It’s almost half way through the year – are you on track to reach your revenue and profit numbers?

Here are five of the best reads on profitability, ranked from oldest to newest. Check them out and put them on your summer reading list to accelerate your results and have all the profit you need to fund the growth you want!


accelerate your results

1. The Profit Zone: How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits – Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison (2002)

I love this book because it’s based on a variety of stories from famous business leaders sharing their business models and advice. They tell how to catch and ride each wave in an industry and continually stay ahead of the competition while leaving outdated ways of doing business behind. If your industry is experiencing turmoil and change, you’ll find some insights here for staying in the profit zone while letting go of unprofitable approaches.


unprofitable approaches

2. Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business – Ram Charan (2004)

One of the most valuable chapters that really resonated with me was Chapter 3 – How to Tell Good Growth from Bad Growth, which revealed that 40% of companies which increase revenues actually decrease profits. You might be in for a surprise when you apply this to your own organization! The great takeaway in this book is how to make profit everyone’s business, not just the responsibility of sales, marketing, or the C-suite. When you make every contact that an employee has with a customer into an opportunity, you can hit a lot of singles that turn into home runs on the bottom line.


Profitable Growth

3. Profit Beyond Measure – H. Thomas Johnson and Anders Broms (2008)

If you’re a LEAN fan or looking for cost advantages, this is the book for you. It traces the strategies Toyota and Scania use to “manage by means,” which strips waste out of the organization instead of just managing to preconceived accounting targets that may have waste built into them. With both a short-term and long-term focus, Beyond Measure helps create profits that are more secure and sustainable. Chapter 6 offers insightful lessons on how looking at systems in nature can generate fresh thinking within our own systems and processes — an unusual and thought-provoking approach!


Profit Beyond Measure

4. Profit from the Core: A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times – Chris Zook (2010)

An all-time favorite of mine, this classic succinctly shows why chasing bright shiny objects that distract attention from core business is often one of the most seductive yet misguided strategies leaders can use to chase growth. Businesses still grappling with maintaining or enhancing their competitive advantage in the aftermath of the recession will find this as relevant now as when it was first released after the dot-com boom and bust, especially the research regarding the hidden assets in your core that provide the seeds for new growth.


Return to Growth

5. Profit in Plain Sight: The Proven Leadership Path to Unlock Profit Passion and Growth – Anne C. Graham (2012)

What’s special about this book are the two thought provoking drivers that will shift your thinking forever about what is really possible for your business. Combine that with a practical roadmap to substantially increase profit and growth by using proven-yet-uncommon approaches for customer loyalty. By proactively driving profitable revenue and stripping sludge and unnecessary costs to serve out of the organization, you’ll see some serious bottom line impact. The wildcard is the two simple models for low risk, low cost innovation, illustrated by how Apple used each of them (often more than once) to go from weeks away from bankruptcy to the most valuable company in the world.


Enjoy your summer reading… and a very profitable rest of the year!