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Think Big, Act Small: How America's Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive Paperback – Illustrated, May 2, 2012
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Tradition says there are three ways to grow a company’s profits: Fire up the sales team with empty promises, cut costs and downsize, or cook the books. But what if there’s a better way—a way that nine amazingly profitable and well-run companies are already embracing?
Jason Jennings and his research team screened more than 100,000 American companies to find nine that rarely end up on magazine covers, yet have increased revenues and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years. Then they interviewed the leaders, workers, and customers of these quiet superstars to find the secrets of their astoundingly consistent and profitable growth.
What they have in common is a culture—a community—based on a shockingly simple precept: Think big, but act small. It works for retailers like PETCO, Cabela’s, and O’Reilly Automotive, manufacturers like Medline Industries, service companies like Sonic Drive-In, private educational companies like Strayer, industrial giants like Koch Enterprises, and software companies like SAS.
These companies think big ideas about solving customers’ problems, making better products, and creating value. And yet they never stop acting like start-ups—staying humble, treating every employee like the owner, and teaching managers to get their hands dirty.Jennings and his researchers have updated this book with new stories and insights about why these companies continue to thrive—through the economic downturn—and have now increased revenues and profits for fifteen consecutive years. Any company, no matter the size or industry, can benefit from following their examples.
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About the Author
- ASIN : 1591843936
- Publisher : Portfolio; Reprint edition (May 2, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781591843931
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591843931
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.82 x 8.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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If you aren't running a company or are at the C-level; then the book doesn't seem geared for you - yet the takeaway is finding a company you'd want to work for - that allows you to grow.
Some key findings:
- Really listen to the customer; do all you can to meet their needs - provide solutions to them
- Openly share information and ideas within the company - both to associates and stakeholders
- Focus on quality vs growth (growth usually follows)
- Try things; if they don't work - fix 'em; if they can't easily be fixed; cut your losses and move on
- Principles over rules
- Think like the owner
- Adapt to change regularly
- Make lots of small bets; trying new things
- Play your own game; decide where you want to complete
- Engender a higher cause
I have found that a great deal of research does not contribute to the improvement of process or people, but tends to be credited towards tenure or supporting a position already espoused by an organization. The information shared in this book offers a wonderful option to research, in that in provides real world solutions to real world problems.
The Jennings research analyzed more than 100,000 companies to find the characteristics of success that may elude many of us. The group discovered practical approaches to achieving consistency in performance, revenues, team work and results. There are specific action steps that can be evaluated and replicated, which is what I consider the purpose of research.
I had the opportunity to hear a portion of a Jennings keynote once - he is dynamic and interesting.
Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS