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The Alexander Problem: Successfully Growing Through Adjacency Expansion

by James Allen Chris Zook

International bestseller Profit from the Core was originally published in 2001 and helped many companies find their way back to profitable growth after the Internet bubble burst. Now, the fully updated edition points the way forward in today's economy with new examples and data that demonstrate how companies have met the challenges and opportunities of turbulent times by returning to their core businesses. The stronger your core business is, the more opportunities you have both to move into profitable adjacencies from the core and to lose focus and jeopardize the stability of the core. This chapter describes how to identify adjacent business opportunities, assess the right adjacencies, and avoid some common pitfalls of adjacency expansion. Numerous case studies on companies including Gillette and Hewlett-Packard illustrate how to ensure sustained profitable growth by systematically expanding into logical business adjacencies around a stable core. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 3 of Profit from the Core (Updated Edition): A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times.

Beyond the Core

by Chris Zook

All companies must grow to survive--but only one in five growth strategies succeeds. In Profit from the Core, strategy expert Chris Zook revealed how to grow profitably by focusing on and achieving full potential in the core business. But what happens when your core business provides insufficient new growth or even hits the wall? In Beyond the Core, Zook outlines an expansion strategy based on putting together combinations of adjacency moves into areas away from, but related to, the core business, such as new product lines or new channels of distribution. These sequences of moves carry less risk than diversification, yet they can create enormous competitive advantage, because they stem directly from what the company already knows and does best. Based on extensive research on the growth patterns of thousands of companies worldwide, including CEO interviews with 25 top performers in adjacency growth, Beyond the Core 1) identifies the adjacency pattern that most dramatically increases the odds of success: "relentless repeatability;" 2) offers a systematic approach for choosing among a range of possible adjacency moves; and 3) shows how to time adjacency moves during a variety of typical business situations. Beyond the Core shows how to find and leverage the best avenues for growth--without damaging the heart of the firm.

Desperately Seeking Growth: Focus on Your Core Business to Generate Profitable Growth

by James Allen Chris Zook

International bestseller Profit from the Core was originally published in 2001 and helped many companies find their way back to profitable growth after the Internet bubble burst. Now, the fully updated edition points the way forward in today's economy with new examples and data that demonstrate how companies have met the challenges and opportunities of turbulent times by returning to their core businesses. The most important issue management teams have always faced is how to grow their companies. In a world of turbulent economies and scarce resources, are you wondering where your next wave of profitable growth will come from? This chapter argues that, now more than ever, the key to unlocking hidden sources of growth and profits is to renew focus on your core business. Short case studies of companies like Bausch & Lomb, Amazon, and The Gartner Group demonstrate how some have profited from their core business, even through tough times, while others have strayed too far from the core-to disastrous results. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 1 of Profit from the Core (Updated Edition): A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times.

Evaluating Adjacency Moves: Balancing Desire with Data

by Chris Zook

The companies best able to pursue growth opportunities are equally aware of the need to impose rules and structure on their own decision-making process, advocating a decision process that pays particular attention to leadership economics and market control in new adjacencies, a robust profit pool, and a clear sense of relatedness to a strong core. This chapter looks at 24 companies to identify and compare some of the most critical criteria to be considered in any first-rate decision process regarding growth investments.

Executing Adjacency Moves: Managing the Key Organizational Issues That Most Influence Success or Failure

by Chris Zook

The many CEOs interviewed for this book all stressed the organizational challenges of adjacency expansion. Based primarily on case examples and direct comments from senior executives who have grappled with these organizational concerns, this chapter examines issues related to the execution of adjacency moves that fall into three major areas that were emphasized again and again: managing linkages between the core and adjacencies, organizing for repeatability, and exiting adjacencies.

Finding Your Next Core Business

by Chris Zook

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The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth

by James Allen Chris Zook

Three Principles for Managing-and Avoiding-the Problems of GrowthWhy is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers. But when Bain & Company's Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core, researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not external-increasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What's more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the ability to grow further-and can actively lead to decline.The key insight from Zook and Allen's research is that managing these choke points requires a "founder's mentality"-behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founder-to restore speed, focus, and connection to customers: An insurgent's clear mission and purpose An unambiguous owner mindset A relentless obsession with the front lineBased on the authors' decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder's Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kinds-not just start-ups-and their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leader-not only a founder-can instill and leverage a founder's mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.

Growing from the Core: Developing and Refining Your Growth Strategy

by James Allen Chris Zook

International bestseller Profit from the Core was originally published in 2001 and helped many companies find their way back to profitable growth after the Internet bubble burst. Now, the fully updated edition points the way forward in today's economy with new examples and data that demonstrate how companies have met the challenges and opportunities of turbulent times by returning to their core businesses. In today's unstable business environment, change--in company strategies, structures, and people--is crucial to achieving sustained profitable growth. To master change, managers must pursue it, not resist it. This chapter summarizes the opportunities and risks of seeking to grow the core in a turbulent business environment. It concludes with ten key questions managers should ask about their companies as they embark on growth initiatives. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 5 of Profit from the Core (Updated Edition): A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times.

