Smart Growth

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Wall Street believes that all public companies should grow smoothly and continuously, as evidenced by ever-increasing quarterly earnings, and that all companies either "grow or die." Introducing a research-based growth model called "Smart Growth," Edward D. Hess challenges this ethos and its dangerous mentality, which often deters real growth and pressures businesses to create, manufacture, and purchase noncore earnings just to appease Wall Street.

Smart Growth accounts for the ...

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Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth

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Overview

Wall Street believes that all public companies should grow smoothly and continuously, as evidenced by ever-increasing quarterly earnings, and that all companies either "grow or die." Introducing a research-based growth model called "Smart Growth," Edward D. Hess challenges this ethos and its dangerous mentality, which often deters real growth and pressures businesses to create, manufacture, and purchase noncore earnings just to appease Wall Street.

Smart Growth accounts for the complexity of growth from the perspective of organization, process, change, leadership, cognition, risk management, employee engagement, and human dynamics. Authentic growth is much more than a strategy or a desired result. It is a process characterized by complex change, entrepreneurial action, experimental learning, and the management of risk. Hess draws on extensive public and private company research, incorporating case studies of Best Buy, Sysco, UPS, Costco, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Room & Board, Home Depot, Tiffany & Company, P&G, and Jet Blue. With conceptual innovations such as an Authentic Earnings and Growth System framework, a seven-step growth funnel pipeline, a Growth Decision Template, and a Growth Risks Audit, Hess provides a blueprint for an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Book Review - Dominique James

A new and radical contribution to business thought... Hess provides a blueprint for building an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.

Asheville Citizen Times - Yang Fan

This book is easily read and provides keen advice for individuals and companies that are involved in company strategic planning. If you are thinking about growing your company in a smart way, this is a must-read.

Mary Ann Glynn

Smart Growth is a provocative and useful evidence-based approach to understanding the principles of corporate growth.

San Francisco Book Review
A new and radical contribution to business thought... Hess provides a blueprint for building an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.

— Dominique James

Inc.

Named one of Inc.'s Best Books for Business Owners 2010

Toronto Globe & Mail

Named one of the Toronto Globe & Mail's Top 10 Managing Books for 2010

Asheville Citizen Times
This book is easily read and provides keen advice for individuals and companies that are involved in company strategic planning. If you are thinking about growing your company in a smart way, this is a must-read.

— Yang Fan

R. Edward Freeman

This book will challenge your basic assumptions about business and growth. It needs to be read and talked about in both companies and business schools.

Richard D'Aveni

Smart Growth will bend your mind, challenge your assumptions, and set you on a new growth trajectory. If you want to understand how following advice from Wall Street can doom you to destruction, read this book.

Charles Ellis

Warning against the creeping corruption of 'managed earnings' and 'making the numbers,' Edward D. Hess wisely urges business manager-leaders to keep their focus on the real growth of getting better, not bigger, and creating true value, not short-term earnings per share.

Raj Sisodia

In this masterful work, Edward D. Hess shows us how companies can grow in a healthy and organic manner, one that is sustainable and beneficial for all stakeholders, including society as a whole.

Robert K. Kazanjian

Hess offers the reader a thoughtful critique of the assumptions underlying the prevailing logic for the growth imperative that is so widely accepted.

Kim Cameron

Hess provides insight as well as prescriptions for how to lead effectively and how to grow intelligently.

Jeffrey S. Shuman

Hess's insight and research provide a navigational path that illuminates key success factors and models that drive exponential growth.

Bo Burlingham

Hess takes dead aim at one of the sacred shibboleths of business—the notion that companies must 'grow or die'—and scores a bull's-eye. He makes a devastating case and demonstrates how destructive the blind pursuit of growth can be, and has been, to businesses of all types, especially publicly-owned ones. Along the way, Hess maps an alternative approach to managing business growth that focuses on the long-term health of the enterprise. It's a powerful argument and one that should be taken to heart by corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and policymakers alike.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Edward D. Hess is professor of business administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at The Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He founded both the Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Growth and the Values-Based Leadership Institute at Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Smart growth : building an enduring company by managing the risks of growth 1

Ch. 1 Defining the growth mental model 11

Ch. 2 Smooth and continuous company growth : the exception not the rule 31

Ch. 3 Economics : theories of growth 53

Ch. 4 Organizational design and strategy : theories of growth 73

Ch. 5 Biology : theories of growth 97

Ch. 6 Smart growth : authentic growth 123

Ch. 7 Managing the risks of growth : public companies 137

Ch. 8 Managing the risks of growth : private companies 163

Ch. 9 Is it time for smart growth 181

Appendix 199

Bibliography 201

Index 221

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