision Statements (86 percent) and Customer Satisfaction
Measures (80 percent).
The lists of tools whose usage has slipped since previous
surveys includes: Reengineering, Bench Marking, TQM,
Market Migration Analysis and Value Chain Analysis.
Reengineering (which had ranked as high as fifth in usage
and seventh in overall satisfaction) hit an all-time low
by ranking in the bottom four for overall
"Knowledge Management," one management tool that has
received extensive media attention lately, was used by
only 25 percent of respondents. Furthermore, "Knowledge
Management" also registered low on the satisfaction
And while the past year saw record
numbers of mergers and acquisitions, only one third of
the companies surveyed used "Merger Integration Teams" as
a management tool.
Also, the survey indicates a continued boost in
internet-based business with 64 percent of companies
responding saying they are aggressively expanding
These findings came from Bain and Company's annual "Tools
and Techniques" survey that profiles the usage and
effectiveness of management tools. This year's survey
included 631 global companies who responded with input
regarding 25 management tools.
Rigby concludes that the success of
any management tool lies in how the tool is integrated
into a company. "Many companies jump at the opportunity
to employ the latest management tool but fail to align it
with their corporate strategy," he adds.