Seven Silent “Growth Killers” for Business

Seven Silent “Growth Killers” for Business

The book Mighty Midsized Companies by Robert Sher provides a comprehensive review of seven “silent” issues that prevent mid-sized organizations from reaching their true potential. As a Risk Insurance Advisor to businesses, I found this book to be a helpful reminder of the challenges business leaders need to be more aware of—as well as how their decisions (or indecision) can slow the financial progress of their enterprise, or worse, send it into a decline.

Sher defines a midsized firm as one with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion (a definition originated by Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business). Using this definition, he notes that there are almost 200,000 American companies that fall into this category. Sher believes these midsize businesses face unique challenges that their smaller and larger counterparts do not.

Here are the critical issues the book analyzes:

  • use of time
  • tinkering with strategy
  • reckless growth attempts
  • fumbled acquisitions
  • operational issues
  • cash liquidity
  • dysfunctional leaders

Sher chose these issues, he says, because they don’t get a lot of coverage in business schools, the media, trade publications, or consulting firms. Even though the author’s message is aimed at decision-makers of mid-size companies, these issues can occur in any organization. If they aren’t properly attended to, they can cause lasting damage to the enterprise and to the employees who depend upon the success of the firm for their livelihood.

Practical Examples…

This is a well-written read, illustrated with specific examples the reader can relate to. In fact, some of the companies used as examples may be familiar to you. Most of the business leaders Robert Sher interviewed are noted in the book’s Research Participant Listing. These interviews provide authenticity and demonstrate Sher’s diligence in using practical terms and examples to illustrate his points, rather than purely theoretical ones.

Sher’s logical organization makes the book an easy read. Every issue is presented, discussed, and followed up with an example of a real company that faced that particular problem. Sher wraps up each point by providing suggested prescriptions to avoid the problem. These examples are easy to relate to, helping the reader come away with a clear understanding of the problem and its possible solutions. Reading Sher’s presentation of the issues is like going to a class conducted by an interesting professor who possesses excellent communication skills, keeping the students engaged in the subject.

…Lead to Practical Applications

This book has a great deal of insight for anyone in business, as well as those who have a specific interest in leadership topics. Leaders in all positions of an organization, especially members of the board of directors, can learn about potential financial pitfalls that aren’t normally discussed.

If you’re in a leadership position, it’s hard not to compare what’s happening within your organization to the examples Robert Sher presents. This exercise could be the wake-up call you need, inspiring you to take corrective action and prevent future financial harm to your company and fellow employees.

Having followed Mr. Sher’s career and read many of his articles in various publications, I find this to be a continuation of his thorough and thoughtful approach to help business leaders excel, creating a more predictable path to success for their organizations. To see what others have said, go to Amazon to read the reviews of this book.

If this book convinces you to take a step toward protecting your business’s future, we can help. Our complimentary Risk & Threat Assessment can help make sure your company protects its employees and its financial future. For a free analysis, call 1-800-823-4852 x 8758 or email for more information.


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Tom Bone
Risk Insurance Advisor
ISU Insurance Services
2266 Lava Ridge Court
Roseville, California 95661
Phone 916.960.8758 or 800.823.4852 ext. 8758
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