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Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies Hardcover – Deckle Edge, December 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1St Edition edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307720357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307720351
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“By combining a scientist's rigor with a storyteller's gifts, Jim Stengel has produced a brilliant, must-read book supremely suited to our times.” —Arianna Huffington
 
“When you start reading Grow, you may well feel a little skeptical about the ideal and its bottom-line value.  But you’ll soon become intrigued – and then utterly convinced.  Jim Stengel shares his beliefs and his experience with a generosity bordering on the reckless; and has the hard, clean numbers to bear his teachings out.” —Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO,  WPP   
 
Grow is a tool kit for turning the power of ideals…into competitive advantage and sustainable growth.” —Robert A. McDonald, chairman, president, and CEO, Procter & Gamble
 
“A landmark book tailor-made for the times!” —Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence

“ ... A new, powerful model for business. ... A must-read ... for all business leaders.”  —Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
 
“This breakthrough book, filled with original ideas and engaging stories, will inspire you to rethink what truly matters to your company and career. " —William C. Taylor, founding editor, Fast Company, bestselling author of Practically Radical

“Jim Stengel shows quite conclusively the power of galvanizing your company around a noble cause. It’s a great way to think about your business!” —David C. Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc.
 
“In this fascinating book…I personally discovered ideas that are exactly what we need in today’s business environment.” —Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Group
 
“Jim Stengel is a pioneer. Not only has he cracked the code on growth, unlocking the mysteries of what drives supercharged performance, he gives us something more profound. When you truly and measurably improve other people’s lives, your life and the life of your business and brand improves exponentially. Mystery solved. Truth unleashed.” —Roy Spence, chairman and cofounder, GSD&M; CEO and cofounder, The Purpose Institute; and author of It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For

About the Author

As Global Marketing Officer from 2001 to 2008, Jim Stengel led the effort to leverage higher ideals in brands throughout Procter & Gamble. Since 2008 he has been CEO of The Jim Stengel Company, a think tank and consultancy conducting proprietary research, generating thought leadership and applying his ideals-driven framework to drive business growth. He is also an adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and serves on the boards of directors of Motorola Mobility and AOL  Jim has published in Harvard Business Review and was recently named to Fortune magazine’s First Executive Dream Team. Jim and his wife Kathleen live in Cincinnati, Ohio and Coronado, California.

More About the Author

As global marketing officer from 2001 to 2008, Jim Stengel led the effort to leverage higher ideals in brands throughout Procter & Gamble. Since 2008, he has been CEO of The Jim Stengel Company, a think tank and consultancy conducting proprietary research, generating thought leadership, and applying his ideals-driven framework to drive business growth in today's global economy. He is also an adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and serves on the Board of Directors for AOL. Jim has been published in Harvard Business Review and was named to Fortune magazine's Executive Dream Team in 2011. Jim and his wife, Kathleen, live in Cincinnati, Ohio and Coronado, California.

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Customer Reviews

The inspiring lessons and stories from this book will stay with me and influence the work that I do.
Bernadette Jiwa
You can see it among aging boomers... from angel investors backing socially-impactful start-ups, to second-careers in areas that matter to improving peoples' lives.
Michael Docherty
Stengel presents authoritative research and great anecdotes in a way that is both easy to comprehend and inspiring.
Book Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Byron Sharp on December 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Roman Generals used to consult the pecking patterns of chickens to decide whether to go into battle or not. According to Stengel's method this was the reason for the success of the Roman Army in its day.

Four second-year MBA students looked only at 50 top performing firms to see if they had, in their opinion, strong ideals (as their instructors believed). Unsurprisingly they 'discovered' what their instructors told them would exist (page 34).

Marketing consultant Jim Stengel seems a nice guy, he wants us to be passionate about our business and to feel that there is a greater purpose than simply making money. Few would disagree. But he also claims to have discovered the secret to sustained super profits - based on a flawed study dressed up as science. The`Stengel Study' makes the same mistakes as earlier pop management books that claimed to uncover the secret of sustained financial success. Professor Philip Rosenzweig's "The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers" exposes these mistakes.

