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If we did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselvesThomas Edison

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The Founder’s Mentality

The Founder’s Mentality

A detailed analysis of the different types of growth crises that any company may experience.

Author(s): Chris Zook, James Allen

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Date of publication: 2016

Buy this book [amazon.com]


This book addresses growth crises that most companies will experience at one time or another. The author distinguishes three types of situation. The first concerns young fast-growing companies confronted with the challenge of managing their scaling-up process. The second corresponds to “stagnation” crises, when a company suddenly sees its business hitting a plateau. The third corresponds to “freefall” crises, which occur when a mature company is attacked on its core market without being able to respond.

The authors analyze in detail each of these types of crisis and underline what distinguishes them. It emerges nevertheless that three main common drivers can help to avoid or get out of these crises, i.e., restore clarity to the company’s distinctive mission, revive each employee’s sense of individual accountability for the success of the organization as a whole, and pay more attention to front-line employees. The authors rely on many detailed illustrative examples. A robust book from which executives can glean many concrete ideas.