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Stall Points - Olson, Matthew S.; van Bever, Derek - Yale University Press
Business
Economics

Stall Points

Most Companies Stop Growing--Yours Doesn't Have To

  • Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever
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Selected as one of the Top 10 Business Books of 2008 by Harvey Schachter of the Toronto Globe & Mail

Visit the Stall Points Initiative, a comprehensive website devoted to providing detailed information on the book, the authors, media coverage and events. **For a limited time, readers can download the article, "When Growth Stalls" in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review.**

The site also offers additional resources, including executive summary research and cases, expanded excerpts, and the "Red Flag" Diagnostic, a self-test developed by the authors to help executives identify and raise awareness about issues worthy of management examination and discussion.

What are some of your company's Stall Points? Take the "Red Flag" Diagnostic self-test here.

Very few large companies manage to avoid stalls in revenue growth. These stalls are not attributable to the natural business cycle. Rather, careful analysis reveals that the vast majority of such stalls are the direct result of strategic choices made by corporate leaders. In short, stoppages in growth are almost always avoidable. This extensively researched book analyzes the growth experiences of more than six hundred Fortune 100 companies over the past fifty years to identify why growth stalls and to discover how to rectify a stall in progress or, even better, avoid one.

 

Board members and executives in companies of all sizes will find this book a practical and essential resource. Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever investigate the incidence and consequences of growth stalls in major corporations, then probe the root causes. Examining hundreds of stall points, the authors conclude that the greatest threat to a company’s growth is posed by obsolete strategic assumptions that undermine market position, and by breakdowns in innovation and talent management. The study includes a selection of practices for articulating and monitoring strategic assumptions and concludes with a self-test built around fifty “Red Flag” warning signs of an impending growth stall.

 

Top Four Reasons a Firm May Stall:

• Premium position captivity

• Innovation management breakdown

• Premature core abandonment

• Talent shortfall

Matthew S. Olson is an executive director and Derek van Bever is the chief research officer of the Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ:EXBD), the premier advisory and performance improvement network for leaders of the world’s largest public and private organizations.  The authors live in the Washington, DC area.  

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