Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots [NOOK Book]

Overview

All companies must grow to survive--but only one in five growth strategies succeeds. In Profit from the Core, strategy expert Chris Zook revealed how to grow profitably by focusing on and achieving full potential in the core business. But what happens when your core business provides insufficient new growth or even hits the wall? In Beyond the Core, Zook outlines an expansion strategy based on putting together combinations of adjacency moves into areas away from, but related to, the core business, such as new ...
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Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots

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Overview

All companies must grow to survive--but only one in five growth strategies succeeds. In Profit from the Core, strategy expert Chris Zook revealed how to grow profitably by focusing on and achieving full potential in the core business. But what happens when your core business provides insufficient new growth or even hits the wall? In Beyond the Core, Zook outlines an expansion strategy based on putting together combinations of adjacency moves into areas away from, but related to, the core business, such as new product lines or new channels of distribution. These sequences of moves carry less risk than diversification, yet they can create enormous competitive advantage, because they stem directly from what the company already knows and does best. Based on extensive research on the growth patterns of thousands of companies worldwide, including CEO interviews with 25 top performers in adjacency growth, Beyond the Core 1) identifies the adjacency pattern that most dramatically increases the odds of success: "relentless repeatability;" 2) offers a systematic approach for choosing among a range of possible adjacency moves; and 3) shows how to time adjacency moves during a variety of typical business situations. Beyond the Core shows how to find and leverage the best avenues for growth--without damaging the heart of the firm.
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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Growth is not a choice: It's an imperative. But the risks are substantial. Only a quarter of all growth initiatives succeed, and three-quarters of the top business disasters of the past five years involved growth initiatives gone terribly wrong. Yet in spite of these dismal odds, some companies experience growth rates that are three times as high as the average over extended periods.

In his previous book, Profit from the Core, strategy expert Chris Zook revealed how the most enduring growth performers succeeded by focusing and building around one or two well-defined, dominant cores - and how otherwise well-positioned firms sabotaged their growth by prematurely abandoning their core in pursuit of the next "hot" topic. Now, based on extensive research on the growth patterns of thousands of companies worldwide - including CEO interviews with the top 25 growth performers - Zook argues that in order to continue to grow, companies must eventually expand beyond the core.

A Primal Urge
If businesses have a primal urge, it is the need for profitable growth. That growth is the source of value creation to shareholders. Beyond the Core focuses on the question of how to expand a core business into adjacent areas in a way that is profitable and contributes to the strategic objective of expanding, defending or redefining the core business. Zook identifies the most universal success factors and provides some ideas that management teams might find useful in improving the odds of an inherently risky undertaking.

Pushing out the boundaries of a core business is one of the most difficult management challenges. The typical odds of success are low. Managers have a built-in bias to underestimate and under-prepare for the ultimate complexity of these moves. Stock price swings and volatility are driven strongly by perceptions about adjacency expansion. And a large proportion of CEO departures occur in the presence of adjacency expansions gone wrong. Yet, in spite of these risks and penalties, the movement into adjacencies is the way that businesses ultimately find their next wave of profitable growth, without which they eventually stagnate and may even decline.

The Decision for Today's CEO
In his interviews of CEOs for this book, Zook started by asking what they believed were the key events in the development, shaping and growth trajectory of their company. Invariably, they listed key adjacency moves among the most defining events. Andy Taylor of Enterprise Rent-A-Car pointed to the decision to move from leasing cars into renting cars to dealerships, which triggered the business Enterprise has today. Tom Stemberg, founder and chairman of Staples, the lead office products retailer, talked about the movement from retail stores into distribution to small businesses, which spurred a sequence of adjacency moves that reshaped the company. Bob Norton of FTD florists emphasized how critical it was to make an adjacency move with the introduction of FTD.com, which allowed the company to link directly to customers to supplement its network of links between florists and defend its core against new competitors. These types of difficult, sometimes even agonizing growth moves punctuated the historical timelines in the minds of each CEO.

