- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Virgin Books (12 Jan. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753540665
- ISBN-13: 978-0753540664
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's 50 Greatest Companies Paperback – 12 Jan 2012
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“By combining a scientist's rigor with a storyteller's gifts, Jim Stengel has produced a brilliant, must-read book supremely suited to our times”--Arianna Huffington
“When you start reading Grow, you may well feel a little sceptical about the ideal and its bottom-line value. But you'll soon become intrigued - and then utterly convinced. Jim Stengel shares his beliefs and his experience with a generosity bordering on the reckless; and has the hard, clean numbers to bear his teachings out”--Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
“Grow is a tool kit for turning the power of ideals... into competitive advantage and sustainable growth”--Robert A. McDonald, chairman, president, and CEO, Procter & Gamble
“A landmark book tailor-made for the times”--Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence
“A new, powerful model for business. ... A must-read ... for all business leaders”--Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
“This breakthrough book, filled with original ideas and engaging stories, will inspire you to rethink what truly matters to your company and career”--William C. Taylor, founding editor, Fast Company, bestselling author of Practically Radical
What makes a business grow beyond the competition? What powers it to the top and keeps it there?See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The `Stengel Study' makes the same mistakes as earlier pop management books that claimed to uncover the secret of sustained financial success. Professor Philip Rosenzweig's "The Halo Effect: How Managers Let Themselves Be Deceived" exposes these mistakes. I recommend Rosenzweig's book.
A team of four second-year MBA students looked only at 50 top performing firms to see if they had, in their opinion, strong ideals (as their instructors believed). Unsurprisingly they `discovered' what their instructors told them would exist (page 34).
To detect factors that might cause financial success Stengel should at least compared carefully matched samples of both successful and unsuccessful firms, and developed hard objective measures of strategy - not relied almost entirely on interviews with experts. Also, to avoid confirmation bias, the researchers who described the firms and their strategies should not have been aware of which were the successful and unsuccessful ones. And finally, any resulting theories should be tested against the future performance of the firms. Otherwise what looks like science turns out to be simply a story.
It doesn't predict which company will do well, and already a number of Stengel's outstanding `ideal-driven' companies have floundered.
The success of brands (and the large corporations behind them) is far more complex than Stengel's book and its predecessors claim.
If this seems a tad idealistic, if not naïve, consider the fact that recent research, including a ten-year growth study Stengel conducted of more than 50,000 [that's correct: 50,000] brands around the world, revealed the need for the framework that Stengel devised. So what? The data from his study indicates that companies with ideals of improving lives at the center of all they do outperform the market by a huge margin. For example, the return on an investment in the top 50 companies in his study would have been 400% more than an investment in the Standard & Poor's 500.
A key term in Stengel's book is what he calls the "Ideal Factor," one that keeps renewing and strengthening great businesses through good times and bad. Having a brand ideal "is the only sustainable way to recruit, unite, and inspire all the people a business touches, from empl9iyees to customers. It is the only thing that enduringly connects the core beliefs of the people inside a business with the fundamental human values of the people the business serves. Without that connection, without a brand ideal, no business can excel"...or survive.
Stengel focuses most of his attention in the book on explaining HOW to achieve a number of specific objectives. They include
o How to discover an ideal in one of five fields of fundamental human values (i.e.Read more ›
The devil is in the details, of course: easier said then done. Bins are filled of business plans and companies full of ideals, but who could not deliver.
There are several case histories in the book. Sometimes I found it hard to keep on reading them, because of the intensive use of managerial jargon, and because they were too long.