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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 9 reviews
on March 16, 2010
Ed Hess asserts that the business community--our whole economy, really--has been driven by a pervasive myth about growth: that it can be continuous and smooth...and that companies should be valued according to their ability to achieve results that fit such a curve. In Smart Growth, Professor Hess names this myth and makes the reader conscious of not only its pervasiveness but also its tragic impact on businesses, communities, individuals, and society. Then Professor Hess delivers compelling research--his own and others--that kills the growth myth. Just obliterates it. Now, if CEOs want to run their businesses according to that myth, they had better hope that nobody in and around their companies reads this book...

...Or maybe they should hope that many do read Smart Growth. That way there will be people around them equipped with a mindset--and research-based frameworks and examples--that can re-orient their companies before the "grow or die" mentality cripples or kills them.

Smart Growth provides hope and handles for smart leaders who want to build better companies and a better world. It deserves a wide reading as a significant and original contribution to that cause. I have already started giving it to our firm's clients. The reaction from a business leader just today: "This just makes sense. This is how I think and how I want to run the business." May such readers and leaders multiply smartly.
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on November 27, 2014
This book might be great in hard copy, but do not buy the Kindle version. The spacing issues are horrendous. An example sentence from the introduction is as follows:

As cientific model that does not re liablyre flector predictreal-world behavioris generally discarded.
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on February 5, 2015
Helpful with a course I took from Edward D. Hess with Coursera. The book and the course were both helpful in understanding how others systematically start and operate a business. However, my approach over the past 22 years is way different and it works for me.
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on November 13, 2013
No doubt that enduring companies excel at doing what Edward Hess talks about in this book. The substance of the book is really great, he fills the whole idea with examples from great companies like P&G, Costco, UPS, etc. but i didn't give it a 5 star review, because at several points in the book I felt like it was being to repetitive.
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on June 22, 2014
Must read for any founder and/or CEO dealing with the challenges of growing their business. Before undertaking a growth strategy you must have a clear understanding of why you're growing. Growth is sexy but it comes with a whole set of risks that are often times under respected.
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on March 15, 2010
I am the CEO of a growing private company. Professor Hess's research on high growth private companies gave me a road-map of my upcoming challenges including the "gas pedal" approach to managing the pace of growth; the need for strategic focus; and the challenges of building a management team. I now better understand how growth creates risks (that we often overlook) to be managed and in what specific ways I must not let that growth create quality and customer value proposition risks. The Room & Board and Defender Direct stories were particularly illuminating.

In the heat of growth, its about time we better balanced our leadership upon enduring business principles more than short-term pressure. We are in just such times now. Be prepared to lead. Read Professor Hess's timely book. I highly recommend!
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on March 18, 2010
If you are thinking about growing your organization, this is a must read. Ed's use of case studies brings business theory alive and gives excellent insight into the key factors that are essential for sustainable growth.
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on March 16, 2010
Professor Hess offers convincing evidence that the beliefs "grow or die", growth is always good, and bigger is always better are fictitious. He puts forth research based best practices on managing the risks of growth and a 7-step Darden Growth/Innovation Model to help businesses chart a way to Smart Growth. It is packed full of great stories including Best Buy, Starbucks, Home Depot, UPS, and Room & Board.
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