News and Events
Best-selling Author Keith McFarland Meets with Alumni
Pepperdine University alumnus and author Keith R. McFarland has scheduled three appearances where he will meet and discuss his current bestseller with Pepperdine alumni. His acclaimed book The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers is based on McFarland's five-year study of more than 7,000 companies. It details what separates small businesses from the "one tenth of one percent that break through to annual sales of $250 million."
McFarland, who earned his bachelor's degree from Pepperdine's Seaver College in 1977 and his MBA from the University's Graziadio School in 1981, is scheduled to appear at alumni association meetings on Tuesday, Mar. 25, in Westlake Village; Wednesday, Mar. 26, in Culver City; and Thursday, Mar. 27, in Orange County.
The Breakthrough Company was the result of encouragement McFarland received by leading business figures including Peter Drucker and Good to Great author Jim Collins to "identify the drivers that enable a company to push past the entrepreneurial phase." In completing the work, McFarland interviewed more than 1,500 growth-company executives on four continents of which only nine made the transition to major-player status.
According to McFarland, breakthrough success is attributed to, among other things, "a clearly identifiable set of strategies and skills." The results of his research provide tools and insights for achieving business breakthrough and takeaways include advice on going up against bigger competitors and surrounding your company with networks of outside resources.
McFarland's highly successful business career includes serving as associate dean of the Graziadio School, at the age of twenty-six, and working as CEO at two top technology firms. He later established McFarland Strategy Partners, based in Sandy, Utah, where he has advised hundreds of growth companies as well as industry leaders such as Microsoft, Motorola, and Morgan Stanley.