The Growth Gamble: When Leaders Should Bet Big on New Business, and How They Can Avoid Expensive Failures

Overview

Conventional wisdom tells us to try harder, be more innovative, take more risks-and almost every company tries. Only a tiny percentage of management teams settle for sticking to their core businesses and declining gracefully as their business matures.In reality, at least ninety percent of business attempts fail. Andrew Campbell and Robert Park's The Growth Gamble: When Leaders Should Bet Big on New Business-and How They Can Avoid Expensive Failures gives managers an alternative. Instead of investing heavily in ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$31.30
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$34.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $2.49   
  • New (3) from $37.51   
  • Used (3) from $2.49   
Sending request ...

Overview

Conventional wisdom tells us to try harder, be more innovative, take more risks-and almost every company tries. Only a tiny percentage of management teams settle for sticking to their core businesses and declining gracefully as their business matures.In reality, at least ninety percent of business attempts fail. Andrew Campbell and Robert Park's The Growth Gamble: When Leaders Should Bet Big on New Business-and How They Can Avoid Expensive Failures gives managers an alternative. Instead of investing heavily in experimenting with new growth areas and developing an innovative culture, the authors advise managers to be far more selective and to invest in new business only when the opportunity has a high probability of success. Rethink your business model. Read The Growth Gamble today.CONTENTSThe Challenge of New BusinessesBeating the OddsThe Difficulties of Building New LegsWhen Low Growth is Better than GamblingThe New Businesses Traffic LightsDiversificationSearching for New BusinessesIs There a Role for Corporate Venturing?Positioning and Supporting a New BusinessAn Age of Realism
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Conventional business wisdom dictates that companies should focus their sites on growth. But growth is no certain thing, say the authors of The Growth Gamble. Not all companies are built for rapid growth: Their markets are unsteady or extremely competitive, their infrastructure is not sufficiently flexible, or they don't have the quality or quantity of people to lend to the effort. For these companies, a slow or steady growth curve, over years or even decades, is the healthiest option.
While this flies in the face of convention, the business landscape is littered with organizations that went belly up because they tried too hard to expand their businesses too far from what they did best, or did so too rapidly to keep themselves solvent. Much of the damage was caused by a lack of rigorous analysis, or the want of a screening tool to help leadership determine what new avenues were right for their companies, and when. With The Growth Gamble and its invaluable New Businesses Traffic Lights Toolkit, businesses have what they need to grow smartly and avoid potentially fatal errors.

Beating the Odds
Most companies fail to find new growth businesses when their core businesses mature. Intel and McDonald's illustrate this important new reality: They have not found a significant new business that will enhance their growth prospects. In fact, as many as 99 percent of companies fail to create successful new growth platforms. Less than 10 percent of companies manage to restart growth once it has slowed. Only 3 percent sustain a restart for more than three years. Less than 1 percent do so by creating new growth platforms.

These sobering statistics do not, however, keep companies from trying. There are only a tiny percentage of management teams that settle for sticking to core businesses, and declining gracefully as those businesses mature. The challenge of finding new businesses is a growth gamble. To even take on the challenge is to bet against its odds. There are no easy answers.

Theory Versus Reality: An Opportunity Shortage
Current business theory instructs companies to be more entrepreneurial and to copy approaches used by the venture capital industry in building processes for developing new businesses. According to these theories, the high failure rate of new businesses is due to poor processes and skills.

The reality is quite different. Established companies have entrenched mind-sets and managerial habits, which are normally well tuned to the needs of their existing businesses. When companies delve into new businesses that are compatible with those mind-sets, they achieve success. When they try to do things that do not fit, they fail. The problem is, there are very few opportunities that fit.

A New Approach
There needs to be a new approach to the problem. The shortage of opportunities suggests that a screening tool that helps managers identify opportunities with a reasonable fit is likely to be more useful than a series of process steps for developing new businesses. Trying to make dramatic changes to ensconced managerial mind-sets — such as following venture capital processes — is also unlikely to achieve much. The mind-sets and rules of thumb that have served successful companies in good stead are likely to continue to influence success, and deviating from them will likely end in defeat. Copyright © 2005 Soundview Executive Book Summaries


—Summary
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904838043
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.59 (w) x 9.45 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Campbell is a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre and an active consultant for major corporate clients. He is also a Visiting Professor at City University and previously a Fellow in the Centre for Business Strategy at the London Business School. Before that he was a consultant for six years with McKinsey & Co, working on strategy and organization problems in London and Los Angeles. Andrew Campbell holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was a Harkness Fellow and a Baker Scholar.He has published numerous articles, including six with the Harvard Business Review, and his previous books include Designing Effective Organisations; Synergy; Core Competency-Based Strategy; Breakup! ; Corporate-Level Strategy; and Strategic Synergy. Visit his website at http://www.ashridge.com/andrewcampbellRobert Park has 25 years experience in the UK banking sector, the last 12 with the NatWest Group as Head of Group Strategy. He is now an independent consultant and an Associate of the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2005

    Highly Recommended!

    Some senior executives are so eager for growth that they gamble their company¿s riches on new business initiatives that will probably fail. Researchers estimate that the failure rate for company-spawned business initiatives is as high as 99%. Authors Andrew Campbell and Robert Park tell companies to be selective about which growth opportunities they pursue - even if that means standing pat and accepting low growth. Growth, they say, is simply not possible at all times for all companies. They provide valuable tools, including a 'traffic light' evaluation filter and a 'confidence check' mechanism, to help you choose and execute new business endeavors. Wall Street has almost no greater profanity than 'low growth,' but if you take seriously your fiduciary duty to spend shareholders¿ dollars wisely, we think you should read this book. In the aftermath of the dot-com crash and the subsequent corporate-governance scandals, the time has come for a sober, systematic approach to growth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)