Scaling Up Excellence Book Summary - Scaling Up Excellence Book explained in key points
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Scaling Up Excellence summary

Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao

Getting to More Without Settling for Less

4.2 (48 ratings)
19 mins
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    Scaling Up Excellence
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    You need it: scaling is essential to the success of organizations.

    Scaling is one of the major challenges that every leader or executive in a successful organization faces. Scaling refers to the practice of spreading the excellent performance that always exists somewhere in the organization to more people and more places.

    That’s why scaling is also called the “problem of more.”

    But creating more commendable behavior looks very different in each different organization. For instance, scaling can mean growing a technology start-up from twenty to forty employees, opening a new burger store in another country, or reducing treatment errors in hospitals.

    Moreover, scaling not only requires replicating best practices but improving performance along the way. In other words, the “problem of more” is also a “problem of better.”

    Scaling requires the drive to keep innovating, change organizational behaviors and structures, and find better strategies of delivering your product or service.

    Take the Bridgewater International Academies, a chain of elementary schools in developing countries. It scaled up from one school in 2009 to over 210 today. During its scaling process, the leadership team not only focused on growing the organization but also on improving their practices.

    For instance, they’re currently working on a new initiative that equips teachers with customized content to work better with students who have different abilities.

    Scaling is an important yet tricky organizational challenge. And while there’s no easy recipe for effective scaling, if we look at successful examples, we can glean some fundamental principles and strategies for success.

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    What is Scaling Up Excellence about?

    Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business publication that deals with how leaders can effectively spread exemplary practices in their organization. Readers can expect to learn about the latest research in the organizational behavior field, lots of instructive industry case studies, and many helpful practices, strategies and principles for scaling up.

    The authors help leaders and managers understand major scaling challenges and show how to identify excellent niches, spread them and cultivate the right mindset within their organizations. They also set out scaling principles that guide leaders in their daily decisions.

    Best quote from Scaling Up Excellence

    To spread excellence, you need to have some excellence to spread.

    —Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao
    example alt text

    Who should read Scaling Up Excellence?

    • Leaders and managers seeking to improve the performance of their organization
    • Anyone who wants to know how to spread best practices in an organization
    • Anyone interested in cutting-edge organizational research

    About the Author

    Huggy Rao is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. He has published the book Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation. Robert I. Sutton is a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University. Among his books are Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole Rule (also available in blinks).

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