Summary of The Alchemy of Growth

Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise

Perseus Books,
First Edition: 1999 more...

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The Alchemy of Growth book summary
To ensure profit streams in the future, start new businesses now.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Growth in business today is like alchemy, as business leaders try to turn everyday metals into gold. Authors Mehrdad Baghai, Stephen Coley and David White, who are McKinsey consultants or alumni, explain that growth can transform an ordinary business into an exciting, vibrant environment where employees feel a sense of purpose. Then they present a step-by-step recipe for achieving growth. Along with their method, which is based on practical advice and real-life case studies, they include profiles of growing companies. Although the authors boil down a complex endeavor into a step-by-step formula, they make it clear that even a sustained effort to grow can take years to show results. If you seek a quick fix, this is not the book for you. However, if you are interested in a tested framework for growth, getAbstract recommends this clear, methodical approach.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the three “Horizons of Growth” entail,
  • Why all businesses eventually mature and decline,
  • How to implement continuous new growth,
  • How to earn the right to grow and resolve to grow, and
  • How to manage the “Staircase to Growth.”


“Three Horizons of Growth”
First, the bad news: All businesses mature and eventually decline. For example, in 1988, Reynolds & Reynolds Company finished a decade of work with an average annual growth of 18%. As the decade ended, the company experienced “customer consolidation, a market...
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About the Authors

Mehrdad Baghai, managing director of Alchemy Growth Partners in Sydney, co-authored Granularity of Growth and As One. David White and Stephen Coley are directors with McKinsey, and Coley authored Le Chapeau a disparu.

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    Luis Felipe Puerto Tobon 3 years ago
    Cuantas semillas tenemos hoy en TQ?  Cómo estamos escogiendo esos potenciales "dondes"

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