When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It

When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It

by Steve McKee


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When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It by Steve McKee

One of the toughest lessons every business leader learns is howhard it is to generate sustained growth. Stalled growth is therule, not the exception—even for the best-managed companies.That's especially true in unpredictable economic environments suchas the one we're experiencing today.

McKee has a unique understanding of what happens when growthstalls. His firm commissioned a study of 700 companies that had atone time been among the nation's fastest-growing businesses.Developed in concert with Decision Analyst, a leading nationalresearch and consulting firm, the study probed areas as diverse ascorporate structure, competition, branding, finance, and strategy.The target respondent profile were CEOs, owners, principals,presidents, managing directors or chairmen of the board. In-depthfollow-up interviews yielded fascinating stories and personalcomments from executives who had been living on the front lines ofreal-life growth crises. McKee presents compelling knowledge abouthow and why companies lose their way, and offers practical adviceabout how they can rekindle growth.

When Growth Stalls demonstrates that sluggish growth isgenerally produced not by mismanagement or strategic blundering butby natural market forces and management dynamics that are oftenunrecognized—and widespread. The book presents sevencharacteristics that commonly correlate with stalled growth andwhat to do about them. Some are external forces to which countlesscompanies have fallen victim: economic upheavals, changing industrydynamics, and increased competition. What McKee points out,however, is how often they catch companies off-guard. Moresurprising are four subtle and highly destructive internal factorsthat conspire to keep companies down: lack of consensus among themanagement team, loss of nerve, loss of focus, and marketinginconsistency. McKee makes the case that, regardless of what'sgoing on outside of an enterprise, it's what's inside thatcounts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470395707
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/03/2009
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Steve McKee is a columnist for BusinessWeek.com andpresident and co-founder of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising.He has held executive positions at severalinternationally-respected advertising agencies including NW Ayer,Della Femina Travisano & Partners, Strascina & Partners,and Phillips-Ramsey, a division of McCann-Erickson Worldwide.
To learn more about the book, visit www.whengrowthstalls.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

1. It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal 1

2. Growth Stalls 13

3. Market Tectonics 23

4. Lack of Consensus 41

5. Loss of Focus 55

6. Loss of Nerve 73

7. Marketing Inconsistency 91

8. The Vicious Cycle 107

9. Take a Deep Breath 119

10. Set Your Sights 125

11. Find Your Target 137

12. Sharpen Your Arrow 155

13. Let It Fly 175

14. It Works 189

Notes 199

About the Author 213

Index 215

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