To detect factors that might cause financial success Stengel should at least compared carefully matched samples of both successful and unsuccessful firms, and developed hard objective measures of strategy - not relied almost entirely on interviews with experts. Also, to avoid confirmation bias, the researchers who described the firms and their strategies should not have been aware of which were the successful and unsuccessful ones. And finally, any resulting theories should be tested against the future performance of the firms. Otherwise what looks like science turns out to be simply a story.

This book doesn't predict which company will do well, and already a number of Stengel's outstanding 'ideal-driven' companies have floundered.

The success of brands (and the large corporations behind them) is far more complex than Stengel's book and its predecessors claim.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jiang Xueqin on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For readers of "Built to Last, " "Grow" offers nothing new. This book also argues that business success requires a leader's ability to articulate a vision, build the company and brand around that vision. What this book does offer are a lot of useful case studies as well as anecdotes that illuminate the main messages.

The main fault with this book is like any business book it tries to distill the formula for business success into a general formula that can be applied everywhere. A great business is great because of great people, and great people are rare -- and that's just an unfortunate fact of life.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Docherty on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading GROW and found it both inspirational and practical. Stengel does a good job of relating 'ideals' and 'purpose' to any business, not just cause related ventures. This topic of 'ideals driven' or 'purpose driven' brands and organizations is being talked about a lot recently, but I believe we're seeing just the beginning of a wave of businesses waking up to the importance of this trend. Only someone with the experience of being P&G's CMO can pull off these proclamations with credibility.

Jim provides a great balance of case studies from inspirational companies in his 'Stengel 50' in addition to very personal stories from his own challenging and rewarding career at P&G. The only criticism I have is that Stengel could have done more to emphasize the importance of social networks and tools in empowering consumers to connect with brands and create two-way conversations (he includes this, but IMHO it deserved more focus).

The move toward ideals or purpose driven organizations is gaining momentum in many fronts. You can see it among aging boomers... from angel investors backing socially-impactful start-ups, to second-careers in areas that matter to improving peoples' lives. I also see this with the emerging generation of young professionals who bring to the workplace a much stronger commitment (earlier in their career than I found out) to the importance of purpose and balance. Both of these cohorts are going to be important enablers of the 'ideals powered brands' that Jim is espousing.

I highly recommend this book to any business professional looking for inspiration, and especially to senior level marketers and general managers who need help in re-igniting their brands and organizations for long term success.
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Stengel begins the first chapter with two separate but related questions: "What makes a business grow beyond the competition? What powers an enterprise to the top and keep it there?" In response, he offers "a new framework" whose central principle is the importance of having a brand ideal. That is, a shared goal of improving people's lives. A brand ideal is s business' essential reason for being, the higher order it brings to the world."

If this seems a tad idealistic, if not naïve, consider the fact that recent research, including a ten-year growth study Stengel conducted of more than 50,000 [that's correct: 50,000] brands around the world, revealed the need for the framework that Stengel devised. So what? The data from his study indicates that companies with ideals of improving lives at the center of all they do outperform the market by a huge margin. For example, the return on an investment in the top 50 companies in his study would have been 400% more than an investment in the Standard & Poor's 500.

A key term in Stengel's book is what he calls the "Ideal Factor," one that keeps renewing and strengthening great businesses through good times and bad. Having a brand ideal "is the only sustainable way to recruit, unite, and inspire all the people a business touches, from empl9iyees to customers. It is the only thing that enduringly connects the core beliefs of the people inside a business with the fundamental human values of the people the business serves. Without that connection, without a brand ideal, no business can excel"...or survive.

Stengel focuses most of his attention in the book on explaining HOW to achieve a number of specific objectives. They include

o How to discover an ideal in one of five fields of fundamental human values (i.e.
Read more ›
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