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Concrete, comprehensive counsel for business leaders.

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The co-founders of a global consulting practice propose an approach to scaling small- and medium-size businesses.

The title of this debut guide is also the name of the authors’ business, so it will come as no surprise that McGurgan and Colvin highlight a scaling methodology designed and implemented by their company. The obvious sales pitch aside, there is considerable value in the thorough scaling framework freely shared by the authors. They make it clear from the outset that their approach is not for startups; rather, they address established SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) ready to grow exponentially with a focus on “establishing, refining, and standardizing the processes, which enable repeatable, scalable, and profitable business.” According to their research, “Almost 98 percent of SMEs fail to scale.” The book aims to help change that statistic; it describes a highly structured framework of 10 principles, each of which is explained in richly detailed chapters. The principles are neatly divided into three sections. A handsome, if somewhat complex, circular graphic ties it all together. “Inspire” covers mindset, vision, and employees; “Orientate” describes planning, process, and performance; and “Accelerate” concentrates on value proposition, geographic coverage, and collaborations with partners. The 10th principle, “Positive Growth Culture,” is embedded in the “Inspire” section to make the framework come full circle. This work displays both breadth and depth; McGurgan and Colvin offer a start-to-finish scaling process as well as nuts-and-bolts descriptions for each of the principles. The authors provide specific, well-founded guidance supported by citations from other sources. Numerous relevant examples appear throughout, and a substantial case study related to each principle is included at the close of every chapter. At times, the writing may feel a bit gimmicky. For example, there seems to be an overabundance of alliteration, acronyms, cleverly constructed phrases, and the like—but it is not at the expense of generally solid and highly actionable content. In all, this book delivers a serious, pragmatic approach to scaling a business.

Concrete, comprehensive counsel for business leaders.

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5445-2590-7

Page Count: 388

Publisher: Houndstooth Press

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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