Growth Crisis: Dangerous Moves Beyond the Core

by Chris Zook

Finding or maintaining a source of sustained and profitable growth has become the number one concern of most CEOs, and pushing the boundaries of the core business into "adjacencies" is the strategy of choice for most companies. Outlining the book's promise to provide a practical framework, using company examples, interviews with CEOs, and statistical analysis for decreasing the substantial risks associated with adjacency expansion and improving the odds for success, this chapter asks the question, what are successful adjacency moves and why are they important?

Growth Outside the Core

by James Allen Chris Zook

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Orchestrating Adjacency Moves: Strengthening the Core Versus Investing in Adjacencies

by Chris Zook

Even the most attractive growth opportunity can turn unattractive, unrealistic, or even destructive when bolted onto the wrong core business, or onto the right business at the wrong time. Building growth on a core business that is prepared to support it, and for which the new adjacency moves might even reinforce the strength of that core rather than draining it of its energy, is crucial. This chapter examines the issue of timing and assessing the state of the core to support growth.

Profit from the Core

by James Allen Chris Zook

When Profit from the Core was published in 2001, it became an international bestseller, helping hundreds of companies find their way back to profitable growth after the bursting of the Internet bubble. The 2007 global financial meltdown reaffirmed the perils of pursuing heady growth through untested strategies, as firms in industries from finance to retailing to automobiles strayed too far from their core businesses and suffered the consequences.In this updated edition of Profit from the Core, authors Chris Zook and James Allen show that a renewed focus on the core is more critical than ever as firms seek to rebuild their competitive advantage coming out of the downturn-and that a strong core will be the foundation for successful expansion as the economy recovers. Based on more than ten years of Bain & Company research and analysis and fresh examples from firms responding to the current downturn, the book outlines what today's executives and managers need to do now to revitalize their core, identify the next wave of profitable growth, and build on it successfully.Zook and Allen explain how companies can: Develop a strong, well-defined core and use it to establish a leadership position Follow the golden rule of strategy: discourage competitors from investing in your core Assess whether your core is operating at its full potential Uncover hidden assets in your core that provide the seeds for new growth Find a repeatable formula to apply core business strengths in adjacent marketsBuilding on powerful and proven ideas to meet today's formidable business challenges, Profit from the Core is the back-to-basics strategy field guide no manager should be without.

Profit from the Core

by James Allen Chris Zook

When Profit from the Core was published in 2001, it became an international bestseller, helping hundreds of companies find their way back to profitable growth after the bursting of the Internet bubble. The 2007 global financial meltdown reaffirmed the perils of pursuing heady growth through untested strategies, as firms in industries from finance to retailing to automobiles strayed too far from their core businesses and suffered the consequences.In this updated edition of Profit from the Core, authors Chris Zook and James Allen show that a renewed focus on the core is more critical than ever as firms seek to rebuild their competitive advantage coming out of the downturn-and that a strong core will be the foundation for successful expansion as the economy recovers. Based on more than ten years of Bain & Company research and analysis and fresh examples from firms responding to the current downturn, the book outlines what today's executives and managers need to do now to revitalize their core, identify the next wave of profitable growth, and build on it successfully.Zook and Allen explain how companies can: Develop a strong, well-defined core and use it to establish a leadership position Follow the golden rule of strategy: discourage competitors from investing in your core Assess whether your core is operating at its full potential Uncover hidden assets in your core that provide the seeds for new growth Find a repeatable formula to apply core business strengths in adjacent marketsBuilding on powerful and proven ideas to meet today's formidable business challenges, Profit from the Core is the back-to-basics strategy field guide no manager should be without.

Profit from the Core

by James Allen Chris Zook

When Profit from the Core was published in 2001, it became an international bestseller, helping hundreds of companies find their way back to profitable growth after the bursting of the Internet bubble. The 2007 global financial meltdown reaffirmed the perils of pursuing heady growth through untested strategies, as firms in industries from finance to retailing to automobiles strayed too far from their core businesses and suffered the consequences.In this updated edition of Profit from the Core, authors Chris Zook and James Allen show that a renewed focus on the core is more critical than ever as firms seek to rebuild their competitive advantage coming out of the downturn-and that a strong core will be the foundation for successful expansion as the economy recovers. Based on more than ten years of Bain & Company research and analysis and fresh examples from firms responding to the current downturn, the book outlines what today's executives and managers need to do now to revitalize their core, identify the next wave of profitable growth, and build on it successfully.Zook and Allen explain how companies can: Develop a strong, well-defined core and use it to establish a leadership position Follow the golden rule of strategy: discourage competitors from investing in your core Assess whether your core is operating at its full potential Uncover hidden assets in your core that provide the seeds for new growth Find a repeatable formula to apply core business strengths in adjacent marketsBuilding on powerful and proven ideas to meet today's formidable business challenges, Profit from the Core is the back-to-basics strategy field guide no manager should be without.

