Jumping the S-Curve: How to Beat the Growth Cycle, Get on Top, and Stay There

Jumping the S-Curve: How to Beat the Growth Cycle, Get on Top, and Stay There

by Paul F. Nunes, Tim Breene
     
 

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How do an elite few companies, such as Samsung, P&G, Porsche, Danaher, Genentech, and Schlumberger achieve enduring and sustained out-performance of their peers? How do these companies grow revenue and increase profitability, not only in the short run, but even across economic and market disruptions?

In Jumping the S-Curve, Accenture authors Paul Nunes and Tim…  See more details below

Overview

How do an elite few companies, such as Samsung, P&G, Porsche, Danaher, Genentech, and Schlumberger achieve enduring and sustained out-performance of their peers? How do these companies grow revenue and increase profitability, not only in the short run, but even across economic and market disruptions?

In Jumping the S-Curve, Accenture authors Paul Nunes and Tim Breene share key insights from their multi-year study of high performance businesses. One of the largest and most comprehensive studies of business performance ever conducted, Nunes and Breene studied over 6000 companies from a multitude of industries around the world, and by applying a rigid set of criteria they found that less than one in twenty companies pass the test of sustained outperformance, and that what separates these high performers from their lesser-performing competitors is a focused agenda built on only three critical elements :

(1) A "Big Enough Market Insight" (BEMI) - Ability to identify big market opportunities in secular trends and prepare early to exploit them
(2) Competence Before Scaling - Ability to know precisely when to scale (lesser performers scale too quickly, higher performers wait...but not too long)
(3) Serious Talent - Ability to demand, and get, "stretch performances" from people at the top of the organization, as well as from those who are already great at what they do.

With detailed company examples, this book shows *how* companies manage these three pre-requisites to become high performers relative to their peers. But the authors go further, and explain how the elite few also sustain high performance over time, by becoming masters at balancing continuity with change. Outperformers know how to live with one foot in today and the other in tomorrow, and operationalize this by (1) encouraging regular churn at the top and continually swapping out key players, but with leaders who have long experience with the company; (2) embracing an ad hoc, instead of an institutional, strategy-making process; and (3) continually renewing talent and aligning their talent on what is needed to be successful in the future.

With detailed stories and insights from high performance businesses that have sustained outperformance across business cycles, Jumping the S-Curve provides a nuanced, and timeless, view into how to improve company performance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Jumping the S-Curve presents a nice overview of top performing companies and reminds product development practitioners of the keys to success in marketing, technology, and teams. Especially recommended for senior management who are currently riding the S-curve of financial growth, this book can help firms plan for a more innovative future.” — Journal of Product Innovation Management

“… For organizations of all types and sizes that face the challenge of sustaining growth and relevance and avoiding stagnation, this accessible book offers an invaluable guide. Supported by research data, illustrated with numerous case studies, and infused with powerful personal insights it is highly recommended…” — IEDP.com (International Executive Development Programs)

“… The book spectacularly trashes many management myths, from the over-dependence on scale as a means to growth to choosing between high growth and high profit to even that old bromide about delayed gratification after years of effort. Stimulating and full of practical advice and cases, Jumping the S-Curve, should be mandatory reading for all business executives. My recommendation: Get a copy for yourself and present one to your CEO…” — CIO India

"…This is an excellent training manual for leaders of both large and small companies..." — Fort Worth Star Telegram

Jumping the S-Curve addresses all the challenges corporations face in sustaining a growth trajectory. It provides a comprehensive toolkit to help you keep your business from stagnating.” — Tom Stemberg, Managing General Partner, Highland Consumer Fund, and Chairman Emeritus and Founder of Staples, Inc.

“The cycle of a winning business idea powering a business to dominate its peers followed by peaking as the model is eroded by a new idea appears near universal. The book analyzes thoroughly, with numerous examples from Accenture research, how great companies have replicated their performance over multiple cycles, replacing themselves rather than being replaced by others.” — Mark Moody-Stuart, former Chairman, Anglo American plc

“The book debunks many management myths, most notably the obsession with scale as panacea for sustainable growth. Instead, it urges companies to jump from one growth curve to another for sustained value creation… Practical, granular, stimulating, and replete with real cases of high performers.” — R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons

“Few books do for managers what Jumping the S-Curve does: it provides a data-driven and context-rich analysis of what high-performing companies do to stay high performers even as their markets inevitably change, new capabilities are required, and profitable growth remains important.” — Frank V. Cespedes, senior lecturer, Harvard Business School

“Whether the practice is in government, private, or nonprofit, the principles remain the same. These are powerful ideas based on research and informed, reflective thinking supported by data and personal insights. Jumping the S-Curve is a very important book for leaders committed to operating on the cutting edge of excellence. A good book.” — Gordon R. Sullivan, General, U.S. Army (retired), and former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

“This book provides organizations ways and means to stay ahead. It lends insight into the various stages of business growth and the actions that need be taken at various stages to remain on top. The authors conclude that high performance is about outperforming rivals again and again, even as the basis of competition in an industry or market changes. These will be possible only if an organization keeps a tab on understanding the hidden S-curves namely of competition, capability and talent, while avoiding knee-jerk reactions like retrenchment and belt tightening, which erode the chance for a recovery.” — Vinod Sivarama Krishnan, CIO-Global of Jubiliant Life Sciences

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422172902
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
02/24/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
873,638
File size:
964 KB

Meet the Author

Paul Nunes is the Executive Director of Research and an executive research fellow in the Accenture Institute for High Performance Business. He is the coauthor the award-winning book Mass Affluence and nearly 100 articles in academic and business publications. Tim Breene is Accenture’s former Chief Strategy and Development Officer and current head of the company’s digital marketing initiative. Breene and Nunes coauthored the Harvard Business Review article “The Chief Strategy Officer.”

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