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Marketbusters: 40 Strategic Moves That Drive Exceptional Business Growth Hardcover – April 4, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

McGrath and MacMillan, graduate business school academics, offer assistance to executives for improving growth and profitability, especially those seeking skills such as improving their decision-making ability, working with the reality that failure is linked to intelligent risk, and making sense of ambiguous information. To achieve growth and profitability, the authors suggest using market busters, actions they define as those a company can take to change the competitive game and bring markedly superior performance. Using tools, checklists, and examples, they present their five core strategies for developing market busters, which include transforming your customers' experience, transforming your firm's products and services, and exploiting shifts in your industry to maximize your advantage as opportunities emerge. Their 40 action steps underlying these core strategies include radically improving productivity, improving cash-flow velocity, changing the way assets are used, and helping your customers improve their cash flow and quality. Rather textbookish in approach, this book nevertheless contains much valuable information. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Rita Gunther McGrath is an Associate Professor of Management at Columbia Business School. Ian C. MacMillan is the Fred Sullivan Professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. They are coauthors of The Entrepreneurial Mindset (HBS Press, 2000).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (April 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591391237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591391234
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School, is regarded as one of the world's top experts on strategy and innovation. Her ideas have been widely used by leading organizations throughout the world, who describe her thinking as sometimes provocative, but unfailingly stimulating. She fosters a fresh approach to strategy amongst those she works with. Thinkers50 presented Rita with the #1 award for strategy, the Distinguished Achievement Award, in 2013. Rita is in their top ten global list of management thinkers overall. She has also been inducted into the Strategic Management Society "Fellows" in recognition of her impact on the field.

Rita maintains an active social media presence, and has been rated one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company Magazine. She consistently appears in rankings of the top business school professors to follow on that medium: Professors on Twitter. She authors a regular column, "The Entrepreneurial Strategist" for Inc Magazine and blogs regularly at Rita is also one of the Wall Street Journal's "Experts.
Rita's new, best-selling book, is titled The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business, which was recognized by Strategy+Business as the #1 business book of the year. Rita has co-authored three previous books: Discovery Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity (2009); MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves that Drive Exceptional Business Growth (2005); and The Entrepreneurial Mindset (2000), all published by Harvard Business Review Press. MarketBusters has been translated into ten languages and was named one of the best business books of 2005 by Strategy+Business.

Rita is one of the most widely published authors in the Harvard Business Review, including the best-selling "Discovery Driven Planning" (1995), which was recognized as an early articulation of today's "lean" startup philosophy and has been praised by Clayton Christensen as one of the most important ideas in management - ever. She is a highly-respected academic researcher whose work has won awards from the most prestigious management journals.

Rita joined the faculty of Columbia Business School in 1993. Prior to life in academia, she was an IT director, worked in the political arena, and founded two startups. She received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She is married and is proud to be the mother of two delightful grownups.

For more information on Rita visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ignore the glitzy title and concentrate on the solid material which is provided. As the subtitle of this volume correctly indicates, McGrath and MacMillan identify and then explain "40 strategic moves that drive exceptional business growth." Decision-makers in many organizations still do not understand that strategies resemble hammers in that they "drive" tactics which are comparable with nails. Of course, both strategies and tactics must be selected with meticulous care, then implemented effectively. The core of this book involves five strategies to create "marketbusters": Transform the customers' experience, transform your offerings, redefine profit drivers, exploit industry shifts, and consider entering (for you) new markets. No news there. The value of this book is derived from McGrath and MacMillan's explanations of (a) HOW to select the strategies which are most appropriate to your organization's current and imminent needs and (b) WHAT to do when coordinating those strategies with tactics (or "moves") during the implementation process.

To assist that process, they provide "Preparing Yourself: Audit Your Strategy and Clarify Your Process," a self-dianostic which poses most (if not all) of the key questions to be answered and most (if not all) of the key issues to be addressed. Of special interest to me is the provision, also, of a set of "Action Steps" at the conclusion of each chapter.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nancy C. Easterbrook on July 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If business growth or commercial development is in your job description, then you will want to keep this book at hand. In the first place, it has been written for the practitioner (a point which is deeply appreciated by those of us who hate to wade through heavily footnoted academic works in order to ferret out what might be of practical use). In fact, it almost reminds me of a cookbook - a list of tested recipes you might use to prepare some business growth depending on what materials you have on hand. That is why I keep the book on my desk - it allows me to make a quick assessment of just what I am dealing with along with ways to go about it. The book does assume a certain familiarity with the activities/scenarios that surround growing a business. For a rookie, I'd recommend reading "The Entrepreneurial Mindset" first. Finally, there is a real nugget in this book, which, in my opinion, should not have been relegated to the second-to-the-last chapter. However, starting on page 181, there is a discussion on what it is really like to try to implement these market-busting moves inside a company. Having spent 17 years in industry, most of it in early stage development, I find the organizational difficulties of executing outside the normal parameters to be much harder than any technical or market challenge. This book is one of the few that even begins to address that difficulty and provides strategies to deal with it. This chapter proves that the authors know about the workings of large companies beyond the conceptual level.

In summary, this is a readable, practical, useful, and insightful book - you will not get tired of it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. -. HQH on August 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Better than "Ghostbusters!", this book is most valuable due to its sharp questions and pointed advice to chase away the ghost of slow growth. I'm professionally involved in Private Equity and Venture Capital investing in Germany and internationally. For an investor it is crucial to understand growth drivers and the future growth potential of portfolio companies. The 40 strategic moves and the framework for MarketBusters offer practical guidelines - far more helpful in the day to day business than for example the rather conceptional books of Clayton Christensen. I would highly recommend this book not only to top executives for structuring their companies' growth efforts, but also for investors as guidelines for due diligence questions and better comprehension of growth potentials. Clearly 5 Stars!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rob Weber on April 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are a number of books on the market focused on innovation, and this one is by far the best. McGrath and MacMillan have built upon concepts introduced in The Entrepreneurial Mindset, and have yet again provided actionable strategies for driving extraordinary growth.

MarketBusters provides a disciplined approach toward examining "profit drivers" within a company and developing straight forward strategies for redefining products, processes and business models. Through models and prospecting questions, the book provides a hands-on tool that can be put to use immediately in virtually any business.

For example, identifying what you charge customers for and how you measure profitablity, and changing the game to match customer needs, is an example of a simple, but effective technique for redefining your offerings and developing a defensible competitive position.

I have seen the results of using the concepts in MarketBusters. A must read!
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