Go For Growth!: Five Paths to Profit and Success-Choose the Right One for You and Your Company

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It's a thoughtful, practical book--hard to put down, easy to apply. I think his best line is: 'Growth only happens when people grow'; that's a line I'd put on the wall of every executive's office!

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Lee, Ph. President, Center for Creative Leadership "At a time when so many pundits advocate their pet silver bullet to growth, Tomasko refreshingly shuns the 'one size fits all' panacea by setting forth five sensible paths to profitable growth. He stresses that it is up to each management to sort out which path really makes sense given each company's unique situation. Felton Strategic Leadership Forum "Go for Growth will help managers to determine what they need to do and what they need to avoid. Motivating the New Workforce.

Little, Inc. Based in Washington, D. He speaks at meetings of the Conference Board, President's Association, and many major industry associations. This title issues a bold challenge to business managers to commit their companies to sustained measurable growth and enduring success. With its combination of stimulating ideas and specific action plans, "Go for Growth" offers forward-looking managers five unique paths toward business and personal growth.

The author of the best-selling "Rethinking the Corporation" shows how companies of any size can achieve new growth and greater success. Supported by numerous examples of how successful companies have managed growth, "Go for Growth" shows how to match specific options with the resources and needs of specific companies, and how to focus the entire organization on the business of success.

It's a thoughtful, practical book - hard to put down, easy to apply. I think his best line is: 'Growth only happens when people grow'; that's a line I'd put on the wall of every executive's office".

Robert J. President, Center for Creative Leadership. He stresses that it is up to each management to sort out which path really makes sense given each company's unique situation". Samuel M. Felton Strategic Leadership Forum. Michael Maccoby Author of "Why Work? Motivating the New Workforce". Read more Read less. Amazon Global Store US International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.

Manufacturer warranty may not apply Learn more about Amazon Global Store. From the Back Cover Issues a bold challenge to business managers to commit their companies to sustained measurable growth and enduring success. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Steinmetz envisioned each stage ending with a critical phase that must be dealt with before the company could enter the next stage.


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Direct supervision. The simplest stage, at the end of which the owner must become a manager by learning to delegate to others. Supervised supervision. To move on, the manager must devote attention to growth and expansion, manage increased overhead and complex finances, and learn to become an administrator. Indirect control. To grow and survive, the company must learn to delegate tasks to key managers and to deal with diminishing absolute rate of return and overstaffing at the middle levels. Divisional organization. Roland Christensen and Bruce R.

Scott focused on development of organizational complexity in a business as it evolves in its product-market relationships. Finally, Larry E. Greiner proposed a model of corporate evolution in which business organizations move through five phases of growth as they make the transition from small to large in sales and employees and from young to mature.

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The Five Stages of Small Business Growth

Each phase is distinguished by an evolution from the prior phase and then by a revolution or crisis, which precipitates a jump into the next phase. Each evolutionary phase is characterized by a particular managerial style and each revolutionary period by a dominant management problem faced by the company. These phases and crises are shown in Exhibit 1.

Larry E. Among the important tasks are to make sure the basic business stays profitable so that it will not outrun its source of cash and to develop managers to meet the needs of the growing business. Systems should also be installed with attention to forthcoming needs.

Operational planning is, as in substage III-D, in the form of budgets, but strategic planning is extensive and deeply involves the owner. Indeed, III-G is often the first attempt at growing before commitment to a growth strategy. If not, retrenchment to the Survival Stage may be possible prior to bankruptcy or a distress sale. In this stage the key problems are how to grow rapidly and how to finance that growth. The most important questions, then, are in the following areas:.

Can the owner delegate responsibility to others to improve the managerial effectiveness of a fast growing and increasingly complex enterprise? Further, will the action be true delegation with controls on performance and a willingness to see mistakes made, or will it be abdication, as is so often the case? The organization is decentralized and, at least in part, divisionalized—usually in either sales or production. The key managers must be very competent to handle a growing and complex business environment. The systems, strained by growth, are becoming more refined and extensive.

