Research Background

In December 2011, we began a series of interviews with leaders of midsized company to explore the factors that facilitate or kill growth. Going into these interviews, I had preliminary thoughts on what those factors were, from years of experience and hundreds of interviews and sessions with midsized CEOs since 2005. But the interviews since 2011 confirmed that some of the growth killers were widespread. In those discussions, I also encountered some new growth killers that I hadn’t previously thought to be severe.

Between December 2011 and July 2013, we conducted 101 interviews, many of them recorded and transcribed, in which executives discussed their experiences at 110 companies (listed below). We conducted many ...

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