Summary of Growth Gamble

When Leaders Should Bet Big on New Business - and How They Can Avoid Expensive Failures

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, more...

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Growth Gamble book summary
Find out how you can keep your corporate growth initiative from going the way of 99% of new businesses: down the tubes.


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8 Innovation

6 Style


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, thinks 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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which common pitfalls endanger corporate-sponsored start-ups;
  • How you can take "the gamble out of growth;"
  • How to use the "traffic light" system to find the right opportunities for your company; and
  • How a "confidence check" can keep your new endeavor on track.


Thwarted Hopes
What the great eighteenth century man of letters Samuel Johnson once said about second marriages can also be applied to new business ventures: they represent the triumph of hope over experience. Business leaders always hope that their new ventures will succeed, even when...
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About the Authors

As a director of Ashridge Strategic Management Center, Andrew Campbell consults with several major corporate clients. He also serves as a visiting professor at City University and was a fellow in the Center for Business Strategy at the London Business School. He’s a Harvard MBA who worked for six years at McKinsey & Co. Robert Park, also an independent consultant, has a quarter-century of banking experience.

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