“Scaling Up,” by Verne Harnish

Scaling Up, Harnish, coverI was recently in a board meeting, during which the conversation had drifted to some strategic planning discussion, when someone mentioned “the Rockefeller Habits.” This person started talking about how they – the Rockefeller Habits – had been implemented in his workplace, and how they had benefited his organization, and encouraged the rest of us to look into it. So, I went home and ordered a copy of Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It . . . and Why the Rest Don’t, which had the unofficial subtitle of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0. The book primarily walks through the four crucial decisions that leaders have to make in growing their organizations, decisions related to:

  • Leading people
  • Setting strategy
  • Driving execution
  • Managing cash

Each section/category is broken down into more detailed explanation, with worksheets and documents to help guide the process. Along the way, woven into the four categories, are the applications of the 10 Rockefeller habits. Ultimately, the intent of the book seems to be to provide tools and strategy to help any organization grow significantly larger and still succeed. For that purpose, it is a very practical and valuable book, with excellent ideas. If, like me, you are not necessarily trying to grow your organization, but simply trying to lead it well so that it constantly improves, you can still find a lot of great help in the book. Some of the ideas are not so easily applied because I am not trying to grow my organization, but the principles are still legitimate and valuable, and I believe will certainly make any organization – including my own – better, if I will implement them. After the fact, I am glad I purchased the book, and have a number of excellent take-aways that I have already begun to use. No surprise, then, that I would also recommend this one for you.   Harnish, V. (2014). Scaling Up: How a few companies make it . . . and why the rest don’t. Gazelles, Inc.: Ashburn, VA.

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