Management Tools of 2007

Bain & Co. recently published their annual report about the top Management Tools of 2007 (“Getting a handle on the tools executives use to grow their business”).

Interesting isn’t the selection in itself, which is the “usual mix of usual suspects” – a compilation of tools, methods, attitudes and fads.

What I found remarkable are the four trends that the Bain people identified, and that govern the demand for suitable tools:

Theme 1: Sharpened customer focus
Theme 2: Outward bound
Theme 3: Beyond cost cutting
Theme 4: Establishment of power tools

And I think that their conceptualization of tools (and their uptaking etc.) is on the mark …

How tools evolve over time
When we looked at how tools’ usage and satisfaction change over time, we identified four categories of tools:
• Rudimentary tools are low in usage and low in satisfaction;
• Blunt instruments are high in usage but low in satisfaction;
• Specialty tools are low in usage but high in satisfaction;
• Power tools are high in usage and high in satisfaction

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