The Profitable Core: What Are the Key Requirements?

by James Allen Chris Zook

International bestseller Profit from the Core was originally published in 2001 and helped many companies find their way back to profitable growth after the Internet bubble burst. Now, the fully updated edition points the way forward in today's economy with new examples and data that demonstrate how companies have met the challenges and opportunities of turbulent times by returning to their core businesses. Most companies demonstrating sustained profitable growth have very few, highly focused, core businesses. Conversely, diversification is often associated with lower average valuations than are typical of companies with focused cores. This chapter describes how to define and obtain the full potential from a core business. It outlines the key requirements for building a strong core as the foundation for growth strategy, provides tools for doing so, and points out the most common sources of failure in detailed case examples of companies including Dell, Starbucks, and Sony. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 2 of Profit from the Core (Updated Edition): A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times.

The Redefinition Dilemma: How to Determine Whether Redefining Your Core Business Is the Right Course of Action

by James Allen Chris Zook

International bestseller Profit from the Core was originally published in 2001 and helped many companies find their way back to profitable growth after the Internet bubble burst. Now, the fully updated edition points the way forward in today's economy with new examples and data that demonstrate how companies have met the challenges and opportunities of turbulent times by returning to their core businesses. Sometimes the core encounters turbulence when an industry or economy falters, technology changes, customer needs shift, or a new business model abruptly grabs market share. Succeeding in a major redefinition of the core business is rare, but it can be accomplished. This chapter introduces "litmus tests" for determining when redefinition may be in order, provides detailed case examples to illustrate the scenarios, and cites key implementation lessons from companies like Marvel Entertainment, General Dynamics, and Apple. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 4 of Profit from the Core (Updated Edition): A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times.

Reigniting Growth

by James Allen Chris Zook

Article

Repeatability

by James Allen Chris Zook

An argument for simplicity from the bestselling authors of Profit from the CoreIs radical reinvention the key to winning in today's fast-paced world? Not judging by the results of some of the world's best-performing companies.In Repeatability, Chris Zook and James Allen-leaders of Bain & Company's influential Strategy practice-warn that complexity is a silent killer of profitable growth. Successful companies endure by maintaining simplicity at their core. They don't stray from, or regularly discard, their business model in pursuit of radical renovation. Instead, they build a "repeatable business model" that produces continuous improvement and allows them to rapidly adapt to change without succumbing to complexity.Based on a multiyear study of more than two hundred companies, the book stresses the value of repeatability in business, showing how the "big idea" today is really made up of a series of successful smaller ideas driven by a simple and repeatable business model. Zook and Allen show how some of the world's best-known firms combine a core differentiation model with speed, adaptability, and simplicity to land them at the top for long periods of time. These firms include: Apple, Danaher, DaVita, IKEA, Nike, Olam, Tetra Pak, Vanguard, and others.CEOs, senior executives, managers, and investors all need to read this book. It's the new blueprint for reaching the top-and staying there.

Transforming Through Adjacency Moves: Redefining the Core Through Adjacencies

by Chris Zook

The primary reason that companies die or tumble into extended periods of value destruction is not because their market suddenly disappears or becomes uniformly unprofitable. Rather, it is because those companies failed to adapt, failed to redefine their core, and were overtaken by competitors. This chapter looks at how adjacency expansions done rapidly and effectively provide the best method to transform a company and redefine its core business.

Unstoppable: Finding Hidden Assets to Renew the Core and Fuel Profitable Growth

by Chris Zook

Over the next decade, two out of every three companies will face the challenge of their corporate lives: redefining their core business. <P><P>Buffeted by global competition and facing an uncertain future, more and more executives will realize that they must make fundamental changes in their core even as they continue delivering the goods and services that keep them in business today.Unstoppable shows these managers how to look deep within their organizations to find undervalued, unrecognized, or underutilized assets that can serve as new platforms for sustainable growth. Drawing on more than thirty interviews with CEOs from companies such as De Beers, American Express, and Samsung, it shows readers how to recognize when the core needs reinvention and how to deploy the "hidden assets" that can be the basis for tomorrow's growth.Building on the author's previous books, Profit from the Core and Beyond the Core, this book shows how any company in crisis can transform itself to become truly unstoppable.

Visualizing the Ideal: The First Principle of Adjacency Growth

by Chris Zook

Repeatability is the essence of mastery and control, and the discovery of a repeatable formula, one of the most critical elements in the growth of a company, drives profitable growth. This chapter tackles visualizing the ideal adjacency moves, focusing on the characteristic of repeatability--a trait at the heart of some of the great instances of sustained, profitable growth--to drive wave after wave of growth over time.

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