PROFIT FROM THE CORE: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence

Chris Zook, Author, James Allen, Author, James Allan, Joint Author PROFIT FROM THE CORE: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulen $27.50 (186p) ISBN 978-1-57851-230-0

In this short, focused and well-reasoned book, Zook, the head of worldwide strategy for the prestigious consulting and investment firm Bain & Co., and Allen, head of a venture-capital company, argue persuasively that focusing on what a business does best is the easiest—and most efficient—way for companies to grow and be profitable. This idea isn't new, of course: in the 1980s, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, in their classic In Search of Excellence, called it "sticking to your knitting"; a decade later, most notably in the Harvard Business Review, Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad described the concept as focusing on "core competencies." But, Zook and Allen maintain, as firms rushed to embrace the Internet, executives forgot this basic truth. Taking the idea one step further, they contend that by looking at what a firm does best, executives will also find it easy to spot inefficiencies within their businesses. Based on a study of 2,000 companies, the book concludes that three factors differentiate growth strategies that work from those that don't: (1) make sure to get everything possible out of the core business, (2) expand into related businesses and (3) redefine the business before someone else (e.g., a competitor) does. Zook and Allen stress "how to," giving managers a list of questions to ask and signposts to watch for as their companies evolve. As managers everywhere are re-examining their businesses in light of recent fallout among dot-coms and major layoffs and restructuring among even the most stalwart of companies, this book's timing could not be better. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Hardcover - 178 pages - 978-1-4221-3111-4
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 208 pages - 978-1-57851-671-1
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