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Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It--No Matter What Paperback – December 28, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 It—No 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 O’Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840664
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Michael Treacy sets out to show that growth, double digit growth at that, is possible in every economic environment. This is of course a creative possibility, but is often not acknowledged or even sought after by many in corporate America who are content to do the easy risk-avoidance strategies which ensure their ultimate demise. I liked this quote early in the book to set the tone: "Why do many managers preside over no-growth organizations without confronting the reality that accepting the status quo is the business equivalent of committing suicide?"
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.
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Format: Hardcover
During the times when inflation and GNP growth in the United States were higher, investors gradually expanded their expectations of what "growth" meant. During the great bull market of the 1960s, a company that grew revenues by 10 percent a year was considered a great growth firm. Soon, that target was being set north of 15 percent. Exciting breakthroughs in technology meant that many markets were actually growing faster than that, so those who were growing market share were expanding at enormous rates (remember Cisco in the 1990s?).
Since then, inflation has declined to almost nothing, GDP has been stagnant during the Bush administration (with a recent up tick), and the dollar has been plummeting (making overseas revenues worth much less). That's a tougher environment to grow in than even the 1960s. So Double-Digit Growth is talking about a difficult target for those who are not in the highest growth industries. In appreciation of that point, Michael Treacy (coauthor of The Discipline of Market Leaders) says that companies should measure their growth in terms of total gross profits. So if you are expanding your value-added enough, you may be able to have double-digit growth while having less than double-digit revenue growth. That said, he argues that ANY company can have double-digit growth. I assume that he means it is POSSIBLE. Based on the track record of the last three years, most would agree that it?s IMPROBABLE though if we look at time frames of five years or more.
As with The Discipline of Market Leaders, Mr. Treacy looks at a few successful companies that have met his targets in the past (Johnson Controls, Mohawk Industries, Paychex, Biomet, Oshkosh Truck and Dell) and extrapolates what they did into a few simple lessons.
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Format: Hardcover
Double-digit growth looks at an issue that is finally regaining importance. After years of cutting costs and getting rightsized we are not talking about making companies grow. Hurrah. Treacy does a good job in pointing out how really few companies consistently grow and the practices that they use to create this truely virtuous cycle.
He provides five disciplines:
1) Keep the growth you already have
2) Take business away from your competitiors
3) Show up where the growth is going to happen
4) Invade adjacent markets
5) Invest in new lines of business
The disciplines and their explaination are make in lively action oriented prose with actionable advice. This is a powerful book written about a powerful subject. I have been dismayed by the quality if business book ideas over the past three years and now with this book and some others, ideas and interest in them seem to be getting off the ground.
Read this book, if nothing more than to check yourself and your company against these disciplines. Look at what you are doing and how you are positioning yourself for growth. I think that you will be surprised at what you uncover.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Treacy's book offers clear and consise information about how to grow a company. I was drawn to this book because I am so tired of listening to all of the negativity about the economy, corporate scandals and the recession. Treacy proves- through excellent exmaples-- that several companes, of all shapes and sizes were able to grow durin these challenging years. Ultimately this book touts wise management, a plan to grow and the need to grow. Every American company would be wise to make this book required reading among their managment teams.
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