Summary of Fewer, Bigger, Bolder

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Rating

7

Qualities

  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples

Recommendation

Growth for growth’s sake is a manifestation of madness that often goes unquestioned. Organizations with the discipline to reject opportunities outside their strategy – or to drop waning products and markets – win in the end. Kellogg School of Management professors Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney suggest  thoughtful, “focused growth” using their structured Focus7 process. Their writing style may not inspire, but their argument that knowledgeable, strategic growth is a saner, more sustainable and faster path to profits is sound and workable.

About the Authors

Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney apply the “Focus7” approach in their global consulting practices. Khosla was president of Kraft Foods’ developing markets division. Since 2013, he has been a senior fellow at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a senior adviser at BCG. Sawhney has written six other books.

 

Summary

“Aim for “sustainable growth” instead of “mindless expansion.”

Too often, leaders pursue growth as a given rather than thinking about it strategically. They prefer more growth to quality growth and any sort of growth to standing still. Thoughtless pursuit of expansion affects organizations of all sizes – even start-ups that have yet to launch their first product or service. Chasing every opportunity reduces a firm’s focus, dilutes its resources and talent, and starves promising lines of business with colorful but ultimately worthless initiatives.

Leaders usually want to expand as much and as fast as they can: more customers, more products, more markets – more of everything. Yet the right kind of growth often proves slower and more sustainable. Systematically analyze your business to separate the products and services that attract customers and revenue; eliminate products and customers that don’t produce profits; reduce your array of brands; and focus on the markets – whether types of customers, locations or other subsets – where you have the best opportunities for domination or sustained success.

Growth at all costs leads to complexity that paralyzes business...


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