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AN OPERATING CORPORATE GROWTH STRATEGY: Building a Fortune 500 Manufacturing Business (7th article in the series on M&A)

I  write about two of the factors I consider central to successful growth and I used to build JPIndustries (JPI) in to A Fortune 500 Corporation at a time of economic recession, high interest rates and an exodus of manufacturing operations from the mid west: synergy and homogeneity.

You are probably saying to yourselves that synergy was a concept of the 1960’s which was not notably and successfully employed by the conglomerates which coined it, and that homogeneity reminds you more of processing milk than of conducting business.

But these words, synergy and homogeneity are Creek.  And I of Greek origin. I believe   that understood and applied correctly, the concepts expressed by these words    have clear practical meanings and direct application to business growth.

First: synergy.

Synergy comes from the Greek synergia, meaning “working together”. From the same root we have synergism, which means cooperative action of separate agencies such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the effects taken independently. This is the basis for the famous 2+2=5 definition of synergy promoted as the strategy of the conglomerates of the 1960’s.

I would propose to you that in the 1960’s the term synergy was poorly understood and in many cases poorly applied. That is the fault not of the concept, but of its utilization. And I would further propose that, correctly understood and applied the concept of synergy works.

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