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5 books for entrepreneurs looking to scale up their business

Costa
By Costa

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Resources for entrepreneurs looking to scale up their startup and team

    Scaling Up

    It has been 12 years since Verne Harnish's book "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" was first released. This is the first major revision of this business classic. In Scaling Up, Harnish and his co-authors share practical tools and techniques to help entrepreneurs grow an industry -- dominating business without it killing them -- and actually have fun. Many growth company leaders reach a point where they actually dread adding another customer, employee or location. It feels like they are just adding more weight to an ever-heavier anchor they are dragging through the sand. To make matters worse, the increased revenues have not turned into more profitability, so at some point they wonder if the journey is worth the effort. This book focuses on the four major decisions every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. The book includes a series of new One-Page tools including the famous and recently-revised One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits Execution Checklist, which more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used to scale their companies successfully. Running a business is ultimately about freedom. The book shows owners how to achieve it, no matter how big and complicated a business grows.

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    Exponential Organizations

    In business, performance is key. In performance, how you organize can be the key to growth. In the past five years, the business world has seen the birth of a new breed of company-the Exponential Organization-that has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology into achieving performance benchmarks ten times better than its peers. Three luminaries of the business world-Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest, and Mike Malone-have researched this phenomenon and documented ten characteristics of Exponential Organizations. Here, in EXPONENTIAL ORGANIZATIONS, they walk the reader through how any company, from a startup to a multi-national, can become an ExO, streamline its performance, and grow to the next level.

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    Making the Invisible Visible

    This book presents a new way of seeing the business value of information, people and IT as well as a way of measuring and managing these capabilities in order to improve business performance. Packed with real-world examples, the book presents the best and worst practices companies have implemented to address these issues. Case studies from more than thirty international companies are strategically used throughout the book, including Banco Bilbao Vizcayo, Philips Business Electronics, Amazon, Dell Europe, Ernst Young, General Electric, IKEA, Ritz Carlton Hotels, and Wal Mart. This fascinating guide offers a diagnostic tool that senior managers can use to evaluate the three information capabilities of their company. Plus, the book provides hands-on management prescriptions on how to improve a company s information capabilities and how to use these capabilities in achieving business strategies and in the implementating change. We are all experiencing an information overload, be it internal to the organization or due to external influences of our own information intensive society. Much has been written on how companies should "tame the beast of information" and make it work in the organization's favour. What has not yet been covered is how an organization can actually comprehensively measure whether or not they are using information effectively to achieve better business performance, or in other words, how senior managers within an organization can measure "Information Orientation". Following a major 2 year global research project in conjunction with Andersen Consulting, the authors of this book have been able to demonstrate that when a company is high on IO it will be high on business performance. However, beyond just using IO as a diagnostic tool or a benchmark for the effective use of an organization's information, it can also predict the organization's business performance. Invariably, a company does not make the best use of available information. Having assessed why and where the failings are, this book will provide ways in which senior managers can actively manage the different elements of their Information Capabilities to improve the usage of information. Information Capabilities are defined in three ways: 1. Information Behaviours/Values 2. Information Management Practices 3. Information Technology practices. It is the total interaction of these three elements and the effective management of them that permits superior business performance. IO Maturity can be gained, but the authors illustrate that it is an iterative process that grows and changes in line with a turbulent environment. Managers of a high IO company realize the need to continually refine and improve their information use and to keep learning more about their business. IO begins at the top. It takes more than authorizing an IT investment and training staff to use information. It calls for different behaviours, values and practices by senior managers. This book provides the means to move towards IO maturity. It is the step beyond Information Technology to actually managing information. The aim of this book is to make a previously invisible dimension of business management visible. A manager, after reading this book, will be able to see, measure and manage the information resources, people and IT in the company and improve business performance.

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    The Inside Advantage

    Be the Driving Force Behind Your Company's Growth Robert H. Bloom has discovered that every enterprise has at least one strategic asset-one existing strength-that can form the foundation for future growth. He calls this an Inside Advantage. This strength usually lies unrecognized in an activity the business is currently performing or in a concept or an idea that the business already owns. Finding this hidden potential and becoming well known for it will grow the business. This strategy reflects Bloom's 45 years of experience in growing businesses and brands of every size and type, including famous companies such as Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, T.G.I. Friday's, Zales, Nestle, and L'Oreal, as well as not-so-famous B2B firms, not-for-profit organizations, and start-ups. Now, through his Growth Discovery Process, he is making his strategy available to all people who know their craft but don't know how to craft a growth strategy. Bloom's process is a plain-language path of discovery with only four steps. Whether you are a business leader, a manager, or an entrepreneur, this Growth Discovery Process will enable you to gain a profound insight into the core values of your enterprise. It will guide you to a clear understanding of who your customers are and what your special offerings to those customers should be. Finally, the process will stimulate a host of ideas-what Bloom calls Imaginative Acts-for highlighting your Inside Advantage and making it well known to current and prospective customers. Doing what you're good at and doing it better than anyone else will create growth. The Inside Advantage will help you capture that magic moment when customers will select your product or service over those of your competitors.

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    Costa is a Systems Architect at Keeward. Hobbies include reading (and listening to) books, cycling and cooking. Passionate about solving difficult challenges, building communities and ... Show More

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