Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth
Wall Street believes that all public companies should grow smoothly and continuously, as evidenced by ever-increasing quarterly earnings, and that all companies either "grow or die." Introducing a research-based growth model called "Smart Growth," Edward D. Hess challenges this ethos and its dangerous mentality, which often deters real growth and pressures businesses to create, manufacture, and purchase noncore earnings just to appease Wall Street.
Smart Growth accounts for the complexity of growth from the perspective of organization, process, change, leadership, cognition, risk management, employee engagement, and human dynamics. Authentic growth is much more than a strategy or a desired result. It is a process characterized by complex change, entrepreneurial action, experimental learning, and the management of risk. Hess draws on extensive public and private company research, incorporating case studies of Best Buy, Sysco, UPS, Costco, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Room & Board, Home Depot, Tiffany & Company, P&G, and Jet Blue. With conceptual innovations such as an Authentic Earnings and Growth System framework, a seven-step growth funnel pipeline, a Growth Decision Template, and a Growth Risks Audit, Hess provides a blueprint for an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.
This book will challenge your basic assumptions about business and growth. It needs to be read and talked about in both companies and business schools.
R. Edward Freeman, Darden Business School, and coauthor of Managing for Stakeholders: Survival, Reputation, and Success
Smart Growth will bend your mind, challenge your assumptions, and set you on a new growth trajectory. If you want to understand how following advice from Wall Street can doom you to destruction, read this book.
Richard D'Aveni, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and author of Hypercompetition and Beating the Commodity Trap: How to Maximize Your Competitive Position and Increase Your Pricing Power
Warning against the creeping corruption of 'managed earnings' and 'making the numbers,' Edward D. Hess wisely urges business manager-leaders to keep their focus on the real growth of getting better, not bigger, and creating true value, not short-term earnings per share.
Charles Ellis, author of Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing
In this masterful work, Edward D. Hess shows us how companies can grow in a healthy and organic manner, one that is sustainable and beneficial for all stakeholders, including society as a whole.
Raj Sisodia, Bentley University, and coauthor of Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose
Hess offers the reader a thoughtful critique of the assumptions underlying the prevailing logic for the growth imperative that is so widely accepted.
Robert K. Kazanjian, Goizueta Business School, Emory University, and coeditor of The Search for Organic Growth
Hess provides insight as well as prescriptions for how to lead effectively and how to grow intelligently.
Kim Cameron, Ross School of Business and the School of Education, University of Michigan, and author of Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance
Hess's insight and research provide a navigational path that illuminates key success factors and models that drive exponential growth.
Jeffrey S. Shuman, Harris Corporation
Hess takes dead aim at one of the sacred shibboleths of businessthe notion that companies must 'grow or die'and scores a bull's-eye. He makes a devastating case and demonstrates how destructive the blind pursuit of growth can be, and has been, to businesses of all types, especially publicly-owned ones. Along the way, Hess maps an alternative approach to managing business growth that focuses on the long-term health of the enterprise. It's a powerful argument and one that should be taken to heart by corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and policymakers alike.
Bo Burlingham, editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and author of Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big
Smart Growth is a provocative and useful evidence-based approach to understanding the principles of corporate growth.
Mary Ann Glynn, Boston College
A new and radical contribution to business thought... Hess provides a blueprint for building an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.
Named one of Inc.'s Best Books for Business Owners 2010
Named one of the Toronto Globe & Mail's Top 10 Managing Books for 2010
This book is easily read and provides keen advice for individuals and companies that are involved in company strategic planning. If you are thinking about growing your company in a smart way, this is a must-read.