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The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise Paperback – Bargain Price, May, 2000
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The authors describe the approaches that have succeeded in helping their corporate clients around the world to step up the pace. For instance, companies must simultaneously focus on "three horizons" critical to growth. The first is the current bread-and-butter of the firm; the second, the fast-developing entrepreneurial ventures; and the third, the ideas that will germinate into tomorrow's profits. The best part of the book: the real-life examples of firms that have transformed themselves from laggards to supercharged growth companies. Take Disney, for example. After founder Walt Disney's death in 1966, the company stagnated, with its theme park and film business slipping. But after Michael Eisner took over in 1984, Disney boosted its average annual returns to 29 percent, on the strength of growth in such new avenues as Disney stores, ESPN, and resort development. The Alchemy of Growth is an instructive handbook for managers interested in spurring their companies to new heights. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
As you would expect of a book out of the McKinsey stable, this is on an issue of importance to business, is well researched and analysed and very readable and well presented. As you would also expect, it is focused on large corporates, and on strategies for their business success, as measured by exceptional growth and returns to stockholders.
It provides one important perspective on the issue of corporate growth and development, to be compared with other perspectives.
There are obvious comparisons with Collins & Porras: 'Built to Last' both in the concern with continuing exceptional performance over an extended period and in the care taken to explain the research base from which the findings are derived. However, whereas Collins & Porras are concerned primarily with values and culture, Baghai et al are primarily interested in strategies for the selection, development and management of a portfolio of businesses and the implications of those strategies for structuring, staffing and operations.
The fundamental thesis is simple and can be stated in a few propositions:
The companies that have been successful in maintaining high rates of growth with superior profitability are those that have learnt to manage well to three different time horizons at the same time - today's business, the next generation of emerging businesses, and the longer term options out of which the next generation of businesses will arise.Read more ›
Make a nice short read in the bookstore cafe but it won't last more than a cup or two.
Here's a chapter's worth - manage three growth time-horizons simultaneously. I just saved you a cup.
However, the content IS important and useful.
1- "Growth's transformative power is akin to the alchemy of old. Always a mystery, alchemy's magical blend of science, philosophy, art, and spirituality held secrets that even its practitioners found difficult to penetrate. Still, they were all drawn to its alluring aim: to transform the everyday into the exalted. The pursuit of corporate growth has prompted a similar reaction in the field of management. Although excited by growth's promise, executives are uncertain about how to capture it. Feeling ill equipped to lead a growth charge, many seek a approach that shows them how they can actually attain and sustain growth. This book is addressed to them. It attempts to arm business leaders for growth by laying out a proven practical framework for the holistic management of a growing enterprise. The ideas and approaches suggested here are applicable to businesses and business units of all sizes, in all locations. They are intended to provide guidance to all levels of business leadership."
2- "Our research makes it clear that very few companies sustain above-average growth for their industry year after year. Indeed, some of the companies we studied have already suffered slowdowns, and we fully expect more to do so. But these setbacks do not detract ft-om the lessons to be learned from the sustained phases of growth; indeed, they serve to reinforce the need for new approaches to help executives keep growth going. Our own approach has been specifically developed to help companies grow throughout the business cycle - not only sailing through the upswings, but also maintaining growth during the downturns.Read more ›
The book is a quick read (almost comically quick, given the price) and mercifully low on buzz words. Right now, I don't see the appendix as being particularly useful, but I may find it more so later. Annotating the bibliography would have added a lot of value.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book that defined the three horizon planning model. There is a good short article trapped in this book trying to escape. But the source of a revolutionary approach to planning.Published 4 months ago by skmurphy
This is an older, but damn its great. The authors do an incredible job describing growth cycles of business and they provide good ideas how to optimize each cycle as well as how to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dan Feliciano
Certainly a good read. Although management consultants help company management navigate the issues companies face or help them evolve, but I would love to read more data-driven... Read morePublished 11 months ago by gulatin2
Simple yet comprehensive bible regarding the strategy for growth. Hamel and Prahalad, Adizes, Slywotzky and Morrison fill in a lot of detail under this overall thesis....Published on June 8, 2014 by Dennis A. Starliper
In my career I've been through eight Mergers and Acquisitions, and currently making my way through my ninth. Read morePublished on May 4, 2011 by Richard Tucker
Great read. It tells you how to identify and nurture new growth opportunities, an area where many good companies struggle. Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by KG
Sustained growth is the motivation of any profit-making organization. As the authors point out, few organizations achieve sustained growth. Read morePublished on February 27, 2006 by Amazon Customer
This book provides a easy-to-understand mental model for thinking about organizational growth. However, the concept of growing and managing three "horizons" of growth at the same... Read morePublished on April 30, 2005 by tinotchka