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When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It by Steve McKee

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6.3. Reluctance to Invest

Fear of risk and resistance to change are dangerous symptoms that can block a company from recognizing the need to adapt to changing circumstances. But the third symptom of a loss of nerve is even more insidious. Reluctance to invest can prevent a company from acting on its own best instincts, providing a rational-seeming excuse for doing nothing in a situation where dramatic, sharply focused action is the only path to recovery and renewed growth.

Geico is the most aggressive advertiser in the insurance industry. Between 2004 and 2007, the company increased its annual advertising spending by 75 percent and became the only leading player in its industry to achieve double-digit growth over that period. In a J. D. Power ...

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