I just finished reading GROW and found it both inspirational and practical. Stengel does a good job of relating 'ideals' and 'purpose' to any business, not just cause related ventures. This topic of 'ideals driven' or 'purpose driven' brands and organizations is being talked about a lot recently, but I believe we're seeing just the beginning of a wave of businesses waking up to the importance of this trend. Only someone with the experience of being P&G's CMO can pull off these proclamations with credibility.
Jim provides a great balance of case studies from inspirational companies in his 'Stengel 50' in addition to very personal stories from his own challenging and rewarding career at P&G. The only criticism I have is that Stengel could have done more to emphasize the importance of social networks and tools in empowering consumers to connect with brands and create two-way conversations (he includes this, but IMHO it deserved more focus).
The move toward ideals or purpose driven organizations is gaining momentum in many fronts. You can see it among aging boomers... from angel investors backing socially-impactful start-ups, to second-careers in areas that matter to improving peoples' lives. I also see this with the emerging generation of young professionals who bring to the workplace a much stronger commitment (earlier in their career than I found out) to the importance of purpose and balance. Both of these cohorts are going to be important enablers of the 'ideals powered brands' that Jim is espousing.
I highly recommend this book to any business professional looking for inspiration, and especially to senior level marketers and general managers who need help in re-igniting their brands and organizations for long term success.