Podcasts We Love: HBR IdeaCast

By Veselin Ganev Monday, July 25, 2016

business podcast

The HBR IdeaCast is a weekly audio podcast that brings together the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management brought to life by Harvard Business Review.

It has long been known as a leading resource for business news, and has featured many of the most important contemporary business leaders, Harvard University professors and thought leaders throughout the world.

While the website require a membership fee to read the articles, the podcast is free.

Recently, HBR IdeaCast broadcast a podcast entitled “Getting Growth Back at Your Company.” The guest speaker for this episode was Chris Zook, a best-selling business writer and partner at Bain & Company, one of the most popular management consulting firms in the world.

In this episode, Mr. Zook and the HBR IdeaCast host, Sarah Green Carmichael, try to explain the predictable crises of growth in any business and give advice on how to overcome them based on his recently published book (co-authored with James Allen), The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth”

According to Mr. Zook, statistics show that barely 10% of the world’s businesses manage to achieve even modest levels of sustained, profitable growth, and the rest just fall short of their long-term growth goals.

A second study by Zook and his team, which included about 400 executives, surprisingly revealed that the executives did not see an absence of external opportunities, a technology they could not afford nor a rogue competitor as the main growth barrier.

Instead, they found the main culprit to be internal factors, and in very large companies this same outlook was shared by 94% of the people interviewed.

This is a recurring premise in both Mr. Zook’s book and the “Getting Growth Back at Your Company” podcast—people too often look outward, at external factors, when setting out to grow their businesses.

They forget there are a number of things we can do to modify our internal, controllable factors in order to gear them towards more growth.  

The podcast delves into what those internal barriers are, how people can recognize them and thus  reduce complexity to improve a company’s internal processes to reach what the co-authors call the “founder’s mentality,” a three-step process which they have found to be the essence of successful companies.

The podcast runs less than 20 minutes, and you can listen to it right here—see below. I am sure you will find the conversation quite helpful.




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