A while back I published a hard look at the optimistic launch demand estimates generated by FAA’s COMSTAC annual forecast. This year’s forecast has just been released. In addition to the forecast, the report has for many years included a valuable and underutilized source of information, which provides a more believable and fundamental basis for optimism in the commercial launch sector. Read more
Bain & Company has released the 2011 data from their biannual Strategic Management Tools survey, so I’ve taken the opportunity to update my “meta-analysis” of these tools, a mashup of the full 20 years of Bain data with Google Books and Google Insights trending. The result, the Strategic Management Tools Fad-O-Meter 2011, version 1.1. Without further ado: Read more
The cartoonish packaging and presentation of this book shouldn’t dissuade prospective readers, there actually is some meat. BMG’s slug ambitiously reads, “You’re holding a handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises…” While this is a little of a breathless oversell, BMG contains good tools to work with. Read more
This week, a compilation of the all the Words of Labor, of Sale, of Capital, and of Perfidy.
For those just joining, these memeograms plot the year in which various words and phrases “peaked” in frequency in the database of all books scanned and stored by GoogleBooks. The last few weeks have been devoted to ‘words of the workplace’.
A few loose graphs and fun (well, at least for wonks) facts to share.
First: a reminder that the U.S. aerospace industry still dominates the U.S. net exports (balance of trade) with the rest of the world, as manufacturing industries go. This courtesy of the annual rack and stack of data from the Aerospace Industries Association.
The bulk of this positive balance (net exports) is the “aero” part of the picture, that is, aviation. A small, but critical, additional part of the export picture is in the “space” part of the sector. Read more
Third in my series of Monday morning memeograms. This week, the captains of industry prevail and king Capitalism is the theme. As memeograms, capitalism is a little boring, so I’m also including a peek at its dark underbelly.
I’m now going to have to find a way to re-insert bunco  into my working vocabulary. The proliferation of flavors of white collar crime in recent years is particularly interesting.
The red-shaded terms are intended to capture “blue collar” themes from a worker perspective; grey to capture production through an industry perspective. Orange captures the disappearance of artisans/craftsmen.
Some of my favorites include vicious circle, peaking in 1969, and rat race  (“tune out, man!”), and coffee break  Read more
Following up on Monday’s reanalysis of Bain’s management tool survey, I’ve done some mining of trend data for the listed tools, in an attempt to further discern useful trends from fads. Bain provides actual global surveys of usage and satisfaction, but I wanted to pull in more data.
To estimate “freshness” (trending) of management tools, I have constructed a mashup of three data sources:
- Book frequency trends from the GoogleBooks ngram database, 1990-2008
- Web search frequency trends from the Google InSights for Search database, 2004-2008
- Global business usage trends from the Bain tools survey, 1993-2008 (manual compilation)
A wonderful little gem of “free” management data exists in the Bain & Company biannual Management Tools and Trends survey of global corporate executives. The Bain folks have been running this since 1993, yielding quite a nice time trend history of management tool stalwarts … and fads.
The survey assesses executive “usage of”, and “satisfaction with”, various tools. Yes, these are squishy measures, and no substitute for bottom line performance, but I fall into the camp that believes good executives have a decent intuitive and integrative view of whether tools are helping them, or hindering them, in doing their jobs, so I see these data as valuable in their own way. Read more
Five stars for what has been my favorite read of the year, thus far.
While a history of strategic management consulting might sound like the last place to look for an engaging, rewarding and entertaining read, it is a testament to Kiechel’s skill that this book comes alive. It simultaneously traces the history of several key individuals, key consulting firms, key strategic “theories”, and key societal views towards corporations and capitalism as a whole. Kiechel brings order and continuity to what has become a very diverse and divergent field, as well as in documenting the decades-long evolution of thinking around the roles of corporations. Read more