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Book Review – The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin

The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin is the 23rd book I read in the Read 30 Books in 30 Days Reading Challenge.  And you never know where ideas come from. The Acorn Method came to the author from Secret Life of Trees by Colin F Tudge.

If you’re not a joiner, buy my e-book, Read 30 Books in 30 Days Like Francis Bacon instead? It’s a 30 Day Reading Makeover Challenge.

 The Acorn MethodThe Acorn Method The Hidden Life of TreesThe Hidden Life of Trees Read 30 Books in 30 Days Like Francis BaconRead 30 Books in 30 Days Like Francis Bacon Secret Life Of TreesSecret Life Of Trees

Book Bite: A mature company needs diversified, but coherent portfolios of small fast growth assets. It must find lateral growth opportunities. think about business growth as a process of expanding out like a forest rather than up like a tree. If your company is stagnant it may mean that you have to pivot into new fields or create a new business model. 

Participating in the read 30 books in 30 day reading challenge was an interesting experience for me. This reading challenge is about tackling your pile of to-be-read nonfiction books. It’s also about stretching yourself – having a growth mindset. It’s also giving me the opportunity to explore new authors and unusual ideas.

What’s the point of reading the same books others are reading?

Now that I’ve decided to read 100 books in 100 days, I have to make sure that I’m reading books across multiple disciplines. I have close to 17,500 books in my Kindle app, so I have many options. While experiencing the read 100 books in 100 days I don’t want to hear myself saying, haven’t I read a book like that already? 

What is The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin  About?

The reading challenge has introduced me to new ideas such as what I discovered in The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin. The book deals with rejuvenation, exactly what a business needs during a pandemic. When the oak tree reaches maturity it produces acorns. This is a rejuvenation method.

So what is The Acorn Method?

““The Acorn Method” is both a philosophical stand and a practical guide for how companies can learn how to build new products and services or new companies again.”

Source: Author Hour The Acorn Method: Henrik Werdelin

Although The Acorn Method references mature companies, I think it has information that can apply to other companies as well. In the book, the author, Henrik Werdelin, says a mature company has to develop offshoot companies by creating a forest instead of a taller tree. In fact, think about business growth as a process of expanding out like a forest rather than up like a tree. A mature company needs diversified, but coherent portfolios of small fast growth assets. It must find lateral growth opportunities.

He talks about shape shifter companies. These companies disrupt, growing up around changing and self-disrupting technologies. If your company is stagnant it may mean that you have to pivot into new fields or create a new business model. The Revenue Exploration Studio (RES) allows a company to build and  launch new businesses in parallel. 

  • Is this a strategy you could use? 
  • Can you identify fertile ground around your core business?

“RES builds an internal base of experience and knowledge which benefits all subsequent ventures, and it frees the new businesses to move at startup speeds without disrupting the larger organization’s longer timelines.”

It’s important to have different perspectives on books. If you’re not a reader, you can find a synopsis of many books from Readitforme that you can listen to. Click the link to join. This is a great way to learn the latest thinking on many topics.

This strategy involves growing a business inside a business. They’re separate but connected structures. Mature companies need to get back into the business of building businesses if they want continued sustainability. Problem finding is a critical element of Acorn formation. 

Werdelin has found that problem finding yields more immediately productive and fertile territory than when you use idea creation. Most startups originated because the founder found a problem to solve.It’s a problem before solution method.

Questions to Ask and Answer

  1. What business are you in?
  2. Your customers, what are they telling you?
  3. How might you disrupt yourself when you’re vulnerable to disruption?
  4. What’s changing in the wider world that might create opportunities in your space?

acorn method, Henrik Werdelin

What issue would stakeholders in your niche pay you to take care of for them? Create a problem statement. A problem helps you to target solutions.

Problem + Solution = Idea

Focus on storytelling. The narrative process refines and clarifies the core idea. You need 30 to 40 story narratives. A solution narrative is the story of the problem and it’s solution. Stick with the best ideas. The sentence states the problem. Spotlight interesting problems. I took a stab at this process.

  1. The problem is busy executives need a faster way to digest core ideas in books using their own filters and not those of business summaries.
  2. Introduce and name the product. In my case, it could be the Performance Accelerator Plan or some other program I develop.
  3. Explain your solution. This could be the narrative around the description of the product. I need to work on this.
  4. Satisfy curiosity. The reader buys the product and the experience she goes through.

Final Thoughts: The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin

If you’re interested in the Acorn Method, the book is worth the read. I’ve said it a few times now that during the reading challenge, I was picking out information that would allow me to pivot my business. Therefore, the information that I focus on will be very different from the information you focus on.

acorn metho, Henrik Werdelind

For instance, The Acorn Method is a Four Step Process:

  1. Problem-Finding
  2. Pitching
  3. Planning
  4. Verifying

Three of the steps are relevant to my situation. But it’s only me, so who am I going to pitch to about creating new products? Unless of course I have a board of advisors and want to run the product ideas by them. If you own a business, this is an important book to read during the pandemic to get ideas to pivot.

Once again, what fertile ground is around you to plant new product seeds?

Have you read?


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How Avil Can Help You!

I invite you to Join the Performance Accelerator Plan that walks you through the process of learning key skills and more. You’ll be reading books to build skills and develop intercultural awareness.  Get more reading and learning tips here.

In December 2020, I published two books on Amazon. I would greatly appreciate your support if you bought my two short e-books Read 30 Books in 30 Days Like Francis Bacon and Performance Accelerator Plan: Guide to Learning and Mastering Key Skills for the Future.

Read 30 Books in 30 Days Like Francis Bacon is not about speed reading. It’s about approaching every book differently and reading only the sections that align with your purpose.

The Performance Accelerator Plan book is a stripped-down version of the paid reading challenge of the same name. Obviously, you won’t get all the resources that come with the program that I sell on my website. But if you are a self-directed learner, it will help you tremendously.

If someone clicks on a link and buys something from Amazon, the company will pay me a very small commission.

The post Book Review – The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin appeared first on The Invisible Mentor.



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Book Review – The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again by Henrik Werdelin

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