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Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses Hardcover – April 25, 2012

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Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses + The Road to Organic Growth: How Great Companies Consistently Grow Marketshare from Within + So, You Want to Start a Business?: 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[O]riginal and insightful . . . Highly recommended."—S. Gove, CHOICE


"In a world where too many business owners and investors are being taught that 'we must grow or die,' Ed Hess provides responsible research to expose, challenge, and disprove dangerous misconceptions about growth. Ed's findings are beautifully packaged into this easy-to-read book. Our company has had a great growth ride, and we keep returning to Ed's approach to guide our next steps."—Dave Lindsey, CEO & Founder, DEFENDER Direct, Inc.


"With curiosity and unwavering conviction, Ed Hess dives deeply into the heart of successful organizations. He illustrates the bold strategies that make these great companies thrive. But, more importantly, he uncovers the nuances of those strategies that truly build the foundation for enduring success. This book will give any savvy business leader the insights needed to achieve long-term prosperity."—Nancy Greatrix McGough, Human Resource Director, Room & Board


"Grow to Greatness is a 'must have' reference of best practices and lessons learned by others who have successfully taken the growth journey. If you are anticipating growing your business or already on that path, this evidence-based book can be your mentor and guide at every point. Simply put: another compelling 'real world' read from Hess."—Randall J. Bufford, Founder, President, and CEO, Trilogy Health Services, LLC


"Ed Hess has written a masterful work on business growth. Grow to Greatness provides a wonderful blueprint of critical steps to be completed along the journey of building a successful, profitable company."—Andrew L. Bourne, CEO, WayPoint, Serial Entrepreneur
"Having successfully managed the daunting entrepreneurial phase of startup to profitability, I cannot think of a greater challenge than scaling my company from a mid-size player to an industry leader. This book offers insightful lessons based on empirical research and thought provoking questions that every entrepreneur faces when aiming to go from good to great."—Parikshat Laxminarayan, Managing Director, Enchanting-Travels

About the Author

Edward D. Hess is a Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the author of over sixty Darden cases. His recent books include Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts and Cases and Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth. His growth research has been featured in over 200 media outlets worldwide, including USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Financial Times, Fortune, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business News, WSJ Radio, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and NPR. To learn more about Professor Hess, visit his website: www.EDHLTD.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Business Books (April 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804775346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804775342
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward D. Hess is a Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business, The University of Virginia.He spent over 30 years in the business world prior to joining academia as a lawyer, investment banker, strategy consultant, and entrepreneur.

He is the author/editor of 11 books, over 60 business school cases, and over 60 articles dealing with high performance learning organizations, growth, values-based leadership, and family businesses. His current research is in the areas of learning cultures, systems and processes. His work can be found @ www.EDHLTD.com. His work has appeared in over 300 media outlets worldwide the last 4 years including WSJ Radio, Dow Jones Radio,Bloomberg Radio, CNBC, NPR, Fox Business News, Forbes, Bloomberg, Business Week, Investor's Business Daily, CFO Magazine, Leadership Excellence, Chief Learning Officer, Washington Post, Financial Executive,Big Think, Business Insider, MSNBC Radio, and Money Magazine.

He has extensive experience advising and financing growth companies and multi-generational family businesses. He also has extensive research and consulting experience in the areas of public company organic growth and is the co-author of the Darden Growth/Innovation Model. His organic growth research has produced the concepts of The Growth System, The Growth Risks Audit, The Organic Growth Index financial model, and The Organic Growth Progression.

His business experience includes tenures with Warburg Paribas Becker, Boettcher & Company, The Robert M. Bass Group, Jones Lang Wooten, and Arthur Andersen Finance.

He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Florida, and obtained a J.D. from the University of Virginia and an LL.M. ( Taxation) from New York University.

