Diversification Blueprint


– by Graham Kenny

Here are the do’s and dont’s for successfully managing diversified organisations and business units within them. The emphasis is on what successful and unsuccessful diversifiers do, as well as the effective practices of focused firms.

The result is a blueprint of how to go about setting up systems and procedures to produce optimal results.

The principles for managing business units in a diversified organisation, i.e. how to organise them to achieve success, are drawn from the operation of these units in successful diversifiers.

Hard cover, 206 pages
$34.95 (includes GST)

ISBN 9780980384413 (hbk.)

Published 2008


“Diversification Blueprint challenges the conventional wisdom on diversification and does so in an easy to read manner. The book argues that it doesn’t have to be management’s leper – it is possible to diversify and succeed. This requires that management pulls the right levers and the book describes in clear detail the seven characteristics of successful diversifiers. This is an important new book that will challenge and educate every manager considering whether and how to diversify their company.”

Professor Constantinos Markides
Robert P Bauman Professor of Strategic Leadership
London Business School 

“Graham Kenny’s very accessible exposition on the meaning and myths of diversification will reward anyone interested in the workings of contemporary business.”

Richard Goyder

“The ability to make complex ideas practical without oversimplifying them is a rare gift. Graham Kenny has this gift and in this book he walks managers through one of the most important issues that they face: how to decide whether to diversify and how to do so successfully. Kenny brings his sharp insights and considerable experience to bear on this topic and the result is a must read book.”

Professor Royston Greenwood
Telus Chair of Strategic Management and Associate Dean (Research)
School of Business, University of Alberta

“Diversification has its distinct and very real advantages in any economy! Graham Kenny’s review of the seven characteristics of successful diversifiers is thought provoking and a great tool for both company executives and students alike – a highly recommended read.”

Eddie Ruha
General Manager, Finance
Steamships Trading Company

 “The subject of diversification has needed a comprehensive review for a long time. Graham Kenny’s thoughtful, well structured and eminently readable book fills that gap by providing a book of great practicality. It will be useful to both practitioners and students for its theoretical perspectives, well considered advice, and excellent examples.”

Christopher Clark PhD
Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Marketing
Macquarie University

“Graham Kenny has managed to simplify and demystify what is an often misunderstood area of business activity. His easy to read style and clear analysis make the case for the very real benefits that businesses can achieve through diversification – and most importantly how to avoid the pitfalls and diversify successfully.”

Jim Carroll
Chief Financial Officer
Wideform Group of Companies

 Book Overview

Here are the do’s and dont’s for successfully growing an organisation by diversifying it. The book also provides a “how to” in managing business units within a diversified business. The emphasis is on what successful diversifiers do and what unsuccessful diversifiers fail to do. The proven practices of several diversified firms – particularly General Electric, Wesfarmers, Bidvest and ITC – come under detailed scrutiny.

The result is a blueprint of how to develop a diversification strategy as well as how to go about setting up the systems and procedures that produce optimal results.

Private-sector organisations, local government bodies, government departments and not-for-profit organisations will all benefit equally from grasping and applying the steps outlined in this book.

Book Features

  • Contains case studies of successful diversified organisations
  • Demonstrates seven key principles that successful diversifiers follow
  • Illustrates the importance of achieving business unit competitive advantage
  • Provides performance measures to apply in diversified organisations
  • Reviews how focused firms succeed and what diversifiers can learn from them
  • Presented in an easy-to-read style

Target Audience

Managers and their teams, as well as directors and their boards, in all sectors:

  • profit and not-for-profit organisations;
  • organisations in the public and private sectors
  • businesses in service and manufacturing industries.


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