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Book Review: Scaling Up Excellence

Bestselling author Robert Sutton and his Stanford colleague Huggy Rao wrote Scaling Up Excellence’ after researching for various years they have uncovered that how successful companies spread excellence throughout the company which is called ‘scaling up’ and how they handled those behaviors that came in their way of success. In ‘Scaling up excellence’, they have shared some outstanding and inspiring stories.

According to the writers, success depends on the personal will and abilities of each and every employee of an organization. Excellence can only be achieved by team work; it cannot be achieved by moving one person forward by a thousand feet it’s about moving a thousand people forward a foot at a time.

Accountability in an organization is essential in order to make it successful. Hiring talented and skilled people is just a part of scaling up, but they cannot achieve excellence if they are not accountable. Accountability will make them responsible and they will be bound to work for the best interest of an organization.

Scaling up means to change the attitude of people and diversifying their roles in an organization. They also argue that increasing the departments, positions and functions in an organization will boost up the effort of scaling up. Bring new developments and changes in the organization. Bureaucracy is not favorable for any organization, so change old setups and methods that can come in the way of scaling up of an organization.

According to the authors, encourage people to adopt the scaling up procedure. It is essential that being a leader of an organization you are committed to achieve excellence, if you are serious in scaling up excellence then encourage people to build some new energy to develop some refreshing ideas in an organization.

Book presented various case studies and academic researches which showed that accountability and talent is required for a successful scaling up. Leader of an organization can only achieve success when he is able to think beyond himself. Timing is also very important in scaling, to know when to change the structure or process and when to wait for a better opportunity.

Excellence will only be achieved when you have the ability and talent to spread the excellence. Make only those promises to your customers which you can easily deliver, otherwise false promises will cause damage to your organization’s reputation. Before going for scaling, you need to evaluate your team that either they are ready for this or not.

They stated that the best practice is to create a balance between customizing and replication and they compared this with Catholicism and Buddhism. Catholicism is adopting true practices throughout the organization and Buddhism means to mold according to the situation.

Scaling up Excellence can give you a guidance to achieve organizational success. Scaling up in an organization is not an easy task but the best leadership and management is that who can handle these difficulties.

Sean Coyne

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