Staying Ahead of the Hammer is the first book to look at how high growth impacts the smaller business. The book uses the analogy of a "Hammer Thrower" to help the reader understand how they can successfully manage the relationship between different parts of their business to support growth in sales.
The first key premise of the book explains how long-term high growth can only be achieved if sales and the organisation's ability to support them are in relative balance. The second premise is that the business's leaders must look forward and plan the future. This can only be achieved by having the right information available. This enables them to make increasingly accurate predictions about future sales, which in turn will indicate the necessary changes in the organisation needed to maintain growth momentum.
The book identifies the high growth problem and then looks at seven key areas of a business and explains how each of these areas can prevent or undermine high growth and then goes on to explain what can be done to overcome these challenges.
These seven areas are vision, culture, strategy and planning, talent management, financial management and control, organisational efficiency, and business development.
The book is written so that each chapter is self-contained, allowing readers to look first at those areas that are causing them the most problems. Nonetheless, the book emphasises that all businesses are highly integrated entities and that improvements in one area will inevitably spill over into others.
The book also uses a number of tools and techniques to help the reader address specific problems.