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Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots

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In this text, the author outlines an expansion strategy based on putting together combinations of adjacency moves into areas away from, but related to, the core business, such as new product lines or new channels of distribution.

Growth is not a choice—it’s an imperative. But the risks are substantial. Only a quarter of all growth initiatives succeed, and three-quarters of the top business disasters of the past five years involved growth initiatives have gone terribly wrong. Yet in spite of these dismal odds, some companies experience growth rates that are three times as high as the average over extended periods. How do these companies achieve sustained succeed in such a high-risk activity? Are there lessons for others seeking the next wave of profitable growth?

In his book Profit from the Core, strategy expert Chris Zook revealed how the most enduring growth performers succeeded by focusing and building around one or two well-defined, dominant cores—and how otherwise well-positioned firms sabotaged their growth prospects by prematurely abandoning their core in pursuit of the next “hot” topic. Now, based on extensive research on the growth patterns of thousands of companies worldwide—including CEO interviews with the top twenty-five growth performers—this groundbreaking book argues that in order to continue to grow, companies must eventually expand beyond the core.

Zook’s research shows that the best companies fuel sustained growth through carefully planned “adjacency moves”—expansion into areas away from, but related to, the core business. He outlines a practical framework for decreasing the substantial risks associated with such moves and improving the odds for successful growth. Through company examples and hands-on tools, Beyond the Core shows managers how to:

  • Determine when and whether adjacencies make sense, depending on their company’s competitive situation
  • Evaluate which growth initiatives to pursue, which to avoid, and which to abandon
  • Discover their firm’s ideal “adjacency pattern”: a repeatable formula that will enable quick execution of a series of successful growth moves
  • Decide what type of organizational structure, reporting relationships, and decision processes will best support adjacency growth

A timely guide to making better decisions about new growth initiatives, Beyond the Core will help executives, boards of directors, and investors fuel sustained, profitable growth.

About the Author

Chris Zook is a Director of Bain & Company and leads the company’s global Strategy Practice.

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