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.
“A timely and valuable contribution to our understanding of the challenges of birthing new businesses … a wealth of deep insights, practical advice, and meritorious admonition. I have no doubt that this thoroughly researched and carefully argued book can help your company gamble more wisely on growth.” From the Foreword by Gary Hamel, co-author of Competing for the Future; “Imagine gathering the world’s leading management thinkers around a table to advise one company (a hypothetical McDonald’s), then testing their advice against systematic research. The Growth Gamble provides just that kind of imaginary intellectual feast. This provocative book argues persuasively for seasoning grand growth goals with a dash of reality. New business development is really hard for established companies, and they should stop chasing rainbows of the next revolution.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and author of Confidence; “The challenge of building the core as well as developing growth engines is one of today’s most fundamental managerial challenges. The Growth Gamble by Campbell and Park has a clear, pragmatic, and research anchored point of view on this challenge. Better yet they provide the reader with a sense of the vitality of research in this domain. This book belongs on both academics’ as well as managers’ desks. Academics will come away with greater insights on the growth challenge. Managers will come away with both greater insights as well as specific actions to resolve the contradictions of managing for both today as well as tomorrow.” Michael Tushman Paul R. Lawrence, MBA Class Of 1942 Professor Of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; “The Growth Gamble is a lucid examination of the most complex problem faced by most executives today – how to enter new businesses for the future without disrupting the profitable core of today. Managers will learn from the original examples and from Campbell and Park’s provocative analysis of the need for growth.” Chris Zook, Partner Bain & Co, and author of Profit From the Core and Beyond the Core; “This book is very insightful and also very practical – it provides the practitioner with some real hands-on advice as to what to do differently. We found its contents really helped shape our thinking.” Stephen Ford, Head of Strategy Development, Boots Group PLC; “Although I do not agree with all of Campbell and Park’s views, this is an important topic addressed in a solid, fact based way, informed by history. Few books meet these tests.” Richard Foster, author of Creative Destruction; “Campbell and Park challenge some well documented views about growth and new business development. Their challenges are not always successful, but they do encourage rigorous thinking about how companies should search and select new businesses.” Robert A. Burgelman is the Edmund W. Littlefield Professor of Management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and author of Strategy is Destiny; “Campbell and Park address a critical issue – new growth for the firm. Supported by manifold examples from practice, which have been distilled into guidelines for firms that aspire to grow new businesses, The Growth Gamble argues for a more cautious view than others, including myself, of how much venturing a company really can accommodate. As a result they provide a valuable antidote to exhortations for growth that drive firms to be overly ambitious.” Professor Ian MacMillan, The Wharton School and author of Corporate Venturing and The Entrepreneurial Mindset
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