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Publisher's Summary

In Scaling Up Excellence, best-selling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up further, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever-better work practices. Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries - including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare - Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization. They tackle the difficult trade-offs that organizations must make between "Buddhism" versus "Catholicism" - whether to encourage individualized approaches tailored to local needs or to replicate the same practices and customs as an organization or program expands. They reveal how the best leaders and teams develop, spread, and instill the right mindsets in their people - rather than ruining or watering down the very things that have fueled successful growth in the past. They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviors that will hold them back.

Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business book devoted to this universal and vexing challenge. It is destined to become the standard bearer in the field.

©2014 Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A great read that provides real, practical advice whether you're a team of 5 or 50,000. Sutton and Rao find just the right stories to show how almost any team can get bigger and better." (Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations, Google)
"Innovation at scale and speed is our goal. Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao show us how to do it more often and better, knowing that scale matters." (Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Office, GE)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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A must read for all high growth organizations.

Invaluable insights, good mix of different industries, plenty of food for thought. Highly recommend for anyone trying to grow a business.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not exactly the book I was hoping for

it was a great book and interesting to listen to. However I felt it wasn't very clear what the topic of this book was. I run a small business and I'm interested on all the methods and techniques on how best to scale-up and expand our business. this book is not really about that.

This book is more about how to maintain excellence during and after you scale up. It is not about how to actually scale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A bit slow at the beginning but worth the wait

This is a fine audiobook. The first 3 chapters were a bit slow, but gets better and better as the chapters advance. Well narrated and interesting content.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Definitely some good learnings for scaling up

I would suggest is for anybody who is involved in scaling up an organization or department. The only drug that are that the authors seem to rely only on stories and best practices that they have personally come into contact with as a result of their internal research at Stanford. It would have been nice for them to go out and find some other examples as well, but that leaves some room for a second book! Overall a worthwhile read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The headline is optional, except it's not.

I listened to it at 1.5x speed which helped. The book is fascinating if you're interested in how to grow organizations effectively or have maybe wondered what goes wrong in places that don't.

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a MUST read, regardless age of your organization

Very informative and straight to the point on examples of what works and what does not, tips and recommendations on scaling a business.

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For those with ambition

excellent thoght leadership witha bit of evidence on the side a book for any future business leader

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Enjoyed it had some great ideas and stories

Very practical and insightful and the ideas are backed up. I recommend it if you are working on scaling.

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perfect outline to clear results

loved the book. having been successful and less than successful with large scaling up efforts the points of the book all resonated with me. I wish I had read this a few years back, but instead I'll just have to apply it to my current scaling effort. the very obvious checklists / outline format made the book much easier to digest since so many good ideas were coming out. particularly appreciated the appropriate balance of story telling (vs. other business books which can over kill the topic).

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Great Listen

Packed to the brim with insight on anything and everything related to scaling an organization. A truely interesting and engaging read.