Saturday, April 26, 2014
Is Kimley-Horn the Boston Red Sox of Engineering Consulting?
Engineering consulting is all about talent. Having casually observed the youthful demographics of the Kimley-Horn professional workforce over the years, one can start to draw a key hiring conclusion - - they excel at youth dominance. In world of talent wars for engineers, it's not the expensive engineers, but inexpensive ones, who are becoming the consulting's prized commodity.
The current issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek has an article on the management of the Boston Red Sox (John Henry and the Making of a Baseball Dynasty) that intersects with engineering consulting. Hiring engineers and hiring baseball players look very similar after reading the article. Consider the following from the article:
"One of the papers presented at the Sloan conference attempts to quantify how all his is affecting the game. In "Can't Buy Much Love: Why Money is Not Baseball's Most Valuable Currency," Martin Kleinbard arrives at a conclusion that mirror's Henry's [John Henry, co-owner of the Red Sox] own thoughts about where the true value lies in baseball today. Kleinbard finds a weak correlation between payroll disparity and winning, arguing instead that "youth dominance" - a team's reliance on younger, cheaper players not yet eligible for free agency - has become a much stronger predictor of success. "To me, the most important thing this study shown is that virtually all of the underpaid players are under 30 and virtually all of the overpaid players are over 30," says Henry. "Yet teams continue to extravagantly overpay for players above the age of 30."
In other words, it's not expensive players, but inexpensive ones, who are becoming baseball's prized commodity, Henry's Red Sox have been shedding the former while betting heavily on the latter."