Small Giants

Sunday, February 19, 2006
by S.P.

Two new books provide a powerful antidote to Wall Street's poisonous fixation with gigantism and growth. In Small Giants (Portfolio), longtime Inc. magazine editor Bo Burlingham's done for private companies what Jim Collins did for public companies in Good to Great. Some of the companies he writes about are small, others large, but all exhibit the same kind of passion and enlightened management styles that engender incredible loyalty from customers, employees and the communities in which they operate. And yes, they also make good profits. In Bigger Isn't Always Better (Amacom), Washington business consultant Robert M. Tomasko distinguishes between the growth that comes from buying other companies or adding new products and facilities and the growth that comes from thinking smarter, executing better and creating great new products. Although a bit rambling, Tomasko is best in combining the insights of psychology with the lessons of corporate management and strategy. The book is chock full of good tips and sound advice for managers of any sized operation.

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