- Hardcover: 296 pages
- Publisher: Stanford Business Books; 1 edition (April 25, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804775346
- ISBN-13: 978-0804775342
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses 1st Edition
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"Having successfully managed the daunting entrepreneurial phase of startup to profitability, I cannot think of a greater challenge than scaling my company from a mid-size player to an industry leader. This book offers insightful lessons based on empirical research and thought provoking questions that every entrepreneur faces when aiming to go from good to great." (Parikshat Laxminarayan, Managing Director Enchanting-Travels)
"In a world where too many business owners and investors are being taught that 'we must grow or die,' Ed Hess provides responsible research to expose, challenge, and disprove dangerous misconceptions about growth. Ed's findings are beautifully packaged into this easy-to-read book. Our company has had a great growth ride, and we keep returning to Ed's approach to guide our next steps." (Dave Lindsey, CEO & Founder, DEFENDER Direct)
"[O]riginal and insightful . . . Highly recommended." (S. Gove CHOICE)
"Ed Hess has written a masterful work on business growth. Grow to Greatness provides a wonderful blueprint of critical steps to be completed along the journey of building a successful, profitable company." (Andrew L. Bourne, CEO, WayPoint Serial Entrepreneur)
"With curiosity and unwavering conviction, Ed Hess dives deeply into the heart of successful organizations. He illustrates the bold strategies that make these great companies thrive. But, more importantly, he uncovers the nuances of those strategies that truly build the foundation for enduring success. This book will give any savvy business leader the insights needed to achieve long-term prosperity." (Nancy Greatrix McGough, Human Resource Director)
"Grow to Greatness is a 'must have' reference of best practices and lessons learned by others who have successfully taken the growth journey. If you are anticipating growing your business or already on that path, this evidence-based book can be your mentor and guide at every point. Simply put: another compelling 'real world' read from Hess." (Randall J. Bufford, Founder, President, and CEO, Trilogy Health Services LLC)
About the Author
Edward D. Hess is a Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the author of over sixty Darden cases. His recent books include Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts and Cases and Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth. His growth research has been featured in over 200 media outlets worldwide, including USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Financial Times, Fortune, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business News, WSJ Radio, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and NPR. To learn more about Professor Hess, visit his website: www.EDHLTD.com.
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Grow to Greatness is written in the manner of an interactive workshop. In fact, I frequently paused while reading to work through the worksheets the author provided. This resulted in a number of "ah ha" moments that have radically reshaped my business' strategic plan for the upcoming year.
Like many companies, we conduct an annual planning process where each executive creates a strategy for his team. This year was no different than the rest in that this resulted in a hodge podge of poorly defined goals with no internal consistency and few success measures. Even worse, some of these proposed plans would be expensive and would place pressures on other areas of the business.
I took these plans and used them for the raw material of this virtual workshop. The author walks the reader through many different concepts which I have not seen elsewhere. He insists that the reader address the "risks of growth", identify "preconditions to growth", and create a portfolio of S-curves to avoid placing all of one's eggs in a single basket.
This process was invaluable because it enabled me to make go/no-go decisions on many of the initiatives proposed by my managers. Should we have an office in London? Probably not due to the legal and financial expense, tax reporting complexities, and the distraction it would introduce to our domestic business. Should we pursue those lucrative but infrequent consulting contracts? Again, probably not because to do so would distract our sales team from lower-price but steadier product business. And so on.
By following this process, I was able to hone down our strategy to three simple initiatives with a high probability of success, a minimum of risk and which place a minimum amount of disruption on the business. Instead of killing myself (and my employees) with a massive number of initiatives, next year will be all about getting them to focus on the right things (and just one of them for each department).
Hands down, this is probably the single best book in my library on how to grow a business organically.
There are a few key content pieces that make the book stand out. It acknowledges the need for the entrepreneur to grow as the business grows. This is consistent with my research, and is an important facet that is often overlooked in entrepreneurial business growth literature. Hess also provides some very practical details, such as quotes that encasulate persectives or ideas, and do-it-yourself steps to help business and entrepreneur growth. All in all worth your money.
So this is what you get in this book--the fruits of a comprehensive study of 54 high growth private companies along with a raft of ideas, inspiration, frameworks, tools, reminders, and real-life business stories and people--all delivered in a straight-forward, friendly-but-no-nonsense, "Hess-ian" (I've read his other books and know well the man himself) way; all intensely relevant and massively informative to the challenges of growing a business (Ed just packs it in here...so much good stuff and such a variety of the kinds of stuff...hence, a "Bible"); and all well-organized with a single, simple purpose: to help real people who want to grow real businesses do it in a smart, sustainable, and society-serving way.
Ed Hess is the best friend an entrepreneur could have; and you really do get Ed and his wisdom, both scholarly and practical, in his latest book.