Warp Speed Growth

SUMMARY

Managing the Fast Track Business Without Sacrificing Time, People, and Money

You know how hard it is to grow a business rapidly and stay sane? This book will show you the strategies and applications to get it done.

Rapid growth stresses the entire business, making resources even more critical. If the manager or owner wants to guide that growth, it means more than getting his or her team to do things right. The problem is knowing which things to do right, how to invest scarce resources. The manager or owner of a rapidly growing company has only three critical resources. Sustainable growth comes from investing the resources wisely. Using case studies and effective examples, this book shows how.

Who would use Warp-Speed Growth?

1 - An independent business owner or manager may find that the business is growing, but feels in his or her gut that it is out of control. The ideas in Warp Speed Growth can help him or her to make that growth sustainable. That makes the company worth more to the owner (and investors) and it makes the business easier to run.

2 - A divisional manager in a larger company may find that the division is growing, but that there is too much to do to keep it on a consistent track. The plans and suggestions in Warp Speed Growth can help that general manager to keep the division growing in a sustainable manner and help him or her manage the parent company. If the division is going to become independent, this book will help the divsion to be worth more. If it is going to stay a part of the company, it will help the managers stay independent inside the company and become worth more themselves.

An Owner or General Manager in independent businesses.

These are people who have problems on a daily basis but do not always feel they have the luxury of time to research solutions. Instead, they have to analyze and react in tens of minutes. These professionals have more opportunities than resources. They want to choose the right ways to invest scarce time, people, and money. They may have worked in large companies and had safety nets to cover the lack of experience, and now they are looking for a good net. Even for managers still working for large companies, those nets are gone. Coming from or being in a shrinking company does not position the manager for growth. This book can provide part of that net, and help overcome those obstacles.

A General Manager of a division of a larger company.

These are managers in corporations with revenue and cost responsibilities. They have the same problems &emdash; their companies are asking them to throw away the rules and grow the operations. These managers and General Managers read Dilbert and chuckle. Then they worry about becoming the pointy haired manager. They have no more time than owners do, and their corporate resources and safety net are shrinking. These managers ". . . represent an increasingly important type of player in large American corporations: the intrepreneur. While part of the mega-company's payroll, intrepreneurs are vision-oriented workers who toil for long hours and on weekends to advance" a project. And with the same challenges and risks an owner faces. As one corporate manager told a key recruit: "'I'm forming this new division. It's a great opportunity. There may be some risks. It may not get off the ground. I think I have the company's support, but you're never really sure.'" This was followed with: "'I've been accused of being nuts a few times.'" (Wall Street Journal, 5/21/98, Inside Job.)

They know that they are working without a net, and they want more tools that work for growing divisions. Warp Speed Growth will give them these divisional managers the strategies and appliatons that the larger comapnies cannot.

HR/Training and Development Managers

Managers and consultants who work in training and development (T&D) or human resources (HR) have a different issue. They need to make credible and correct recommendations. Their companies and clients are asking line managers for rapid growth and entrepreneurial traits. Management turns to T&D and HR to deliver a clear path and rules for making that happen. This book will help them with practical and proven tools. They can take it back and recommend it to their line managers. They can make Warp Speed Growth part of their internal "intrapreneurial" training, and they can build course work off of the strategies, tools, and examples. All that can generate ongoing sales for the work.

Future General Managers or Owners

New IPO registrations, pitches to Venture Capitalists, and proposals to open new divisions show that tens of thousands of people harbor aspirations to become the CEO or general manager of a rapidly growing company. They have the ideas, the drive, but not the experience. They want the experience, and want it now. This book can be a shortcut to becoming the manager of a business that grows in a sustainable manner. Future executives will find this a great way to prepare to sustain growth.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

The preface discusses who would need this book and how to use it.

1. Introduction: Sustainable and Sane Business Growth
Chapter 1 lays out the basic issues that all fast growth companies face, including two avoidable problems, four fallacies of growth, and what constrains sane growth.

Part One: The Foundations

2. Jigsaw Management: Conserve Time, People, and Money

Chapter 2 discusses Jigsaw Management as a simple model and how it has helped others get through difficult times. It uses two real examples and finishes with a template for using a jigsaw puzzle boxtop for growth.

3. What Keeps the CEO Up At Night: Worries of Not Finding New Markets and Good People

Chapter 3 was built by askign CEOs what keeps them up at night. The results, which are both unexpected and interesting, make up half the chapter. These are followed with some suggestions on how to use them immediately. This is a strong attraction to owners and managers, and those who aspire to those roles.

4. Rapid Growth and Your Resources: Knowing What to Invest

Chapter 4 continues with what restricts the growth of your business. Looking at the characterstics of gradual, rapid, and extreme growth, the chapter discusses what resources an owner or general manager has (time, people, money) and how to prioritize them. It finsishes with interviews in which three senior executives discuss how they've done this.

5. Buying Future Growth: Corporate or Private Investors...or Not?

Chapter 5 discusses how to get more resources. If the general manager or owner wants to consider asking for or taking an investment, this is the chapter that will help guide the deal. If he or she wants to sell out, this will help get the right price for that.

Part Two: Resource Strategies and Applications

6. Resource Strategies: Grow and Dominate New Markets

Chapters 6 to 10 are pairs of chapters, one for strategy and one for application.

Chapter 6 starts with the owner or GM's role in creating and then dominating new markets as a growth strategy. It uses current examples and discusses a counterintuitive way to use pricing to build markets.

7. Applications: Build and Lead New Markets

Chapter 7 discusses how to apply the strategies in 6. Some applications are fairly straightforward (such as developing user involvement into products.) Some are going to catch the reader off center. Those include raising the price when asked for a discount, firing customers, and when to forget the competition. Case studies are provided.

8. Resource Strategies: Growth, People, and Structure

Chapter 8 focuses on the best way to organize rapid growth around your people. There are strategies on recruiting and structures that work best for fast track companies.

9. Applications: Hire, Organize, Reward, and Keep Good People

Chapter 9 extends that to one on one management. Starting with promotions (and why not to give them so often) the chapter discusses the best ways to use incentives, and appraisals to support rapid growth. It uses real cases as examples.

10. Resource Strategies: Growth and Technology

Chapter 10 discusses the use of technology to foster growth, focusing heavily on when it helps and when it hurts. It finishes with give the right direction

11. Applications: Plan For Technology and Take Advantage of the Disruption

Chapter 11 discusses the disruption that technology brings to the marketplace, and how to take advantage of it. With focus on Killer Applications (how to build them, how to defend from them) and using technology to build markets (including a practical decision process) this chapter will help a General Manager or owner to make technology a controlled tool for sustainable growth.

12.Warp Speed Growth: Managing a Business Built for Speed

Chapter 12 is the summary, discussing where there are limits to rapid growth, the role of the owner or General Manager in avoiding growth limits. It finishes, of course, with "Where Do You Start?"