Bain Survey: Management Tools and Trends 2007

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Having worked at Bain & Company for 6 years many moons ago, I still keep an eye on their publications and I occasionally spot something interesting.

In June (though I just received a copy from the Bain alumni association), Darrell Rigby and Barbara Bilodeau published the results of their latest survey on management tools and trends.  Of particular note to me was the fact that 69% of respondents said that they were using Knowledge Management as a tool, yet the satisfaction index was very low.  The same applied to Balanced Scorecards (66%). These two tool sets fell into Rigby and Bilodeau’s Blunt Instrument category: high in usage but low in satisfaction.

As a Knowledge Management proponent and practitioner, as well has having worked at Renaissance Solutions, where David Norton drove our Balanced Scorecard Practice Area, this is somewhat disturbing, yet not entirely surprising.  In my experience, these two management tool sets became popular quickly and all sorts of practitioners jumped onto the bandwagon.  Not all of them had the experience base to provide valuable implementations of the tools (and some few I’ve run across were just plain faking it). I remember one ad for a hard disk maker (who I won’t name) that stated that they "did" Knowledge Management.  You know, because the knowledge went on their disks.  Right.

So, whenever I hear that Knowledge Management or Balanced Scorecards are not totally successful, I wonder who implemented them and what skills they brought to the table.

Do you have any experience with this?  I’d be interested to hear your take.



  1. I am at Palladium, where Norton currently is Co-Chairman and founder.  When we look at the BSC numbers, we see the same thing–organizations are not implementing Balanced Scorecard with any rigor.  From studies we have done, we would say that probably 50% of BSC implementations are not done right.  You can read the 4 coming on 5 Norton/Kaplan books and see that the concept has advanced quite a bit from the original BSC book. 
    We have also built a software appllication that keeps up with these advancements to help organizations manage their strategy the right way.  Check it out.

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