An Overview of What Really Works

Helping our clients unlock their potential and experience success is what Munro’s is all about. To do this, we need to help you focus on the key things which could improve your business’s performance. 

With that goal in mind, we use this opportunity to highlight six research proven business areas demonstrated to substantially increase your odds of sustained success. 

In somewhat of a surprising finding, the research discussed in What Really Works has shown that no matter what industry you operate in, there are “Winners” who excel at six specific areas of business and as a result they, on average, outperform those that don’t as follows: 

  • 5x more Sales after 10 years 
  • 14x more Profit after 10 years 
  • 15x more Total Return to Owners after 10 years 

The research found that you’d have a better than 90% chance of being a “Winner” if your business excels at six of eight key areas at the same time. 

For the purposes of this review, we limit the discussion to only six because, in our view, they are the most relevant in the context of small-medium businesses. (For completeness, the other two areas are: Innovation, and Mergers & Acquisitions). 

The six key areas are: 

  1. Strategy 
  2. Leadership 
  3. Culture 
  4. Structure 
  5. Talent 
  6. Customer Service (a.k.a. Execution) 

The key strengths and value of What Really Works are that the research covers multiple years, a wide range of industries and the findings are relatively simple – potentially making it easier to understand and implement. 

The key weaknesses may be that companies don’t represent the Australian business environment, the businesses in the research are mostly large and publicly-listed companies, and the research may be dated given it was conducted in the 1990s. 

Before we come to a verdict, we now review the six business areas. 

Next: Strategy


Disclaimer: The authors and publishers of What Really Works have not in any way explicitly or implicitly endorsed or approved this review. The opinions expressed in this review are intended for general information purposes and no reader should act on them without thoroughly considering their own circumstances. Munro’s recommends that readers of this review who contemplate taking any action based on it seriously consider at least first reading the book What Really Works, and consult with their professional business advisor. For further disclaimer, please refer to Munro’s general disclaimer here.