He was raised in Carrollton, Georgia and worked his way through college as a student football mathematician for the Florida Gators. He is happily ( most days) married, loves to cook, travel, read, and play with his grandchildren and two tibetian terriers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Fleming on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the first page of this terrific book, the author writes: "Hi. I am Ed Hess." And he goes on to briefly describe his relevant background in an informative and friendly-but-no-nonsense way. After reading Grow to Greatness, I'd like to introduce the author is a slightly different way: "He is Ed Hess. He knows a 'boatload' about how to grow entrepreneurial businesses because he's run them, studied them (formally and informally...statistically and humanistically...Jim Collins has got nothing on him...), consulted to them, and written about them for a looooooong time. You're going to get it all in this book..."

So this is what you get in this book--the fruits of a comprehensive study of 54 high growth private companies along with a raft of ideas, inspiration, frameworks, tools, reminders, and real-life business stories and people--all delivered in a straight-forward, friendly-but-no-nonsense, "Hess-ian" (I've read his other books and know well the man himself) way; all intensely relevant and massively informative to the challenges of growing a business (Ed just packs it in here...so much good stuff and such a variety of the kinds of stuff...hence, a "Bible"); and all well-organized with a single, simple purpose: to help real people who want to grow real businesses do it in a smart, sustainable, and society-serving way.

Ed Hess is the best friend an entrepreneur could have; and you really do get Ed and his wisdom, both scholarly and practical, in his latest book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Natalie Schafer Foley on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was eerie to read in terms of how relevant the content is in my role as VP & COO of a small consulting firm. The book is so helpful in its combination of case studies, templates and discussion questions; I find myself referencing it once a quarter at least. As I read it, I went back and forth as I read thinking, "yep, that's exactly what's happening/that's so true" and then, "holy cow, we should be thinking about this." I'd recommend it to anyone desiring, experiencing or interested in growing their entrepreneurial business.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Illinois Dad on December 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't write very many reviews but based upon the quality of this book, I felt compelled to.

Grow to Greatness is written in the manner of an interactive workshop. In fact, I frequently paused while reading to work through the worksheets the author provided. This resulted in a number of "ah ha" moments that have radically reshaped my business' strategic plan for the upcoming year.

Like many companies, we conduct an annual planning process where each executive creates a strategy for his team. This year was no different than the rest in that this resulted in a hodge podge of poorly defined goals with no internal consistency and few success measures. Even worse, some of these proposed plans would be expensive and would place pressures on other areas of the business.

I took these plans and used them for the raw material of this virtual workshop. The author walks the reader through many different concepts which I have not seen elsewhere. He insists that the reader address the "risks of growth", identify "preconditions to growth", and create a portfolio of S-curves to avoid placing all of one's eggs in a single basket.

This process was invaluable because it enabled me to make go/no-go decisions on many of the initiatives proposed by my managers. Should we have an office in London? Probably not due to the legal and financial expense, tax reporting complexities, and the distraction it would introduce to our domestic business. Should we pursue those lucrative but infrequent consulting contracts? Again, probably not because to do so would distract our sales team from lower-price but steadier product business. And so on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Shawn Truesdell on March 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading this book as a supplement to doing the authors course about business growth through Coursera.org. This book as opened my eyes to many of the mistakes the business I work in is having and gives clear understanding on how to prepare for and control these problems. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book does a great job in filling an important gap in entrepreneurship literature - how to grow a business. The author clearly has both an academic and practical background. He uses both in presenting the material, so that this is very practical, street level information with lots of examples or case studies. There really are not enough good, comprehensive resources about how to grow a small, entrepreneurial business, and this fits the need. Most are oriented toward one aspect (i.e. marketing), or too focused on one industry or type of business. This book focuses more on the organizational development side of growth, and does so with reference to both 'high growth' companies and main street businesses.

There are a few key content pieces that make the book stand out. It acknowledges the need for the entrepreneur to grow as the business grows. This is consistent with my research, and is an important facet that is often overlooked in entrepreneurial business growth literature. Hess also provides some very practical details, such as quotes that encasulate persectives or ideas, and do-it-yourself steps to help business and entrepreneur growth. All in all worth your money.
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