Both operational and strategic planning are being done and involve specific managers. If the owner rises to the challenges of a growing company, both financially and managerially, it can become a big business. If not, it can usually be sold—at a profit—provided the owner recognizes his or her limitations soon enough. Too often, those who bring the business to the Success Stage are unsuccessful in Stage IV, either because they try to grow too fast and run out of cash the owner falls victim to the omnipotence syndrome , or are unable to delegate effectively enough to make the company work the omniscience syndrome.

It is, of course, possible for the company to traverse this high-growth stage without the original management. If the company fails to make the big time, it may be able to retrench and continue as a successful and substantial company at a state of equilibrium endpoint 7 on Exhibit 4. Or it may drop back to Stage III endpoint 6 or, if the problems are too extensive, it may drop all the way back to the Survival Stage endpoint 5 or even fail.

High interest rates and uneven economic conditions have made the latter two possibilities all too real in the early s.

Developing a Small Business Framework

The greatest concerns of a company entering this stage are, first, to consolidate and control the financial gains brought on by rapid growth and, second, to retain the advantages of small size, including flexibility of response and the entrepreneurial spirit. The corporation must expand the management force fast enough to eliminate the inefficiencies that growth can produce and professionalize the company by use of such tools as budgets, strategic planning, management by objectives, and standard cost systems—and do this without stifling its entrepreneurial qualities.

A company in Stage V has the staff and financial resources to engage in detailed operational and strategic planning. The management is decentralized, adequately staffed, and experienced. And systems are extensive and well developed. The owner and the business are quite separate, both financially and operationally.

The Five Stages of Small Business Growth

The company has now arrived. It has the advantages of size, financial resources, and managerial talent. If it can preserve its entrepreneurial spirit, it will be a formidable force in the market. If not, it may enter a sixth stage of sorts: ossification. Ossification is characterized by a lack of innovative decision making and the avoidance of risks. It seems most common in large corporations whose sizable market share, buying power, and financial resources keep them viable until there is a major change in the environment. Unfortunately for these businesses, it is usually their rapidly growing competitors that notice the environmental change first.

Several factors, which change in importance as the business grows and develops, are prominent in determining ultimate success or failure. We identified eight such factors in our research, of which four relate to the enterprise and four to the owner. The four that relate to the company are as follows:. Personnel resources, relating to numbers, depth, and quality of people, particularly at the management and staff levels. Systems resources, in terms of the degree of sophistication of both information and planning and control systems.

Business resources, including customer relations, market share, supplier relations, manufacturing and distribution processes, technology and reputation, all of which give the company a position in its industry and market. As a business moves from one stage to another, the importance of the factors changes. See Exhibit 5. The changing nature of managerial challenges becomes apparent when one examines Exhibit 5.

This factor is thus of the highest importance.

At the same time, the owner must spend less time doing and more time managing. He or she must increase the amount of work done through other people, which means delegating. The inability of many founders to let go of doing and to begin managing and delegating explains the demise of many businesses in substage III-G and Stage IV. The owner contemplating a growth strategy must understand the change in personal activities such a decision entails and examine the managerial needs depicted in Exhibit 5. The importance of cash changes as the business changes.

It is an extremely important resource at the start, becomes easily manageable at the Success Stage, and is a main concern again if the organization begins to grow. The issues of people, planning, and systems gradually increase in importance as the company progresses from slow initial growth substage III-G to rapid growth Stage IV. These resources must be acquired somewhat in advance of the growth stage so that they are in place when needed.

Matching business and personal goals is crucial in the Existence Stage because the owner must recognize and be reconciled to the heavy financial and time-energy demands of the new business. Some find these demands more than they can handle. In the Survival Stage, however, the owner has achieved the necessary reconciliation and survival is paramount; matching of goals is thus irrelevant in Stage II.


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