Growth Through Innovation

Whether your company is at an early, expansion or mature stage, "growth through innovation" is essentially the same thing - the profitable implementation of new ideas or changes focused on existing products and services.


In terms of the profitable implementation of new products and services or changes in existing products and services it's best to seek a proven approach that will show you exactly how you can actually attain and sustain growth. 


While there are many approaches that have been developed and used in the market few, in any, have been put togehter based upon extensive research and development and successful implementation in the market on a global basiss.


In our opinion one of the few approaches that meet these requirements has been detailed in a short and concise book entitled, "The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise". It is one the few easily understood and tested approaches in the market. 


The Alchemy of Growth was published in 1999 and was born out of two and a half years of research at Mckinsey aimed at helping its corporate clients grow. Since its publication it has been used by Mckinsey to to help thousands of companies develop sustainable growth efforts.


The research had a global orientation and began with a thorough review of academic thinking on growth, leadership and strategy. These theoretical perspectives were then combined with examples from real-life experiences of companies pursuing growth. They investigated hundreds of companies from 10 industry sectors in 12 countries from four continents.


Out of hundreds of companies studied the book focus on 39 company case studies. On average the growth companies studied increased their sales by 23% a year and their total return to shareholders by 29% a year during the period examined in the study.


A summary of the 39 company case studies appear in the appendix.


As for the book it's basically divided into four parts:


Part 1: Understanding Growth.


In this part, divided into two sections, the authors introduce the three horizons as the principle undperpinning sustained growth. They emphasize the need for active management of the three distinct stages in the pipeline of continuous business creation so that leaders' attention to managing their core business is balanced with efforts to develop new enterprises. This section also puts forward a new growth language to help change the way leaders think and talk about their businesses.


1. The Three Horizon

2. Looking in the Mirror


Part 2: Overcoming Inertia.


Overcoming inertia, discusses the two essential preconditions for profitable growth: earning the right and building the resolve to grow. This part is divided into two sections  that help leaders kickstart growth programs. It also describes a disciplined yet creative approach to identifying growth opportunities by exploring all degrees of freedom and thinking expansively about them.


3. Laying the Foundation

4. Searching for Opportunities


Part 3: Building Momentum.


Building momentum, presents a step-by-step method for assembling the necessary capabilities and organizing to protect and nurture new business initiatives. It is divided into three sections and shows how companies can successfully invest in business creation.


5. Staircases to Growth

6. Securing Advantage

7. Winning Through Execution


Part 4: Sustaining Growth.


Sustaining growth, in two sections, lays out the organizational approaches, management processes, and leadership actions that are required to foster continuous idea generation and new business development.


8. Managing by Horizon

9. Organizing for Growth


We briefly summarize the three Author's approach within each part in the menu items on the left to give you a more detailed overview of the approach.


But, we highly recommend you just obtain a copy and read it yourself to make your own decision on its recipe for growth. The main text is just 155 pages with the appendix covering another 78 pages.


It's a very worthwhile investment and it should always be on the bookshelf of the management and staff of your company for continuous use in your "growth through innovation" efforts.