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What powers your growth and profit?

What powers your growth and profit?

 

Book Review

GROW: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s 50 Greatest Companies

Jim Stengel, 2011

 

The better you understand the people most important to your business’s future, the more you can stand for something fundamentally important in their eyes and the closer you can come to being an indispensable part of their lives.[i]

This book is a must-read for all leaders, particularly if you are trying to identify what will differentiate you from a magnitude of companies—especially those competing in the same market.

Not based on ‘feel-good’ anecdotes and clichés, but on ten years of empirical research, Stengel analyzes the ‘brand ideals’ of the world’s best businesses and how those ideals contributed to exponential growth, performance, and profit.

I took an immediate liking to Stengel’s work because my own research has focused on the relationship between leadership character and performance. It is not too much of a jump to conclude that the ideals, or values, that shape an organization’s character and brand are essential to how it both operates and how it is perceived in the marketplace—by its staff, customers and competitors.

Stengel moves beyond the intuitive notion that stronger brands increase the financial value of that brand, to thoroughly examining “the interrelationships of people’s bonding with brands and the growth in those brands’ financial value.”[ii]

After introducing five fields of fundamental human values he lists five ‘must-do’s’ for leaders –

  1. Discover an ideal in one of five fields of fundamental human values.
  2. Build your culture around your ideal.
  3. Communicate your ideal to engage employees and customers.
  4. Deliver a near-ideal customer experience.
  5. Evaluate your progress and people against your ideal.

I highly recommend this book to you by closing with its very first sentence stating that, “maximum growth and high ideals are not incompatible. They’re inseparable."[iii]

 

What is at least one ideal that drives your business? (Leave a comment below)

 

[i] Jim Stengel, GROW: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s 50 Greatest Companies (New York: Random House, 2011), 119.

[ii] Ibid., 29.

[iii] Ibid., 1.

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