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Stretch!: How Great Companies Grow in Good Times and Bad

ISBN: 978-0-471-46893-6
272 pages
December 2003
Stretch!: How Great Companies Grow in Good Times and Bad (0471468932) cover image


Learn how to achieve sustained business growth even in the toughest economic times. Author A.T. Kearney surveyed some 29,000 global companies over fourteen years and studied more than eighty companies in depth, in order to determine how the best companies continue to grow in good times and bad. Based on this extensive research and on the best practices of the most successful companies, Stretch!  presents a practical, step-by-step plan for positive organic growth.
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Table of Contents




Part I: The Growth Landscape.

Chapter 1: Mapping the Challenges and Hurdles to Growth.

The Growth Challenge: It’s More Than One Summit.

Many Popular Growth Concepts and Strategies Have Failed.

The Coca-Cola Challenge: Growth Hurdles at the Turn of the Century.

Can We Overcome the Growth Challenge?

Chapter 2: The Consolidation Game.

Learn by Example.

Chapter 3: Governments Can Help and Hinder Growth.

Industry Growth Rates Vary by Country.

Governments Promote Specific Target Industries.

Mixing Business and Politics on the Endgames Curve.

Heightened Levels of Protectionism.

A Brief World Tour.

Lessons Learned.

Part II: The Case for Growth.

Chapter 4: The Growth Objective.

Find the Right Path.

; Pulling All the Right Levers.

Chapter 5: Getting Ready to Grow.

Positive Aspects of Growth.

The Impact of Industry Consolidation.

The Growth Diagnostic.

Part III: The Stretch Growth Model.

Chapter 6: Introduction to the Stretch Growth Model.

A Tale of Two Strategies.

Decentralized and Unified.

Chapter 7: Operations: Removing Bottlenecks and Barriers.

Operations-Driven Growth at Wal-Mart.

1. Sourcing and Vendor Management.

2. Product and Service Quality.

3. New Product Development.

4. On-Time Delivery.

5. Superior Customer Service.

6. Sales Effectiveness.

7. Pricing Strategy and Execution.


Chapter 8: Organization: Creating High-Performing Companies.

Goldman Sachs.

Eliminate Friction.

Break Down Growth Barriers.

Sara Lee.

Improve Decision-Making Processes.

Align Compensation and Growth.

HSBC Holdings.

Chapter 9: Strategy: Exploiting Strategic Levers.


What Industry Are You Really In?

What Is Your Customer Growth Strategy?

What Distribution Channels Fuel the Best Growth?

Which Countries Should You Compete In?

What Is the Best Product Portfolio?


Where Do Mergers and Acquisitions Fit In?

Robert Mondavi.

Chapter 10: Stretch: Achieving Extraordinary Growth.


Value Chain and Business Model.

Customer Base.


Partnership and Risk Sharing.

Distribution Channels.


Convenience and Customization.

Geographic Reach.


Johnson & Johnson.

Part IV: Execution and Conclusion.

Chapter 11: Organizing for Growth: Resourcing Implementation Considerations.

Gaining the Conviction for Growth.

Selecting the Right CEO for Growth.

Establishing a Growth Culture.

Organizing for Globalization and Geographic Expansion.

Chapter 12: Reengineering Your Business Processes for Growth.

Basic Enabling Processes.

Innovation: The Birth of New Products and Services.

Growth Portfolios.

Managing Merger and Acquisition Decisions.

Chapter 13: Future Challenges for Growth.

Reasons for Hope.

Growth Prospects for Major Regions.

Growth Predictions in Key Industries.

Stretch into the Future.

Appendix: Overview of Economic Value Added (EVA) and Other Value Frameworks.

Pricing Strategies.



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Author Information

GRAEME K. DEANS is a Vice President at A.T. Kearney, where he leads the company’s global strategy practice, and Chairman of A.T. Kearney Canada. He specializes in business and marketing strategy, organizational design and effectiveness, and corporate restructuring, and is also the author (with Fritz Kroeger) of Winning the Merger Endgame.
FRITZ KROEGER is a Vice President at A.T. Kearney and the author of nine books on restructuring, growth strategy, and merger integration, including The Value Growers.
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