Mercer Management Consulting’s “Grow to Be Great” (A): The Growth Initiative

Case Solution

Dorothy Leonard, Carin-Isabel Knoop
Harvard Business School ()

In late 1994, James Down, a member of Mercer’s Executive Committee, had to decide whether to push for the writing and publication of a growth book, while the most successful trade publications focus on reengineering and cost reduction. He sees this as an opportunity to position Mercer in the consulting market and align the organization itself through various mergers on a common platform. However, he encounters resistance within the firm, especially in the firm’s European offices, which see little need for this knowledge product. Ditching Europe could lead to an incomplete product and a divided company. However, if you wait, you may miss a critical market window. The case offers initial versions of the growth framework. In this case, the product is created from the knowledge of the company and is very different from the hardware or software produced.

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