- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (August 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591840058
- ISBN-13: 978-1591840053
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It--No Matter What Hardcover – August 25, 2003
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After Michael Treacy finished writing his bestseller, The Discipline of Market Leaders, he continued to track the companies profiled to answer one major question: how do market-leading companies foster growth? In Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve ItNo Matter What the MIT Management Professor addresses this problem with a five-part portfolio of management disciplines. He offers case studies of well-known and little-known companies that have achieved growth year after year based on this diversified approach.
His first three disciplines--"keep the growth you have already earned," "take business from your competitors," and "show up where the growth is going to happen"--may seem obvious, and even beyond the control of the average executive. But Treacy provides frameworks for applying each as business practice, not just wishful thinking. His fourth and fifth disciplines, "invade adjacent markets" and "invest in new lines of business," are perhaps the most controversial. Here, though, he is not advising rampant conglomeration. Rather, he stresses the need for acquisitions and expansions made based on reliable data predicting long-term growth with risk spread over diversified investments.
Treacy is not presenting a step-by-step formula for success. Through his quick, readable prose he offers instead a course in mental re-training for executives. A management team must construct tools for tracking and measuring its success against each of the five growth disciplines, and it must build a corporate culture that instills growth as a core goal. While he offers no guarantees, his arguments are compelling, and the nuanced management strategies he suggests seem a plausible base for attaining predictable growth. --Patrick OKelley
From Publishers Weekly
Growth, the lifeblood of industry, is the ability of a company to increase its revenues and profits by expanding its business-either by acquiring other companies, increasing its market share, or penetrating new or adjacent markets. While conventional business thinking has it that companies run through a lifecycle of rapid growth, maturity and decline, Treacy believes that double-digit growth is possible even for mature organizations. Take Harley-Davidson, which still exhibits double-digit growth after 100 years in the motorcycle business. However, many of Treacy's star companies (e.g. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Starbucks, Paychex) are still relatively young, while many of the firms he derides for sluggish growth (AT&T, Proctor & Gamble, Revlon) are longstanding firms in mature industries. Treacy's "5 Disciplines" for growth-retain your customer base, gain market share, exploit your market position, penetrate adjacent markets, invest in new lines of business-are too simplistic to be of much practical use. What's valuable in this book are the narratives that describe how some companies have imaginatively achieved significant growth. For example, Treacy relates how Sony beat out Microsoft, Sega, and Nintendo for domination of the once-flat video game market by teaming up with video game developers, driving down the price of consoles, excelling at distribution, and convincing an untapped adult market that video games were not just for kids. Likewise, General Electric controls "customer churn" by creating "sticky" relationships with clients that make it hard for them to defect from GE. Treacy argues convincingly that there are opportunities for creative growth in even the most moribund industries, given the right combination of imagination, expertise and market discipline. Such advice should be helpful to might just be the shot in the arm corporate America needs.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The highlights of the book are the way the ideas are laid out and then described in action with examples across several industries. Some of the tactics include; Spread the risk, Take small bites, Balance your strategies, and Commit to superior value. One key according to Treacy is to accept that growth is a choice. He describes managers talking about growth difficulties as "a little like listening to an addict in denial. Don't they understand that growth is a choice - a choice that lies entirely within their power and no one else's?" (Page 17).
Treacy covers 5 disciplines; Improving customer base retention; Market share gain; Market positioning; Penetrating adjacent markets; New lines of business. While these are certainly solid examples of the ways to approach growth, the real depth in the book is around understanding consumer behavior. He points out the reality behind why most "customer retention" strategies don't work, and how to increase "switching costs" of your products and services. Making your products and services "sticky" is a key to growth working well, by retaining current customers while attracting new ones.
While the information and theories here are certainly not the final word on growth, this book should be required reading for all the corporate "victims" blaming their woes on things outside their control. It is clear that countless opportunities exist within every market niche and through every economic trend to facilitate growth. Many companies do in fact continue to grow, and they are usually ones who are committed to it. The companies that do not grow are usually gone in time. The section on Corning, caught in the euphoria of the late 90's telecom boom, was a great example of how even market leaders fail to get ahead of the indicators and lose as a result.
Overall, a great read, with some good insights. I would have liked to see a bit more focus on the inspirational factors that great leaders bring to align their employees to deliver when the employees themselves may not see the way. That is obviously a huge key to executing a strategy, and was not covered as in depth as it could have been here. Otherwise, a good look at how to achieve growth and will likely cause many light bulbs to go on while reading.
This is now one of my favourite books. (I tend to be a bit fickle and flip from book to book as to which ones are the best.) One thing that I love about the book is the number of examples it gives of companies that maintain double-digit growth for long periods of times. I am a huge growth addict (growth is a great way to drive efficiency into an organization painlessly). Growth is also fun and inspirational. I could rephrase one of the principles of the book with one of my favourite sayings, "Fail often, fail fast, and fail cheap." The gist of it is to experiment in different areas and search aggressively for areas where things can get traction. Look at the downside so don't risk too much. Do it fast and do it often.
The book talks about the toughest way to grow as taking market share from another competitor, growing within a static market is extremely expensive and in most cases very damaging to a company. That's why we constantly seek new markets or markets and change. I have always said, "Change is opportunity".
The book is a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in business.
Treacy offers five disciplines for businesses to embrace to sustain double-digit growth including:
1st Discipline: Focus on retaining your existing customers.
2nd Discipline: Acquire market share from your competitors.
3rd Discipline: Anticipate and capitalize on new market opportunities.
4th Discipline: Penetrate synergistic adjacent market opportunities.
5th Discipline: Invest in non-synergistic business opportunities.
I personally embraced the first four and struggled with his last discipline as I subscribe to the intrinsic value of focus. He does offer several interesting examples of savvy business leaders who have made bold and successful moves into new markets.
I would recommend "Double-Digit Growth" for any business leader who has struggled during our recent and very challenging economic climate and is seeking inspiration to jump-start her company with creative new business objectives. Treacy challenges all business leaders in his conclusion that "sustainable, double-digit growth is a realistic and attainable business goal".