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The Breakthrough Company: How ordinary companies become extraordinary performers

Recently I sat across the table from the CFO of one of the world’s leading providers of film production, processing and distribution services. He said something few executives say and that is “The best time to be looking for ways to improve your business is when your business is doing extremely well.” This insight was refreshing since most companies do exactly the opposite, resting on their laurels and relishing in their successes.

His comment reminded me of an important insight I gained at a book-signing event featuring Keith McFarland,author of The Breakthrough Company. Unlike most business books that point to the leadership secrets of large enterprises, Keith elaborates on the breakthrough growth secrets of small to medium-sized companies which enable them to push beyond the entrepreneurial phase.
Some of the data in his book took me by surprise. For example, only about a tenth of 1 percent of U.S. companies today will ever achieve revenues of more than $250 million in sales. Only .036 percent will grow to $1 billion in sales. Why is this? Pushing to the next level, as the CFO mentioned above is striving to do, is the challenge I most often find with many small to medium-sized companies.

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