As measured by IMF’s PPP index, China economy #1, US #2

From the article:

This will not change anything tomorrow or next week, but it will change almost everything in the longer term. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. since at least 1945 and, in many ways, since the late 19th century. And we have lived for 200 years — since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 — in a world dominated by two reasonably democratic, constitutional countries in Great Britain and the U.S.A. For all their flaws, the two countries have been in the vanguard worldwide in terms of civil liberties, democratic processes and constitutional rights.

Think also of other second and third-order consequences of Western hegemony the past century, particularly on business and management.  For example, early management science arguably started during the West’s industrial age.  Even more specifically, take project management.  The humble PERT chart was an indirect result of Western primacy (it was an offshoot of the US Navy’s Polaris submarine program in the 1950’s).

So, how extensively will continued Chinese and other Eastern growth, and likely primacy, trickle down to affect business and management practices elsewhere?

It’s official: America is now No. 2 – Yahoo Finance.


@swardley on the impact of CEOs (… and scenario planning)

Interesting posting yesterday from Simon Wardley on his Bits or pieces blog.  As always, an excellent article.  I’m paraphrasing heavily, but Wardley makes that argument that, statistically, “strong” CEO’s (and by extension other senior managers and board members) do not disproportionately benefit a firm’s long term success.  He further argues that as a consequence, resistance against legislating more diversity on management and boards is specious.   I strongly agree that more diversity = better.  Some further analysis would help illustrate the connections, but it’s no matter.  On the question of diversity, he’s right.

With all that said, I found the most interesting bit buried in the middle, about the interplay of situational awareness and competition.  I’ve included his chart here for reference.   (Wardley’s “Awareness vs. Action” figure in the jump).

Favorite quote:  “Without … [scenario planning], strategic play appears to be more about copying others, gut feel, story telling and astrology than it is to chess.”  Outstanding.  Although, I might add “stubborn determination” as a strategic play for start-ups, turn-arounds and SMBs generally.

That leaves the question open, however, about how to efficiently apply those methods to much, much smaller organizations.  Can you?  If not, when does an org transition from gut feel and stubborn determination to something more… methodical?

Bits or pieces?: On the impact of CEOs.