The Grass Isn’t Always Greener – So Maybe You Should Stay Put!

Lucky enough to be part of a good, profitable business? Considering new opportunities and other growth initiatives? Maybe you’d better think again.

So says Northwestern Univerisity’s Kellogg Graduate School Professor Tim Calkins in a recent Chicago Business article. Calkins’ new book, Defending Your Brand, elaborates on his defensive approach to business. He “rejects the boardroom orthodoxy that enshrines growth as the primary goal of business” and argues “that executives should worry less about growth and more about protecting what they have.”

The focus on growth at today’s companies has distracted management and left many companies unable to protect the unique advantages that got them where they are in the first place. And in today’s intensely competitive business world, offensive moves against weaker, unfocused competitors can reap big rewards. But quick, well-executed defensive moves that thwart competitors’ schemes are equally valuable.

As we’ve seen in previous posts (like this one from MEM student Felipe Saavedra) businesses need to be willing to reject traditional approaches when new methods might offer a better solution. Do you think a growth-obsessive approach to the business is just out-of-date rhetoric or can businesses strike a balance between a strong offense and a well-developed defense?

As always, we welcome your ideas and comments.

PriSim Business War Games Inc. runs and designs customized business simulations that teach decision-makers about business, strategy, finance, and leadership.

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