Marketing & Innovation

Innovation: Bain ranks management fads and tools

Bain ranks management fads and tools. Seen today on my friend Jean François David’s blog (a must-read on IT and organisation), this post on a Bain study related to the appraisal of usage and user satisfaction of today’s most hyped management fads and tools. The surveys span over a period of 14 years and cover all 4 continents.

Bain ranks management fads and tools

Bain ranks management fads and tools
Bain ranks management fads and tools

The list of items surveyed includes the Balanced Scorecard, BPR, Corporate Blogs (new in 2007), CRM, Outsourcing, RFID, and last but not least Strategic Alliances and Collaborative Innovation, some of these very often debated on this blog too. This also reminds me of another must-read, ie Phil Rosenzweig’s sharp attack on management fads entitled the ‘halo effect’.

Rosenzweig wrote The Halo Effect because “during 25 years in and around the business world, [he has] seen so much nonsense—unsupported claims by famous gurus and self-described “thought leaders,” sweeping assertions based on poor data, and simplistic stories that claim to be rigorous research. Worse, most people—including many very smart managers, consultants, and journalists— can’t tell the difference between good and bad research”.

So, what is Bain’s survey telling us about collaborative innovation (click above picture to enlarge)?

First and foremost, collaborative innovation is not in a bad place on the matrix. On the contrary. It’s way above the inevitable six sigma and offshoring buzzwords in terms of satisfaction, but also in terms of usage. What it tells us too is that the winners are rather basic, to say the least (customer segmentation, core competencies and such like at the top).

Fine, Marketing managers have all bought the latest edition of Kotler’s obligatory opus. Not a done deal for marketing 2.0 and the like for sure.

One of the other lessons we are taught from Bain’s report is that hi-tech companies aren’t, after all, in advance in terms of innovation. Is that surprising? Not really in fact. CPG companies innovate constantly, even though their product image may be low key. Washing powders – often mocked by hi-tech marketers as the epitome of non-innovation – are being constantly re-invented in different formats and various formulae which are making them probably the hardest products to imitate properly. Beiersdorf’s Nivea is also one the epitome of innovation as explained (sorry, in French only) in that detailed account of a Nivea innovation meeting I attended a year ago. So as we see, there is even more room for improvement in marketing 2.0 implementation in hi-tech companies.

Indeed, a very interesting report; thanks again, Jean François!

  • complete report from Bain available here
  • original picture slide available from JF David’s blog
  • Jean François’s home page
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Yann Gourvennec

Yann Gourvennec created in 1996. He is a speaker and author of 6 books. In 2014 he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur, when he created his digital marketing agency. ———————————————————— Yann Gourvennec a créé en 1996. Il est conférencier et auteur de 6 livres. En 2014, il est passé d'intrapreneur à entrepreneur en créant son agence de marketing numérique. More »
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