How Your Enterprise Can Make Better Decisions and Learn from its Mistakes: Based on Sixty Years of Experience Gained from Working with Very Knowledgeable People is the title of Vincent P. Barabba’s latest book. Barabba, a 1954 School of Business graduate, has based his book on his six-decade career as a political strategist, corporate executive, two-time Director of the US Census Bureau, chairman and co-founder of Market Insight Corporation, and by serving as a member of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. He is chairman of The State of the USA, a nonprofit corporation providing quality information to the American public on societal, economic, and environmental conditions. Barabba is particularly well known and respected for his work in the field of market research and opinion polling.
Vincent Barabb’s impressive career began as a political campaign survey researcher, leading to a position as a business market researcher that resulted in him becoming Director of Market Intelligence for Xerox Corp. and Eastman Kodak. Until 2003 he was General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Knowledge Development at General Motors, where he conceived and devised OnStar and MyProductAdvisor.
A preeminent civic leader and business executive, Barabba has assisted governors, members of congress and US presidents – as well as the boards of several of the nation’s leading corporations – make some critically important decisions. In 1973, President Richard Nixon appointed him Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter reappointed him to this role, making him the only person to receive this honor from presidents of different political parties. In 1983, Barabba received his third presidential appointment when President Ronald Reagan made him the United States Representative on the Population Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Throughout his prominent career, Barabba has found himself engaging with a variety of academics from multiple disciplines, including Thomas Davenport, Harold Kassarjian, Ralph Kilman, John Little, Richard Mason, Ian Mitroff, John Pourdehnad, C. K. Prahalad, Everett Rogers, and others.
Aside from his 1954 Woodbury University degree, Barabba holds degrees from California State University, Northridge and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by California State University, Northridge.
Barabba is the recipient of numerous awards, among which, Fellow of the American Statistical Association, Induction into the Market Research Council’s Hall of Fame, The American Marketing Association’s Parlin Award for leadership, The MIT/General Motors Buck Weaver Award for individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science, and more.
Barabba says his new book is designed to encourage readers to develop and adapt a decision process that he has used over his years of experience. He emphasizes the important of learning from our enterprises’ mistakes and reflects on his numerous career experiences that helped him acquire a deep understanding of how society thinks, acts, and aspires: a skill that he considers essential for a successful future.
Prior to his current book, Mr. Barabba wrote and co-wrote numerous articles and books, among which “Political Campaign Management: Myth and Reality” (1968), “Federal Statistics in a Complex Environment: The Case of the 1980 Federal Census” (1983, with Mason, R.O. and Mitroff, I.I.), “Hearing the Voice of the Market: Competitive Advantage through Creative Use of Market Information” (1991, with Zaltman, G.), and “Surviving Transformation” (2004).