Cover of Grow to Greatness by Edward D. Hess
Grow to Greatness
Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses
Edward D. Hess


296 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804775342
Ebook ISBN: 9780804781909

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Simply put, most entrepreneurial start-ups fail. Those fortunate enough to succeed then face a second, major challenge: how to grow. This book focuses on the key questions an entrepreneur must answer in order to grow a business. Based on extensive research of more than fifty successful growth companies, Grow to Greatness discusses the top ten growth challenges and how to overcome them.

Author Edward D. Hess dispels the myth that businesses must grow or die. Growth can create value. But, too much growth too fast outstrips effective processes, controls, or management capacity. Viewing growth as "recurring change," Grow to Greatness lays out a framework for how to approach business development—and how to manage its risks and pace.

The book then takes readers through chapters that explore whether the time is right to grow, how to do it, and how to manage the vital reality that growth requires the right leadership, culture, and people. Uniquely, this book aims to prepare readers for the day-to-day reality of growth, offering up the lived experiences of eleven entrepreneurs. Six workshops to assess where readers stand now and a suite of templates that will prove to be useful over time help bring the book's teachings to life. After reading this book, entrepreneurs will have a real understanding of their readiness to grow and place in the growth cycle, as well as a concrete action plan for where to take their businesses next.

Many books address how to start a business, but this is a unique, go-to resource for readers who want to learn how to thrive beyond the start-up phase.

About the author

Edward D. Hess is a Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the author of over sixty Darden cases. His recent books include Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts and Cases and Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth. His growth research has been featured in over 200 media outlets worldwide, including USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Financial Times, Fortune, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business News, WSJ Radio, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Bloomberg Radio, and NPR. To learn more about Professor Hess, visit his website:

"[O]riginal and insightful . . . Highly recommended."

—S. Gove, CHOICE

"In a world where too many business owners and investors are being taught that 'we must grow or die,' Ed Hess provides responsible research to expose, challenge, and disprove dangerous misconceptions about growth. Ed's findings are beautifully packaged into this easy-to-read book. Our company has had a great growth ride, and we keep returning to Ed's approach to guide our next steps."

—Dave Lindsey, CEO & Founder, DEFENDER Direct, Inc.

"With curiosity and unwavering conviction, Ed Hess dives deeply into the heart of successful organizations. He illustrates the bold strategies that make these great companies thrive. But, more importantly, he uncovers the nuances of those strategies that truly build the foundation for enduring success. This book will give any savvy business leader the insights needed to achieve long-term prosperity."

—Nancy Greatrix McGough, Human Resource Director, Room & Board

"Grow to Greatness is a 'must have' reference of best practices and lessons learned by others who have successfully taken the growth journey. If you are anticipating growing your business or already on that path, this evidence-based book can be your mentor and guide at every point. Simply put: another compelling 'real world' read from Hess."

—Randall J. Bufford, Founder, President, and CEO, Trilogy Health Services, LLC

"Ed Hess has written a masterful work on business growth. Grow to Greatness provides a wonderful blueprint of critical steps to be completed along the journey of building a successful, profitable company."

—Andrew L. Bourne, CEO, WayPoint, Serial Entrepreneur

"Having successfully managed the daunting entrepreneurial phase of startup to profitability, I cannot think of a greater challenge than scaling my company from a mid-size player to an industry leader. This book offers insightful lessons based on empirical research and thought provoking questions that every entrepreneur faces when aiming to go from good to great."

—Parikshat Laxminarayan, Managing Director, Enchanting-Travels