Scaling Up - The Overview 

The book, Scaling Up is more like a business textbook offering practical tools and techniques for scaling up a business. Scaling Up focuses on 4 decisions every business leader must make: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash.
Start up, Scale up, Screw up or Stall out (fail to scale). The aforementioned, what I call the “4-S’”, describe the life cycle of most businesses as they move up the S-shaped curve of growth.  The key to scaling the S-Curve are:
1.    Attracting and keeping the right people
2.    Creating a truly differentiated strategy
3.    Driving flawless execution; and
4.    Having plenty of cash to weather the storms

Millions of people start new ventures, and of those that survive, about 96% remain “mice”. It is only a few, the “gazelles” or scaleups- that scale beyond 10 million, 100 million, or a billion dollars in revenue.  According to Verne Harnish, valuable insights from Scaling Up, give you the tools to scale up 10x.

According to Verne and his team, there are 3 barriers to scaling up:

Leadership: The inability to staff/grow enough leaders throughout the organization who have the capabilities to delegate and predict.

Scalable Infrastructure: The lack of systems and structures (physical and organizational) to handle the complexities of communication and decisions that come with growth.

Marketing: the failure to scale-up an effective marketing function capable of attracting new customers, talent, advisors and other key relationships to the business.

To overcome these barriers your team must master four fundamentals:

In Leading People, take a page from parenting. Establish a handful of rules, repeat yourself a lot (like a broken record) and act consistently with those rules. This is the role and power of Core Values. If discovered and used effectively, these values guide all the relationship decisions and systems in the company.

In Setting Strategy, remember a good strategy must pass these two tests: First, does what you are planning to do really matter to enough customers, and secondly, does it differentiate you from your competition?

In Driving Execution, implement three key habits: Set key Priorities (the fewer the better); gather quantitative and qualitative data daily and review weekly to guide decisions; and also, establish an effective daily, weekly, monthly , quarterly and annual meeting rhythm to keep everyone in the loop. It has been said, those who pulse faster, grow faster.

In Managing Cash, don’t run out of it! This means paying as much attention to how every decision affects cash flow as you would to revenue and profitability.

I guarantee you we will have a lot to glean from this book as we read through it. If you have not already, you can purchase Scaling Up by Verne Harnish here.



Meet me on March 15th for a discussion of the book  'Good to Great'

Pick up a copy of February’s book  'The Goal: A process of Ongoing Improvement