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Go For Growth was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 1996.

ISBN 0-471-13290-X

The book has been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

Go For Growth:

    • Makes the case for growth over retrenchment - and explains why you can't save your way to prosperity
    • Describes five alternative paths a company can take to grow
    • Shows how organization can serve as a tool to focus attention on growth
    • Argues that sustaining growth requires a change in business trajectory

Go For Growth issues a challenge to business managers to commit their companies to sustained measurable growth and enduring success. This is not a "one-size-fits-all" book. Noted business author and management consultant Robert M. Tomasko details five distinct paths that can take any company, large or small, to higher levels of productivity and prosperity. Important points are fully illustrated with examples drawn from a wide range of companies in a broad range of markets. These five paths include:

Breaking the Rules: Destabilizing an industry to create new markets describes how to expand your business by violating rules or standards that are obsolete or so entrenched that no one questions them anymore, leaving the market wide open to astute individuals who can spot the telltale signs. Go For Growth tells how to identify these markets and how to seize the initiative, along the lines of Federal Express, Silicon Graphics and Southwest Airlines.

Playing the Game: Excel by satisfying existing needs in growing markets explains the inherent strengths and weaknesses of market-driven companies that succeed by knowing and serving an existing market better than anyone else. Go For Growth tells you when and how to apply this game plan so effectively used by Marriott, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble.

Making the Rules: Dominate the market by controlling its standards describes the strategies of a handful of companies that have managed to control - through research, market share, product positioning and dumb luck - the markets in which they compete. This the path of Disney, Intel and Microsoft.

Specializing: thrive in niche markets details the way companies such as General Electric, NordicTrack and Rolex can seal off a portion of the market from other competitors by focusing on meeting very specific customer needs better than anyone else. Go For Growth shows the ways specialization can restore growth to companies undergoing wrenching change.

Improvising: Profit from change by rolling with the punches describes the role of improvising as a growth path when no other good choices are available, and explains the numerous ways improvisers like Apple, IBM, Kodak. and many regional phone companies can capitalize on flexibility to achieve profitability.

Go For Growth drives home the point that there is no single best approach to growth for everyone by including lively first-person accounts from managers thriving, and stumbling, in businesses following each path.

To get a quick feel for the book's perspective, start at its conclusion and read the Epilogue.




"Go For Growth is an important, thoughtful, practical book - hard to put down, easy to apply. I think Tomasko's best line is: 'Growth only happens when people grow'; that's a line I'd put on the wall of every executive's office!"

Dr. Robert Lee
President, Center for Creative Leadership


"At a time when so many pundits advocate their pet silver bullet to growth, Tomasko refreshingly shuns the 'one size fits all' panacea by setting forth five sensible paths to profitable growth. He stresses it is up to each management to sort out which path really makes sense given each company's unique situation."

Sam Felton
Strategic Leadership Forum (formerly the Planning Forum)


"Bob Tomasko is one of the best management writers in the business. He's got a great take on corporate culture and articulates it directly with plenty of firsthand illustrations. If you liked Built To Last you might also like this book."

Michael Pellecchia


"Go For Growth offers a refreshing viewpoint in an exceptionally useful format."

Industry Week


"This user-friendly book, free of distracting jargon.... Meant for the business practitioner, it integrates several leading theories of competitive strategy to address the perennial question, How shall I grow my business?"

National Productivity Review


"An indispensable guide, Go For Growth is full of helpful insights. Tomasko provides a clear critique of the mindless downsizing and reengineering madness that has gripped corporate America. Tomasko shows why a great place to work is essential for sustained growth. His focus is on target. Highly recommended."

Robert Levering
Co-author, The 100 Best Companies To Work For In America


"The latest thinking on growth."

Management Update from Harvard Business School


"...a lively antidote to the morass of pessimism and demoralization that permeates the contemporary management scene. This book avoids the shallow glibness of most of the managerial literature. The ease with which readers will enjoy this book belies the serious thought the author put into it."

Harry Levinson, PhD.


Contents and excerpts




Part I. Build, Don't Destroy

Chapter 1 The Growth Imperative

Chapter 2 Growth Isn't What It Used To Be

Chapter 3 One Size Never Fits All


Part II. The Five Paths

Chapter 4 Breaking the Rules

Chapter 5 Playing the Game

Chapter 6 Making the Rules

Chapter 7 Specializing

Chapter 8 Improvising


Part III. Sustain Success

Chapter 9 Keeping the Focus on Growth

Chapter 10 Changing Course to Sustain Growth



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