Authors: Edward D. Hess and Jeanne Liedtka
Publisher: Stanford University Press – 130 pages
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram

In this book, Edward D. Hess and Jeanne Liedtka, professors of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, provide you new research-based laws they’ve discovered and developed that lead to business growth.

They reject the commonly-accepted belief that growth is driven primarily by strategy. They assert that most companies large and small are by nature anti-growth because they are designed to be predictable in results, standardized in structure, and have goals and other elements akin to other firms that produce lackluster revenues and profits.

They point out that the people who work in a typical company in a given industry, with their company culture, their means of measuring success and very importantly, their limited rewards for performance inhibit out-of-the-box thinking, new ideas, innovation, exploration and experimentation – the necessary elements for finding and developing new markets, creating new products, and consequently rapidly raising the levels of sales and income.

The book presents to you, the owner and/or manager of a company, a basic formula for growth: G=M+S+P, namely: Growth = Mindset + System + Processes. But instead of simply presenting to you this formula, new research findings are revealed to you by the authors that you can readily avail of. These are practical and applicable to your business.

The necessary tools and the essential processes for creating mindsets equipped for welcoming, expecting and achieving growth are presented to you in this valuable book. The growth mindset enables employers and employees to look for and identify revenue producing and enhancing opportunities; as well as cost-reducing and expense-slashing ideas to improve your bottom line.

For a no-growth company to transform itself into a growth-oriented one, managers need to adopt revolutionary techniques to welcome new ideas from everyone in the company, so that innovation can flourish, write the authors.

For an environment of camaraderie, creativity, invention, teamwork and focus on growth goals to develop in a company, this is a must-read book, especially if the industry you are in has uncertainty, rapid technological change or competition from abroad.

In summary, The Physics of Business Growth provides you a three-step growth plan that empowers you to:

  1. Create the right employee and organizational mindsets to enable growth
  2. Build an internal corporate growth system, and
  3. Put in place processes for identifying growth opportunities, conducting growth experiments and developing and managing a growth portfolio.