Synopses & Reviews
Even world-class companies, with powerful and proven business models, eventually discover limits to growth. That's what makes emerging high-growth industries so attractive. With no proven formula for making a profit, these industries represent huge opportunities for the companies that are fast enough and smart enough to capture them first. But building tomorrow's businesses while simultaneously sustaining excellence in today's demands a delicate balance. It is a mandatory quest, but one that is fraught with contradiction and paradox. Until now, there has been little practical guidance. Based on an in-depth, multiyear research study of innovative initiatives at ten large corporations, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble identify three central challenges: forgetting yesterday's successful processes and practices; borrowing selected resources from the core business; and learning how the new business can succeed.The authors make recommendations regarding staffing, leadership roles, reporting relationships, process design, planning, performance assessment, incentives, cultural norms, and much more. Breakthrough growth opportunities can make or break companies and careers. "Forget, Borrow, Learn" is every leader's guide to execution in unexplored territory.
"By burying their titular 10 rules in a small final chapter, Govindarajan and Trimble commit the first deadly sin of business writing: ambiguity. Before that, readers can be forgiven for believing there are only three fundamental principles for stewarding innovative projects within established companies: forgetting, borrowing and learning. The Fast Company columnists, who cofounded a leadership institute at Dartmouth's business school, argue that most companies do not understand how to foster a genuinely experimental environment. Judging the new company ('NewCo') by the performance standards of the core company ('CoreCo') won't inspire change, hence the need to forget. But NewCo does have to borrow selectively from CoreCo's best resources in order to gain the foothold necessary for success, and it must learn from its experiences rather than stick blindly to its earliest plans. Govindarajan and Trimble use case studies from four industries, including manufacturing and online media. The examples, supplemented by numerous figures that reduce ideas to clear bullet points, get their points across effectively, but some readers may grow impatient waiting for the promised rules to turn up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)