A New Blueprint for High Growth
For many years, business expert David G. Thomson has been on a mission. He has traveled the globe in search of high-growth companies in an effort to develop an actionable blueprint other companies can use to grow during both good and bad business cycles. After conducting a massive research project to determine how the highest-growth companies reach that distinction, he turned his study into his previous book Blueprint to a Billion.
After the publication of Blueprint to a Billion, Thomson continued to distill the lessons he learned from those and other businesses into a guide that organizations can use to grow and prosper. The result of that process is his latest book, Mastering the 7 Essentials of High-Growth Companies.
To create this list of seven essential high-growth lessons for organizational leaders, Thomson interviewed dozens of CEOs and senior executives at the world’s top high-growth companies and compiled what he learned. By showing how their business principles can be applied by any company at any time, Thomson presents a powerful guide for achieving rapid growth.
The first lesson Thomson describes is "Create and sustain a breakthrough value proposition." He explains that an organization’s value proposition must go beyond showing how customers will benefit when they use the company’s products or services. A company with a "breakthrough" value proposition creates transformational products and services. Two more ways to create a breakthrough include redefining a specific market segment with a new type of product or service and creating a "category killer," which changes an entire market by offering a faster, better, cheaper alternative.
The next essential in Thomson’s blueprint for creating a high-growth company is finding a way to exploit a high-growth market segment. He explains that there are three ways to do this. The first way is to create a new market with an innovative product or service that changes an entire market. Another way is to redefine a market segment in a larger market. The third way is to optimize an entire market segment as a category killer.
Lessons From Middleby Corp.
One of the most interesting elements of Thomson’s book is its presentation of real-life experiences from many CEOs at companies that are not household names. For example, Thomson introduces readers to Selim A. Bassoul, the chairman and CEO of The Middleby Corp., a manufacturer of hot commercial food service and processing equipment.
After creating a Women’s Chef Advisory Council, Middleby learned that women chefs needed shorter ovens so they could use top shelves, and ovens that were self-cleaning so they could be energy efficient. By moving from a male-centric design to a design that applied more directly to the majority of the people using its products, the company created a breakthrough opportunity that helped it get more of its products into companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway. These types of strategies helped to grow Middleby from $100 million in revenue in 2001 to $657 million in revenue in 2009.
Thomson’s skilled ability to find and define compelling stories like this helps to make Mastering the Seven Essentials of High-Growth Companies a powerful guidebook that can help any leader discover the steppingstones to growth and prosperity.