The Promise of Growth
The promise of growth lies in methods that allow you to decide correctly, to tilt the odds in your favor, and to control the cost of failures when they inevitably occur. The examples, data and frameworks analyzed in Beyond the Core can help managers make and manage adjacency decisions better. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422163269
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,338,588
  • File size: 498 KB

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Growth Crisis: Dangerous Moves Beyond the Core 1
2 Visualizing the Ideal: The First Principle of Adjacency Growth 35
3 Evaluating Adjacency Moves: Balancing Desire with Data 73
4 Orchestrating Adjacency Moves: Strengthening the Core Versus Investing in Adjacencies 109
5 Executing Adjacency Moves: Managing the Key Organizational Issues That Most Influence Success or Failure 141
6 Transforming Through Adjacency Moves: Redefining the Core Through Adjacencies 175
Afterword 189
Appendix 193
Notes 197
Bibliography 201
Index 207
About the Author 215
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    An insightful, data-based treatise on why profitable growth seldom strays far from the core business

    To the CEO, nothing is (or should be) more important than business growth. Chris Zook, an expert on corporate growth strategies, explains why you should focus your expansion and growth efforts on ¿adjacencies¿ that closely align with your current core activities. Zook bases his observations and recommendations on extensive research: He profiles 25 corporate growth leaders analyzes 12 pairs of companies that were comparable in the 1990s but are no longer in the same league, as one company has outpaced its match in terms of growth and profits reviews 181 initiatives for corporate growth and covers a trio of in-depth surveys of executive attitudes and insights on growth. Zook makes numerous recommendations, backed by research, on how your company can achieve sustainable growth through adjacency expansion. He also warns against mistakes such as ill-advised mergers and acquisitions, poorly planned product introductions and unwise market expansions. Indeed, with certain growth plans, sometimes the smartest move is ¿just say no.¿ We are impressed with this book, which is an ideal resource for senior corporate executives, boards of directors and investors who must assess the risks and benefits of growth proposals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2007

    If Your Business is in A Growth phase read on

    Beyond the core is a must read if your business plan includes Growth.This is an informative virtual step by step guide to assiting your business in its growth potential.Chris Zook writes an easy to read book and gives you clear guidlines to consider in the growth programme.You may find yourself biting your nails as you reflect on some of the decsions taken proir to reading this book.The application applied post reading the book gives confidence and a yard stick for results.If your business is retail of any nature I recommend this book as a priority.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2004

    An Outstanding Growth Guide for Today's Global Business Leaders

    As a second year MBA student at the Kellogg School of Management and a future corporate strategist for a global financial services firm, I found reading Beyond the Core to be one of the best time investments that I¿ve made over the last few years. Chris Zook seems to have a knack for writing great books that not only stand the test of time but that are also highly relevant to the current business and economic environments. Specifically, his first book, Profits from the Core, which focused on maximizing the value of the core business, was launched when businesses needed it most - during the economic downturn. Now, Beyond the Core is perfectly timed since, from what I and other MBA¿s are observing in the market, most businesses are remobilizing for growth. Overall, I greatly enjoyed Beyond the Core - it's a relatively quick read that is focused, insightful and well structured. More specifically, I think there are three key things that make this book stand out in comparison to many other business books I¿ve read: 1) it takes a global perspective 2) it is highly data driven and has great examples and 3) its very actionable and offers lots of insights on implementation. To elaborate, the first thing I really liked about Beyond the Core is that it takes a truly global perspective with examples from Europe, Asia and Latin America. As an MBA student majoring in International Business Strategy who will be working in a global firm after graduation, it was great to read about the strategies that firms such as Li & Fung (HK), Ambev (Brazil), Lloyd¿s Bank and Vodephone (UK) and STMicroelectronics (Italy). Overall, I also liked that the book mixes an array of fresh case studies (Tesco, Biogen, Ambev) with more traditional ones (Dell, Nike, American Express). Secondly, Beyond the Core is highly data driven and the recommendations are based on empirical evidence, not conjectures. As a student of business strategy, I too often come across books or theories that are supported by nothing other than a few select examples that prop up the author¿s hypotheses. Beyond the Core, in contrast, is supported by an enormous amount of financial, competitive and market research and by many CEO interviews and studies by Bain & Company. This is extremely insightful as it helps the reader understand the odds of success and failure across the business world and thus leads to much more informed strategies. Finally, Mr. Zook has focused nearly a third of the book on implementation and execution strategy. This makes the book and its recommendations highly actionable instead of leaving the author asking ¿so what?¿ The book sets out a systematic and understandable road map for adjacency expansion. More importantly, it discusses issues that are critical to growth initiatives such as: organizational structure, decision making processes, staffing, accountability and reporting, etc. In sum, I highly recommend Beyond the Core, especially to global business leaders looking for a practical guide for profitably growing their businesses. Enjoy!!

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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